The Government in the Indian state of Haryana has introduced paternity leave of 15 days for all of its employees. Needless to say, it is an absolutely fantastic step, and the announcement coming in the same month as Father’s Day gives it that much emphasis.
Why is paternity leave such a brilliant idea?
1. It helps develop the paternal bond
Babies start learning as soon as they arrive in this world. It might seem that they spend nearly all their time eating, sleeping (and pooping), but this is the time that they learn the very initial bit through their senses. Recognizing new smells, figuring out touch, hearing and registering new voices.
The stimulus that the baby imbibes at this stage will be recognizable and comforting for it, through its life.
So it obviously helps that the baby be familiar with a father’s touch and sound for stronger bonds that’ll last through a lifetime.
2. Paternity Leave helps support your partner when she needs it the most
The post natal period has to be one of the most exhausting times in a woman’s life. Between multiple feedings, changes, post natal physiological changes and a complete lack of sleep, her world is simply turned upside down.
Basic stuff like taking a nap, eating an undisturbed meal and catching up on sleep becomes near impossible. However, with an additional set of hands to help, her work load can be reduced by a lot and her quality of life improves by leaps and bounds.
This is now increasingly important in urban India, where nuclear families are on a rise and the usual support that was provided by grandparents etc. is in short supply.
3. Paternity Leave helps improve a couple’s bonding
Who likes to be left alone in a crisis-like situation by their partners? Having a new baby is nothing short of that. Everything besides taking care of the infant takes back seat.
Even the amount communication between a couple. Here is where lapses could reduce the quality of the relationship in the short as well as the long term.
Fathers helping with managing the infant could free up time for a couple to sit an talk to each other, even for a bit. Also, if you ask women which quality they appreciate the most in their partners, “being supportive” will rank right on top.
So paternity leave enables new fathers to be as supportive as possible and thereby not only maintain, but increase the love and bonding between the couple.
So, it is highly appreciable that an Indian Government has taken such a progressive step, and we’d look forward to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, to take this initiative forward on a national basis.