ME DÁ LICENÇA - © KARIN HUECK

Bernardo Borges,
36, designer
How he got his leave: He became a freelancer when they decided to have kids and worked 6 months from home when his twins were born. He returned to a job, but resigned to get closer to them again.

Image: Rogério Borges

"

My children were born prematurely and stayed 50 days in the hospital. We had to arrive at the hospital at 7 am and only leave at 7 pm. And I was always present. I used to do the “kangaroo” with them, which is when we take the baby and put them on our chest, on skin-to-skin contact. I only did this because I was there, in the hospital, all the time. Fathers without a leave could only do it on the weekends."


 

When we start interacting with our children, and they interact with us, fatherhood becomes a mirror. They return exactly what they see in front of them. They are a sponge, absorb everything you say and do and return exactly what you are after. "


 

I don't think it's determinant to be there from the beginning, because I believe it's possible to create a connection with your children at any time. But the first years are primordial in the child's formation, right? Especially to create in them a fatherly figure, a male model."


 

If you are more present at home, obviously you do work less and bring less money into the household. In the end, you feel good because you are there in this important moment of their lives, but you also feel bad about not being able to give so much financial support to your family. But I've never felt less of a man for being present with my children, quite the opposite. It's something that completes me much more than anything else. I don't think I'd be more of a man if I was very successful financially, if I earned a lot of money.

"

"It is very hard to find that balance between family and work life. How long should I stay out of the house doing my things and how is this connected to my mental and emotional health?"