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If a Man Needed Maternity Leave...

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Mom•Logic friend Tracy McArdle scripts just how that conversation might go.


Two men, late thirty-ish or forty-something, are facing one another across a giant desk in an impressive office. The wood is cherry, the lighting expensive, the work vague and profitable, and the coffee, brought by a good looking female assistant.

BOB: Well Steve, you’ve had a great quarter, and I just wanted to check in to see how you’re feeling.

Steve enthusiastically pats his belly.

STEVE: I actually have a lot more energy this trimester, Bob. Which is surprising, since I was sick as a dog the first three months. Heh.

Bob chuckles.

BOB: I remember. You sprinted for the men’s room in the middle of the Dyson briefing. That was embarrassing.

STEVE: Don’t remind me! Anyway, I’m feeling great now. No need to slow down yet until the baby’s born.

BOB: Yes. Well, that’s what we wanted to talk to you about.

STEVE: “We?”

BOB: Well, it’s only me in the room of course, but I have to use the proverbial “royal we” when speaking on behalf of the company.

STEVE: Oh. Right.

BOB (affably): Otherwise you could potentially sue me personally for saying something mildly politically incorrect, you know, in your current, ah, “state.”

STEVE: Well, I’m here for the company, and if you need me during the first few weeks of the baby’s life, then I’m here too. Phone, email, you name it. I’m your man.

BOB: That’s great of you, Steve. (more directly now, sensing an opening) So let me ask you, what are your thoughts on coming back after the baby?

STEVE (a bit taken aback): Well, I do plan to come right back to work full-time after three months.

BOB: But won’t you be tired? What about the breastfeeding schedule? What about sleep deprivation–have you thought about all that? Everything changes after a baby, you know.

STEVE: I’m sure I can manage. I’ve multi-tasked before. Jen and I have discussed it.

BOB: And how does…Jen feel?

STEVE: She wants me to do what makes me happy, and what’s best for the family.

BOB: And you have a nanny? Daycare?

STEVE: I’m interviewing people and visiting centers now. I have picked a pediatrician. I’ve also pre-registered for swimming and music classes. They say that’s important.

BOB: I’m sure.

STEVE: Yeah, it’s kind of like a full time job with this new person in my schedule. And he’s not even here yet!

BOB: You’re a busy guy, Steve-o. I don’t know how you do it.

STEVE: I try to make things easy for Jen. She works hard. One of us has to take the lead on the home front. I’m sure I can manage it all once the baby is born.

BOB: Well, you might change your mind when the little one arrives. We’ve seen it before.

STEVE: No need to worry. I’m sure it will all work out. (hopefully) Millions of men do it every day, right?

BOB (unconvincingly): Right. I’m sure everything will click into place.

There's an awkward pause as the good-looking assistant arrives with more coffee.

BOB: Well, nice chatting with you, Steve. Keep me posted, and if you need anything, just let us know.

STEVE (enthusiastically but nervously): Will do!

For more from Tracy McArdle click here.


next: Leave Me Alone, Mom
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 16, 2008, 1:42 PM

Quel disturbing photo!

If only this were a true story …


Nicole January 16, 2008, 1:44 PM

that first comment was from me. (you could tell by the mastery of the French langue, n’est pas?)

Pharmb599 April 6, 2011, 11:09 AM

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