Mats (group leader, 40) gave up a managerial position he was promoted to before his leave, upon realizing how much time the position took. Today, there is a strong social norm that fathers should take parental leave and the share of days taken by fathers increases each year. Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (Working Paper 2013:8). Seven had taken or planned to take over 40 % and four took one-third or less (see Appendix). However, another theme was mixed feelings about socializing. Each parent has 2 non-transferable months paid at the higher level and is entitled to half of the remaining leave (but can transfer it to the other). Cite as. This chapter presents results from interviews with 14 fathers who had taken a substantial amount of leave, who report on leave decision-making, experiences and outcomes, and explores the extent to which results suggest that long leaves are likely to promote an egalitarian model of parenthood. Den svenska pappapolitiken i historisk belysning [Swedish pappa politics in historical perspective.]. (2011) for fathers on leave. 2006). Today, fathers’ leave has become the norm; almost nine of ten take parental leave (Försäkringskassan 2011). Fathers’ stories predominantly described positive experiences with leave, involving nontraditional caregiving and stepping away from paid employment. Näsman, E. (1997). Doucet, A. Reformer inom föräldraförsäkringen [Equal use? Parental leave in Sweden: Motives, experiences and gender equality amongst parents. In E. Magnusson, M. Rönnblom, & H. Silius (Eds.). In E. Blomberg, & K. Niskane (Eds.). Part of Springer Nature. [Insured income in the social insurance 1991–2010. Swedish parental leave policy, offering fathers two non-transferable months, was highly regarded by the interviewed fathers. Some fathers wished leave hadn’t ended so quickly, but most were content with the length. It is politically correct in some way.”, Even if fathers’ leave was taken for granted among respondents, multiple constraints, pressures and negotiations were reported. In summary, interviews support the idea that fathers being home has consequences at all levels of social structure, and that these can be related to gender equality. What influences Swedish parents satisfaction with sharing of parental leave”. The reported gender differences in activities were not presented as a problem or as a limit to fathers’ engagement. The job is now just a necessary evil instead of my life’s calling.” In one important respect, men’s participation in paid employment did not change due to long leaves. On the weekends, she prepares more meals than I do. One important political reform designed to support this goal is fathers’ right to paid parental leave (Lundqvist 2011). However, the bonus has not yet affected leave division (Duvander and Johansson 2012). Normkonflikter i regleringen om arbetstagares föräldraskap [Norm conflicts in the regulation of workers’ parenthood]. There is a curvilinear relationship between fathers’ leave length and income, with medium to medium-high earners taking more leave (Duvander and Viklund 2014; Sundström and Duvander 2002), probably caused by both economic and workplace constraints. Some claimed leave had made them more efficient when back at work. His share of leave will be 50 % (36 % so far). The benefit length has increased to 16 months; 13 months at 78 % of previous income and 3 months at a low flat rate. Föräldraförsäkring och föräldraledighet (Parental insurance and parental leave]. In 1974, Sweden became the first country in the world to introduce a gender-neutral paid parental leave benefit. Swedish fathers’ parental leave, division of childcare and housework. His share of leave was 44 %. Sweden was the first country to offer fathers paid leave and subsequent reforms such as non-transferable months were designed to encourage fathers to take a larger share of leave (Duvander and Johansson 2012). Some only occasionally interacted with other fathers and isolation during leave was a recurring theme. Since 2012, 1 month’s leave (but not the 2 reserved months) can be used simultaneously by parents, facilitating transition from mother care to solo father care. His share of leave will be 17 % (8 % so far). Anders (coordinator, 37) reported: “...It’s not something strange at this workplace. All five fathers working in the public sector described taking leave as no problem; it was common and taken for granted at their workplaces. Matthias reported challenges in finding an appropriate time to take leave because of project work. Comparative Perspectives on Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality,, 1993/1994:147. 2011; Klinth 2013). Here, as one journalist put it, men can have it all. Robert stated: “I think that it is good if people get to choose what they want to do with the time themselves. Sweden was the first country in the world that granted fathers the right to paid parental leave in 1974. It was not clear if this was a cause or consequence of fathers’ extended leaves but contrasts sharply with national statistics indicating that part-time work among mothers is common (SCB 2014). Paid parental leave policies that are available for each parent support shared responsibility for raising children. Like childcare, it was taken for granted that as the one at home the father would do more and take more responsibility for housework than his partner. Three stages of fathers’ leave experience are examined: When asked what was most positive about leave, most mentioned the opportunity to get to. We are also grateful to Fredrik Movitz for important comments on the questionnaire and we acknowledge financial support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via the Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE), grant 349-2007-8701. Föräldraskapets synlighet i arbetsplatkultur [The visibility of parenthood in workplace culture.]. On the other hand, some fathers successfully challenged norms about the work commitment of loyal male employees, by changing to more family-friendly jobs or reorganizing work hours to facilitate availability for childcare. We are grateful to our respondents in this study. So I walked around with earplugs. All but one informant were found through Thalberg’s network. NILS (age 40). Few couples also agreed in advance that the parent at home should focus on childcare, not housework. Registered in England & Wales No. Those men who had completed leave expressed both continuity and change with a traditional male norm for employment. They felt this would encourage fathers to take longer leaves which, based on their experience, is important for men to become active fathers. They provided information about fathers’ decisions to take parental leave, experiences while on leave and potential impact of leave-taking on domestic work and identities as fathers. If you want to have a career perhaps you shouldn’t follow my example“ (laughs). A few reported visiting their parents for a respite. Fathers’ orientation toward employment seems to have changed and it was commonly expressed that work was now less important than actively participating in family life, also reported by Nordberg (2007). After partner was home 18 months, he took leave full-time in one block for 9 months. Our interviews with Stockholm fathers in a privileged situation to choose long leaves explored three stages: the decision-making process surrounding leave, experiences on leave and (for those who had completed leave) perceptions of the leave’s impact on fathers’ employment, caregiving and relations with partners, as well as opinions concerning leave policy. They used phrases such as “It was obvious.” Christian (carpenter, 37) reported: “We didn’t talk so much about it really. Construction consultant in private sector with a college degree. Two children, ages 2 and 4.

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