Former Football QB Boomer Esiason criticizes NY Mets 2nd Baseman Daniel Murphy for taking paternity leave. During a panel debate on FOX News Boston, I shared my insights on this topic from my lens as a Marriage & Family Therapist, along with Anchors Mark Ockerbloom and Jim Polito. I invite you to view this discussion now available on demand: Esiason Vs. Murphy – Paternity Leave.
In addition, below you will find my 6 talking points documented in bullet point form which addresses my opinion on the whole matter.
Dr. Karen Ruskin says:
- Boomer’s commentary is simply another example of man-on-man-bashing symbolic for the definition shift of this generation of what it is to be a man, a husband, a parent.
- Males learned long ago to be a provider is defined as bring home the bacon. Nowadays, men are discovering that the balance of providing for one’s family financially AND emotional and physical availability/involvement as a co-parent – is what a true provider is.
- Boomer’s statement is judgmental (is there something so wrong with a guy who wants to share in the joy of the birth of his child with his wife? Is there something so wrong with a guy who wants to see his new born baby?). Let’s not forget MLB provides a statement in support of the decision for men to take a few days of paternity leave.
- Boomer’s statement is uniformed about the risks for women with regards to childbirth. To state that a C-section should have been lined up to coincide to where birth did not interfere with baseball, is not only simply distasteful, it is lacking in understanding. This type of statement reminds me of something that a guy might say when sitting around on a Saturday night playing cards with his buddies. These days, that style of open chatter is at times radio, which is the nowadays version of poker night.
- Deciding your life philosophy is an individual decision. Certainly, Boomer Esiason is allowed to have his, and Daniel Murphy his. Do know this; it is one’s life philosophy that will significantly impact your relationships in your life, including that of you and your spouse, your child, and your family whole. Ask yourself; what are my priorities? Which outweighs which: big family moments or big work moments?
- In my work with couples for 20+ years as a Marriage & Family Therapist a top marital destroyer is when work comes first over marriage, when work comes first over being a partner with one’s spouse, when work comes first over being a team-mate with one’s spouse. Children and couples benefit greatly regarding their emotional/mental health and wellness as individuals and as a family unit when the message felt throughout the home is that family comes first. (I also discuss this point in my book: Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual).