Pete Buttigieg Defends Family Leave After Getting Mocked for Taking Time to Care for Newborn Twins

NBC News

When a baby is born, obviously, somebody has to take care of that baby. Often, a new mom will take maternity leave for a period of weeks or months to care for the new baby. Some moms even decide to stay home with their children instead of going back to work. Other moms find a nanny, babysitter or daycare to care for the new baby once it is time to go back to work.

Moms aren’t the only ones responsible for children. Dads are important too. Many dads take paternity leave when a new child is born in their family. This allows them time to bond with their children and help out the new mom with childcare.

Not everybody seems to think that dads need to take paternity leave, or paid family leave, but US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is standing up for the importance of dads taking leave to care for a new baby.

Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Glezman, recently became parents to newborn twins, Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg. All federal employees can take up to 4 months of paid family leave. This applies to biological children, adopted children and foster children.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pete Buttigieg (@pete.buttigieg)

When Buttigieg welcomes twins into his home, he decided to take family leave. He didn’t take the full 4 months, but he was noticeably absent for multiple weeks. 

When Tucker Carlson heard that Buttigieg was on family leave, he made some harsh and out-of-touch comments about Buttigieg on his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” He said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went.”

Buttigieg responded to Carlson’s comments during the show “Meet the Press.” He explained, “When somebody welcomes a new child into their family, and goes on leave to take care of that child that’s not a vacation, it’s work. It’s joyful, wonderful, fulfilling work, but it is work. And it’s time that our nation … recognize that.”


Do you think it’s important for dads to take family leave when they welcome a child into their home? Do you think Carlson’s comments were out of line?