It is not a question of whose job is it to look after a newborn but of emotion. Mother or father who must devote time. When paternity leave in India is limited here is a father who chose to quit the job and be with the newborn.
Corporate women in India get maternity leave of several months to look after their newborn babies while men usually get only a few days off as paternity leave. When this man’s company was not willing to extend his paternity leave, he simply quit his high-paying job to do what’s more important to him than work – being a father and helping out his wife being a new mom.
In a long Instagram post, the man’s story was shared by a page called ‘Humans of Bombay’ a few days that has now gone crazy viral, leaving netizens with mixed reactions to his decision. The post included a few pictures of his beautiful family. A few days ahead of his daughter’s birth, Ankit Joshi, who is an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur graduate, quit his new job that he started a few months ago as the senior vice president.
Everyone told him how difficult it would be but he had his wife Akanksha’s support. “A few days before my daughter was born, I quit my high-paying job. I know it was a bizarre decision. People said, ‘You know how difficult it’s gonna be now?’ But my wife Akanksha stood with me & that was all that mattered,” Ankit said. They named their newborn daughter Spiti, after the valley in Himachal Pradesh.
“During our trip to the Spiti Valley in Himachal, Akanksha & I had promised ourselves to name our future daughter ‘Spiti.’ Our dream came true last month when we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Our hearts were full & our lives were complete,” he added.
But, Ankit was not happy with the week-long paternity leave his company was giving him and wanted to make the most of this precious time with his newborn daughter. His work involved travelling and took him to different cities. Even though he enjoyed it, he wanted a longer break after his daughter’s birth. So, he put down his papers and called it a “promotion to fatherhood”.
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“Life has been all about her since then. Be it swinging her in my arms till she sleeps to waking up in the night to sing her lullaby, I’m cherishing these moments. Sometimes, in the middle of a lullaby, I see her looking at me so intently, it just warms my heart. And just like that, a month has gone by. It’s been a sleepless, exciting, exhausting, & yet a joyful month! I’ll apply for jobs a few months later but till then, I’m going to make the most of this time & be there for my daughter.”
The first-time parents decided to name their daughter Spiti as they had promised to each other on a trip to the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
“As for Akanksha, she’s on her maternity leave for 6 months. Given her passion, she was also promoted to a Manager a few days after Spiti was born. Seeing her excel in both, her career & motherhood is so fulfilling! But at the same time what disheartens me is to see how most companies give a significant, next-to-nothing paternity leave. It isn’t just about how less the father connects with the child but more about reducing the responsibility of a father in the role of upbringing. It makes us more of a bread-winner than a parent. The step I’ve taken isn’t easy- not many men can take it. But I hope in the coming years things change because the life that I’ve lived in the last 1 month has been more fulfilling than all my years of hustle,” he further said.