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Arthur Chacon,
30, teacher
How he got his leave: he was a freelancer at the time. And worked extra hous before his daughter was born to raise money. He spent 30 days at home. Afterwards, he prioritized home office and canceled work trips.

Photo courtesy of Arthur Chacon


I remember when we found out that she was pregnant. I felt two kinds of feelings that didn't mix: an euphoria that wasn't just joy, it was a kind of confusing ecstasy - and along with that a kind of mourning, because I knew that the Arthur I was before would necessarily have to die.


I was so scared when I first saw the meconium. I knew what it was, but I'd never seen that substance, which was in the baby’s belly after having been digesting amniotic fluid for 9 months. It was a sticky black tar, it didn’t look like anything I've ever seen in my life. I was so scared when I opened the diaper. I thought there was something very wrong.


I had a masculinity crisis when she was born that had nothing to do with me. It had to do with how I was going to be an important male figure for her. I'm worried about being the male referential for her - which is a figure that comes with many historical problems and processes. I don't want to be oppressive.


The greatest difficulty was to create a network of empathy with the people around me. I hthought this would happen naturally. I saw that our female friends were always available, asking questions, had a genuine interest. The male friends, however, not so much. It was a bit difficult to go through that process without that support.


"My friendships changed. My friends didn’t understand my absence. I think they thought that after a few days things would go back to the way they were before."
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