​Dad Told His Wife Should Have C-Section So He Doesn't Miss Work

dad holding baby's handAll right Mom, picture this: you're pregnant, and your husband comes to you and says, "You know, you need to schedule a C-section so this baby doesn't make me miss work." You'd be insulted, right? Livid? Well that's exactly what a bunch of sportscasters are suggesting should have happened in the case of New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and his wife.

Murphy took paternity leave this week to be with his wife, Tori, and their newborn son, Noah, missing several games this week, including the all-important Opening Day. And the response from sportscasters -- big names from Boomer Esiason to Mike Francesa -- has been like something out of the dark ages.

Take this from Esiason: 

I would have said C-section before the season starts; I need to be at opening day ... this is what makes our money, this is how we're going to live our life, this is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life.

And this gem from his radio show partner, Craig Carton:

You get your ass back to your team and you play baseball.

Then there's Francesa, who had this to say about Murphy's paternity leave on his own show on WFAN:

One day I understand. And in the old days they didn’t do that. But one day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.

Steam coming out of your ears yet?

The fact of the matter is, Murphy actually only gets three days of paternity leave under the collective bargaining agreement made by the players union with Major League Baseball. It's not enough ... and yet it's better than what most of us get.

Dads are eligible for 12 weeks of time off under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, but in most states, that is completely unpaid. That means many fathers are already facing the hard decision of being there for his wife and child in a physical sense -- when both need him -- or going to work to be "there" for them in a breadwinner sense.

Unfortunately when a man like Murphy, who actually has a rather advantageous set-up -- at least compared to most other men in America -- takes advantage of paternity leave, only to be criticized, a dangerous message is being sent to American politicians and companies. Basically corporations are getting a pat on the back and being told, "Hey, it's OK not to do anything for fathers! These men don't need it! Their wives just need to plan C-sections, putting baby in danger to make sure Daddy gets to work on time!"

I wish I were overstating things.

But this is the state of things in America. REAL paternity leave (and by that I mean leave that is both paid for and supported by employers) is rare ... and when available treated as a luxury by those who fail to recognize the true benefits of time off for a father after a baby's birth.

More from The Stir: The 8 Stages New Moms Go Through When Paternity Leave Ends (PHOTOS)

It isn't just about seeing his child born; it's about helping, really helping, about giving a mother the support she needs to successfully initiate breastfeeding and to stave off -- or at least notice -- postpartum depression. If NOTHING else, when there are two parents splitting the duties, the sleep deprivation of those early days -- while still an issue -- becomes less, leading to a healthier mother who, in turn, is more emotionally and physically able to care for her child.

What's troubling to me isn't just what Esiason, Francesa, and others have said about Murphy but that they are not alone. This is not simply an old boys' club mentality.

When my husband took time off for our daughter's birth, the only reason he was paid was because he used up his year's entire allotment of vacation time from his employer. He could have taken more -- legally -- but again, it would have been unpaid, and since I wasn't pulling a salary for my six weeks of maternity leave, and we had to pay for diapers and onesies and all that jazz, that simply wasn't an option. 

So he lost time with me and with his daughter because of our country's outdated rules ... and yet, I also recall people at my husband's job getting angry that he dared take the time off to be with me, to the point where he actually went into work mid-paternity leave to work a day for the woman who had been throwing the biggest s--t fit of all over the fact that I dared inconvenience her by going eight days past my due date (surprise, surprise, she was planning a wedding).

It's been nearly nine years since that happened, and I would have thought that things would get better, that people would understand that men taking paternity leave aren't just inconveniencing the world but actually doing the right thing by their wives and babies. But apparently some things never change.

How will your birth affect your husband's job? Do you really care?

Editors note: If you’re fired up about this controversy like we are, join Huggies in its support of Daniel and Tori Murphy. For each use of the hashtag #HuggiesSupportsDaniel on Twitter, Huggies will donate diapers to @diapernetwork.


Image via Robert Freiberger/Flickr

parenting news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Mon

My husband didnt have the luxury of evening having a choice in the matter. He was deployed and I did fine all by myself. So yeah sorry I don't see the big deal in why the dad needs to be there. I'm sure this guy could have flown his MIL or his mom out to help.

the4m... the4mutts

I hate this half-truth of "unpaid" paternity leave. You can go to the EDD and apply for temporary unemployment for the 6-12 weeks. No, it's not full wages, its like 60% of wages. But it's not completely unpaid. My husband (back when we were dating) lost his job for DARING to tell them 3 months ahead of time, that he would be using his vacation time for 1 week paternity leave, and applying for Paid Family Leave for 2 more weeks.

3 weeks. Not 6. Not 12. 3 weeks.

2 weeks before I gave birth, they fired him. And you know what he did? He told them to kiss a dick, stayed home for 12 weeks, and got a new job. 4 years later, He is now making 3 times his former wage, and is an Oilfield Industrial Electrical Foreman.

He puts us FIRST. Always. First doesn't just mean money. It means happiness, love, devotion, and being there.

sylph... sylph_ironlight

I'm so glad I live in Canada. ALL parents are eligible for 17 weeks maternity/paternity leave (or it can be split between both parents for 8.5 weeks each), and an additional 33 weeks of parental leave. You only get 55% of your full income, but at least you get something and have the option of being home. With our first, neither my husband or I could afford to take time off, but we had saved our vacation time and both took 1 week when he was born, then we were both back to work. With our second, I took the full 50 weeks that I was elgibile for. Luckily, my husband makes enough that we were ok with only half of my normal pay.

Amber... AmberMosher

I'm glad he took the time of to be with his wife while she had THEIR child. Every father SHOULD be there for their child's birth. And it was only THREE days. I personally think he should have gotten A LOT more time off to spend time with his wife and their new baby.

Einyn Einyn

I don't know. My babies didn't do much the first few weeks so I didn't exactly "need him" there. It was nice sure, but with the third he was out of town anyway.

fave82 fave82

It's an important moment in a persons life, having a chile. So yes, MLB states that he can take three days, so he shoud definitely take it. It's not like he has an office job where he'll go to work and then be able to come home at night. It's a special time that should be spent with his new family.

Michelle Suzzanne McCreary

I'm not sure how a c-section would have helped anything... The mom would have needed more help and more of his time since she would have been recovering from major surgery.

nonmember avatar Jaime

I gave birthtomy son at 5:45am. My husband had to leave at 6:30 because the military didn't give him approval for leave. Due to bad timing, he transferred to his ship the next day. They refused to approve his leave. 3 days with him would have been awesome.2 weeks later he shipped out for 3 weeks . Military wives and members never get a break.

Coles... Coles_mom

All three of mine were csections and my husband left right after the baby was born each time to go to work. He's a workaholic and I do just fine on my own...better even than having him around.. He's just another kid to clean up after.

AliPa... AliParker

It's interesting how different everyone is. My husband was there for the birth of both of our kids and will be for the one I'm due to give birth to in a couple months. He took paternity leave with both and will with the one we are about to have. A few weeks each time. I nor he would have it any other way. He loves being there to snuggle the baby and spend time with us. And I love having the help. Their comments were ignorant but that is their opinion. 'Shrug'

1-10 of 63 comments 12345 Last