I can see the reason in the piece, but just to give the perspective of a family from a different part of the world …

Background:

  • paid maternity leave, 2 years @ 85% of the average before tax income, of which a lower tax is taken (it’s a choice, either 2 or 1 years or forego the whole thing — If you take a year you must stay a year but if you take 2 you can stop anytime after the first year and go to work).
  • father may take 15 fully paid working days off + 1 month under the same conditions as the mother at the end of the 2 years
  • though employment of mothers has great protection under the law, companies are always worried about maternity since the position is only open for temporary replacement. For certain jobs things can get complicated (for a mother staying at home)

Our daily schedule:

I wake up at 7am, keep baby company (change diaper, play, etc) while preparing some breakfast (though my wife rarely wakes up before I leave) and doing some light cleaning (mainly kitchen)

Usually leave around 9am (usual working hours 9–18).

Nanny comes around noon and stays until 18, my wife is taking some courses while also breastfeeding, etc.

Come back around 19, take baby for a walk until 20/20:30, do some shopping as needed. Cooking varies a lot between myself/my wife/ordering in.

Wife puts baby to sleep, afterwards we spend some time together or take care of other activities (I have a consulting company, my wife is trying to put together a coaching business).

It’s still difficult as in there are still choices to make and things to be sacrificed. I work in tech and barely find time to keep up with the new stuff I need to for my day job and my consulting business. My wife needs to balance the attention given to baby with her stuff.

Add to that the level of care a baby needs in their first years and there’s no way in hell your career doesn’t get damaged.

The best thing is to share the damage so that there’s less to fix along the way (unless, of course, you’d rather outsource the development of your baby — if there are grandparents around that’s probably ok). It’s all up to your particular situation, of course, which should be accounted for in giving a bit of nuance rather than throwing generalisations around.