In Sweden, the Men Can Have It All

Oh REALLY. So this article covers (and I’m going to get all the facts wrong, so read the piece if you crave accurate intel) Sweden’s mega-progressive paternity leave policy. The government pays for men to take a 10-month leave job to take care of baby at home. If men do not take leave, they get financially penalized (not a ton, but you get the picture, enough to motivate them to take it). As a result, parenting is much more equal, divorces and separations are down, and women’s salary have been on the rise – the last result of which I’m extraordinarily impressed with. (So that’s what it takes — put a man in a woman’s shoes to equalize the dough. Huh.)

Of course, a large part of me is down with this approach. Sure, it’d be rad to have a more liberal paternity/maternity leave in this country, but I also wonder HOW DO YOU PAY FOR ALL THIS STUFF ANYWAY. In Sweden, the answer is the tax payer, but somehow, they manage this without crippling their economy. In our country, we don’t even have wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, we don’t have universal health coverage, and we have a national deficit that has us oweing money to…China. Seems like we’re too wack to take this on.

I also don’t think there’s any perfect answer. The article reports that some moms get jealous that the dads are equal stage time with the kids. I’ve also read in Germany how women are looked down upon who really want to go back to work after giving birth.

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