Paternity leaves gets popular with new-age dads

Published on Mar 05, 2021 03:57 PM IST
Several actors have taken or want to take a leave before and after the birth of their children, calling it an important experience
Setting some serious dad goals are these new doting fathers and to-be dads advocating paternity leaves (Photos: Instagram)
Setting some serious dad goals are these new doting fathers and to-be dads advocating paternity leaves (Photos: Instagram)
BySanchita Kalra

Taking an official leave to welcome the arrival of a newborn is not only a mother’s role, and new daddies in the celebrity world are proving just that. Setting some serious dad goals are these new doting fathers and to-be dads advocating paternity leaves.

Actor Saif Ali Khan, who recently welcomed a second baby boy with wife-actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, is at present taking time off to spend with the newborn.

In an interview previously, he spoke about the significance of paternity leave and shared, “Who wants to work when you have a newborn at home? If you don’t see your children growing up, you’re making a mistake. And I can take time off from work—it’s a privileged position,” adding that he has ensured time off ever since Sara Ali Khan, his first child was born.

In December, cricketer Virat Kohli, too, took a break and returned to India after the 1st Test, for the delivery for his daughter, Vamika with actor Anushka Sharma. The decision received both appreciation and criticism from fans. While many commended the move, others trolled him over ‘dereliction of national duty’. However, during an informal conversation with cricketer Steve Smith, Kohli said, “As committed as you are to play for your country this is a very special moment in life that you want to be there for at any cost.”

Another celebrity to have recently opted for paternity break is , comedian-actor Kapil Sharma. A fan asked him on Twitter about his show going off air and he replied to it by tweeting, “Bcoz (sic) I need be there at home with my wife to welcome our second baby”.

The new-age fathers are ready to perform daddy duties, get hands-on experience and break gender stereotypes as they feel the time is important for individuals to experience this ‘if’ they’re in the position to do.

For actor Nakuul Mehta who recently welcomed first child, baby boy Sufi with wife Jankee Parekh Mehta, it is about feeling equal partners in the process. He believes that it makes one more sensitised to a new mother’s challenges and emotional struggles and helps in cementing this bond which is much needed. He shares, “I feel that it is imperative for the father in today’s day and age to be as involved in the initial few weeks of the child as the mother. Jankee and I discussed this way before we planned. I’m glad that I have been able to carve out this time just as Jankee has taken a sabbatical from her work. I feel it has made me an equal partners in developing this bond which happens quite naturally with a mother.”

Actor Mohit Malik who is prepping up for the arrival of the little one with wife Additi Shirwaikar Malik is all up for taking a break as he doesn’t want to miss the experience. He says, “It’s a new journey and I don’t want to miss it. It’s very important for any individual to experience this if they have the liberty to take time off. Luckily, my show got over recently, and I have been telling makers of the new shows offered to me that I’d need 15 days off, before and after my baby’s birth.”

Does the concept help at all to break gender stereotypes? Mehta shares, “I feel it also gives the child an opportunity to witness the sharing of parental and care-giving responsibilities between the two genders, rather than boxing women into the role of caregivers and men into the role of providers. This may be only subconscious but plays a huge role into helping break the cycle of patriarchy in the mind of the child.”

Interact with author/sanchita_kalra.

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