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Paternity leave- how much is your other half taking...?

(67 Posts)
amandine07 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:21:37

Hello everyone

Currently 36 weeks, expecting our first baby.
Talking about paternity leave with the OH- bit surprised, he's saying that he's going to take 3 days (full paid) PL as the rest of it is statutory and so will have to take salary cut.

I do understand that we need the money, but I feel a bit sad that he'll be back at work a v shirt time after the birth and will miss out on the early days, just enjoying being at home, being a family.

It looks like I'll probably need a CS too although even if I had a 'straightforward' VB I would need help & support at home with the baby.

How much is your other half taking?
Am I being a bit PFB about all this...?! blush

theborrower Tue 17-Dec-13 13:58:03

I know money can be a tricky one but you'll need the help and there's a good chance he'll regret not spending some precious time together at the start. Do you have some savings that might help with the shortfall in income for his leave and your mat leave?

I went into labour on Monday, had an EMCS early Tuesday morning (DH had this day off), then he went back to work until Friday when I was discharged and he started his PL then (we decided that he'd be better using his time when I was out of hospital).

He had to go back to work for 2 weeks, then had 2 weeks holiday (pre booked). I couldn't have done without the help that first fortnight.

I'm expecting again and there's a chance I'll need a CS again. He's going to take 2 weeks PL then hopefully some annual leave too.

HaPPy8 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:03:36

Could he take some holiday if you don't want to lose money?

mamachelle Tue 17-Dec-13 15:05:10

Dh took 2 wks paternity and 1 week holiday and he will do the same with dc5. I was really glad he was off for so long as i wasnt right for a few wks and needed him.

I think DH would have found it hard just having 3 days of when DC1 was born, I was in hospital with DD for 48 hours post birth so there was a lot of running back and forth for him. Once I was back home there were errands to run, I needed a prescription collecting and despite doing loads of shopping before the birth we needed to get more bits from the shops (things that we didn't even know we needed until after DD was born).

DH was busy for the first week and finding his feet in the second...then there were all the people who wanted to visit, a lot of them from his side of the family.

I spent a lot of the time recovering from the birth and trying to sleep when the baby slept. If DH had tried to be off for just 3 days he would have had to call in on paternity leave anyway, he had a busy 2 weeks!

DH had 1 week off for the others but they were straight forward deliverys and I'd done it all before by then, it was still exhausting though!

SolitudeSometimesIs Tue 17-Dec-13 18:06:00

Dh is self-employed so we're thinking he might get a week off but will probably have to do paperwork etc. at home. He's not taking any time off when I am in hospital so he'll be around when we get home. This is DC2 so we have to plan for care for DS - we have had lots of offers of help so we're cashing them in.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 18:08:13

I'm having CS and in order to help me cope with that, and due to me having another health condition, my husband is taking a month off work.

Ra88 Tue 17-Dec-13 18:14:06

My dp had a week off with DD1 and will have the same with DS if straight forward delivery

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 18:15:19

I thought all men were entitled to two weeks of P/L as standard at Full Pay?

PenguinsDontEatStollen Tue 17-Dec-13 18:31:15

Nope Writer. They are entitled to two weeks of leave (provided they are employees, the self employed is obviously different) and the pay rate is effectively the same as SMP. Last time I checked, there were also length of service requirements, although I'm not sure if that is up to date.

fhdl34 Tue 17-Dec-13 18:32:09

My dh has taken 6 weeks off. He saved his holiday all year after my first emcs when my wound re-opened just as he returned to work after 2 weeks and it didn't close for 5 months. I had elcs 2 weeks ago, he's going in 3 days over Christmas when other family members are coming to assist with my toddler, then he goes back when newborn almost 7 weeks old.

InTheBEEwitchedWinter Tue 17-Dec-13 18:38:23

My DH is planning on taking two weeks - he'd take more if necessary, but my DM is coming over from Germany to be there during the first few weeks so I have support, and we're planning to take baby home at about 4 months for my DM's 60th so he'll need his leave then.

3 days is short, I can understand that you need the money but could he take some other leave?

Tigresswoods Tue 17-Dec-13 19:09:36

1 week. Then MIL came to stay for a week. Then a family friend for almost another week.

Quite liked & wanted my independence after that.

amandine07 Tue 17-Dec-13 19:11:54

Thanks for all the responses, interesting to hear about others & how much time was taken.

Re. taking more annual leave, my OH has only recently taken on a new job role within same company, it's pretty tight as I think he has hardly any left.

Re. friends, colleagues & family taking PL- the majority seem to have taken the whole of it plus annual leave tagged onto the end.

However, they pretty much all have significantly higher income/trust fund/inheritance than us so the finances weren't really an issue.

It's really hard to visualise what the reality will be with a first baby. We have an assortment of books we have been loaned- I will get OH to thoroughly read the chapters on CS!

Right now I don't think he really "gets it" in terms of how house-bound I may/will be & the assistance I'll need.

It doesn't help that close friends had a baby 5 months ago, they were hosting a BBQ party at their home less than a week after the birth- OH seems to think everyone is capable of this post-partum...however, her DP had a month off, her mother & sister came to stay plus they have a cleaner who also irons & someone to do the garden!

oscarwilde Wed 18-Dec-13 12:18:39

I think if that's the way it has to be, that you could both start to plan now for your return from hospital if you will be on your own from 8-7pm every day. There are lots of things you can do to make life a little easier. Realistically you will be spending a lot of time sitting down feeding your child anyway (even if you bottlefeed) so it's about having your home set up to minimise the wear and tear on your poor body. These would be my tips for the first 2-3 weeks:
Ensure you have the means to change/diaper your child downstairs as well as up. Going up stairs could be a hands and knees job when you get tired.
Have a second moses basket/top of a pram for the baby to nap downstairs; keep spare sets of clothes for both of you downstairs too.
Do not leave hospital without strong painkillers. Make a fuss and don't minimise your discomfort. If you don't need them great, but best to be on the safe side
Don't watch anything funny on tv for at least two weeks
Get lots of box sets, set up your sofa so you have a footrest, some pillows/cushions to hand, remote control, land phone, mobile phone charger, ipad for skype, wet wipes etc
Buy lots of bottled water and leave bottles stashed anywhere you might end up sitting to breastfeed.
If you live in an upstairs flat and need to lift a pram in and out of the building resign yourself to being housebound for a couple of weeks so arrange visitors.
The Health Visitor will be coming by regularly if you have a CS so you'll be hanging around waiting on them anyway.

Meal plan and get some food in the freezer so the most taxing thing you have to do is remove it to defrost.
Meal plan lunches so you have the right food in the fridge. Unless you like living on biscuits. You will be tired and will just take whatever's easiest. It's pretty tricky to eat soup while bfing smile
Get your DH to bring you breakfast and medication in bed before he goes to work so you have at least had some food then. You will probably feed around 4am, again at 7am and if you get food in bed, you can snooze until the next feed at 10am. Feed, shower, feed, lunch etc smile
Agree with your DH that he will give you the clexane injections before he goes to work so you don't have to do that. They will teach him how to do this in hospital.

oscarwilde Wed 18-Dec-13 12:19:26

I think he will "get it" when he is watching his baby being delivered surgically by the way

27mummmy2boys Wed 18-Dec-13 13:52:02

My husbands always took a week, it depends on how much support you have around you x

cantthinkofagoodone Wed 18-Dec-13 13:55:46

Can you just take a couple of weeks less to compensate? You will want help with a nb, especially after a c. section.

Stevie77 Wed 18-Dec-13 17:20:15

Two weeks from the date I get back home after the SC. One week paid (in full) paternity leave and one week annual leave. After that I'm sure he could work pretty flexibly for a few more days as he is fairly senior and his manager is very reasonable and understanding.

amandine07 Wed 18-Dec-13 19:19:03

Thanks for all the responses

oscarwilde thanks v much for the advice & tips for surviving the first few weeks!

Feeling more calm about it all, OH looking to work as flexibly as possible for the first few weeks but he does still have to go into the office.

I guess this is how it's going to be, just want to approach it positively & not get stressed out about it.

Reality check- so many people are much worse off than us, others do not have the luxury of PL due to being self-employed.

ShoeWhore Wed 18-Dec-13 19:31:10

Dh took 2 weeks each time, he only got statutory paternity pay. But I would say check how much it will actually cost you - it turned out to be not as much as we expected, I think because he owed much less tax on the stat pay than on normal salary. And I think he got 1 day full holiday pay?

Onesliceortwo Wed 18-Dec-13 19:37:45

Self employed so barely any. He'll be with me when I have the baby and will take time as and when needed - he works from home so it's fairly easy for him to be on hand as necessary. I imagine that more of his time will be spent placating DD(2) than dealing with me or the baby!

TinselinaBumSquash Wed 18-Dec-13 19:41:13

My DP took 4 months but he works for his own company and we took the hit on wages from savings.

TobyLerone Wed 18-Dec-13 20:19:15

2 weeks P/L at full pay.
1 week holiday.
1 week working from home.

Ullapull Thu 19-Dec-13 08:44:47

3 days just isn't realistic, sorry. He might start his PL before the baby is even out! I went into labour on a Thu. Baby born on Tue night. Out of hospital the next Thu afternoon. My DP tried to start his PL on the Fri but then it looked like things were progressing slowly (normal to have long initial labour with first baby) so his employers very generously and unususlly allowed Fri to be taken as annual leave. PL started on the Monday. He would've been back at work on the Thu - the day I was discharged with our newborn which I had no idea what to do with, plus hadn't slept since labour started! - if he'd only taken 3 days. Needed his support to get breastfeeding established too. In the grand scheme of things 2 weeks on statutory pay isn't s big deal, you said already you can afford it. He needs to be there to support you and your child.

mrsmugoo Thu 19-Dec-13 11:28:08

DH will work from home for a couple of weeks but can't take time "off" as he runs his own business

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