Mark Zuckerberg announces two months paternity leave from Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is stepping away from his $245 billion company to put in a little diaper duty *considers a number of jokes comparing corporations to a diaper’s contents.* In anticipation of the biggest Like of his life, Zuckerberg announced he would be taking two months off after his first child is born (he did not mention if his leave would be paid, bless him; hope he doesn’t have to dig in to his $37.8 billion savings.) Mark and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, struggled with miscarriages and are clearly excited to be welcoming what we all hope is a healthy baby girl later this year. It is fairly rare for a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company to take much family leave; Marissa Mayer of Yahoo famously announced she was only taking two weeks maternity leave – paid, the freeloader. Mark released the following statement on Facebook saying that his reason for the extended departure is to be “fully present for his daughter:”

Priscilla and I are starting to get ready for our daughter’s arrival. We’ve been picking out our favorite childhood books and toys. We’ve also been thinking about how we’re going to take time off during the first months of her life.

How do I put this put this delicately? This country’s Family and Medical Leave policy sucks. As rough as it is for mothers, the non-birthing parent still endures the stigma of society thinking they don’t need any form of leave. If Mark is taking two months off, is that equal to what he gives his employees? No, because his employees are given four months of paid leave. What? Wait, isn’t Facebook the evil citadel where social decency goes to die? In addition to leave, employees receive $4000 in “baby cash” (is anyone else flashing back to turning your babies in for cash at the end of the board game Life?) Facebook’s family leave policy is not only generous it’s impartial – biological parents, adoptive parents, all forms of coupling and single parents share the same benefits. This is in contrast to Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Pinterest and Twitter who offer mothers more paid leave than fathers and gives additional paid leave to biological parents than adoptive. In fairness, both Google and Yahoo help offset the cost of adoption, so I suppose they see it as a financially equal policy.

Let’s first take a minute to applaud Mr. Zuckerberg for his (what is tragically considered) forward thinking for the health of the family. Secondly, setting the example that a person heading a Fortune 500 company can publicly prioritize his newborn child over his business is a great discussion starter. Maybe he runs back to the office screaming, “I can’t figure that damn thing out!” or overindulges in the Happy Hours his company offers but it puts the conversation on the table.

In addition, he has fed right into the throbbing pulse of Silicon Valley that is competition; Facebook, Reddit, Apple, Adobe and Amazon have all modified their family leave policies to stay current in the playing field. Netflix’s chess move was to extend their “keep it as long as you want” DVD policy to its employees and offers unlimited paid family leave for an unprecedented year. Your move, Zuckerberg.

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126 Responses to “Mark Zuckerberg announces two months paternity leave from Facebook”

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  1. Senaber says:

    “Biggest like of his life.” 😂😂😂

  2. Abbott says:

    I like your style, Hecate.

  3. Like it says:

    What a great man! what a lucky wife and daughter!!!!!!!!

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I’m happy for them that were able to have a baby and I hope all goes well.

    I don’t have a problem with a longer leave for the primary care giver than the other parent, whatever the sex. I know that’s not a popular view, and I think the second parent should have a few weeks, but I think it’s more important for the primary care giver to have a year if they want it. I think many people are forced back to work before they are ready.

    • Lindy79 says:

      No I think you’re right, especially about people being forced back into work before they’re ready.

      A large problem is that a lot of policies automatically decide that it is the mother who will be the primary caregiver when in some cases (not all, and not trying to claim it is) the family themselves want it the other way but they’re not supported by the system. If men want to take leave, it’s annual leave or unpaid if it’s long term

      Even in maternity leave, the differences between countries here in Europe is staggering, both in pay and time you can take off. Hell even in the same country it can vary depending on what your company policy is. In Ireland companies are not obliged to pay you while on maternity (26 weeks) and all you’ll be entitled to is social benefit which is 188 a week. Some companies make up your salary and have good options if you want to extend, others do not.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Where I see a problem is that while you say “whatever the sex”, so many in our society see only the mother as being capable of being the primary caregiver. I think it is between the parents to decide which one is the primary but I tend to run counter to popular opinion on that.

      • Chinoiserie says:

        Since in my country mothers get a year of paid maternity year I feel that there should be at least a month of paid leave in the US for mothers since it just so rediculous that some people there apparently go back to work after a couple of days. I have never had a child put that just sounds so wrong to go back to work so soon after giving birth or having a c-section. Of course men shoud get something too but you should start with some real leave for all women, there should not be any social presure to go back to work immediately.

    • Lara K says:

      i like Canada’s law:
      – Either parent or both can take up to one year with their job guaranteed (however govt pays only one parent benefits)
      – birth mother takes 17 weeks with benefits to recover from birth and breastfeed
      – additional 35 weeks of pay can be taken by either parent, or split between the two.

      I like it because it has full flexibility depending on who makes more money and how much savings you have. I’m on my second mat leave, and I’m giving the last month to my husband so we can take a month off together to be with our kids. I go back to work a month early (I.e. My son will be 11 months instead of a year).

      I honestly feel pain for mothers and fathers who have to leave their tiny babies under financial duress. It’s horrible.

      • t.fanty says:

        That’s a great law. I like the flexibility it has.

        When I gave birth, I was given the option of taking a semester off as sabbatical, and producing an article during that time, or pushing back my tenure application for a year. In the end, I took neither, and was able to get three weeks off, due to the generosity of my colleagues. This country is appalling.

    • Dirtydishes says:

      I applaud this policy and most European countries where parents get 6 months or a year. We are in the process of adoption and we get zero – yes, zero – days off and it’s a fortune 100 company. My husband and I work for a healthcare company and its utterly heartbreaking we have to take all the time finalizing adoption and with a newborn completely unpaid. If I was able to give birth, I would get 6 weeks of medical leave at 65% pay but as not a birth parent, I get nothing. I found out last week and have cried a few times since over this. Where is all this money coming from? What if we don’t find childcare for a while? What are we going to do when we need pto and don’t have it cause we had to use for birth? How are we going to pay off adoption loan if we call in sick/without care/etc. It keeps me up nights and angers me. My last company – though a crap place to work – offered 12 weeks maternity (additional 2 weeks for c-section) regardless of how you became a parent/legal guardian + you could use up to 60 days PTO – so when I left last year, I could have had 5.5 months of leave. It saddens me completely we will have to make some really hard decisions about child care immediately and I may only get days to be a parent before I have to hand a newborn off to a stranger to care for during days.

  5. ncboudicca says:

    I sometimes struggle with Millennials in the office, but this is the area that I admire “them” for – and that’s saying that work isn’t the only thing defining life. Good for him for not only taking a significant chunk of time for his family (and congrats to them), but for also having a great corporate policy that benefits staff.

    • jugstorecowboy says:

      I agree completely.

    • Erinn says:

      It’s kind of funny, really. I’m a millennial I guess – born in 1990 – and those who cause the most problems here at least are the people in their 40’s. Mind you, I work in a tech industry in a small town in a satellite office, so it could just be a product of our area, but the vast bulk of the disagreements are between those in their late 30’s/40’s. They also are the ones putting out the more half assed work more often than not. Just wanted to put that out there – not all millennials are the problematic ones haha 🙂

      That being said – while a lot of people do complain about millennials being young good for nothings or whatever, they’ve actually looked at the numbers and found we’re more accepting of working moms, LGBTQ, and other lifestyles in general. Some are entitled brats – but so are some of every generation.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Hey millenials are pretty awesome, were on the edge of at least fighting to abolish some of these ridiculous social norms that are cemented but don’t do anyone any good.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        Thank you for this comment. Millennials have a bad stereotype, unfortunately. If the economy has been sh*t 20-30 years ago like it has been during our generation, the older people at that time would also being calling the younger, ambitious aggressive crowd “entitled.” We are a reflection of the economy – every man and woman for themselves.

    • Saphana says:

      its usually conservative people who say that. i dont know any progressive woman who would not prioritize her career. lets face it a steady partner and/or children are huge obstacles and most high flying jobs are impossible to combine with a social life. and thats fine.
      thats why hook up culture is such a great gift, like Hanna Rosin said: “To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture”

      so i really dont hope we see more of this, it will only lead to more women dropping out of jobs or prioritizing the children over their career. you cant take considerable time off without any negative effects (which are fair, it would be unfair if people who keep working would not pull ahead)

      • Jessica says:

        And what if a woman doesn’t like simply “hooking up”? Can a woman believe strongly in gender equality and being financially independent while also not wanting to have sex with random people and/or acquaintances?

      • Trillian says:

        Um. I do consider myself a “progressive woman” although I am not particularly interested in a “high flying job”. I like my job that challenges me enough to keep me from getting bored, I earn enough to pay my bills and can afford little luxuries like vacations and I do have kids and a social life. What good is a career if I have to work around the clock and never have some time to spend all that money I make?

      • snowflake says:

        I don’t know that the hookup culture is such a great thing for women. Most of the women I know develop feelings for the guy while he quickly moves on. Then they feel used. Great for the guys, easier to get laid.

      • EN says:

        > I don’t know that the hookup culture is such a great thing for women. Most of the women I know develop feelings for the guy while he quickly moves on. Then they feel used. Great for the guys, easier to get laid.

        Exactly. I tried it a few times, and it wasn’t for me. It was too hard emotionally. From then on, I didn’t even look at a guy if he wasn’t serious about a relationship with me. For me it was better to not have anybody than a physical only relationship without any emotional connection.

      • Saphana says:

        i only hear about hook up culture being bad from right wing outlets. there is a huge moral panic in the media about hook up culture.
        female sexuality is shamed everywhere, no one could deny that. so of course some women feel bad but thats not a sign of casual sex being bad. its a sign of shaming women being bad. without the social stigma no woman would feel bad after a hook up, its empowering.
        the “woman developing feelings after sex” is also down to social conditioning. we see it everywhere, “men just want to sleep around and women just want love”. which is BS. love and sex are two totally different things.
        all of this anti promiscuity and silly romance ideals of “the one” all lead to women being held back professionally. we’ll never see much progress if so many women are still lusting after the Mrs Degree instead of focusing on their education and career instead of relationships.

      • EN says:

        > the “woman developing feelings after sex” is also down to social conditioning.

        Even if this is true the answer is not to make women be less in touch with their emotions and inner selves and less caring, but to make men more so.
        I think many men eventually arrive to that, after wasting many years .

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


        You haven’t done much reading if you think it’s only the right wing culture who don’t favor hook-ups. Websites, blogs, and magazines are full of young women frustrated by being in a romantic relationship that requires them to always be available but never have expectations.

        WAY too many liberal news sites to pretend it’s an issue invented solely in one’s mind and as a far-leaning liberal myself hook up culture does nothing for me. The difference you might be thinking of is the right approach the issue with pitchforks and torches to burn the unclean woman while the left just complain and discuss. But seriously…read more on that topic.

      • Jessica says:

        “the “woman developing feelings after sex” is also down to social conditioning.”

        Women developing feelings after sex is a biological instinct that female humans developed when humans did not know that sex equals pregnancy.

        It’s fine, Saphana, if you think hook ups are empowering, but not everyone likes hooking up. And it’s not necessarily because of shaming women for their sexuality. For some people, it’s about diseases and not wanting to contract one.

        BTW, I’m a Democrat.

        Also, here are some questions for you (and please answer them; I’m genuinely curious):
        Where do children fit in in your career-only, hook up-only society?
        Should we as a society stop having children all together?
        Should all women get abortions if they become pregnant?
        Should women have children with their hook ups?
        If women have children with their hook ups, do they have to take care of the children by themselves or do the men play a part both financially and emotionally in the children’s lives?
        Should we institute a “Brave New World” scenario where children are bred in a factory and humans focus solely on careers and hook ups?

      • Jayna says:

        I read an in-depth article on Tinder and hooking up. It was depressing and eye-opening. For the most part, the young women would love a call back but seemed addicted to it, and the men are just hooking up with girl after girl and bragging to each other and are beyond addicted to the easy access through Tinder and no desire for connection. The article really depressed me, especially the comments by the college girls deeper into the article. I feel like hooking up has gone far past just some casual sex here or there and is just numbing.

        “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocolypse.”

      • MC2 says:

        I love the conversation here about “hook up culture” so I appreciate that. The part of your comment that hit me between the eyes was “so i really dont hope we see more of this, it will only lead to more women dropping out of jobs or prioritizing the children over their career”. What?!?! The article was praising family leave- for everyone- and I totally agree. America has such a crappy system for family leave, childcare, etc and we (as a society) are worse off for it. And family leave is not detrimental to women’s careers- the lack of it most definitely is. People will keep having children and to not prioritize the health of family & women who are recovering from childbrith is showing how messed up our priorities are. Guess what- kids are part of this society too and they should be cared for (by parents, childcare, medical care, etc). I love my career- it defines me as a person & a woman- but to say that it’s bad to put my kids before that is odd to me. I do agree that people with that thinking should re-think having kids because they do come first (try even getting a shower or using the restroom with a baby- you’ll be glad to go to the office and have a quiet pee to yourself). As a society we are better off putting health, family and children above all else imo.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        I think the views expressed by Saphana are so far out there that this lifestyle would actually be a disservice to women and their emotional and physical state. Ok so women should be having more casual sex and not think twice or have any emotions about it? That’s some of the worst female advice I have ever heard. It’s not that females are conditioned to have feelings, it’s embedded into our genetic makeup. Also, to sleep around – male or female – is just not healthy, even if you do use protection every time. It’s not good to just freely give your body to whomever for the night, only sociopaths would be able to do that on the regular and not feel any emotion about it.

      • Lambda says:

        Sorry Winnie;s mom, but there’s no chromosomal determination when it comes to genders and emotions (if I understood that correctly): women are not genetically determined to feel feelings. Or maybe I missed reading about the Nobel Prize to be given to the discoverer of the gene which makes the females of our species to feel emotions.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Maybe it’s not so much being a Millennial but the fact that they struggled to have a baby. My baby came at quite a high cost and I do think it changes your attitude toward children. A lot of parents struggle with the responsibilities that come with becoming a parent but I was just happy to have them at all. Maybe Zuckerberg feels the same way.

  6. Snazzy says:

    Hecate? New writer? *waving hello*

    As for Zuckerberg, its wonderful that he can do that, and that he provides the same opportunity for his employees. A very important step forward

  7. snusnu says:

    Welcome here Hecate!
    Also on a side note,where is Bedhead 🙁

    • Lambda says:

      I guffawed at your name. (Careful with those hip joints, lol)

    • MC2 says:

      I second that and would love to just know where or where did Bedhead go??? People move on & that’s life but inquiring minds want to know……

  8. Pinky says:

    And yet, these companies have abysmal hiring practices when it comes to opening the doors to African Americans. Or how they treat them once they’re there (which, again, is a rarity). So, yay.

  9. cannibell says:

    Good for him. Wishing her an easy birth and the two of them an easy baby. I wonder how soon FB HQ will be building an onsite day care center…..

  10. byland says:

    His incredibly punchable face aside, I think this is wonderful . . . but I can’t help but wonder when the day will come that a woman can do this as well without worrying about her career.

  11. OSTONE says:

    Gosh I am jealous! Georgia is a horrible state for workers and employees. It’s laws only benefit the employers and big corporations.

  12. Ninks says:

    It absolutely blows my mind that there’s no paid maternity live in the States. It’s something that I know, and I’ve known for a long time and yet every time I’m reminded of it, it shocks me again.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I’m right there with you. It’s incredible. And in the country where so many politicians run on the “family” platform. o_O

      Germany has a total of 14 weeks mandatory (!) and paid maternity leave, starting six weeks before your due date. You cannot fire a pregnant woman and you cannot fire her until the baby is at least 4 months old either. This has no effect on your vacation days. And when you come back, you cannot be demoted etc. There are more options after those 14 weeks at lower pay but my point is, we’re quite lucky compared to the US.

      • Saphana says:

        And Germany has the lowest birthrate in the world.

      • littlemissnaughty says:


      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        It’s not so incredible when you realize it’s not about family it’s about birth and a woman’s vagina. After that government supposadly has no business helping out anyone who’s struggling.

      • MC2 says:

        Yep- the “family” platform is such a crook. That platform is about the nuclear, 50s family with gays in the closet, hungry kids outside, racism & a Norman Rockwell dinner on the table. It has nothing to with actually making families, women or children healthier or have a better quality of life.

  13. Esmom says:

    Welcome, Hecate!

    Baby cash? That’s a new one to me. I love it. But it does remind me of the Life game.

    Two months leave is great for Mark but I wonder if he’ll feel disappointed that the majority of the time will be spent on feeding, diapers and sleeping. Not as much quality interaction as when the baby gets a little older.

  14. Saphana says:

    easy if you are the head guy in the company. quite a few companies have that, for the top guys and not for everybody. its again one of those things where an insanely privileged guy does something easy and is celebrated for that. the “progress” usually stops right there. facebook is absolutely the exception.

    it does not help anyone else. or should i also step away from my multi billion dollar company to have a child? or sell my yacht to help the environment? so many hard choices in life! the poor cant imagine the struggle!

    on another note: we also need to realize that some jobs dont allow time for other stuff and thats ok. you cant be an astronaut and see your kids on the weekend. you cant be the president and take a day off because your child is sick.

    we have made a lot of progess with women prioritizing work over family and romance, i hope stuff like this does not nullify that. its fine and healthy to have your career is your #1 thing in life.

    • EN says:

      > easy if you are the head guy in the company. quite a few companies have that, for the top guys and not for everybody.

      I disagree with you. It is not an easy for a head of the company or a manager either. They have people who depend on them for decisions and they are a bottleneck.
      But yes, they are in a position of power to make a change, to set an example and expectation for everyone else in the company.
      Compare what Zuckerberg is doing to what Marissa Mayer at Yahoo is doing.

      • Bluebell says:

        EN, the people at the top are usually the ones who are able to occasionally work from home, have more flexibility and freedom, and enhanced benefit packages. So in that sense you probably have more options as your employer is trying to make the job as attractive as possible to you in order to attract and retain key management staff at the top. That’s not likely to extend to the people at the bottom of the pile doing the mundane admin stuff etc.

      • EN says:

        > EN, the people at the top are usually the ones who are able to occasionally work from home, have more flexibility and freedom, and enhanced benefit packages.

        I am not going to say it doesn’t happen (except for enhanced benefits packages) , but all managers I ever worked with worked overtime, all the time, because they had so much work. And their family life suffered for it.

        If they put their foot down and said – I am not doing it anymore, I put my family first, I am taking all my vacation time, then that would’ve trickled down.

        It does matter a lot what a head of the company does. It sets an example.

        I never saw any kind of underhanded preferential treatment given to managers in the US. HR would never allow it.
        But managers do have more power in the company to change things, and they should use that power.

        And if they do it, even if it selfish, it benefits everyone. I don’t think we should dismiss what they do just because it is partially selfish, if good comes out of it.

    • Anna says:

      I completely disagree. I work in a large, highly competitive firm with relatively generous leave policies. And NO ONE who wants to advance or stay in top positions ever fully takes advantage of them. You may get 5 months of maternity leave, but if you are really dedicated to the company and to your job, you’ll take three. (The same is true of vacations.) So I think it is important for Mark Zuckerberg to set an example that everyone who can prioritize taking time off for their children should feel free to do so without fear of being penalized. I know a lot of people in this country have no such options, and yes, obviously being wealth gives you more freedom and flexibility. But what he is doing is a powerful signal, both that parental leave policies should exist, and that corporate culture should support families instead of punish them. This is why Mayer’s two weeks were such BS.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Yeah I always thought that Melissa Meyer sent out the wrong signal in this regard.

        I really think gender equality will be when women are permitted to meet the demands of motherhood and not be punished for it. We will be able to take substantial maternity leave and not have that viewed negatively by the work place. There won’t be any implicit expectations that we prove ourselves by returning to work two seconds post partum, plunking our newborns in daycare or dragging them around on one hip. Because motherhood won’t be seen as a detriment. Fatherhood often isn’t–it depends on your industry but generally my workplaces have viewed men with parental responsibilities as more responsible, dedicated and capable. So motherhood should be viewed as a positive development in making employees more efficient and accomplished–even if less available.

      • Mieke says:

        Melissa Mayer indirectly told every woman at Yahoo; pregnancy and parenting do not add to your life experience and time spent doing so should be kept to a minimum. Which is such BS! Because if anything, dealing with what life deals you, makes you grow as a human being. She should have just donated her eggs to keep her DNA in the gene pool, maybe make some requests about the sperm donor fertilizing them.

        And yes, I think the same about men completely disregarding their families. If you don’t want to raise the little brats, there’s an effective way to prevent them from coming into this world. Of course if you really feel we shouldn’t get rid of your genes in the pool, you could donate.

        I feel Mark Zuckerberg sends out a wonderful signal that it is about settling and growing as a family, not just giving birth and moving on ASAP.

        Oh and by the way, US fails when it comes to paid maternity leave, but most of the Western world completely fails when it comes to paternity leave. It’s just a few days here in the Netherlands… I mean, if WE can get pregnant (*yuk*), then HE sure as hell can change poopy nappies/diapers, wake up at 3 AM to sit with/carry around the crying bundle of joy and get some well deserved time off to get used to being a dad!

    • suze says:

      @En, what you say is true but managers are different from the people at the highest level of the company, particularly the company founder.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Do you really think anyone who’s managed to get a company to be worth a billion dollars sits at home and thinks. “Awesome, now I’m just going to leave it alone for 2 months and hope no one destroys it while I’m gone.”

      One bad decision can cost millions, companies can make flow takes that take them from beloved to hated overnight. If anything I’m sure this was a daunting challenge that he really had to fight to take on. It shows the struggle many women DO face with less time and why we’re often unfairly targeted as those not deserving of a raise or company advancement.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        >”Do you really think anyone who’s managed to get a company to be worth a billion dollars sits at home and thinks. “Awesome, now I’m just going to leave it alone for 2 months and hope no one destroys it while I’m gone.” ”

        No. I respect MZ for this gesture and it sounds like he does have his family as his priority. That being said, I wouldn’t doubt he would have his email account open, even if just for emergencies. And I’m sure if the monthly/quarterly board mtg coincides with this 2 month stretch, he would atleast conference or skype into the meeting. He seems super ADHD too.. he’s not going MIA completely during this period, no way. I think he’s just saying I am not going into the office everyday and will be coasting in the background for a brief bit. (Not saying this is bad, btw.)

    • Bluebell says:

      EN I agree with you on your last point and I haven’t dismissed what Facebook guy has done or called him selfish in any way. I think it’s a great thing what he’s doing in taking the time off and hopefully will have a positive trickle down effect in how society views parental leave.

      Regarding the managers thing – you do make good points, I’m not in the US and I never knew about people not taking all their leave etc.

    • MC2 says:

      I believe feminism is about choices and the freedom and ability to make informed choices about how you want to live your life as an individual. I also believe that living in a society means you that you are not on your own ship & you should care for others and the community as a whole. See the bigger picture. If a woman (or man) doesn’t want to make family a priority over work, good for them and more power to you. But saying that we should not support family leave because that might keep women prioritizing their children & family (health too) over their jobs?! I don’t understand that logic one iota. Kids, family, health for everyone (man & women) should be a priority for the individual and society as a whole. Look at other countries with family leave, childcare prioritized, etc. They tend to have better standards of living which means healthier & happier lives.

  15. JB says:

    I really hope this catches on. When our first kid was born my husband took a week and a half (she was born on a Wednesday, I think, so the rest of that week and then the following). When the second was born, because of his workload and the state of his company/job at the time, he took much less. Baby #2 was born on a Thursday morning, spent a night in NICU, went home in the wee hours on Sunday, and on Monday I was up and at em, back to real life. Husband was needed at work so I got up and did breakfast, feeding, diapers, backpack, popped baby into the carrier and hauled her off to drop big sister at school. It was like nothing had even happened (except for, you know, having a significantly longer checklist of things to take care of every day). My husband has always been super involved, every bit the parenting teammate, but his job made it impossible for even ME to have a moment of recovery or adjustment time. Rotten.

    • Esmom says:

      I hear you, it’s almost surreal to be in a grocery store with a toddler and a two-day old infant, with mom in pain and lacking in sleep. Getting back to “real life” so quickly can be harsh when the other caregiver has to go back to work almost immediately.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        Oh god this sounds awful. What advice can you give to those of us without kids who may have them one day, that can prevent us from going through this scenario? Live near parents? Lol…i currently live about 900 miles away from my parents, but if I was planning for kids, I might reevaluate a move back home. Going to the store with a brand new infant sounds horrific. No thank you.

    • MC2 says:

      I totally agree and my husband only got off a few days (4 maybe) with our first son. I got so blue and thought about postpartum depression but most of it was just not having someone else there. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I felt so alone. My husband is super involved too & loves being a dad but his job didn’t let him have that time for him, his son or me. It is so rotten. Hang in there 🙂

  16. Brittney B. says:

    It’s worth noting that many of these companies only extend their forward-thinking policies to white-collar workers… the parents working in their factories and warehouses deserve family leave too.

    • jugstorecowboy says:

      Does Facebook have a factory or warehouse?

    • EN says:

      Everybody deserves it but it should be done as a law on a country wide basis like elsewhere, and not state by state / company by company policy.
      That is what FMLA is, except it doesn’t extend to companies with less than 50 employees, or part time employees.

  17. whatsup says:

    Ironic for a company that has free drycleaning but refuses to support child care.

  18. HeyThere! says:

    i am all too formular with this having just had a baby two months ago!! Im staying at home with baby because it means a lot to my husband and myself that this happens. BUT I was heartbroken for him when he had three days, yes, you read that correctly, THREE days off work!!!!??? He hasn’t been at his job for a year yet, and it takes that long for any time off to kick in, including: sick days, vacation, and any FMLA. 🙁 He was given three days. I seriously still can’t believe it!! What if I was crazy sick after or had a NICU baby or had to recover from a c section?!?! Nope, he would have lost his job! How ridiculous. We are SO behind in maternity/paternity leave in this country! It is sickening!

    Good for Mark and his family! It’s so refreshing to see a man caring about his growing family! Many men do, but they just aren’t in the position of privilege to be able to take off a few months. I wish them all the best in the world!! It is a truly magical(exhausting) time. Take many pictures. My peanut grew so fast in 8 short weeks.

    • INeedANap says:

      Congratulations on your little peanut! 🙂

    • EscapedConvent says:

      What sick twist thought up the three-day policy? That is AWFUL. Appalling. And inconceivable. A man with a newborn baby is still driving on the wrong side and forgetting where he put his glasses and then finding them in the freezer. (A friend of mine did that.) I think a father needs the option of the same time frame that a new mother does.

      The U.S. needs desperately to catch up with Canada and the Scandinavian countries that have sensible maternity/paternity leave. It’s a shame that we are so surprised by the “generous” leave offered by some other countries, when it really isn’t extravagant, but reasonable and humane.

    • ScrewStewRat19 says:

      I feel you @HeyThere! I’m due Dec 24th and my husband started a new job a while back and when he was asking about getting time off they told him since he hasn’t been there a year he’d only get 2 days, maybe 3. It’s pretty ridiculous, it’s not like he’s requesting paid time off. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I don’t get stuck in the hospital for any reason.

  19. vauvert says:

    Applause for Mark and glad to hear that his company actually supports 4 months of leave for parents – ALL parents. Good on him. This makes me like him. And I hope more companies follow suit.
    The US policies regarding parental leave absolutely suck, in my opinion. We are way better in Canada and many European countries are offering even longer leaves, many paid or partially paid, topped up benefits, etc. It is crazy to think that anyone expects a parent to be back at work a scant few days later (or in mom’s case, six weeks) after having a baby. All the crap talk all the candidates spout about “family values” is useless, none of them is actually proposing a plan that allows parents to be home with a newborn.

    • EN says:

      US policies don’t simply suck or are inadequate, they are barbaric. No two ways about it.

    • suze says:

      Well, it’s not the policies are barbaric, it’s that there are none. The US federal government has very few policies that govern benefits employees receive in the workforce. It’s a different paradigm than found in other countries. Companies are allowed to develop their own benefit structures and compete for staff in the marketplace.

      FMLA is the exception, but it’s a broadly stated leave policy that only applies to companies with over 50 employees. And many, many people work for smaller firms.

      None of the above means that I agree with the way things are. I don’t. But convincing the US public that the government should dictate how companies run is always an uphill task. That’s why Facebook’s generous parental leave policy is so important – it can jump start things in the way that trying to make change through governmental mandate cannot.

      • EN says:

        That is what I meant, a lack of policy is a policy in itself. It is not by accident but by choice.
        And as you mention below, the responsibility is put on the companies to govern the benefits structure. And we all see how it works.
        They give women “the choice” – their attitude is that nobody forces us to work, we can stay home with our children. Except that implies that somebody else has to provide for women and children , and that puts women into a dependent position. That is not very conducive to women empowerment.
        The US intentionally holds its women back through such policies, while refusing to acknowledge it.

  20. tracking says:


  21. OhDear says:

    Good for and (impending) congratulations to them!

  22. EN says:

    Thank you. Finally a person in position of power who does what he preaches , unlike another famous CEO Marissa Meyer, who announced that she will be taking only 2 weeks off to give birth to twins.

  23. Bluebell says:

    It’s a good thing but needs to become more widespread. I know Facebook offer this policy to all its employees, but normally it seems only the guys at the top get these sorts of enhanced benefits (as another commenter pointed out).

    I’m in the UK which has incredibly generous maternity leave compared to the US, and even I sometimes think we should get more (I have no children, but for other women I mean). Compared to the Scandinavian countries, statutory maternity pay is not a lot, and also, it has been reported in the news a couple of months ago that a lot of pregnant women or women on maternity leave, or returning from maternity leave still face a lot of workplace discrimination.

  24. Amy M. says:

    I believe Netflix’s extended leave policy only covers salaried employees though? And I think most of their employees are hourly from what I remember. If something seems to be good to be true, that’s because it usually is.

    I work for an Amazon owned company so their updated leave policy applies to me. Their new leave policy is better but when compared to some European countries where parents get up to 6+ months, I was kind of like that’s cute but not super generous. But 4 months is better than nothing so I shouldn’t complain too much.
    Some companies have no leave policy.

  25. Wren33 says:

    Given his insane wealth and very high job security, this is obviously easier for him than others, but I am very happy to see him do this. I firmly believe that men pushing for greater paternity leave is an important step for equality in the workplace.

  26. suze says:

    It’s great that he’s doing it and announcing it publicly. It’s even greater that there is a policy for his employees that is equally generous. That fact is the most important part of the story.

    Company founders typically have a lot of latitude in what they do and don’t do, but employees are governed by policies and procedures. I’m glad Facebook has a generous benefit and I hope to see it catch on in more US firms.

  27. Gabrielle says:

    I applaud this. I’ve always considered him one of the most interesting people of my generation. I brought home my baby after an emergency c-section on a Friday Andy husband had to return to work Monday. Mind you, to put in a 16 hour day plus commute. It was awful.

  28. MzThunderthighs says:

    ‘Biggest like of his life’ *Giggles stupidly.
    Welcome Hecate. 😁

  29. Erica_V says:

    Soooooo how does FB equally compensate employees without children?

    I know this will not be a popular opinion but having children is a personal choice and honestly I don’t understand why companies or the government should have to pay you to stay home because of your choice to have children.

    And to everyone saying the US has no policy, every state has a policy on maternity leave. My coworker got 10 weeks paid TDI leave after she had a kid. I however did not get paid more to cover her job just because she decided to get knocked up.

    • Lambda says:

      As someone who does not plan to have kids, I support long and payed parental leave, because, as a society, we have a vested interest in beneficial child rearing.
      But seriously, you couldn’t pay me enough to go through the trouble of pregnancy, labor, and diapers.
      Hecate, you slay!

    • Anna says:

      This argument is absurd. One, we all contribute to things that do not directly benefit us. I pay a lot of taxes, and some of that money goes towards programs and projects that have no real consequence on my life. (My kids are in private school. Should I be exempt from contributing to the public school system?) I am young and make healthy choices, but I pay more for health care because I effectively have to subsidize the cost of my coworkers who suffer from many medical issues brought on their poor health choices.
      Two, this is part of living in organized society. We recognize that sometimes things that benefit our society, community or country as a whole in the end benefit us individually. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that firms that manage to retain an active, productive work force are stronger — and proper parental leave policies contribute to creating that work force. All of us depend on the existence of future generations. The children you refer to will one day run this economy, and the prosperity of this country, and yes, your own, will depend on them. They will be the ones funding your retirement and building roads that you travel on.
      Having a system in place that makes it possible for parents to bond with their children (which is hugely important from the perspective of child development) that doesn’t force parents to chose between having and raising children and having careers or financial security is advantageous not just for those parents. But it also builds stronger and more competitive companies, economies and future generations. And that is all beneficial to you personally.
      And if you are ever unlucky enough to need medical leave, your coworkers will have to cover your job, too.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Well said. Why would the OP need any kind of extra pay or benefit when even they said they have no plans of having children.

        Sometimes not every benefit is for you. Sometimes it is meant for a greater good or people who actually need it. If you don’t like the workload then speak up and address it to your boss.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, very well said. Thank you. It’s along the same lines of what I say to the curmudgeons in my town who gripe about their taxes funding our library and our schools when they don’t use them. They — we — do indeed benefit from having an educated populace. I don’t get what is so hard to understand about that.

    • lisa says:


      people should sort out how they will handle their own optional life choices w/o being a burden to everyone else

      • EN says:

        > people should sort out how they will handle their own optional life choices w/o being a burden to everyone else

        And what happens is someone who is childless or without extended family to support them becomes to sick/ too old/ disabled to work and support themselves?

        What should they do to avoid being a burden on society, if they place this requirement on everybody else?

        Civilized society is meant to provide for those who are too young ( children) or too old/ too sick and unable to work. It is also meant to provide an environment where the society continues, i.e. children are born at a replacement rate, without negative effects to the parents.

      • lisa says:

        im not sure why we would even want population growth to continue on as it is.

      • EN says:

        > im not sure why we would even want population growth to continue on as it is.

        The replacement rate is important for the health of the society. As for why, one can simply look at Japan. Too many old people, not enough young people to support everyone and carry the economy.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


        It always amazes me people who want to nickel and dime every aspect of society that doesn’t immediately give them comfort ignoring our own maternity leave and child care is severely lacking behind other civilized nations. It’s such short sighted thinking that has left us in a ‘wealthy’ nation where 90% horde the wealth, the majority do not have consistent and stable health care, and we are falling behind in education.

        If we all could pick and choose only what we want our money to go towards we’d be a damned society. If we do not believe in a greater community good then everyone’s problems are their own individual burden (until of course those problems end up killing everyone else). Then while we lament how something terrible could have happened the issue of prevention states us right in our faces. Less maternity/paternity leave did not benefit us as a whole, nor did it benefit individual companies, all it did was produce a workforce geared towards making men the primary receivers of success.

        If all we want as a whole is for men to be the only ones to benefit and further suggest men don’t really deserve to be involved with child care/their children then we can certainly start returning to the 50’s as they had that rule down to a science.

    • EN says:

      > I know this will not be a popular opinion but having children is a personal choice

      That one always gets me. I hear it often from people who are against maternity leave.

      Having children is a way of continuing the human society. it is not merely a “personal choice” like having a pet. Society is invested in having well adjusted, healthy and educated children. Children are our future, if we don’t invest in our future it won’t be as good as it could be.

      I can’t figure out what people who are against maternity leave see as a solution – that only rich have children? Humanity will die out quickly, in that case.

      They also selfishly disregard the fact that it is today’s children who will be paying their pension and taking care of them when they are old.

      • lisa says:

        due to immigration, we do not have a need for all these babies so people dont need to pretend like they are birthing them for the betterment of society. no one should be entitled to sit home with their child on someone else’s dime because they feel like it or whine that no one will allow them to sit at home for free.

      • EN says:

        > . no one should be entitled to sit home with their child on someone else’s dime because they feel like it or whine that no one will allow them to sit at home for free.

        People are not cows. The process of raising children doesn’t stop at “birthing” them.
        And even the fact of “birthing” is a major health event, for which a woman should have a fully paid disability leave.

        All of the society benefits from well adjusted , educated humans raised by their parents because these humans are future taxpayers, doctors, engineers, scientists.

        The cost of raising single child in the US is in several hundred thousands of dollars for parents. Rest assured, you are not carrying this cost. Most of the cost is carried by the parents already. But all of the society benefits.

        > no one should be entitled to sit home with their child

        Really? What about unemployed people who get unemployed insurance? Or people on disability? On whose dime are they sitting on?
        All of us pay into the system. And if majority wants a maternity leave in this country, then everyone will pay into the system. It is not “your” dime.

      • lisa says:

        i would assume unemployed people are looking for a job and disability benefits are a separate matter

        but expecting an employer to enable your optional lifestyle choices is entitled. if a man can get paternity leave, i see no reason why someone shouldnt get the same time off for any other life event.

      • EN says:

        > i would assume unemployed people are looking for a job and disability benefits are a separate matter

        And new mothers are going back to work. Most countries have maternity leave between 6 months to one year. With possible unpaid or partially paid extensions.

        > but expecting an employer to enable your optional lifestyle choices is entitled

        Sorry, now you are just being offensive. Having children is not “optional lifestyle”, it is a way of giving back to society, among other things.

      • lisa says:

        sorry but you are just being smug and entitled

        having a baby means you had sex and your organs work

        society doesnt need every single baby, we have more people than we need and people shouldnt flatter themselves that they are giving back. they are just taking more resources

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        Anyone who considers having a baby to be something other than a “personal choice” needs to have their head examined. Maybe that person has a concussion and isn’t thinking straight,seeing as it’s not like a baby just appears in the uterus randomly.

      • EN says:

        >Anyone who considers having a baby to be something other than a “personal choice” needs to have their head examined

        I think women who think mothers don’t need society’s support because it was their choice to have a child need to take a long hard look at themselves and what they stand for because they stand for holding women back.

        A lot of poverty in the US could be solved by simply providing free childcare. There are countries that do that and it benefits everyone. But the US is stuck in the cycle of “Every man / woman for themselves” and in the end it hurts everyone. No man/ woman is an island.

      • Zip says:

        I’m childfree (plan to stay so) and very much pro parental leave and free child-care. However, it really pisses me off when people start pretending that having kids is anything more than a personal choice. Nobody has children to produce future tax payers, give back to society or preserve the human race. Nobody! It’s just a lame excuse to put childfree people down.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        “What about unemployed people who get unemployed insurance? Or people on disability? On whose dime are they sitting on?”

        Those who collect unemployment insurance are able to do so because they worked for a period of time during which their employer paid into the insurance fund and the employer then terminated the employee’s employment for business reasons, which do not include being a bad employee who failed to do the work – they were employees in good standing who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. And they are only allowed to collect benefits for a limited period of time during which they must show they are looking for work.

        People on Social Security disability (SSDI) must have worked 40 quarters (10 years) and proved to the SSA that they have an impairment that, when combined with their level of education and prior work experience) prevents them from working in any available jobs – which means not only can they not perform the job they were doing but they can’t perform other jobs that require less physical exertion either.

      • Natalie says:

        EN, you fought the good fight in this thread.

        Children are not the privilege of the rich. It baffles the mind that we have structured our society to penalize people, particularly women, for having children. Are we just a country of individuals or are we an actual society?

  30. FingerBinger says:

    Zuckerberg can afford to take 2 months paternity leave. He can afford to take 2 years paternity leave. He doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for that.

    • Carrie says:

      One way to look at it, is that he’s trying to lead by example. Money aside, he’s trying to get rid of the stigma often attached to fathers who would like to leverage paternity leave – paid or unpaid. My husband was only able to take off one week after the birth of our second child, which was enough time for me to begin walking unassisted again after a C-section. I know that he absolutely would have liked to have been home longer to help me and bond more with the baby.

  31. Mikeyangel says:

    I can’t explain it but I am tearing up right now. As a mother of three children (had two while working) where my husband had to save and take vacation time for 1 to 1 and a 1/2 weeks, max, (the third child I had awful kidney problems, a tube coming out of my kidney, had over a dozen procedures while pregnant, and was on iv antibiotics for five months straight as well as 3 weeks of total hospitalization during last five months-oh and was induced 3 1/2 weeks early because of ‘concerns’) my husband was told ‘I know you have a lot you are worried about at home, but you have a lot to worry about here!” My husband is highly competent at his job (recently been promoted to the douchebag who said all that to him’s job). All of this makes me so happy! Moms need help, dads need bonding time. FMLA sucks! Go Zuckerberg!

  32. Nic says:

    Glad he’s putting it out there. We live in the bay area and my husband works in tech and we’re having a baby next year. His company is super small so there is no formal policy, we are hoping he will be able to take 6 weeks off total (2 when the baby arrives and another 4 when I go back to work). We’re still not sure his company will go for it (definitely not expecting the whole thing to be paid but it would be nice), but having Zuckerberg at least say something about it publicly won’t hurt! Meanwhile, my company lets you take up to 6 months off…unpaid, so I’ve been hoarding vacation and sick days for the past few YEARS to ensure I’ll be able to take some leave without it sending us to the poorhouse. It is insane that you have to plan your leave out (unofficially) that far in advance.

    FWIW, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to “favor” mothers who are actually giving birth somewhat in leave policies (though non-birthing parents also definitely deserves some consideration). Birthing a baby is a BIG physical undertaking and you need some time to recover from it. Plus if you are breastfeeding it can often take a couple months to really get the hang of that. Eventually you can pump to even out the burden of the actual feedings somewhat, but the fact is it is really beneficial for the mother to have time off initially, both for her health and for the baby. In my perfect world, both parents would get a month off initially and then another 11 months that they could split up in whatever way made most sense to them!

  33. JRenee says:

    Good for him. Hopefully this is extended to his employees as well!

    • Bluebell says:

      I think it is – I think the article says that Facebook employees can take up to four months paternity leave?

  34. HoustonGrl says:

    This is a great start, but let’s be real. 2 months is nothing, one year of paid leave should be a minimum standard.

  35. (Original, not CDAN) Violet says:

    By American standards, Facebook offers really excellent parental leave. I think it’s great that he’s taking time off, but it would be even better if he took the full four months all Facebook employees are entitled to. That would send an even more powerful and support message for his staff to follow his lead, because I’m sure many of them face pressure not to take full advantage of the leave offered and that’s a shame.

  36. justme says:

    Reading grown people say what do I get since I don’t plan on using maternity leave. That crap right there is what makes people say negative things about millennials. Part of being a member of a society is us recognizing a need for policies concerning things that will benefit society as a whole even if personal life choices mean you will ever need it. Some people will never need social security, disability but that doesn’t mean shouldn’t make sure it is there for those that do. Babies benefit from longer maternity leave. Less stress for all parties and more bonding time that is so important. While I appreciate everyone’s decision about becoming or not becoming a parent I see a very definite need for something like Canada or European countries. I think the benefits would be seen in our society very quickly.

  37. Original T.C. says:

    Good for him, if anything it sets a good example for other men that injecting sperm is not your only duty as a father.

    This couple stays winning, congrats to them. It’s a big middle finger to the Facebook movie people who left his Asian Queen (go Doc!) out of the film to focus on a meaningless White girl, even though these two were dating since Freshman year and she was also part of the Facebook start up. Hollywood just can’t deal with making a movie that doesn’t place a White woman as the prize guys are trying to win. IMO it’s actually a disservice to all women including white woman.

  38. word says:

    Maternity leave in America is a joke. In Canada and most European countries you get a year off. I believe in America it’s onlyl 6 weeks. How could that possibly be enough time?! If men were the ones giving birth, I bet maternity leave would be 2 years lol.