ME DÁ LICENÇA - © KARIN HUECK

Fernando Telles,
40, musician
How he got his leave: he's a freelance artist. He didn’t work at all during the first three months of his son's life and has been home for 18 months now.

Photo: Senhoritas Fotografia

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I realized that setting the example is very important. I have to be careful with everything I do and say in front of him because he repeats everything. I had restrictions on my diet, for example, and because of him I just eat anything now. I really had to evolve, as a man.


 

I see it with my friends, most of them are black too. There are some conceptions that come from the lack of information. Most of them, even if they earn money, didn't have access to information, and they believe that the father is the one who has to work, earn money, and have a wife at home taking care of the kids. I realized that they didn't understand what I do, staying home with my son. I know this is a legacy of slavery, of colonization. I want to set a different example.


 

I was hard to understand that I am in a different point of my life, perhaps the most important one. In the beginning, I was getting job opportunities and I had to decline them because of the baby. And some people thought this was really strange. They asked: "but you're the one with your son at home? What about the mother?”


 

I like our bath ritual. My wife and I chose three songs on alternate days, and play them during bath time. Then we talk about those musicians, explain the stories behind the songs. When he's really tired, it doesn't work so much. But he also really likes it. 

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"I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, because I was working during carnival. And during carnival you usually play for many hours nonstop, because you’re up on the sound trucks, the whole thing. And I felt less tired playing drums for days than staying home with the baby."