Why Mark Zuckerberg Is Taking Paternity Leave Following Birth Of Baby Number Two

Why Mark Zuckerberg Is Taking Paternity Leave Following Birth Of Baby Number Two

By Marianne Garvey
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Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have welcomes baby number two, a daughter named August.

The Facebook CEO of course posted the news on Facebook, along with a family photo that includes August’s older sister, Max, and their beaming parents. Mark also wrote a letter to his newborn, about ”the world we hope she grows up in."

“Childhood is magical. You only get to be a child once, so don't spend it worrying too much about the future,” he wrote. “You've got us for that, and we'll do everything we possibly can to make sure the world is a better place for you and all children in your generation.”

Older sister Max was born in 2015, and Mark and Priscilla pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charities over their lifetime. The donations will take place over their lifetime.

Even though he is one of the richest men in the world, Mark emphasized the importance of paternity leave, saying he would once again be taking two months off to bond with his new baby girl. He will take one month now, and the month of December off. Facebook offers four months of maternity and paternity leave.

“When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life,” Mark wrote.

“I’m planning to take two months of paternity leave again. This time, I'm going to take advantage of Facebook's option to take leave in parts. I'll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we'll spend the whole month of December together as well. I'm looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures. At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it's good for the entire family. And I'm pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”

Mark is in rare company—most men who are offered paid paternity leave don’t take it. Although they want to bond and be present in their children’s lives, they feel they must also be working full-time.

Liza Mundy, author of The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family, says that fathers who take paternity leave and bond with their newborn in the first few weeks have a lasting effect on their child’s life into adulthood.

“Center for Work and Family, which surveyed men in a number of Fortune 500 companies, most new fathers now take at least some time off after the birth of a baby, though few depart the workplace for more than two weeks. In England, Prince William took two weeks’ leave from his job as a military search-and-rescue helicopter pilot when his son, George, was born. Even Major League Baseball has formalized paternity leave—albeit three days’ worth—for players, partnering with Dove’s line for men in a pro-fatherhood campaign called Big League Dads," she writes

Paternity leave is especially halpful for two dad households, but overall, it's been proven to help not just baby, but the entire family. Active co-parenting relieves a partner of 100 percent of the at home duties, like cleaning the house and constantly feeding. You will be able to see the ins and outs of the day to day, and better understand that your partner actually is doing a full-time job. And seeing baby grow will spark a bigger interest in the minutiae his or her life, which has positive lasting effects. 

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