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Parental leave - any advice on what worked for you?

(14 Posts)
Growingyou Mon 11-Jan-21 08:32:05

Hi MN,

I know this is so individual to households but my OH & I are expecting our first baby in May and haven't quite figured out how we will manage our parental leave arrangements. I am entitled to 16 weeks full pay + 8 weeks half pay; OH is entitled to 1 month paid.

Would you recommend my OH take his month off from birth as we adjust to parenthood together? Or perhaps part-time (e.g. working 2 days per week). What worked well for other families?

Thanks for any guidance

OP’s posts: |
Growingyou Mon 11-Jan-21 08:33:27

Apologies if this topic has been asked a million and one ways before. Happy to receive a link to threads if anyone knows of them

OP’s posts: |
Terracottasaur Mon 11-Jan-21 08:39:39

I can’t tell you how much I appreciated having my husband around all the time in the first few weeks - would definitely recommend that

Ohalrightthen Mon 11-Jan-21 08:41:55

Definitely as much time as possible together after the birth.

Also, if you're in the UK, look into Shared Parental Leave. It's only statutory pay, but for us it was invaluable for establishing both of us as equal parents from the beginning.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Mon 11-Jan-21 08:42:43

I was day at least 2 weeks for your DH at first. If you have a difficulty delivery (hopefully not!) you will need the support. I had a difficult delivery with a nasty tear and complications in surgery after he was born. The support from my DH was invaluable in those first weeks. It didn’t help my min couldn’t come as DS was born in April so it was just us three. Now you can have a support bubble so if you have someone else that can come when DH is at work two weeks might be enough and then use the other to reduce the week is that makes sense? I guess it all depends on your recovery. Some women skip out after labour. Others not so much
Good luck

CMOTDibbler Mon 11-Jan-21 08:43:09

My DH had 2 weeks when ds was first born, and then used annual leave to have 2 days off a week for 8 weeks. It was brilliant as we settled into a very equal parenting partnership

pitterpatterrain Mon 11-Jan-21 08:43:27

My DH took 2 weeks off at the start and then 2 months at the end when I went back to work

That was for DD2

Help at the start is great as you are shattered (for first DC also nice as you are trying to figure everything out)

Having DH as the lead when I went back to work made transitioning back in way more smooth and was priceless for him having the time with the DC uninterrupted

pitterpatterrain Mon 11-Jan-21 08:44:52

We also went on holiday for a week around the middle as well, his last 2 months were shared parental leave as a PP mentioned

KihoBebiluPute Mon 11-Jan-21 08:58:24

Echoing @Ohalrightthen it is really good for DH to have some solo time at the end of your leave as a way to help establish equality as parents between you. If he is never solo then it establishes you as 'manager' and him as 'helper' rather than being a joint partnership. Paternity leave, shared maternity leave and Parental Leave are all different things with different terms and pay rates so investigate all 3!

Growingyou Mon 11-Jan-21 09:41:42

Thank you so much for the tips. It sounds naive I know, but in all of this build up and excitement to have the baby it's just sinking in for both of us how short a few weeks together as a family will seem. Inspired by this, he's going to speak with HR this week to see what his options are for temporary part-time or leave without pay options. It seems worth the financial cut to have the family time.

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SpikeDearheart Mon 11-Jan-21 15:33:21

DH took 2 weeks paternity leave at the beginning, then I went back to work when DS was 7 months old and DH took 4 months shared parental leave. We had two weeks overlap between my ML and his ShPL as a sort of 'handover'. The only thing I would maybe change is it would have been nice to have had him at home for another week at the beginning, so if he'd been able to tack on a week of annual leave to his paternity leave that would have been ideal.

SpikeDearheart Mon 11-Jan-21 15:35:21

Also, we've both gone back to work on 0.8 FTE, which means DS is only in childcare 3 days a week and we both get to maintain our careers at a decent level. Definitely worth exploring.

Growingyou Tue 12-Jan-21 03:02:21

Thank you @SpikeDearheart this set-up sounds ideal. We're living in a country without any paid or govt subsidised leave for DH but his work sounds like they'll be flexible.

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CountryGirl36 Tue 12-Jan-21 07:35:06

Hey OP, so my OH took shared parental leave. I went back to work after 8 weeks due to being self employed (only 2 days a week). He then has taken the remaining mat leave however it means we have 3 days together off a week. He goes back in a month tho then DD goes to grandparents and childminder one day a week each. Shared parental was a god send for us as I had a god awful birth and have struggled post nasally with recovery and some auto immune joint problems so can’t hold the baby for long etc. First (and only) baby for us and having him at home has been amazing.
Defo do it if you can afford to x

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