I’d rather be watching Brazil

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When I started blogging four years ago, I didn’t really know what to expect. At first it was a hobby but since then it has become a bigger part of my life and provided me with a range of experiences. I am about to have another one of those experiences and break new ground by appearing in a high-profile television documentary…..in Brazil.

Profissão Repórter, Brazil, stay at home dads, stay at home fathers, Rio de Janeiro
I have never been to the famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro but if I did, I might dress like this (See pic credits below).

In the early hours of Thursday, 19 October (2.30am UK time, 11.30pm in the city of Brasillia), I will appear in a programme called Profissão Repórter on the channel Teleglobo. The subject of the programme is paternity leave and the slow but steady acceptance of stay at home dads in Europe compared to Brazil.

Why the sudden interest from the other side of Atlantic? Well, earlier this year there was a change in Brazilian law. Brazilian men are now entitled to 20 days of paid paternity leave, an increase from the previous five.

With that in mind, the Profissão Repórter team wanted to explore the impact of paternity and shared parental leave in a country where it has been in place for some time. I was asked if I would spend some time with a Brazilian reporter and camera man as they documented a typical day in my life.

Profissão Repórter, stay at home dads, paternity leave, shared parental leave, gender equality
A scene from Profissão Repórter. I play with my daughter Izzy while Teleglobo journalist Nathalia Fernandez looks on.

During the day I was asked for my opinions on a range of things including: the UK’s shared parental leave system, the pros and cons of being a stay at home father and what advice I would give to an expectant or new father.

This was a whole new experience for me. Although I’ve made the occasional television appearance, I’d never spent this amount of time with a film crew.

I can’t deny it, I was slightly nervous. If you are in the presence of a film crew for that length of time, you have to accept you’re making yourself wide open to the world.  All the untidy parts of my family home and the untidy state of the family car will probably be revealed in the final cut and I was told the programme has an audience of around 20,000,000 people.

For those of you wanting to see the programme, I have mixed news. You’re very welcome to visit the Profissão Repórter Facebook page and website where small excerpts are shown. Alas, however, the full programme isn’t broadcast outside of Brazil.

As for the photograph at the top of this blog post, well, I couldn’t resist having a little fun and doing something eye-catching. I’m not sure the look really suits me and I can assure you I will never wear Cuban heels ever again (women: how do you manage to walk in stilettos?). I have to say a huge thank you to Darren Coleshill form the Photalife blog who did an initial edit of the the picture for me.

It was great to take part in this documentary. Stay at home dads have a very low profile in the UK but in Brazil it is virtually unheard of for men to look after family and home. This was a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of stay at home dads in Brazil and hopefully do a tiny bit to normailse it.

stay at home dads, paternity leave
The full costume. Marks out of ten please.

There is also one further interesting point to make. Under the shared parental leave system we have in the UK, a man can, in theory, take a total of 50 weeks leave following the birth of a child if his partner and employer are in agreement.

In a worst case scenario where no agreement can be reached between employer and partner, a British man will receive two week’s paid paternity leave while his partner receives the rest of the leave entitlement.

Brazil has no shared parental leave system and so on this front, the UK is more advanced than its Latin-American counterpart. That said, let me reiterate that Brazilian men receive 20 days paid paternity leave. In other words, Brazil is more generous when it comes to dedicated paternity leave than the UK. I’ll leave you with that thought!

Photo credits: Main and bottom image expertly edited with help from the magnificent Darren Coleshil of the Photalife blog. Background image of dancers: Nicolas de Camaret. Reproduced under Creative Commons agreement. Second image: Teleglobo/Profissão Repórter.

21 thoughts on “I’d rather be watching Brazil”

    1. Well yes, it was the first time I had dressed up like that. Unless I am fortunate to attend the Rio carnival, it’ll be the only time too! I have heard back from one or two people in Brazil and I’m told my family came across well, but I’d love to see the footage!

  1. So glad that you are out there raising awareness! My husband and I shared the parenting for a while there, but unfortunately the business he worked for closed down and he wasn’t able to get another part-time job.

    We get a couple weeks paid parental leave for fathers, but statistics show many men are afraid of using it, because its frowned on in many organisations.

    I hope we will see it become more of a social norm that men take parental norm.

    #global blogging

    1. Yes indeed, parental leave should indeed simply be the norm. There are still countries in Europe, such as Italy, where take up of paternity leave is shockingly bad. Involved fatherhood simply has to be normalised. We’re getting there…slowly.

    1. Thanks Dave, it certainly seemed like a good way to do a tiny bit to normalise stay at home dad-dom and involved fatherhood in a society where such things aren’t always appreciated. As for the lack of UK paternity leave, it’s one of the biggest men’s rights issue of this agee

  2. Hahah 11 out of 10, love the photos. That’s amazing you were on a show, I would be nervous too! Although I still don’t think 20 days is enough at least it’s better than the UK, and don’t even get me started on the US yikes. Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the outfit. It certainly caused a stir on social media. Oddly, the US has one of the most equal splits of parenting duties in the world, but not for good reasons. The complete lack of entitlements means familes are forced to share responsibility for childcare. Thanks for hosting #GlobalBlogging and hope this was global enough for you!!

  3. Good on you for doing the programme and sharing your thoughts and what it can be like in the UK. Loving the outfit…and I can no longer do heels for long or my knee starts to hurt. But I used to dance for 5 hours+ in 3 inch heels before having N. Now I dance in 1.8 inch ones, much easier.

    1. Well, it seemed like an opportunity to get the SAHD message out to a very large audience. Thanks for the advice on the heels. I will keep it in mind should I ever find myself buying some.

  4. It’s amazing that fathers are getting paid paternity leave as well as being able to stay at home. It’s invaluable. And as a mother I am so thankful for how much my husband does for us. Good job on being able to bring awareness to this topic! Love the outfit by the way! 🙂 Thanks for linking up! Hope to see you next week! #Globalblogging

    1. I hope you’ll agree this blog pot was global in nature! My belief: men are needed at home following the birth of a child. It’s not about supporting the mother, it’s about being a fully-integrated, understanding, involved part of the family unit. That simply assumes mum has had an easy birth. If she has had a hard birth, his presence at home is vital.

    1. Thank you Jean for commenting. I am afraid to say I have not seen the programme myself but I hope to watch it at some point. I also hope one day to visit Brazil.

    1. HI Rafael, thank you for taking the time to comment. I a, glad you enjoyed the programme. It was fun to make and I hope Brazilian families benefit from the extended paternity leave.


    Hi John,
    I have just seen you at Brazilian tv. You have a wonderful and lovely family. You can believe: you did well on tv!

    1. Thank you ever so much for your kind comments. I am glad you feel my family and I came across well. I haven’t seen the final version myself but I hope to watch it at some point. Thank you for commenting.

  6. Pingback: I'd rather be watching Brazil...again. - Dad Blog UK

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