ME DÁ LICENÇA - © KARIN HUECK

Diego Gonçalves,
34, architect
How he took his leave: after the birth
of his first child, he took a month's leave
and was fired. He ended up staying home
for 4 months.

Photo courtesy of Diego Gonçalves

"

There is a certain functioning within families, in which the “matriarchs” of the family take over the baby when the father is not present. There is the mother, of course, who has this almost carnal bond to the baby. Then there is the mother's mother, and the mother's grandmother. All women gather around and decide what to do and how to do it. These matriarchs create a kind of shield around the child. I think that if I hadn't been there, I would have been pushed away from my son.


 

My leave was very good. It was a feeling that everything could wait: work, ambitions, everything – and we had just stopped in time. That I remember. It was a feeling of tranquility, no despair at all.


 

Nobody ever said anything, but maybe they had this doubt, that I wasn't doing my job as a man. I think that happened, yes. At the time, I thought people might be thinking that about me. But it wasn't talked about at all, maybe it was more of a sensation.

 

I would have loved to have stayed longer with our daughter. I stayed home only 3 weeks, and it had to be negotiated with my boss. Because, if I don't work, I don't get paid. I had to negotiate everything. I didn’t have a right to the leave.

"I felt like I was inside a nest. I was curious about how he was developing, if he gained weight, if his height was increasing. I wanted to see my offspring grow, like an animal. I think this is care."

"