I appreciate that the word "mandatory" is off-putting, but the benefits that come with mandatory paternity leave are an incredible web of interwoven and reinforcing benefits -- in terms of improved gender equality, child's health, the valuing of care, as well as greater life happiness and deeper relationships.
When a woman is pregnant, she's constantly reminded to cherish her sleeping hours while she can. My wife Noelle was told of what seemed like endurance experiments involving no sleep combined with non-stop feeding, diaper changes, constant laundry and hosting visits from well-meaning friends and relatives.
I was trying to recall a day when I was a fantastic mom all day, where I managed to stay patient, positive and in the zone. More often than not, I flop back and forth between extremes like a fish out of water, I'm a fantastic mom, wait, nope I'm a shitty mom. It's incredible how quickly I can go from nailing it to absolutely shitting the bed.
Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
"Careful" is a helicopter parent's mantra. These kids have grown up in the shadows of fear, always too afraid to take risks, too cautious to make sound decisions alone and too callous to stand up for themselves as they have never had to. In their childhood their parents made all their decisions and as young adults they have no clue how to fend for themselves.
It's an interesting phenomenon among parents, this "just wait." What will happen if all I ever do is look out for the perils that lie ahead? I'll wait and wait and wait and then these precious years will be over. And in waiting in fear of what's next, I'll have missed the process of actually getting there.
You know what? I'm freaked out about it, too. This is such a big issue in the world and it's easy to freak out about it. Deeply caring about this and wanting to do something to help is the first step in making a difference. So, let me start off by saying you're already making a difference because you care.
Our children need to develop and equip their own tool box -- we cannot do it for them. This is not our job, nor should we be trying to make our children's happiness and success our goals. This generation of parents is much too eager to do their children's work for them, and therein lies the problem.
Simplifying is vital not only for our kid's health, but also for our own. Simplicity is a rare gift in modern life. It's an obvious message, and when we hear it, we can't help but shout YES. Slowing down feeds our souls and nurtures our families. No matter what parenting style we practice, this topic unites us.