“I think it’s about time for fathers to be given the opportunity to share the load at home and be present for their families, challenging times or not.”
“I have only been a dad for a few months but I already think it’s one of the best jobs in the world!” enthuses Vince Murga.
A father being not as present in his child’s life as the mother is a familiar picture in many households. After all, as the breadwinner bringing in the income, sharing the parenting load is not expected of them. But that was before.
The evolving roles of men and women has led to the shift in family dynamics from specialization to partnership, where partners share activities and responsibilities.
During a talk hosted by Goldman Sachs, economist Betsey Stevenson said, “We’re more what we call ‘consumption complementarities,’ meaning that there’s no specialization anymore. It is households where both people are responsible for bringing home income. Both people are responsible for the home production of caregiving and keeping a house.”
Murga welcomes the opportunity to be more present for his daughter Charlie and to help his wife Billie in caring for their child.
“From changing diapers, exposing her to the morning sun, skin-to-skin time, to as simple as helping my baby daughter burp, there is hardly a dull moment,” he shares.
Lucky for Murga, his employer promotes shared parenting load by offering its employees eight weeks fully paid parental leave—regardless of gender and civil status.
This game-changing policy at Procter and Gamble Philippines provides fathers with paid leave well beyond the seven days provided by law and recognizes even adoptive parents. Birthing moms continue to receive 105 days of maternity leave to allow for recovery.
“I think it’s about time for fathers to be given the opportunity to share the load at home and be present for their families, challenging times or not. This program gives us more time to experiment and adjust to a new family routine without having to worry about work first,” he shares.
According to the first-time dad who is a sales director for the omni-retail channel at P&G, fatherhood provides an added inspiration for him to work harder “because I want the best for my daughter.”
“There are also a lot of insights from fatherhood that I can take to my work when it comes to managing people, as well as making sure I get several things done efficiently.”
Like Murga, Woo Joong Kim (“Wooj”) is a dad who is constantly finding the right balance between work and family.
At home, he is father to two-year-old son Min Joon and a second baby coming this June with his wife Kristine Dianne. At work he is charged with the safety and development of P&G’s manufacturing organization as the P&G Cabuyao Plant HR director.
“I always ask myself, am I spending too much time at work and should I spend more time with my family? Or am I not doing enough work and should I catch up on work at home?” shares Wooj, who felt this dilemma strongly last year when he was leading the Plant Crisis Management team amid the pandemic.
He had to perform his family responsibilities while ensuring that the company continues to operate and that the employees were safe. It was initially challenging since he was working from home but was not able to spend time with his family.
Wooj has learned it is important to establish “hardpoints,” or non-negotiables at work so they can share the load at home. Prior to the pandemic, one way he would dedicate high-quality time was traveling with his family by taking extended leaves. Now that many are working from home, this means deliberately blocking off time in the morning and evening so he has time to take care of his toddler.
“My wife and I are happy that with the eight-week paternity leave P&G provides through the Share The Care program, I will be around longer to focus on helping her with the challenges of postpartum recovery, newborn care, and looking after the household,” he says.
“It is not really a responsibility of one person, but it is a responsibility that both parents should take on. I am proud to work for a company that understands and respects that.”
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