Out in the Open

This dad says work-life balance for fathers is actually a women's rights issue

Josh Levs argues giving dads more job flexibility helps all families
Josh Levs 'went looking for work-life balance' after the traumatic birth of his second son.
Listen10:05

Josh Levs remembers the moment he knew he needed to step back from his work to focus more on his family.

His wife was pregnant with their second son and three weeks from her due date, she fell to the floor in their bedroom. 
Josh Levs has reported on issues of paternity leave in his work as a CNN reporter. (Provided by Josh Levs )

"He started coming out into my hands, and he wasn't breathing at first," said Levs. "He had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck five times and he didn't look like he had any life in him."

Levs was on the phone with the emergency operator, who guided him through unwrapping the cord from his son's neck. Ninety seconds later, the baby opened his eyes and took a breath.

As Levs processed his emotions over the next few weeks, he came to a realization.

"In that moment, I didn't care about money, or career or work. I cared about the things that matter. About life and love and family, and wanting to be there for all the moments."

"Yeah, I went looking for work-life balance."

Levs says most dads are like him.

"The difference is, they're not talking about it."

When Levs started taking more time for his family, he also explored issues of paternity leave as a CNN reporter. And, he wrote a book about work-life balance for dads.

​Levs insists that making it more socially acceptable for dads to be caregivers — whether that means taking paternity leave or being available for your kids during work hours — will help both men and women.

"In the workplace, this belief that men should stay at work and women should stay at home is hurting all of us. It is pushing women to stay at home and it is pushing men to stay at work. So we need to break that cycle."