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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Matt Lauer and paternity leave

On Wednesday morning, I watched the Today Show and saw Matt Lauer's on-air colleagues congratulating him on the birth of his new son, the couple's third child. Matt accepted the congratulations but downplayed it at the same time. I watched and wondered, "Why isn't he with his wife?"
I would love a man's perspective on this but from a women's point of view, I think paternity leave should be more than just a few hours off. (Matt took off Tuesday morning when his wife gave birth at 9:37 a.m.) But what kind of message does it send that this very public father is right back in his co-anchor chair less than 24-hours after his wife gave birth? I'm sure on Matt's $13 million annual salary, the couple has plenty of help at home. But there's nothing like a spouse for emotional support. Are men embarrassed to take paternity leave? Tell me your thoughts.


Blogger Susan said...

I don't know how I would have survived without my husband around after I had my baby last spring! He took a full week off of work, and after that worked from home. I absolutely believe fathers should have (and take) paternity leave when their babies are born. There's just no substitute for a husband/daddy during that crucial time.

Susan @ Working Moms Against Guilt

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that I am disgusted at Matt's “could care less” kind of attitude. I mean really, what better time or reason to take at least a week off. I don’t know if men are embarrassed to take paternity leave or if they are pressured by a male-dominated workforce, but in my opinion real men do recognize the importance of some time off after the birth of their children.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife is due in this month and I'm planning a to stay home 2 weeks from the day they both get home. My employer did not have any objections with me taking my vacation time, but I did sense a struggle on their part to understand what I will be doing at home for 2 weeks. Some even went as far as telling me that I would be more of a hindrance and that mothers need to be home alone with their child at the beginning – “father’s can’t breast feed”. We can’t breast feed, but we offer much more than that. Needless to say, I’m still taking the time off. I can only hope that when my daughter has her first child, her husband can take the same (if not more) time off without it being such a shock to others. Unfortunately, Matt did not help my cause.

4:36 PM  

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