Not long after a friend of mine learned she was expecting her first child, her husband sought out a job at Facebook. As a dad-to-be, he found the company particularly attractive for its generous paternity leave policy — 17 weeks of paid time off.
That’s the highest, tied with Reddit, among the 13 companies surveyed by BuzzFeed about their parental leave policies — a mix of newer tech companies like Google and LinkedIn, and some of the largest companies in the U.S. by market capitalization, like Walmart, Procter & Gamble, and IBM.
The newer companies, on the whole, tended to offer much more generous paid leave policies for both parents; one company surveyed, Boeing, doesn’t offer any paid leave for new parents at all.
Then again, they don’t have to. The U.S. is among a handful of countries that don’t require employers to offer paid maternity leave. (Paid paternity leave is less universal.) U.S. law mandates only unpaid parental leave regardless of gender.
Except for Facebook and Reddit, every company surveyed offers more paid leave for new moms than for new dads. Parents who create families through adoption or surrogacy — a group that includes many same-sex couples — may also receive less than mothers who give birth.
Having had a kid with no paid leave, I can only imagine that the people who run companies without parental leave policies have forgotten what it’s like to care for an infant and adjust/recover from the arrival of a new child. They must also ignore research showing that parental leave can improve staff retention.
I’m such a fan of method — we switched to these green, good smelling products a few years ago and haven’t looked back. So I was excited to hear founder Eric Ryan talk about the method story this year at Big Omaha. He opened with this amazing brand video. If you haven’t seen it, take a look.
It all goes back to love. You just roll up your sleeves and you do the job that’s in front of you and that’s what people do. And you know what? It’s easy for me to say this now that I’m years on the other side of it, but it’s a privilege to see someone through that time in their life. And the trick of it is to love them for who they are that day, to never look at that person and think, “I remember when you were my grandmother and you used to knit me sweaters and make me dumplings and wash my hair. I remember when you did all of these things and I’m mad that you can’t do all of these things for me anymore.”
If you can let all of that go and just be in the moment with that person and love them for who they are and what they’re capable of that day, it can be pretty great even as it is incredibly hard.
In her recent interview author Ann Patchett describes taking care of her grandmother in her final years.
Patchett’s newest book is a collection of personal essays titled “This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage.”
For continual creative sustenance.
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