Life / Health

The new dads of Metro weigh in on paternity leave

While Canada is allowing some new parents to take more time off, the amount of time taken and the consensus on how much should be available varies.

A father holding his newborn son.

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A father holding his newborn son.

Canada is expanding its benefits for some new parents, but there is still no dedicated time specifically for dads. To use parental leave, they have to "steal" weeks from their partners.

Vincent Man, copy editor

Baby: Expected debut Christmas Day 2017

How much paternity leave will you take and when?

I'm taking three days off for the birth, plus we won't be working as much around that time because it will be the holidays. My wife is going to be taking seven months off because her employer tops off her benefits, up to her full salary. After that we'll see how it goes.

What would be the ideal paternity leave?

Ideally, I'd like to have a month or two, to keep an eye on everything at home and make sure no one is spread too thin. But I don't want to take any of my wife's leave. And I want to pull my weight at work! I think it's good for families to have options. Every family is different and there's no one-size-fits all solution.

Eduardo Lima, photographer

Baby: Boy born August 2017

How much paternity leave will you take and when?

I took five days off when he was born. I think I'm going to take the last two months (of parental leave) when my wife goes back to work after 10 months.

What would be the ideal paternity leave?

Ideally, I'd like to be there for the first three months of his life when he's little. When my first kid was born I was freelancing, so I was with him whenever I didn't have to work. I spent so much more time with him than I am with our second kid. I think it's good for parents to have the choice to take 18 months, to help with cost of daycare, and because some people aren't confident sending their kid to daycare at 12 months. I think it would be great to give dads or other caregivers a special leave that's just for them. I think it would change cultural norms.

Eoin Weldon, copy editor

Baby: Expected debut January 2018

How much paternity leave will you take and when?

I'm going to take four months of unpaid leave starting just before baby is born. My wife is going to take the full 12 months of maternity and parental leave so she can take care of the baby and also start a home business as an artist.

What would be the ideal paternity leave?

Compared to other countries, I think we're doing great. No complaints.

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