Linda Benesch

When I was born, my Dad took 3 weeks of leave from sick days that he had saved up. Since he had a unionized job with the state government, the benefits were better than at many other jobs, but there was still no official paternity leave. According to my dad, even just 10 years before I was born the concept of a new dad taking more than a couple of days off would have been very unusual. So he was happy to have the chance to help out my mother (who had a c-section) and get to know me during my first weeks of life.

I have always been very close with my dad and I'm very glad he had the opportunity to bond with me as a baby. But I also think we need to keep fighting to change our policies and national culture so that three weeks isn't considered ‘generous’ and all dads can - and are expected to - take paternity leave.