I was reading this article about Estee Lauder being sued for discriminating against new fathers because dads get two weeks paid vacation and moms get six weeks, and it got me thinking. My husband got ten days of “paternity leave” from the Army when I gave birth. It would have been amazing to have him there for six weeks! I can be honest and admit I spent the first week of him back at work crying every day under the stress of trying to figure out this mom stuff on my own. I didn’t have family around to help so I spent all day Googling everything for guidance. I would have loved to have my husband home until we were both more settled in new life as parents.
Parental leave isn’t the only thing dads get the short stick on. I can’t count the number of times we have been out somewhere and my husband has brought our son into the restroom to change him, only to find there’s no changing table in the men’s room. As if men never change babies!
Times have changed (thankfully) and dads are much more active in their parental roles. Anything we can do to encourage this, I support! Having a hands-on dad is awesome, and my husband makes a big effort to be part of things. I want my son to grow up with a great father role-model, which is something I missed out on. I only reconnected with my estranged father in my mid 20s, so I don’t even know what dads are supposed to do. I only recently started celebrating Father’s Day and learning about “dad stuff,” but it will always be a bit of a mystery to me.
We always want more for our children than we had, so I’m grateful my son gets to experience having a father, and this is what I celebrate now on Father’s Day. Which reminds me, I need to check the calendar and find out when that is again. I still have trouble remembering!