Parenting can be a challenging role, especially if you’re new to it. The initial months after your baby’s birth require constant love, care, and attention, which ultimately helps you to strengthen the bond with your newborn. Just like maternity leave helps mothers take a break from their professional responsibilities to dedicate their time to the baby, paternity leave has also started gaining equal importance in recent years.
Parenting is a huge responsibility that falls equally on both parents. With fathers taking paternity leave, it will not only make parenting easier for the mom but will also help dads to bond with their baby. Unlike before, men are no longer afraid to break gender stereotypes and are opting to take paternity leaves to perform daddy duties and take care of the new mother. And Bollywood has been no different! Continue reading our post as we list down five B-town daddies who took paternity leave and broke stereotypical norms.
1. Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor have embraced parenthood yet again as the couple welcomed their second child on February 21. The Pataudi prince is a hands-on father as he is always seen spending quality time with little Tim. In an interview, Saif spoke about becoming a father and taking time off from work after the birth of his child. The actor pointed out that nobody wants to work when they have a newborn at home. He further said that it’s important to take time off from work; otherwise, you would be missing out on watching your child grow up. Saif admitted that since he comes from a privileged position and doesn’t work a 9 to 5 job, it becomes easier for him to spend time with his kids.
2. Virat Kohli
The Indian cricket captain and the Bollywood actress were trending ever since they announced their pregnancy on August 22, 2020. Virat and Anushka welcomed their child on January 11. The Indian skipper took to Instagram to inform that both the mother and baby are healthy and happy and thanked everyone for their prayers and good wishes. The news of Virat taking paternity leave was rather controversial as many weren’t pleased about his decision to skip the India-Australia test series. However, many fans supported his decision and pointed out that parenting is an equal responsibility and one should always prioritize his wife and kids. In a video shared by BCCI on Twitter, Virat said that he would be flying back home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child as it is an exciting period in their lives.
3. Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor is a proud dad to two munchkins, Misha and Zain. Shahid and Mira had an arranged marriage, and the duo tied the knot on July 7, 2015. The actor loves spending time with his beautiful wife and kids and always prioritizes his family. In an interview, Shahid spoke about taking six months off during his daughter’s birth. The actor said that he got to spend a lot of time with Misha and his decision to take paternity leave was more for himself as he didn’t want to miss out on the experience. Shahid revealed how people cautioned him against it and said that he would be out of the limelight. But the 39-year-old maintains that since he is an actor, he is a freelancer. Shahid also took paternity leave during the birth of his second child so that he could spend more time with his wife and kids.
4. Raj Kundra
Industrialist Raj Kundra also believes in staying by his wife during pregnancy and labor. Raj Kundra took time off work when Shilpa Shetty was pregnant with their firstborn. The British businessman took one-month paternity leave to be with his wife after their son’s birth. In an interview, Raj revealed that he doesn’t want to be very busy since it is the most important phase of their lives. He further said he wants to be with his wife for all the big and small moments of pregnancy, from taking her to all the doctor’s appointments to being with his wife in the labor room and changing their baby’s diaper post-delivery.
5. Riteish Deshmukh
One of the most adorable couples of Bollywood, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza, are doting parents to their two sons, Riaan and Rahyl. The actor took a short paternity leave of 2 weeks when his wife gave birth to their first child. Riteish is a hands-on father who spends quality time with kids and does all the dad duties, including changing nappies. In an interview, the actor spoke about his relationship. He said that it’s important to be there for your wife through all the small things and support her however you can.
Parenting is a huge responsibility that can easily be overwhelming, especially when you don’t get the support you need. These men prove that fathers need to be just as involved in all the parenting duties, especially during the initial time following birth. While these men might come from a place of privilege, it’s important for dads to take some time off from work or be a more hands-on partner to your wife in whatever capacity they can.