Saturday, 30 November 2013

Shared parental leave- potential benefits and pitfalls

Dads can share the parental leave with mother is the recent headline.A welcoming suggestion indeed. Sounds very idyllic in theoretical terms, but less cogent in practical terms and does require some time and efforts from our male counterparts to transform this wonderful motive from rhetoric to reality.

But have to say like any intervention or act that hit the headlines it comes with its own positives and pitfalls.

Firstly parenting and looking after a new born 24/7 is not a familiar territory for most men, they need to cram out of their comfort zone to sacrifice their career for some months and look after their new born, changing nappies and feeding them- not sure if many alpha men would be prepared to take on this challenge.

We all are aware of the beneficial effect of breast feeding that we even have breast feeding awareness week for the world to be aware of the essential benefits of breast feeding- if men were the share the maternity leave with mother it would be difficult to sort out this practicalities.
Blog- parental leave

What about the mechanisms of attachment formation in infants as first year of live is an important phase of attachment formation and if that's disturbed by shared primary care givers, may have an impact on their attachment and emotional development.

But please don't dismiss this enticing suggestion as preposterous here are the potential benefits;

1. Men will also do a fair share of weight bearing in child care so we could scale up our career ladder without big breaks.

2. Children develop a good attachment and relationship with both parents.

3. Women can let their hairs loose, foots up and enjoy their temporary break from the world of nappy changing.

At the end of the day, we have flexibility to choose and the one size does not fit all stays true here too, so we could manoeuvre our decisions based on our family dynamics and individual choices.
Looking forward for that wonderful time when women could break through our glass ceilings in our career ladder and could see more father and toddler groups in children centres.

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