Remember Ozzie and Harriet? Ozzie would come home from work in his suit and say “honey I’m home” and Harriet, who looked picture perfect with a clean house and something cooking in the oven would obediently lean over for a kiss. Don’t forget she had her kitchen apron on. Thank god those days are over.
Now we know, because Dad’s have gotten involved, how damn hard it is. I saw a great photo of a young father with his baby strapped to his back vacuuming the house as part of his duties. We should not be applauding this but rather be saying “it is about time”.
We have many friends with young children. Everyone plays a role in raising the family. Sometimes both parents work, other times one ends up staying home but the roles are not like Ozzie and Harriet. They have become blended. Trust me we still have a way to go but movement is happening.
A recent study came out on the positive impact of equal paternity leave in Scandinavia. The country offers up to 480 days of paid leave after having a child for both parents. Currently the law in the states is that you can supposedly take 12 weeks off of unpaid leave. Our childcare system is far from supportive of families we could actually say there is zero support.
Here is the most powerful stat out of Scandinavia. 88% of the work force is women between 25-54 with children. After 480 days, women actually return to work. Also, masculinity changes because now men can be caregivers, that they can be dipping into a bag of treats, diapers and napkins at the playground, they can be more vulnerable. Family is first. Men have a better connection with their kids. It is a win.
It is really hard for a start-up to do this but it is not that hard for a large company. It appears from this study that the long tail of paternity leave is that it is great for business.