Parents

How Paternity Leave Helps Dads Adapt Better to Parenthood

There are a lot of studies supporting paternity leaves, as they are beneficial for both new and old dads alike!

Maternity leave for moms is mandated by Philippine law. It even allows for varied amounts of leaves, depending on the procedure—whether natural birth or if it required surgical intervention.

But moms are not the only ones who need to adjust; the dads too need some time with the new changes. Although men are often the breadwinners, witnessing a mom’s changing hormones, adjusting to a volatile schedule that’s dictated by a crying baby, and managing themselves can be quite a stressful load alongside work. This is why, paternity leave is a must. In this article, we delve into how it works.

Does the Philippines Offer Paternity Leave?

The good news is that the Philippines offers paternity leave. And even better news? It’s paid, too!

According to Republic Act 8187, paternity leave is defined as “seven (7) days of full pay to all married male employees of the private and public sectors for the first four (4) deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting with and for other purposes.”

This means that dads can file this leave—which can be separately counted from Vacation Leaves and Sick Leaves—and still get paid to help moms adjust to the new baby.

Why Some Dads Don’t Take It

Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the paternity leave law in the Philippines. Some are still under the assumption that paternity leave falls under vacation leaves or sick leaves—thus, they don’t take it to reserve it for more important things.

On the other hand, other dads still believe in the old premise that moms are the ones who have to be completely hands-on with the baby, while they bring home the bacon. Worst of all, some companies are not aware that paternity leave is a paid leave, leaving working dads fearful of the large salary cuts just to help mom at home (Krstic, Hideg, 2019). Baby formula and diapers are not getting any cheaper, after all.

But Going on Paternity Leave Helps Dads!

It takes a team effort to address all the changes going on at home. While mom has to address the baby’s every need as promptly as she can, dad can help manage the house. Washing the dishes, fixing the living room, cleaning up—these little things can lessen the mental load and at the same time, give dads a feeling of how things will be with a new baby on the way.

Although the stress of adjusting to the new parent life will still be there, dads who go on paternity leave may find their relationship with their wives better (Petts, Carlson, and Knoester, 2020). They’ll also find support in one another, the mental load will be a lot less, and postpartum depression will be easier to deal with for both moms and dads (Barry, Gomajee, Benarous, Dufourg, Courtin and, Melchior, 2023).

Taking paternity leave also makes it possible for working moms to return to the workforce earlier, which boosts the whole household’s income. Besides, not all new moms are ready to be full-time moms and still want to be career women to continue sharpening their minds.

Without work bugging them for some time, dads can establish a daily routine with mom to help care for the baby at home.

Taking a Short Break From Work Won’t Hurt

The birth of a new baby is supposed to be an event enjoyed by both mom and dad. And dads shouldn’t be shamed for taking the time off to do so.

Even as breadwinners, how would dads know where their money is going if they don’t stay at home for a bit to help mom watch the baby? Companies may also find a boost in productivity when dads return from their paternity leave because they would have at least found some adjustments to their new lifestyle (Rahadian, Prasetyoputro, Sitohang, and Hafsari, 2020).

So dads, don’t be afraid to take that leave to help mom—your efforts are paid for!

References:

Barry, K. M., Gomajee, R., Benarous, X., Dufourg, M. N., Courtin, E., & Melchior, M. (2023). Paternity leave uptake and parental post-partum depression: findings from the ELFE cohort study. The Lancet Public Health8(1), e15-e27.

Krstic, A., & Hideg, I. (2019, July). The effect of taking a paternity leave on men’s career outcomes: The role of communality perceptions. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2019, No. 1, p. 13912). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

Petts, R. J., Carlson, D. L., & Knoester, C. (2020). If I [take] leave, will you stay? Paternity leave and relationship stability. Journal of Social Policy49(4), 829-849.

Petts, R. J., Knoester, C., & Li, Q. (2020). Paid paternity leave-taking in the United States. Community, Work & Family23(2), 162-183.

Rahadian, A. S., Prasetyoputro, P., Sitohang, M. Y., & Hafsari, T. A. (2020, February). Paternity Leave: A Potential Policy for Improving Child Health. In 4th International Symposium on Health Research (ISHR 2019) (pp. 165-173). Atlantis Press.

More about the dad life?

Every Dad Needs a DadBud: Meet Joey Ong, Founder of DadBudPH
How Being a Dad Changed Diego Loyzaga
John Lloyd Cruz Gives Insights on Co-Parenting and Being a Dad

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