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Paternity leave- how much is your other half taking...?(67 Posts)
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...?!
No you're not being pfb!
DS my hubby took 4 weeks (2 x pat leave, 2 x hols)
DD he took 3 weeks.
I had straight forward deliveries and I needed him for the first week or so to make me food and drinks while I was constantly breastfeeding, to run the errands that needed doing etc. Would have been lost without him. Plus it means support in the night without worrying about them being at work the next day. With DS it took me tge full four weeks to get my head around being a mum etc, I'm so glad hubby was around.
Not to mention of course the fact that he got to spend some time with our babies and get to know them a bit - surely your DP wants to do that?
Will you have other practical support around? I'd imagine after a section you'd need more help physically than I did.
My DH took two weeks statutory paternity leave with DC1 and will probably do the same with this one. Can your DH take some annual leave instead so he can stay at home longer but on full pay?
I would be upset too Amandine. I am looking forward to DH, DD and I spending time getting to know each other. DH is taking 3 weeks hopefully 4 weeks (last week depends on what's happening with his trading markets in the Far East) off paternity leave.
How much time can your DH get paid? I thought most companies whe pretty good with paternity leave now.
I hope you get it sorted.
None really as he's self-employed, but he works from home so is still on hand if necessary.
You're going to need more than 3 days of support if you have a c-section. I'd tell him he either needs to take at least 2 weeks OR pay for someone to come and help you for that time period.
My dh can take 2 weeks paternity 1 at full wage the other at statuary paternity pay, this time we have saved the shortfall so he can take the 2 weeks and he's having a weeks leave as well so 3 in total, not all places have a good paternity package for dads tho! As we have found out and I'm glad we did early this time so we could save up the money
With dd I had her on the Tuesday was let home from the hospital on the Thursday he was back at work Thursday pm as he didnt quailfy for anything (new job only been working for them for 5 months) had the weekend off and worked odd day the following week - I was furious! A new baby is such hard work and with bf turned into a real nightmare I felt we needed family time, his work didnt agree
Hope all goes well for you x
My exdp told me on Sunday he has cancelled his Paternity Leave.
Im 34 weeks. Baby is breech. Im praying baby will turn!
My husband took two weeks when our son was born - we were both in hospital for the first five days, so it was so brilliant to have him around when we got home too. He's also looking into taking an extra two months next year when I go back to work.
Will you have other family/friends around to help you out? Good luck to you, and I hope all goes well.
DH took two weeks with both of our first two, so assume he'll do the same again. I found that fine personally, I needed to find my own feet, but three days would have been a shock.
Does he realise that after a section you might only just be getting home and he may have been limited to visiting hours to spend time with you both?
It seems a shame you may have next to no time at home together before he goes back to work.
DP is taking 2 weeks and a weeks annual leave. With ds we were in hospital for nearly two weeks so he went back to work until we were discharged so he actually got to spend time with us, would that be an option if you do have a section?
My DH took two weeks with DS, unfortunately but actually great in the long run, was made redundant 2 weeks before DD was born and started a new job when she was 6 weeks. We were very lucky that he new he was starting the new job 4 weeks in advance so we could live comfortably on his redundancy payment.
I gave birth to Dd early on a Friday morning Dp was back at work on Monday morning. 10 days later I was really poorly with a fever, turned out it was an infection, in hindsight i did too much too quickly. Unfrortunately not all companies are family friendly. With Dc2 I hope he's able to take at least a week off but I'm not counting on it.
DP took two weeks and was paid full for this.
He did get under my feet after about a week though- but i am grateful that he was able to take this time.
My dp was at home with ds and I for half a day.
He was made redundant 2 weeks before ds was born and got a new job due to start the day ds was born he was obviously not at work that day and took the nxt day off to bring me home from hospital and for us to register ds's birth as his new job was 7am-7pm so not able to register ds birth any other day.
The only good thing about being on my own with ds from such an early time was we were able to get ourselves into a nice routine and I felt ok doing everything with him as I had never known dp being (except weekends but dsd is here also).
I had 3 good friends who organised that one of them would call everyday for the 1st week with lunch so I had a bit of company and something to eat. And most evenings my mum or sister would have called on their way home from work to see ds but also to give me a chance to have a shower do dishes etc if I wanted to.
Do you have friend and or family that can help fill the gap a bit if your dp has to go back to work so soon
My DH is taking a week (SPL) then going back to work for a week (my mum is coming to stay that week), then is taking paid holiday for a week. That's the plan, anyway! That way he gets time with us, I get help from mum and we're not taking a big financial hit (my work mat policy is shite so conscious of not losing too much at the moment!).
DH just gets stat paternity pay and I don't think we can afford for him to take two weeks. He's going to take one week stat paternity pay and one week normal holiday pay. He's saving all his holidays for when the baby is here.
With dc1, he took 3 days (unpaid , as didn't qualify). It was fine as his job meant he was home by 5.30/6 each day. Dc2 he took 2 weeks and as dc2 was re admitted at 2 days so dh looked after dc1 while we were in hospital.
My dh is self-employed so doesn't get any paid paternity leave. He will probably take 2 weeks of unpaid leave though and then cut down on hours for the following 4 weeks. I think he would regret it if he missed out on the early days with ds.
Has your dh read any books or leaflets about the recovery time for c sections? Does he know any new dads who could tell him about their experiences?
Dp and I assumed he'll get full pay for the 2 weeks better check!!!
Hmm - this was my experience
Saturday - waters broke, labour started around 5pm
Sunday - laboured
Monday - EMCS
Thursday - discharged from hospital
If he can only take 3 days, and you are not having a scheduled section there's a reasonable chance that if you started labour on a Monday morning he will have to be back at work as soon as the baby is born...
Can you ask a sister or a Mum to be your birth partner so that he takes leave when you get home from hospital?
Otherwise he is going to have to use some holiday. If you are 36 weeks though he may not be allowed the time off depending on his job with this late notice.
My H took two weeks but it was fully paid so it's a nice luxury. Lots of people don't get that but I'm surprised you are only discussing it now to be honest.
My OH gets 3 days paid then can take up to two weeks annual leave or unpaid. We have timed it quite well actually as I'm being induced a couple of days after Christmas and he gets Christmas week off anyway (would be back at work on 2nd Jan), then he will take his three days and until 15th Jan as holiday. So all together I think he's having about 3 and a half weeks off
Also you're definitely not wrong to be upset! Paternity leave is shocking, I don't know how companies can justify only giving three days off how can they expect people to cope, especially if you've also taken a pay cut with maternity leave.
Wow thanks for the replies!
As it stands, he gets 3 days full pay PL- the rest of the 2 week PL is statutory pay i.e. less than what he earns now.
Currently looking to be planned CS for breech, unless I go into labour before obviously. We had discussed PL briefly a few months ago but now working out final details.
We could afford it perhaps but thinking about how much income I'll lose during ML it's not ideal at all.
It's a tricky one, in an ideal world he'd take the full 2 weeks.
My mum still works plus she does childcare for my younger siblings' children & they are all quite dependent.
Hmmm should have got in there first with the reproducing!
On the other hand my father is not working so he is free, however, I don't know whether that would be more stressful than having nobody! (Sorry dad!)
Plus he is there helping out my mum with my niece & nephew.
Re stand- in birth partner no that wouldn't work... I would like my OH there at the birth of our first child, plus I think my mum would just wind me up.
Plus there will then be the comments for years to come about he couldn't tear himself away from work for the birth.
No, definitely more headache than it's worth!!
DP took 1 week when we had our twins.
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.
Could he take some holiday if you don't want to lose money?
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!
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.
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.
My dp had a week off with DD1 and will have the same with DS if straight forward delivery
I thought all men were entitled to two weeks of P/L as standard at Full Pay?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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
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
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.
I think he will "get it" when he is watching his baby being delivered surgically by the way
My husbands always took a week, it depends on how much support you have around you x
Can you just take a couple of weeks less to compensate? You will want help with a nb, especially after a c. section.
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.
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.
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?
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!
My DP took 4 months but he works for his own company and we took the hit on wages from savings.
2 weeks P/L at full pay.
1 week holiday.
1 week working from home.
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.
DH will work from home for a couple of weeks but can't take time "off" as he runs his own business
One more tip. After a CS it's particularly difficult to sit down into a low chair or sofa or bed, you will need to use both arms to lower yourself down. Much the same as you do now as a heavily pregnant woman. Getting back up will be just as awkward with a sensation of "who the hell just kicked me in the stomach".
If you are bfing in bed (home or hospital), try to get yourself sitting bolt upright with a few pillows behind you before anyone hands you the baby. You can slide down and get more comfy afterwards but sitting up again with a baby in your arms hurts. Ditto for remembering remote controls, phones etc. They are always somewhere else as soon as you sit down
Therefore, if you have a feeding chair, you will probably not use it when you are by yourself for a couple of weeks as there is no-where to plonk the baby (unless the coffee table is very large) so you can pick it up again when you are sitting comfortable iykwim? Putting them on the sofa or bed beside you is much easier.
Stick a note beside the doorbell to ask delivery people (flowers) to give you time to get to the door. The sods have always pushed off by the time you do, or else they keep ringing the doorbell and wake the baby. A mate of mine wrapped newspaper around the door knocker and taped it all up with brown sticky tape to muffle the noise she got so fed up!
Best of luck - you'll be fine and on the upside your DH will have lots of holiday left over later in the year when your baby won't be so dependent on you and you can have some time off and leave him to it.
2 days last time, but they ran in to the weekend, so he was at home for 4 days. Hopefully we can manage a week this time if we save a little bit, or he's allowed to use annual leave instead. HOWEVER, I had an easy, stress free labour, so this was fine. It sounds like this will not be the case for you, so he should re think.
2 weeks paternity leave and 2 weeks annual leave here. We were both a bit shell-shocked (and knackered) in the early days, and it was definitely easier having him around! When DP went to work I quickly realised that he needed to bring me some breakfast when he had his - as the first day on my own I didn't get anything to eat or drink til 3pm so was almost passing out! Ditto if he can make you a sandwich or something easy for lunch so you can just grab it. Bitesize flapjacks were also a life saver for me in the early days and nights of bfing - I would get a sudden famished feeling and they were just the right hit
Freeze, freeze, freeze as much food as you can for meals in advance.
Good luck op and hope you both get as much time as possible together with the baby.
DH gets 4 weeks from his company - its a large one.
DH taking 2 weeks off in total. 4 days off for the birth when it occurs and then the following as long weekends, monday - Friday.
He is a teacher, so it's easier for him as he has to plan the lessons he needs covering. (I'd rather he be at work than at home flapping).This is obviously subject to change if I need a c-section or there are complications.
When I had DD1 I found this to be preferable, as I quite liked to be on my own with just me and the baby (she will be at school).
I am however 37+2, so it's quite possible that the baby will arrive in the Christmas holidays, which would be a bonus!
DH is taking 2 weeks pat leave (full pay) then 2 weeks annual leave when DD2 is born in Jan. DD1 is 2 and I will need a lot of help with her (though she is at nursery 3 days) and am having c section.
If you have local friends to support you it will be fine. With DD1, DH was only off a week, then my mum came for a fortnight. I have to say it was a great feeling when I had my first day alone with DD.
OH will be taking 1week if he can. He works in finance and baby is due first week of April so he won't be able to take any more off due to the tax year calender.
This is our second though so it doesnt bother me too much. If it was my first i would be asking him to take a weeks holiday as well.
DH is a farmer. Turns out our baby is due at a good time of year (May) - after cattle out and before hay making. This year he took 2 weeks off in May for our wedding & honeymoon, so although he'll have bits and bobs he'll need to do I'm hoping he can be around when I need him - at least popping in regularly! Once Hay making starts though that's him out of the house 7am-9pm every day for a week, so hoping baby on time and hay making late!
It's early days for us but my dp is self enployed so will probably not have much at all depends what work he has on too
Dp is taking 4 days starting the day of my csection scheduled for 15th April so he'll also get Good Friday and Easter Monday with us paid as normal
My DH was off for 7 weeks after DS was born, but it was down to pure luck really. He is in the army, had 2 weeks PL fully paid, 4 weeks off because the base was closed and 1 week of annual leave so we could go to Ireland to see his family. Although the was away for the last 3 months of my pregnancy, arrived back on the Friday and I gave birth on the Tuesday after. It was amazing, and I fully appreciate it is unlikely to ever happen again.
I would like him to take as much time off as you can afford. Those first weeks are so special and go by so fast.
Thank you for all your replies, nice to see there is real variation in how much PL gets taken.
It would be lovely for the OH to take loads of time off & enjoy our newborn together but we have to be realistic in terms of finances.
As it stands his new boss, who is lovely & a mother of 4 herself (includes twins!) has basically said he can work as flexibly as he wants in the weeks following the birth.
My OH is a self-confessed workaholic...it sounds like she has had a word in his ear about everything.
On the plus side, am feeling much more calm about the PL situation, there's no point getting stressed out about it!
DH had 4 weeks off at full pay after my cs and I really did need him around. A Cs is major abdominal surgery and walking is difficult at first, let alone carrying the baby up and downstairs, bending down to pick things up, turning over in bed to get the baby out of the Moses basket several times in the night etc. also, you won't be able to drive for a few weeks so might feel a bit isolated if dh is out at work all day and you're stuck in the house with a crying baby.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Great tips oscarwilde thank you, it's do hard to imagine/visualise what things will be like in a few weeks time!
It's just knowing about those little things, especially making sure you have all your bits & pieces around you before settling down for a feed!
We don't have a car at the moment, live in urban London so it's not a priority expenditure right now.
So long as I am able to walk & push pram I'm hoping to make it to the park 10 minutes dine the road. Obviously when I'm feeling up to it!
Maybe we'll get snow in January & I'll be housebound so will just have to snuggle on the sofa instead & people will have to come to us and visit!
DH took 2 weeks for DD (fully paid) and will do the same for no. 2.
He briefly considered taking additional paternity leave (statutory, after 6 months when I return to work) but he works in a bank with a load of dinosaurs who all have stay-at-home wives or nannies or both... and taking anything more than the 2 weeks is highly frowned upon, pretty much career suicide. And a recession is not the time to take such risks.
My hubby is just been made redundant a month ago so hopefully by the time I'm due in April he will be in work again. So I'm not sure if he would be entitled to any thing which is a bit scary but I hope at least the first two weeks or I would feel completely lost lol
I think two weeks to a month is not asking a lot.
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