Monocolumn: Left Holding The Baby
Until the 1970s, paternity leave was all but non-existent in Sweden. A general parental leave replaced maternity leave in 1974, but that year, only 562 brave dads took the chance to stay at home.
Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.
I recently got back to work after having a baby in March. But while I’m typing on my laptop to earn money for food and toys (as one two-year-old relative put it), my little son is not taken care of by a nanny. He is with his father, who’s now taking time off his work as an architect for at least six months. A male friend of mine, an art designer, just finished his six months of paternity leave and at my daughter’s day care centre, a teacher-dad has stayed at home for a full year. In Sweden, tables have turned and these days, men have to do some explaining if they take no paternity leave at all.