Why Parental Leave is Important to this Future Dad

An award-winning marketing firm in Des Moines, Iowa recently announced “100% paid parental leave for working mothers, fathers and adopting parents.” Happy Medium CEO and Founder Katie Patterson took to both the written and visual to communicate the importance and reasoning behind her decision.

We often talk about feeling like a family in our office, we spend so much time together, learn the ins and outs of each other’s lives. It felt like a huge disconnect to not celebrate and honor when life actually happens.
So it was solidified. Happy Medium now offers 12-week, 100 percent paid PARENTAL leave. That means new mothers, new fathers, new partners and adopting parents will all have paid leave when their family grows.

Patterson brings to the fore what many progressives — and progressive companies — have been discussing at an increasing frequency. How do you build and create an inclusive workplace that values family?

How is a family expected to adjust with no time to do so, and how was this demonstrating to employees that their efforts were valued and would be rewarded when they needed it most?

How indeed? It is when we as human beings are most vulnerable that we notice how we are truly valued. Whether by family, friends, co-workers, or organizations themselves, how we are treated when knocked down is the true measure of valuing each other.

A follow-up post from Happy Medium’s media director, Julie Welch, continued:

Research has attributed paid maternity leave to better health for mothers and babies, lower rates of postpartum depression and newborn and infant mortality, and higher rates of breastfeeding and childhood immunizations. A study published in 2012 showed that women who had fewer than 12 weeks of maternity leave and fewer than eight weeks of paid leave were more likely to show signs of depression.

This is why I want paid parental leave, and not just paid maternity leave. Not for me. For my wife — the mother of our child — and our baby. I know, and studies affirm this, that my wife and child will be healthier, both mentally and physically, after birth if I am there to provide support and love they both need.

Finding out you’re pregnant should be a joyous event, not something that you start questioning because you know you have to take time off but you can’t afford to take it unpaid.

Paid parental leave is not about me. It is about making sure that because my wife and I made the choice to have a child, that my wife and child are not punished for that choice.

It’s about equality, it’s about compassion, it’s about decency… and it’s about time.