June 23, 2017

Airbnb Co-Founder: Why Fathers Need Parental Leave Too

Nathan Blecharczyk co-founder and chief strategy officer of AirBnb
By TechCrunch [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A couple months ago I became a father for the second time—a boy; I also have a daughter who is two and a half. I’m still new to this, and I’m sure I have a lot to learn, but the experience has already changed me. In the process, I’ve learned that having children has made me into a better worker as well.

Being a father gave me a new purpose for existing. That newfound purpose has somehow given me the stamina and patience to take on the endless stream of challenges that come along with parenthood. Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten to be the sole caretaker for my daughter on countless nights and weekends when my wife, a doctor, has been working. While far from easy, this time has given me a deep sense of satisfaction, and I believe my relationships with my wife and daughter have benefited.

I cannot deny that there are unavoidable, day-to-day tradeoffs between being a parent and a professional. There are only so many hours in a day. And yes, sometimes work needs to come first. There’s no perfect answer to these decisions, and it’s not my place to instruct others how to […]

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