WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- When it comes to welcoming a new baby into the family, men want a lot of that same bonding time that moms get with their child. While many companies allow paternity leave, many men are still reluctant to take advantage of it.
Chris Duchesne, vice president of GlobalWorkplace Solutions for care.com, talked to us about the subject. He'salso the father of three whosays take the time off.
When asked why men don't take the time, Duchesne said, "Despite changing roles in families in the past decade or so, a lot of fathers still associate their personal identity and feel a sense of expectation in terms of their career and their contributions to their family. It makes them a little reluctant to take the time off."
Is it a macho thing? Do they think they'll be derided at work for taking time off? "That's exactly what it is. They're concerned how they'll be perceived by their manager, their employer. They're concerned they're not going to be seen as serious about their career," stated Duchesne.
How do you change the expectations? Do you just talk about your family more at work? Do you take other days off for parent teacher conferences so people get used to the fact you're going to be involved in your family?
According to Duchesne, "It's a little bit of both of those things. One, understand what your company's policy is, what the laws are in your state and understand your options. Communicate effectively with HR, with your managers and put plans in place so even while you're taking that leave, your work can still get done. And most importantly to have confidence in taking the time off.A study has actually shown about 80% of fathers' colleagues think more highly of them when they take paternity leave."
Can the mobile revolution change that as well? You're connected 24/7. When you're in the hospital you can be checking e-mail or using a laptop while the baby is sleeping.
"The reality is even while fathers take paternity leave, they still are connected and still doing work. You never are really completely gone from the workplace these days," said Duchesne.