37, PhD student
How he got his leave: he originally worked from home and quit his job when his daughter was 2 months old. He then stayed full-time with her until her first birthday, when she went to daycare. To this day, he is the one who works from home.
Photo courtesy of Giuliander Carpes
My wife has a big executive job and spends many hours away from home every day, sometimes 9, 12 hours. And I wasn't very happy with what I was doing at that time. So I thought it made sense to stay with our daughter when she was born. I thought the people who had children looked very happy. So I didn't have paternity leave, I just quit my job.
When she started eating solids, it became an endless cycle. I would give her her num-num and then it was already time to give her her ba-ba again. Then I would go and cook more num-num, and it would become that frustrating thing, where the child eats just a little bit, throws everything on the floor and waists everything you've cooked. Then you take her off the table, clean it up, and it's time to give her ba-ba again. It’s a never ending job.
When she turned 1, I started teaching at a university, two or three times a week, at night. But my wife couldn't always make it home on time. Once or twice I ended up taking my daughter to class with me. I ended up teaching with my daughter on my lap.
I think that parental leave could diminish labour market discrepancies. Generally, the person who stays with the child the longest is the one who is in the most vulnerable position in the job market, the one who is a freelancer, or earns the lowest wages. This creates an obligation to stay at home. On the other hand, whoever brings the money ends up missing this close relationship with the child because she is working.