Thursday, May 17, 2007

A High-Profile Maternity Leave

The Washington Post's work reporter, Amy Joyce, is about to go out on maternity leave, and she wrote a thoughful piece on it last Sunday. Earlier this week, much of her weekly chat focused on the column. I was ready to give her a hard time for not mentioning her husband's role in all of this (he's also at the Post), but she *did* mention that he was part of the whole calculus.

During the chat, someone asked her point-blank about the prospect of paternity leave:

Washington, D.C.: Have you and Steven discussed the possibility of his staying home with the baby for some period of time? A guy in my office worked for the first six months of his baby's life while his wife stayed home, then he stayed home for the next six months. It can work.

Amy Joyce: We have. We've discussed just about everything, it seems. And I'm thrilled that there are so many choices out there these days (it seems). I think Gen X has changed the way we work, frankly. Things our parents never would have considered are bring proposed to bosses in many different workplaces now. I know not everyone can do many of the options that are out there, but it's nice to know some companies are willing to give different proposals a try--for working parents or non-parents alike.

[In the original posting, I wondered aloud why there wasn't more discussion of Steven's time off in all of this. Amy was gracious enough to post about their plans in the comments to this post -- "Steven's taking up to seven weeks of vacation time to spend with the little one. He won't take it all at one time, but he'll try to take it all, depending on the bosses. The Post offers four weeks of parental leave for men and women. However, if both spouses work here, only one can take it." I've deleted the original conclusion, as it was -- quite simply -- wrong. Apologies to Amy and Steven, and best of luck with the little one.]


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