The birth of my daughter came just about 1 year after starting a new job in the non-profit sector. I was fortunate in that the organization I work for is run by warm and kind people who appreciate and value the staff. Our staff of seven people were also fairly young on average when I started, and so the arrival of my child would be the first one of anyone on staff at the time. Luckily, the organization had and maintains a clear parental leave policy, a policy that I've found is much better than most similar sized organizations.
I was able to spend the first three weeks of my daughter's life at home with her and the next two weeks working part-time. Spending most of this first month of my daughter's life with her and my wife was one of the most special and cherished times in my life. It brought our entire family closer together and allowed me to support my wife through the ups and downs of motherhood. Having done this, I can't imagine not having been there through this amazing time and it saddens me that other fathers aren't given this opportunity.
A strong parental policy is extremely important for healthy families, healthy children, and healthy workplaces. Because of this strong policy in place, I feel valued and appreciated by my organization and feel more connected to it as a result. It always saddens me when I hear of folks working for companies and other workplaces that don't have upstanding and family friendly family leave policy. And so for this Father's Day, I wish that employers big and small, for-profit and not-for-profit, will take responsibility for the communities in which they reside and promote healthy families through strong paid family leave policies. These policies lead to happy, productive workers, but more importantly, happy healthy children.
This post is part of the Fathers on Family Leave Blog Carnival.