Opinion: The Navy should grant me paternity leave whenever a boat mama pops out another of my kids
By Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Sam Ojeda, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Deck Department
The Navy recently rolled out a policy giving all new active-duty mothers 90 days paid leave after they have a baby. The decision was made in the interest of equality, because they say it’s a lot easier for a male sailor to come back to work after he becomes a dad than it is for a female sailor to return to the ship after she delivers a kid.
Along those lines though, I really wish the Navy would start respecting the plight of us active-duty fathers, because I’ve spawned no less than three kids by three boat mamas on USS Carl Vinson, and all I’ve gotten is dick-all when it comes to paid paternity leave.
Rather, all I get is paternity tests, and the added burden of all these chicks asking for child support and blowing-up my phone wanting me to take them to medical for their pre-baby-birthing appointments.
Just where in the hell is the equality in that?
Like, seriously, the Navy needs to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to treating both male and female sailors as equals. If one of my baby mamas gets three months to bond with her kid, then why can’t I have at least a couple weeks off to go chill with my crew back in LA? Or maybe at least a four-day weekend to take in some blackjack and titty bars in Vegas?
And, before anybody asks, of course I’d want to spend some paid leave getting to know whatever the latest kid is I just fathered, but all the chicks I’ve knocked up don’t want me being any part of those babies’ lives (for whatever reason). I respect those decisions though, because letting my baby mamas be all overly-emotional and wrong without consequence is what equality is all about, see?
Now, the Navy does have an actual paternity leave policy on the books where new fathers get to take ten days off once their kid is born. But the catch with that policy is— get this— that you have to actually be married to the kid’s mom in order to cash-in on those ten days of leave.
Well, pardon me, but it’s a little hard to start-up a whole new marriage when you’re already mucking through a lengthy second divorce, like I am. And even if I were able to finalize the divorce and send Salome packing back to the Philippines, I still think my chain of command would be pretty pissed about me getting hitched to somebody in my duty section (Boat Mama One), or a gal I am directly in charge of (Baby Maker Dos), or even some chick I was tasked with keeping track of during restriction muster (I call her “The Hat Trick”).
Anyway, when it all comes down to it, I guess maybe I should just stop worrying so much about getting shafted on paternity leave. Like, the Navy’s going to do what the Navy’s is going to do, right? And if that means I get hosed while all of the women I knock up get three-months free vacation, then so be it. Equality be damned, I guess.
Besides, it’s probably best to just suck it up at this point. I’ve only got a little while left on this boat, and then I finally get to go to shore duty, where I hope I can start having a little bit more influence in helping to shape the Navy, and maybe even the Navy’s guidelines when it comes to “equality.”
Yeah, I think I’m gonna be a great recruiter.