With the imminent birth of his second daughter with wife Priscilla Chan in the next few months, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg announced he’ll be taking two months of paternity leave.
In an Instagram and Facebook post, he explained why:
“When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life.
Our new daughter is coming soon, and I’m planning to take two months of paternity leave again. This time, I’m going to take advantage of Facebook’s option to take leave in parts. I’ll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we’ll spend the whole month of December together as well. I’m looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures.
At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family. And I’m pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”
His announcement of his paternity leave is important to parents, because it emphasizes that nothing can replace the time you spend with your family. While work is clearly a valuable part of someone’s life and identity, we shouldn’t sacrifice making memories and sharing important, and unforgettable, bonding with our families—regardless of whether we are the boss or not.
Besides, when high-ranking officials take paternity leave, common sense dictates that they’ll be more understanding of their employees who take family leave, too.
If anything, Zuckerberg’s announcement stresses that bosses and supervisors can really set a precedent and tone for their employees on these issues.
This may be why Facebook has been called one of the best places for new dads to work–which hopefully will set a good example for other companies as well.