ME DÁ LICENÇA - © KARIN HUECK

Eduardo Zanelato,
31, journalist
How he got his leave: he works for a company that offers 1 month of paternity leave. He then took another 30 days of vacation.

Photo courtesy of Eduardo Zanelato

"

Our daughter was born after a long labor, so my wife's recovery was also kind of long. Breastfeeding wasn't easy either. Our daughter cried a lot when she was in her lap because she could smell the milk but couldn't suckle. There was not one moment when she was awake and happy, she spent the first month of her life only crying and sleeping. Can you imagine a mother having to go through this alone?


I know how we men benefit when we become fathers. Even when we go back to work. When I got back from leave, I got a raise and more people working for me. My bosses knew that I would be overwhelmed at home and that would need help doing my job. I don't know if a woman would get the same.

I'm the youngest grandson in a very big family. So all the men in the family are older, raised in a different way, in another society. For me, it's very clear that most of them didn't understand our division of childcare. They said I was doing all the baby work by myself. This had an impact on me. I went back to therapy and spent weeks just talking about it.



Now, for example. I just got out of work, and now I'm rushing home to see my daughter in the shower and put her to sleep. And then she will sleep and I - instead of having a nice dinner with my wife - will get my computer and go on working. So I'm in this moment right now in which I didn't go back 100% to work, but I needed to be back 100%.

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"Our case was very emblematic. I got back to work from paternity leave and got a promotion. And my wife decided to quit her job to be closer to our daughter during the first year. Only we know how hard this decision was."