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Longer paternity leave - helpful?

(25 Posts)
parttimer79 Wed 29-May-13 10:37:14

My DP gets 2 weeks paternity leave but was also considering taking up to 2 weeks annual leave after this. This sounded like a great idea but now I am wondering whether it would be nicer for us to have some time off together pre-baby or when baby is a bit bigger rather than a long stretch then?
Anyone have any similar plans? He is happy to do either so it is not a major issue, just trying to work out the best plan!

NorthernLurker Wed 29-May-13 10:39:21

After two weeks you will more likely be wanting to test your wings and fly solo grin

I would:

Book two weeks paternity
Book another week at about 2 months - maybe to coincide with brief trip somewhere?
Save the other week for booking odd days here and there when you need a bit of extra help - taking baby for jabs for example.

parttimer79 Wed 29-May-13 10:51:06

Northern yes I know exactly what you mean about flying solo (and if chaos reigns I do have quite a bit of support locally from friends and family).
Even though his job is pretty flexible, he is an academic and is on sabbatical next year, leave is a precious commodity and I don't want him to waste it but equally don't want him to feel heis missing out.

LittleBearPad Wed 29-May-13 11:00:49

It was tough when DH went back to work after two weeks but I think I'd he'd been taking some annual leave to I'd have liked him at home again two or three months post-birth. Looking back DD slept all the time in the first few weeks - ten weeks in was harder.

PotteringAlong Wed 29-May-13 11:01:42

I'd wait and have another 2 weeks together at 3 months or so

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 29-May-13 11:03:27

I found it extremely helpful to have DH around for a month after birth. We don't have family around so he was doing all the cooking and cleaning. I think it depends on your personal situation. Like how much help you will get, how well will the baby sleep/feed.

Carolra Wed 29-May-13 11:03:38

My DH found it really hard going back to work after 2 weeks and I remember being quite nervous about it too - but actually it was fine. There is not a lot to "miss out" on when they're only a couple of weeks old and if you have support from friends and family near by then you should be fine. I think Northern's advice is spot on, if time off is a commodity, which it is for most of us, then save it for another time.

I do really appreciate my DH being able to take a day here and there, when I was on Mat Leave he'd take the odd day to help me out or give me a day off and now we're both working full time and DD is 16mo, its really really nice just to have a random family day every now and again.

Good luck with your upcoming arrival, whatever you decide will be the right thing for your family! xx

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Wed 29-May-13 11:03:42

I'd agree. A fortnight after a few months probably better IMO.

I had a friend whose husband got six weeks off (v family friendly employer) and after all that time she went into total meltdown when he had to go back. I know it's only an anecdote, but I do think that there is something to be said for testing your ability to fly solo relatively early.

Haberdashery Wed 29-May-13 11:23:38

DH took three weeks holiday after his paternity leave. It was really lovely and I would heartily recommend it. By the time he went back to work, we both felt very confident as parents and I think it was helpful for him in terms of getting to know her. If we'd been fortunate enough to have another baby we would definitely have done the same again.

adagio Wed 29-May-13 12:13:21

My baby was born near Christmas so in the event DH was off from my due date for four weeks. DD arrived 4 days after his leave started and by the time he went back I think I was definitely ready to fly solo, I didn't want to go out to groups and so on leaving him at home as I felt he needed to bond with DD, who to be honest slept and ate all the time.

If we do it again (and its not Christmas hence having to use up the holiday allowance) I would prefer 2 weeks at the time and a couple of weeks at about 10-12 weeks - when the adrenalin wears off, the baby is awake more and your sleep deprivation is at its worst!

NorthernLurker Wed 29-May-13 14:35:03

Oh yes and do have at least a day off pre-baby for shopping and lunch and stuff smile

Fairy130389 Wed 29-May-13 15:41:37

My dh has booked 2 weeks after his paternity leave. Bless his heart he is lovely and is so excited about the arrival of his son, but he is exceptionally messy and useless and tbh I am dreading it. I would much prefer him to go back to work after 2 weeks and then perhaps take some time when we're a bit more settled... But we shall see!!!

MrsBungle Wed 29-May-13 22:44:34

My dh had a month off after each if our dc. It was excellent. We just spent loads of time bonding as a family.

Gonnabmummy Thu 30-May-13 16:20:02

Mike DP is taking two weeks hol after his paternity he's soo excited to have a month off with our new baby and so am i! He's been great right through preg and tbh most of time he's better at cleaning house than me! I imagine I will really appreciate his help when bombarded with family/friends and trying to get bf established etc and walking dogs smile

LostMySocks Thu 30-May-13 20:02:17

My DH isn't being allowed to take the 2 weeks together. He's disappointed but in his line of work they Canberra a bit funny about things. At least he'll get to see DC at different ages

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Thu 30-May-13 21:12:36

Your DH's work isn't allowed to tell him he can't take two weeks together, you know that right? He's legally, in fact, only allowed to take it as a single block (though it is up to him whether he takes one week or uses both).

They can try and encourage a split though. For example, by agreeing to pay full pay if he takes it at a convenient time (instead of just paying SPP)

Chunderella Thu 30-May-13 21:17:19

DH did two weeks paternity followed by two weeks annual leave, though he had to go in for one day in the middle, and loved it. It was very important to him to be around all the time at first to establish a strong bond with DD, and I couldn't have done without him even with loads of family in the near vicinity. Am in awe of those who were wanting to fly solo at 2 weeks. I did not feel like that!

samsmother Thu 30-May-13 22:14:47

My DH had 2 weeks holiday at the end of his 2 weeks paternity leave giving him a month off and I wouldn't have had it any other way :-) Being first time parents, it meant we spent the first month of our baby's life in our own little bubble enjoying him with not a care in the world. It can't be nice for daddy to have to go and leave his brand new baby so why not let him make the most of the early days if he wants to. I hear what everyone says about the 10-12 week mark but I found by then we had our own little routine and managed quite happily by myself!

Xmasbaby11 Thu 30-May-13 23:12:45

Take it all at the start! 2 weeks will whizz by. Don't forget he'll be knackered too and if you're both at home, you can take it in turns to rest!

CitizenOscar Fri 31-May-13 21:43:27

My DH is a teacher & we had DS1 just before summer holidays so he was around for weeks and it was brilliant - we really felt we were doing it together, I had loads of support during the crazy breastfeeding hours and could rest. DS2 is also due just before summer hols this year and I'm looking forward to having DH around again. It was lovely family time.

I was in hospital for a week, so if he'd only had 2 weeks, we'd only have had 1 week together at home. I definitely wouldn't have felt ready.

Kelerina Fri 31-May-13 22:10:39

I think it really depends on how things go for you, my DP had eight weeks off in total (rare I know) and although I probably didn't need him for eight weeks I really did depend on him for at least the first month or so. But then I had various hospital/GP appointments due to infection/mastitis and really struggled to bf so was expressing every 3 hours. His support was invaluble. Also depends on what type of birth you have, I had a cs and was in hospital for a week so if he'd only had two weeks we would have only had one week at home together and to be honest I would have had a nervous breakdown.

In contrast to what another poster said, I didn't find that having him around for longer made me more dependant on him, I felt it made me stronger and more confident for when he went back to work.

katiecubs Fri 31-May-13 22:54:58

3 weeks is perfect in total IMO - then you have another week as backup, for me I needed help when DS was 8 weeks!

parttimer79 Wed 05-Jun-13 12:56:27

so much helpful advice here! sorry I disappeared for a while.
like you point out samsmother DP has said that he would really like to take the full 4 weeks, so actually it is more about him wanting to spend time with little one, which I am very happy with. If I feel like flying solo, his job is flexible enough that he can go into work for a day and catch up with his students.

kelerina the situation you describe is also a concern for him, he said he would rather say he is taking time and then if we are coping really well he can go back in, and if not he can take more time. He has a very supportive boss luckily.

TheDetective Wed 05-Jun-13 13:16:40

DP had 4 weeks - and we needed it. I couldn't drive due to a broken fanjo causing me such awful pain. And someone had to get DS1 11 miles away for school.

DP works 2.5 days a week. And is now on additional paternity leave (I am on sick leave due to aforementioned broken fanjo) and we are both home. It's great. DS is 6 months old.

But then we've had a tough time (doesn't everyone?!) with the baby.

As much as he drives me up the wall, I am grateful he is here, and we are getting this time as family.

It has been invaluable for us.

Smerlin Wed 05-Jun-13 18:08:24

I think, assuming having enough annual leave isn't a problem, that OH should decide for themselves how much extra time after paternity leave they want.

Fortunately my OH has been extra helpful during pg which I hope will continue after the bean arrives but even if he was a 'get under the feet' type, he has every right to enjoy that early bonding time with the baby as well. I want him to feel like an equal parent, not like I can't wait to get rid of him and do a better job myself!

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