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I could be wrong (my kids are still young), but I’m convinced that my priorities are in order: For everyone’s benefit, work comes after kids. It's no surprise then that many families see the option of the highest paid parent not working for 3 months as a complete writeoff. It’s about parents’ time: You’ve both earned this, and your boss, by law, must accept. [pullquote align=”normal”]According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nine out of 10 dads take maternity leave. Taking leave requires planning, and may require negotiating and creative thinking. Paid leave for moms and dads is still rare in the U.S. And, yes, they can change diapers. Despite the “modern” man, the “career” woman and the shortening bridge of the gender gap, there remain some hard-fought struggles in paternity leave. At least 20% less according to a U.S. Census report from 2017. The hard truth is, only nine percent of dads across Canada take any paternity leave. The company I worked for then was smaller. I worked for an American company and the vice-president was flabbergasted by my request (the United States is the only wealthy nation in the world that doesn’t offer some guaranteed paid time off and musters a mere six to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the mother’s recovery). In Quebec, 87 percent of dads take parental leave. My one month of paternity leave with each kid taught me an awful lot about them, myself and what it takes to raise a family and carry the mental load of the household. I'll get to the financial part in a moment, but first I want to explore a couple of reasons why dads should really, really be pushing to take parental leave.

I live with my family, a small herd of Boer goats, and thousands of honeybees near Portland, Oregon. “I need you to carry me!” he says. Cesarean sections aren’t the only reason dads should take paternity leave.

I pour the water, balance the temperature with ice and find the closest chair to collapse in to address the most immediate crisis with a bottle. I wouldn’t feel so anxious now. It was the first national law in U.S. history that granted unpaid, job-protected leave to moms and dads to care for their newborn kids. The longer period of leave dads take for a new child, the more involved they are with their newborn child and spouse. Childcare costs can amount to almost. I wanted to do things different for our second child. Working moms take maternity leave, but it's still unusual for a new father to take paternity leave.

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