46, graphic designer
How he got his leave: he took the 5-day paternity leave allowed by Brazilian law. Then he took 30 days of vacation and 10 extra days off work.
Photo courtesy of Alexandre Lucas
At first, I didn't feel this wave of unconditional love. Especially because you get into a pragmatic routine at first. You spend the day worrying about doing everything in the best possible way. I was always afraid to do something wrong. I had the feeling that my child could die at any time, it was so disturbing. And if it were my fault, I would literally die. I thought about that a lot.
I realized that many women rely on the help of their mothers when a child is born, as a way to replace something that should be done by their husbands. I think this is a that kind of sexism that many people don’t recognize, because it is called “tradition”.
I saw many male colleagues saying that they weren't capable of learning how to take care of a child. They would rather be supportive from a distance, instead og getting their hands dirty. They said they "didn't want to get in the way". In my opinion, this is a lame excuse.
If I hadn't stayed home with my son, it would have been horrible. I prepared myself for this and it would have been very frustrating for me to be away. And it wouldn't be healthy for my relationship with my wife. We always had clarity about the kind of family we wanted to build. It would be a terrible start.
"If a man can learn how to get better at videogames, if he can learn to play an instrument or to practice a completely new sport, why wouldn’t he be able to learn how to care for a baby?”