ALL Dads should get to stay home with their newborn babies too
Paternity leave in pro sports has been making headlines. I'd never thought of it much before, but apparently to this day Major League Baseball is the only one of the four major professional leagues in North America to have a standardized paternity leave policy. The NFL, NBA and NHL leave it up to individual players and their teams to make the call and I'm sure the players feel all kinds of pressure NOT to take paternity leave and that's just wrong.
Sheesh ... even though baseball allows for a player to take three days paternity leave, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was criticized on sports radio for taking that amount of time to be with his wife and newborn son. I hope those people's tongues turn to chicharrones! How dare they criticize a father for taking three measly days off?! Don't worry, there was backlash.
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Oh yeah, in the days that followed, Murphy got all kinds of support from players and coaches defending his right and choice to be with his family at such a special time.
I'm going to be totally honest with you. The only reason I care about this is because I hope that people in the general population take notice. Paternity leave is something that should be available to all new fathers. The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to both mothers and fathers. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks "unpaid, job-protected leave."
My husband took advantage of paternity leave with both of our children. He filed for a Paid Family Leave Claim via the Employment Development Department, it was less than what he would have made had he stayed on the job, but it was worth the time he got with his babies.
I know that the time my husband was able to spend with our daughters in those early moments of development were huge and created a bond between them that is priceless. It actually brings tears to my eyes to think that some fathers don't get to have those moments.
The three days off that MLB allows its players is NOTHING, but I'm glad that players are taking advantage of it. If we want fathers to take fatherhood seriously, then we have to stop shaming dads for wanting to be there for their babies.
Image via Getty Images
Was the father of your child able to take paternity leave?