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Should Dads Get Paternity Leave?

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Not everybody thinks so.


The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has announced it will apply the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act to both women and men, meaning that fathers are now eligible for eight weeks of leave just like mothers are.

This created a firestorm of sorts in the state. Many applauded the decision, while others (especially employers) were less than enthused.

"They're now saying that employers are going to be liable for violating a maternity-leave law by not giving paternity leave, and an employer would have no way of knowing this unless they went to our seminar," lawyer James W. Bucking told Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Massachusetts resident Dr. Gwenn O'Keefe says, "I personally think it is terrific all around -- as a mom, pediatrician and business woman. Families need that reconnection time, and men need time to adjust to being dads, too, just like moms do. Plus, many families cannot afford the extra help Mom needs those first few weeks, especially with today's economy, so it's great men can be there to pitch in. I would have loved my husband to have been able to take more time off -- but we needed his paycheck."

Many moms we talked to agreed with Dr. Gwenn, saying it would have been amazing to have their husbands at home those first eight weeks. But a few naysayers said since the dad didn't push the baby out, he shouldn't be entitled to "time off." (We don't know about you, but spending 24/7 with a crying, pooping newborn is not our idea of time off.)

What do you men deserve paternity leave?

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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mom007 June 16, 2008, 7:53 PM

Isn’t parenting a two person job? Of course they deserve and actually should be required to take paternity leave. Duh.

Anonymous June 16, 2008, 8:09 PM

it now seems that everyone that creates a little one is entitled to more time away from work than those that do no. where is the perk for those that do not have children. we all get vacation but vacation plus leave is a little unbalanced.

Tanya June 16, 2008, 10:23 PM

Um…having a baby is not a vacation, nor is it “time off”, far from.

My husband only had two weeks. While we appreciated what little time he had, it would have been more than beneficial to both us and our son if he’d had more time. I’d had an surprise c-section mixed with the baby blues - I was a mess. It would been great to have had my husband home for just a bit longer.

I think it’s a great idea for so many reasons - especially so that fathers can bond with their little ones.

I love Massachusetts!!!

shannon June 16, 2008, 11:35 PM

“I think that would be great, if father’s got off that much time.”
After you have a child, you might have six to eight weeks off but what if you have a little one at home already. It is really tough, with daddy home you can switch jobs. One day with baby one with toddler!

martha June 17, 2008, 1:44 AM

i think this law should be applied everywhere. It is a great idea and more fathers should take advantage of this opportunity. This way both mom and dad can bond with their baby and dads can help mom get back on her feet

Kelly S June 17, 2008, 10:17 AM

I think this is great. Maternity leave is not vacation leave. Far from it. This does not promise “paid” leave since the United States does not pay maternity leave. Many do not know that there is a federal law for the Family Leave Act, where an individual can take up to 12 weeks off (unpaid) to take care of a newborn, child, themselves, or elderly parent. I believe this statute only clarifies that men can take time off to be with their wives and newborn babies. I wish that I had that from my hubby. We needed his paycheck, so my mom took time off and stayed with me for 3 weeks. It helped a lot.

Anonymous June 20, 2008, 11:31 PM

that is a great idea, mom needs as much help from daddy as she can get. it gives dads more time with the family

Northwoods Doula July 18, 2008, 8:53 PM

This is a step in the right direction, but we need to take a serious look at our priorities. We are one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. In the U.S., you are lucky to get 12 weeks unpaid. For many women, this is not nearly enough time to recover physically or emotionally or establish breastfeeding. Families deserve better than this.

Anonymous April 13, 2009, 9:26 PM

do it =]

lm August 27, 2009, 8:32 PM

Women deserve more, but men really don’t need to sit at home and stare at the TV for two weeks.

Lol ;- ) November 17, 2009, 6:44 AM

women are always bitching and moaning about being “equivalent” to men but they don’t understand how many passes they have that men don’t, so i think that men should get as long of a leave as women do it’s only fair right????

lol November 1, 2010, 8:12 AM

men are lazy and don’t need time off.

Anonymous November 11, 2010, 8:24 AM

It takes more than one person to take care of a newborn after birth. The mother’s body is under an enormous amount of stress and needs the extra help from the father mentally and physically. It’s only fair to the mother that the father gets to take work off to help take care of her and their newborn, is it not? It takes two to make it, it takes two to take care of it

Phoenix Rose  January 6, 2011, 8:11 AM

I do believe that men deserve the same respect that women deserve. When I had my son, my hubby was there for me…not as much as I wish he couldve been.. I support this cause..

Annie  February 4, 2011, 5:33 AM

I’m doing a persuasive essay for school on paternity leave for fathers because my Algebra teacher’s wife jsut had a baby. MEN DO DESERVE PATERNITY LEAVE!

Jason February 23, 2011, 9:56 AM

You are a FEMINIST loser , who knows nothing about paternity. Do not comment if your that ignorant.

Immobilier Bretagne March 6, 2011, 2:59 PM

There are definitely a number of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to carry up. I offer the ideas above as common inspiration however clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing shall be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Each girls and boys feel the impression of just a second’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

PeterCole March 31, 2011, 8:21 AM

That men also deserve paternity leaves is an issue that has proven a bitter pill to swallow for most people.I actually believe that this issue can be traced down to morality,which is decided by the society.The society believes it is right for women to get maternity leave while the men are restricted to a little time to the ‘fruits of their semen’.

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