Men As Partners in Change
We are proud of ThirdPath’s trailblazing role supporting men’s increasing involvement with family. We’re also proud of the men who have been trailblazers with us – men like Matt Schneider, co-founder of City Dads Group and ThirdPath board member.
Here are a few of these amazing dads’ stories. You’ll quickly see how they are forging a new path for everyone around them.
Excerpt from Michael Andersen-Leavey’s post:
My husband, Matthew, and I chose the surrogacy path to fatherhood. When we started our journey in November 2014, my employer provided six weeks of paternity leave to primary caregivers; Matthew’s only provided one day for the birth of a child.
Fast forward to January 2017. My employer, American Express, extended parental and paternity leave to 20 weeks to all care givers! In addition, it was paid paternity leave – at 100% pay – and your job remains protected for the duration – well beyond the protected, unpaid 12 weeks of leave made available to parents through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
I was very open about my plan to take the full 20 weeks when our son, Cole, was expected to arrive in January 2018. My colleagues, including those I reported to, were very supportive of my decision. In fact, I came across many dads – in and out of my workplace – who wished they had such an opportunity to take any paternity leave when their kids were born.
Taking that time off to care and bond with Cole during those early months of his young life was important to us, especially since my husband had to return to work soon after the birth.
While on leave, I used the time to introduce Cole to music through classes offered at a local studios. We also had fun attending “Daddy and Me” classes at a nearby children’s education center. The time away from work provided me with the opportunity to be the father to Cole that I never had growing up. (Read the rest of Michael’s post on the City Dads Group website.)
Excerpt from Marlon Gutierrez’s post:
Before having my daughter, I took a job with a company where everyone worked remotely and it also offered better paternity leave…
When people ask what I do, first and foremost, I talk about being a dad. Then I’ll talk about our real estate investments and then, if I feel like it, I’ll talk about my job. I no longer tie my identity to my career, and it’s allowed me to break free from making decisions that only benefit a toxic patriarchal fantasy as opposed to doing what’s truly best for myself and my family.
As often as possible, I try to encourage myself to think differently.
Sometimes I fall into these periods where I find myself leaning toward working more hours than I should. But then I remind myself that the best job I’ve ever had is being a father. At those moments, I close the computer, play with my kid and worry about getting stuff done later. I also find it interesting, that the more I do this, the more productive I become in the time I do dedicate for work. (Read Marlon’s full post on the City Dads Group website.)
Thank you Matt, Michael and Marlon for proving how men can be equally competent caregivers. Want more inspiration? Tune in to our next Thursdays with ThirdPath webinar to meet more inspiring pioneers doing work, family and leadership differently!