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Balancing work and family…how without paid family leave?

Welcome to …along with this blog and…I am dedicated to helping dads from pregnancy through the early years of parenting. The transition form “Man to Dad” is a challenging one. In my own life and research I have found…if you can share the journey with a few other “fellow travelers” it really helps!  The two results I have found in my work:

  1. Hearing how other expectant and new dads are dealing with becoming and being a dad helps normalize our own feelings.  We don’t feel so anxious or worried when we begin to hear other men talk about the same situations as ours and how it is effecting them.
  2. The dads who have been in the Fathers’ Forum talk about how much more enjoyment they find in the challenges of parenthood than do dads who have limited contact with other men during the early years of parenting.

So join in the conversation…..this weeks topic:

Who supports parents and families….How do we find a private solution to a public problem?

We live in a country (USA) that would have you believe…”we put families first” but if we scratch the surface of this claim we find that it is more rhetoric than reality. Certainly in this election year we are hearing many candidates trumpet…”I am for the American family.”  For our discussion: Consider this…if you put your child in childcare you get a tax credit.  If you decided, either you or your wife, to stay home..let’s say for the first year, no tax break. This is a social policy that says we value work more than parenthood. Suppose you received ½ of you or your wife’s last working salary as a tax credit if you stayed home the first year of your child’s life…would that make a difference?  What would that say about family policy for the USA?

“The United States has no mandatory paid family leave policy, making it one of just three countries in the world and the only country in the first-world to not mandate paid maternity leave for new mothers (Swaziland and Papua New).”

 Although this recent Video and article from the Huffington Post is directed to mothers it is of HUGE impact to us as fathers too! Watch this video……very powerful and upsetting too.

Balance work/career and family life/needs is no easy task. If we don’t get societal support what are the private solutions we need to try?