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The Need to Expand the Access of Paternity Leave to Fathers

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Fatherhood

The ideals of parenthood have recently changed in drastic ways. In the past, nuclear families were only consisted of a mother, a father, and the children. This image has drastically changed in the twenty-first century, especially in who fills the “mother/father” roles. Children are now being raised by same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents, step-parents, and foster parents. Though this change is perfectly acceptable, many families are remaining traditional by having one father and one mother. In these traditional families, it is necessary for the father to have access to paid paternity leave.

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After a baby is born, being able to have both parents at home is essential for both the baby and the parents. For the mother, having the father at home will relieve stress for her because the duties of taking care of a child will be more equal. If the mother is less stressed, then she will become a better mother. Correspondingly, the father will become a better father if he’s at home with his child. The father will become closer with the child and will be able to properly fulfill the duties of being a father. Allowing the father to spend time with his newborn is essential because he needs to bond with his child.

Secondly, requiring businesses to give fathers access to paid paternity leave will help with women’s rights. Americans have been fighting for women’s rights for decades. Even though there is more to be done for complete equality, feminists and other people who have and continue to work for women’s right have made tremendous progress. For women to become truly equal to men, men also need to become equal to women. Mothers and fathers should be equals in parenthood, instead of mothers being the primary caretaker of her children. In the modern era, both men and women are dominating in the workforce, but men still seem to be the dominate sex in this area. A factor holding women back is employers know that young women are likely to become pregnant during their time working, which will force the companies to give the female employee an extended paid maternity leave. Requiring businesses to not only give women paid maternity leave but also men will level the playing in the job field for both sexes.

Thirdly, having the father stay home with his baby may be easier for the couple instead of the mother staying home for the expected time because of the types of jobs each parent has. For example, the mother may run a business that needs her constant attention, but the father may have a job with more flexibility. With the option of paid paternity leave, the couple would not have to stress about the mother’s business. In the past, having the mother be with the baby constantly was essential because the mother needed to feed the baby. A new mother now does not need to be around her baby for the it to be able to eat because of the easy access to formula, refrigerators, and other devices to pre-bottle breast milk. A father can now easily feed his baby while the mother is at work or other places she needs to go.

Many people disagree that companies should be required to give fathers the option of paid paternity leave. These people may believe requiring small businesses to give fathers extra time off will hurt the business, but they would be completely wrong. All businesses should feel the need to take care of their employees, including giving father paid time off to be with his newborn son or daughter. Also, fathers would most likely be willing to remain flexible with their place of work, if his place of work will struggle with his time off.

Not only would men have access to paid paternity leave, but they should also take it. Men, especially in the United States, feel a stigma that becoming a father is a negative part of life. Many people have the impression that becoming a dad will “hold a man back,” but fathers should not feel negatively about becoming one. Men should embrace fatherhood and try to become better dads for their children. Men who are offered paid paternity leave should take the offer without worry about others opinions.

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