Monday, October 24, 2011

Boob vs Dad

In Norway we're debating if mothers should reduce breastfeeding at six month in order to let dad in on the scene. We are reluctant to share more of our one year parental leave with dad, and we use the boob as the excuse. Even if babies have food from six months, and there's no stopping us from returning to work. I agree, we should let dad take more of the responsibility!

But I don't live as I preach: I've grabbed as much as the parental leave as I can without breaking the household peace, and I plan to breastfeed as long as I can. (at least until me and Anna start having conversations about it)

What do you think? Do we need to go to "extreme" lengths to secure equality between the sexes when caring for kids?


Anonymous said...

I think you can consider yourselves fortunate if both parents are trying to get as large a portion of the parental leave as possible. In Germany, it works like this: there are 12 months of paid leave if one parent takes it all, 14 months if the parents share. Guess what happens: in the majority of cases, mom stays home for a year and dad for a measly two months.

Max said...

Children are biologically in need of boob until at least 2, probably 4. that we know. They have more of a biological need for their mother therefore than there fathers over this period. Struggling for 'equality' ie 50% each parenting time over this period would disadvantage the child which surely neither parent want?

Malyss said...

How to speak about equality when only one parent can boob?There are some differences that can't be denied, the natural ones. Let's fight for equality when it comes to get same money for same job, or such things. For now, the only important thing is the baby and her health.

Ane Tollersrud said...

I really can't see what's the big deal. Let's be pragmatic about it! The baby can still be breastfed if mummy starts working againg: in the morning, when she gets home from work in the afternoon, and in the evening. And with the two hours most mothers get from their employer to do this, it is possible to even do this without it being stressful.... By the time most mothers go back to work (6 months, 7 months whatever) babies NEED normal food in addition to the boob. But this food can be served by daddy, right?? And perhaps a small bottle on the side (no harm...) Conclusion: you can be as good a mother working from 6 months since you will be able to still breastfeed the baby the hours you're not working.

Anonymous said...

Whatever makes you happy - don't worry about what other people think. Either way is good because you'll make it work. I breastfed for between 2 and 3 years and the time went too quickly. I loved it and wouldn't have missed it. The main thing is to get 50% of the housework! That is a big battle for many.

Arctic Mum said...

Thank you for your comments! I agree with Ane, I don't see the problem when the child eats regular food from six months anyway. The battle for equality is often in the kitchen, and I think that making dad stay home from six months can make him take more of the work around the house too.

heather said...

oh goodness i have essays floating around in my head about this!!!

you are so lucky to have such a wonderful leave!!! but you and women deserve that leave regardless of the boob!

we started feeding rowan solids at six months. i would be pumping milk for him if i wasn't working from home. in that sense i am very lucky for someone living in the states. anyway, he still breastfeeds lots.

his dad is great and takes care of him during the day while i'm working. our situation is not ideal and ideal as it can get for us in a lot of ways. he does a wonderful job caring for our son, and if i need to leave for a few hours to the office it's much easier now, because rowan eats food. (he always adamantly refused a bottle.)

but nothing can replace mama!

heather said...

moms only get six weeks here. in california, the state will supplement income for another 6 weeks. and a lot of workplaces have 0 paternity leave!

la casita said...

I did it. I was badly sleep deprived and dad came to the rescue! I think I had 12 month of maternity leave. So far the baby was happy because I started weaning her at around 6 months with grated apple and gradually passing to more consistent food for her. All in all I think I took the right decision, I was too exhausted ( at night we had 50min sleep and then wake up for the breastfeed few min of brestfeeding and then another 50 min sleep, that was a vicious pattern I could only break with daddy involved and he managed well, also I think is quite important for dad bonding).


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