paternity leave(13 Posts)
What works well?
It's our first. Boyfriend said that in an ideal world he'd take a month off, but if I'm going to be at home alone with the baby for a year I'd rather get on with getting used to dealing with things on my own. We can't afford for him to do that anyway, so this is a question about how to manage the time he will have.
He gets 3 paid days then 7 unpaid days that must be taken together. I know a lot depends on the birth, but we have to apply for this by next week, so are trying to work out which is best.
An option is to do the first week, then after that end the official paternity leave, but arrange with work to take 1 unpaid day off a week for 5 weeks - a wednesday. So he goes back earlier, but I'll only have 2 days at time to cope on my own before I get a bit of a hand again. Obviously after 5 weeks that's it.
Or am I going to need him full time for 2 weeks?
The Wednesday off for 5 weeks sounds good to me. What you need though is a good dose of hindsight. My DH had a week off and it was fine. My dsis had a c-section and her DH had 3 weeks off and she still needed our mum to go for another week.
Everyone's different but I really needed my OH for the two weeks to fetch, carry, cook, walk dog etc and we plan on doing the same next time also. Don't worry too much about what happens when you're on your own with LO - you will cope and your sense of achievement when you're both dressed/washed/fed by bedtime will be immense!
Can he take annual leave?
My DH took his pat leave and added a week's leave.
I really did need him for those early days (no family around) and it was a bit of a shock when he went back.
Plus I had a relatively easy birth and am vvv capable
We want to try and save the annual leave so he gets some quality time with the kid in the first year, rather than all in the first few weeks. Not to say that's the best idea, just one of many.
I'm hoping to avoid the shock of him going back to work after 2 or 3 weeks of me getting used to him being around!
DH had 2 days with each of ours (that was pre paternity leave) and I coped fine (the house was a mess but we got by).
In retrospect, it led to dh not feeling capable of caring for the baby as i had so much more practice. This then led to him not developing a close relationship with either of them til they were toddlers as I did all feeding (bf so he couldn't so that anyway), changing, winding, bathing. He just felt excluded so didn't bond.
Currently expecting dc 3 and debating between 1 and 2 weeks, with another week saved for half term (due mid sept) to spend time as a whole family when older dd's are off.
My DH has booked his 2 week pat leave from due date & 1 week annual leave after that, then I'm on my own
My friends husband did the same with stat pat which obviously started the day baby was born, but then he used 5 days annual leave and booked off the 5 consecutive Wednesdays after his pat leave ended so it meant she was only ever on her own for a max of 2 days at a time until they got a day together as a family in the first most difficult weeks. Very clever idea if you ask me and actually wish my DH had done that now
I thought all men were entitled to 2 wks paternity leave taken in first 2mths after baby born however most places pay statutory paternity pay at £120ish a wk which most people cannot afford to do.
Last time I had c section on Wed planned husband took day annual leave he worked thur n fri n popped in at lunchtime n straight from work at 5pm he worked 5mins away n seemed pointless him being off when still in hospital
He then had wk annual leave my mum then stayed from Mon afternoon til Fri morning n then my husband had another wk.
This time will have another c section prob on a thur or fri n husband will have wk off again n then my mum will come then he will have another wk.
This means after having 10days annual leave this mth he won't have any leave til Nov other than odd days but we cannot afford paternity pay.
We can't really afford paternity pay (or the unpaid leave thing either really), but by spreading out the unpaid days, it will probably share it over more than one month's pay packet. Makes it feel easier. The £130 or whatever that they get, isn't worth getting excited about - would rather take the days where we want them and lose the £130 because it's not in a 'lump' of time.
Sorry, don't have much to add that is helpful as I am not there yet (only 18 weeks with 1st) but I just wanted to share a (slightly) relevant comment that my partner made today (it made me laugh anyway!).
We were talking about when we are going to get the house decorated before baby is born. His helpful suggestion is that he could do it during his paternity leave as he will have 2 weeks off then.
Pahahahaha. He really has NO idea!! I think he is in for a massive shock when baby is born!
The first two weeks are the hardest. You get the least sleep and are recovering from the birth, maybe establishing breastfeeding which can be hard work in the beginning. I would always take the paternity leave at the start - yes, the first day you are home alone with the baby is a shock but if you've had two weeks to practise your baby care skills you will feel more confident and hopefully by then feeling well in yourself and a bit better rested.
With DC1 my DH started his paternity leave the day I went in to be induced on a Monday. Baby wasn't born until Wednesday and I got home from hospital late Thursday night, so the first week was almost over by the time we were home together with the baby. I really needed him that second week as I was recovering from a difficult birth and was in a lot of pain. I still wasn't ready for him to go back to work after that but unfortunately we had no choice.
For this baby, he plans to take 2 weeks paternity followed by 1 or 2 weeks annual leave, depending on how the birth goes. We also have a toddler at home as well this time so I figure I'll need more help than last time anyway, so I'm glad that we have the option for DH to take longer off this time.
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