Slow clap: Mark Zuckerberg taking 2 months paternity leave


Parenting / Blog 111 Views 0


Melissa Willets

posted in Parenting

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to take two months off when his wife, Priscilla Chan, gives birth to their second child later this year. He announced the decision, shocker, in a Facebook post.

"When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life," Zuckerberg wrote about the birth of his first child, now 1.

"Our new daughter is coming soon, and I'm planning to take two months of paternity leave again," the social media pioneer continued. "This time, I'm going to take advantage of Facebook's option to take leave in parts. I'll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we'll spend the whole month of December together as well."

"I'm looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures," Zuckerberg concluded his post, adding that Facebook allows its employees to take up to four months of maternity or paternity leave "because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it's good for the entire family."

He added, "And I'm pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back."

A bold statement for a guy whose job performance is under international scrutiny 24/7. That being said, if the soon-to-be dad-of-two never worked another day in his life, he'd still be worth a reported $70 billion. So his circumstances are far different from most working dads in the U.S.

Mark Zuckerberg will take 2 months of paternity leave

According to the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), "certain" employees are guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. That's right; unpaid. Most of us can't afford to take three months off without a paycheck. And, this law only applies to companies that have more than 50 employees.

Some companies, like the one my husband works for, provide paid family leave. However, I contend it is still largely looked-down-upon to take advantage of those policies. In fact, my husband, who has never taken off more than a few days for the births of our kids, says that no dad he works with would dare to take more than just a little time off, maybe a week or two, for family leave.

Most dads can't take off as much time as Mark Zuckerberg

Clearly we have a lot of work to do to dispel the stigma associated with dads taking time off for the birth of a child. But it's my hope that, despite the many challenges the average dad faces when it comes to taking paternity leave, Zuckerberg's announcement that he will take two months off to focus on family will send a strong message to American companies and employees.

Because it's okay to put family first. In fact, it's actually beneficial to focus on family. And just because you want to spend quality time with your kids, doesn't mean you no longer care about your job. Finally, the fate of a company shouldn't lie on the shoulders of one person; even if your name is Mark Zuckerberg.

Do you think it's about time dads were supported in their decision to take time off for the birth of a child? Or, what do you think about Mark Zuckerberg planning to take two months off?

Photos: iStock and Melissa Willets

The post Slow clap: Mark Zuckerberg taking 2 months paternity leave appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.