The six paid weeks of parental leave I took when our daughter was born allowed me to find my footing as a dad firsthand, setting me up with a role as the type of active parent I wanted to be right from the start. And the six additional weeks I'll be taking just before she turns one will help allow her mom to transition back to her career, giving me a chance to step up as the primary parent at a time when our daughter is changing so fast.
What I've learned as a parent is that there is no substitute for digging in and being there for your kid from dusk until dawn, day-in and day-out. The bonding that happens is irreplaceable, and the confidence and skills to take a leadership role as a parent are directly proportional to the time spent parenting. I'm excited to see what my upcoming leave brings, especially to grow even closer to my daughter, and I think every dad should get the same opportunity at some point in the first year of a child's life. It's good for me as a dad, it's good for my daughter, and it's good for my co-parent!