When New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took a two-game paternity leave recently to spend time with his newborn son, he inadvertently sparked a national debate. Because while maternity leave for new moms is often considered a given, men like Boomer Esiason aren't convinced that dads deserve to take time off after the birth of a child too.

Despite the outdated opinions of certain male sportscasters, paternity leave is a good thing, for both men and families. Here's why.

1. New moms need support.

Postpartum recovery isn't easy, and in the days and weeks after giving birth, women are in the process of healing — both physically and emotionally. Dad needs to be around to take care of routine household tasks (think laundry, cooking, grocery shopping) and to participate in his share of new baby care.

2. Dads deserve to bond with baby too.

It's hard to bond with a new baby when you have to head to work immediately after birth. Changing diapers, giving those first baths, and rocking baby to sleep all promote bonding and secure attachment. Dad deserves these experiences just as much as Mom does, and more importantly, baby deserves to learn to feel comfortable and secure in the presence of both of her parents — not just the one with the ovaries.

3. Sleep.

Let's be honest, the first few weeks of parenthood are exhausting. Newborns like to be wide awake — and often screaming — at 3 a.m. Even if you aren't the parent getting up for those middle-of-the-night feedings, you still aren't sleeping much. And a tired employee is no good to a company anyway.

4. It sets a precedent.

If Dad goes back to work immediately, he loses out on the opportunity to be involved in day-to-day childcare, possibly for the long haul. When Mom is the only parent at home in the early days, she becomes the one who knows how baby likes to be soothed, the one baby wants when he cries. Mom becomes the go-to parent. And this does NOT bode well for a future where both parents share in the parenting duties.

5. Paternity leave benefits mothers.

Yes, paternity leave is good for fathers because it allows them to bond with their babies, but it may be mothers who benefit the most when Dad takes time off. According to an article in The Atlantic, "the genius of paternity leave is that it shapes domestic and parenting habits as they are forming." Mothers and fathers learn together how to fit their new role as parents into the other obligations in their lives. When Dad is more involved at home, Mom's career has the opportunity to flourish — instead of falter — under the weight of new motherhood.

And that's a win for the entire family.

Do you think fathers should take paternity leave? Why or why not?