Mark Zuckerberg said he was taking two months away to care for his second child. He made the announcement in a highly discussed Aug. 18 post to his Facebook page.
He said he will take two months off and split the two months. He will take a month off once the baby is born, and then he’ll take another month off in December.
“At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family. And I’m pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back,” said Zuckerberg in the post, championing Facebook’s policy.
The post sparked controversy because it put attention the United States’ policies towards the issue. Facebook users from Europe commented that they get much more flexibility in time to be with a newborn child. Users from other countries said they get less.
The post has 717,000 likes, 19,754 shares, and 26,888 comments.
When Zuckerberg’s first daughter, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, was born in 2015, he also took two months off. “Max” as Zuckerberg calls her, will turn 2-years-old in November.
Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, doesn’t post about her family life on Facebook much, but mostly charts her philanthropic work. She runs the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, giving funds to support educational outreach and development work.
Zuckerberg has shared before about their difficult experience conceiving their first child. In a July 31, 2015, post before Max was born Zuckerberg shared that they’d been trying to have a child for a few years. They’d had three miscarriages. They weren’t sure that a second child was possible.
“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you—as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own,” said Zuckerberg in the post.
Zuckerberg said in another post that he was happy about finding out he and Chan would have another girl. He mentioned how he and Chan both grew up around sisters.
“I cannot think of a greater gift than having a sister and I’m so happy Max and our new child will have each other,” he wrote.