Laura, my first daughter, was born on March 2nd, 2022. The entire process, from the discovery to the moment of birth, had its ups and downs. Nevertheless, the birth brought one of the most wonderful emotions I have ever felt in my life.
January 17th was the last day of my second stage of paternity leave. Having the opportunity to have 100 days of leave, completely dedicated to taking care of my daughter, made everything even more special. It was more than 3 months of learning, crying, joy and, above all, a beautiful bond building between father and daughter.
100 days? Is that correct?
Yes, you read it right! Recently, Nubank updated its paternity and maternity leave policy and now we have the opportunity to take advantage of equal parental leave, which gives us 120 days of leave for both mothers and fathers.
Before, fathers only had the right to 20 days of leave. This was the policy in place when Laura was born. Nevertheless, Nubank retroactively released the new benefit to me and other Nubankers in the same situation, which allowed me to spend an extra 100 days at home, giving her all the attention she deserved and needed.
My only certainty…
As soon as we received the news that the parental leave was approved, taking advantage of it became my priority. I was determined about it. This desire to take leave arose because at that time, I still didn’t feel like a father.
During the pregnancy, Mayara, Laura’s mother, formed a strong bond with her. On my side, however, I couldn’t feel that bond. I thought that when Laura was born, this would change, but unfortunately that wasn’t happening. And it was during this leave that I saw the opportunity to create this connection, dedicating more quality time to my daughter.
Of course, before that, I already participated in all possible moments, especially because I was working remotely for Nubank. Although being at home helps a lot, my attention during most of the day was on work — and the rest inside me was pure uncertainty, because this was not the ideal situation.
… and also some uncertainties.
- Will I know what to do? Will we adapt?
- And work? The certainty of taking leave was unshakeable, but was I doing the right thing by switching teams at that time? What would it be like when I came back?
- Will I know how to play? How to encourage? Help with development?
One day, someone asked me what was more tiring: working or taking care of Laura.
I master my work. Doing it, I have total control over what I’m doing. Taking care of Laura, on the other hand, is a process of constant learning.
Every day, a new cry was compensated by a never-before-seen smile. I love the concepts of Agility and never in my life have I followed the value of “Respond to changes more than follow a plan” with such dedication.
Memories and Bonds
This paternity leave has given me the opportunity to start building a bond with my daughter. To remember that it was my leg that served as an obstacle for her to exercise and start crawling.
Sitting on the floor of the room. During the afternoon for several days, we postponed the time to get out of bed. And when we got up, we played tickling games until we laughed.
Being the only man with a baby in the park in the afternoon, whether walking with the stroller to exercise or sitting on the grass eating a banana, makes me feel very privileged.
I was also able to remember when I failed: when I dropped something or when I forgot to put on an ointment, because everything is a learning experience after all.
And the most important: going through the exhaustive experience of taking care of a baby practically all the time. It was only not full-time because the milk and several other things were the mother’s responsibilities.
This text aims to show other fathers the importance of paternity leave. This is a unique and intense opportunity to connect with the most important person in the world. Companies that have diversity as a policy but do not discuss this benefit need to start doing so urgently.
I am very happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to the definition of this new policy, a legacy so important to Nubank. I thank the people of Nubank who made this dream a reality. Thank you, Mayara, for not letting me fall into the comfort zone, fighting with me when necessary and, most importantly, for giving light to the cutest thing in my life.
Thank you, Laura, for your smiles and laughter💜