In 2019, neighbor Colin Allred was the first member of Congress to announce he was taking paternity leave, after the birth of his son Jordan. He took two weeks off work, and after the birth of his second son, Cameron, he did it again.
This time, though, he came home for an entire month.
“Two weeks wasn’t long enough with the first one,” Allred said in an interview on CBS This Morning.
Taking paternity leave is associated with parent-child bonding, improved health and development in children, and increased gender equity at home and at work, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Nine percent of U.S. companies offer paid time off for fathers. Of the fathers who do take advantage of the opportunity, many leave work for two weeks or less.
Allred said he thinks fathers don’t take paternity leave for a couple reasons. First, there’s the idea that since fathers didn’t give birth, they don’t need the time. And second, there’s a cultural notion that mothers handle the majority of childcare.
Paid family leave is one topic former President Obama and former President Trump, as well as President Biden, have all supported.