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Recently we moved to Sweden with our 3 year old daughter and to my surprise what I noticed was that the kids here spend equal time with mom as well as dad. Dads here are equally trained as moms to handle kids.
Now this is a very big thing for me. This is because the place where I come from we have two different names for leaves after a new kid i.e. maternity leave and Paternity leave.
While Maternity leave lasts from 3 months to 6 months or even 1 year depending on where you work and paternity leave is maximum one week. In Sweden there is nothing called as maternity or paternity leave. They simply call it PARENTAL leave.
What a generic name!!!
This made me think how we from the roots have these differences in gender, how we make things complex for ourselves. How we are told that once a kid is born mother is supposed to forget her life for at least 2 years, forget her carrier for some time and lead a stress full life.
Not all will agree to this but post pregnancy is not always happy for all either.
Now coming to this term PARENTAL leave , it simply is applicable to both mother and father. It is for 2 years and couples are very free to decide who takes how many days off from work and stay with kid. They get so many options.
Both can get 1 year leave together at a stretch or one after the other or split the holidays in rounds so in any any case the kid will stay with at least one parent until the he/she turns 2.
Now this leaves us with so many advantages...
1. No need to leave the child at day care center for 2 years.
2. No need to depend on your parents who themselves need support and must be helping you and your kid at the cost of their health.
3. The child is brought up right in front of you
and many more....
Hope soon we have a system which gives such generic names and only then we can say we are a nation where men and women have equal rights.