Research shows that dads who take longer leave are more hands-on at home from the beginning.
So what, exactly, do these dads do?
Most importantly, they’re more involvement in childcare activities like feeding, changing diapers and waking up at night. This is a vital stereotype-busting action. It proves that men are willing -- and able -- to take on responsibilities traditionally considered ‘mom’ territory.
It’s also worth noting that fathers who take parental leave spend more time on other day-to-day household chores like grocery shopping, calendar-planning, and general house upkeep. That makes sense; dad will be more involved while he’s at home.
"Sharing these activities during a child’s first year of life may promote less stereotyped gender roles; that is, mother as exclusive caregiver and father as exclusive breadwinner." (OECD)
But this impact goes beyond just the period of parental leave. Multiple studies have found that when fathers are engaged in childcare and housework early, they’re more likely to remain involved several years later. These early decisions about parental gender roles have lasting effects.
The bottom line: Women who want a more equal division of responsibilities at home should encourage their partners to take parental leave.