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Stay at home dad???(16 Posts)
So throughout our pregnancy my partner has said how he would like to give up work and be a stay at home dad and I return to work. I had not taken this seriously and now at nearly 2 weeks until due date he is talking about it all the time! This is my first pregnancy and I want to be the one who it at home with our little one! Am I being selfish to want this and not allow him this? He has said that babies born after April this year have the chance to have both parents take leave - 6 months each and how unfair this is as we will miss his opportunity. help I'm feeling guilty now :-(
He is right about the change in April, but he can already take any of your maternity leave that you do not take, after 20 weeks.
You need to have a serious talk. TBH, I can't believe you have got to 38 weeks pregnant without having this sorted!
Quite normal to have a sahd (my dh is one!) But it is something you need to discuss in detail - eg how will your financial situation be, are you planning to breastfeed? You might need some time to recover from birtheg if you have c secsection, will you both be home in that case?
I think the bigger issue is that you had not taken your dh seriously, I think you need to have a serious talk together about your expectations for mat leave.
Also a lot will depend on your babies temperament, you might be glad to get back to work!
My DH is talking about this too. I earn £10k more than him so it makes sense for me to go back.
However I know what you mean, I want the time with the baby!
After April you can split it up into blocks so you can take it in turns.
I think that if your DH wants to be home with the baby as well, then yes it would be fair to share at least some of the leave. My DH is a SAHD and it's lovely how close they are with DS (but mummy is still the favourite, no worries there)
He already can take your maternity leave after 20weeks. The change in april just allows a lot more flexibility, including taking it in turns and the man being able to take it from earlier.
Tbh you need an urgent talk about this and you both need to talk fully about your feelings on each option and come up with a compromise, that will make you both happy.
We did both take mat leave, and it was brilliant for both of us. I took the first six months, then weren't back to work, and my husband took three months. I still work flexible hours, so I was at home a bit more, but it was great for dh to really do all the day-to-day stuff, I think it made him more confident and I think we have a more equal parenting practice as a result.
I intend to be quite selfish and have mat leave all for me. But my work is quite heavy going at times so I want to give my body as much time as possible to recover.
But we have discussed that dh will drop hours when I go back as financially I earn more than him and we would need a couple of days of nursery if he stayed full time.
He hates his work with a passion but will suffer through it for another year then drop to 2days a week (hopefully). He'd probably quit completely but I feel he needs to be working so a) I get my time with baby and b) he is still earning money to cover his "spending habits" which is buying shite we don't need.
That's our plan just now anyway!!
Yeah, you definitely need to have a serious talk about it!
I'm due in May, so we will be ok for the new shared leave thing. We both want to take time off, so the current plan is for me to take the first 26 weeks and tack some holiday onto the end, and for DH to take the remaining 13 weeks. It means we'll have an overlap period to all spend time together, and that I will go back to work at a quiet time (Nov-Dec is dead at work, whereas new year is crazy busy), so it'll be a nice ease back in.
We both earn about the same though, so for us it doesn't matter who is off (money-wise at least).
I'm confused as to how you are at 38weeks without this being sorted out? My maternity leave with work has been organised since 25 weeks so I already know my leave date and cover has been arranged...I'm not being snappy with that comment by the way, just wondering if DH thinks your taking shorter mat leave so he can take over or if he genuinely thinks he's going to take on the majority of the child care?
Thank you for all your comments. Completely agree that we should have had this talk much before now but we haven't and that's life, I'm never going to stop learning from 'mistakes' and feel that as well as others advice this will make me a better person / and hopefully in turn parent. Would rather be fretting about this than asking how many drinks it's safe to have over Xmas and NYE when pregnant like some of the other threads!! Bitchy I know but that shocked me!
OP, I don't think anyone was being snappy with their comments, infact some have given really good practical advice as to how they plan to make it work during mat leave. I think there were just a few details missing which might help people give better advice in the original post.
E.g. Have you arranged to take mat leave with work already and DH isn't aware of this? In which case people might be able to help with how to approach it with DH.
Has DH arranged to take mat leave through his employer? Therefore will there be issues with informing employers of change of plans etc.. Which people might have experience of and be able to help with.
Has no official mat leave been 'arranged' at all? (I mean all the paperwork and document filling etc...) which gives you a much broader choice of options to look into over the next few weeks and more guidance which could be given.
For what it's worth as soon as you set a mat leave date with work they have to assume you will be absent for 52 weeks unless you inform them otherwise, so you do have time to sit down with DH and organise how you feel returning to work etc...after baby is born. Like a PP said you might want to go back part time or stay home with DD/DS. I think you need to give your employer 8 weeks notice to return to work so you don't have to decide anything right now in terms of letting them know. E.g. My mat leave starts on 12th Feb and is down on paper as a full 52 weeks, work know I intend to return after 9 months but HR have told me they can't put it in writing before I actually go off and then give official notice to return. It also gives me a bit of freedom to change my mind.
Depending on your DHs work situation it might be more difficult for him to arrange to take some of the leave due to time frames, but I'm no expert at all. I'm sure someone else will have much more experience of splitting leave and the logistics behind it.
My DH and I took 4.5 months each and it means we are truly equal parents - I think I would have felt like the "main" or default parent otherwise, as I know many women end up feeling this way.
Could you take say 2/3 of the leave and him 1/3? Seems unfair to deny him ANY leave just because he is male, but you may want to take a bit longer for bf and physical recovery reasons.
I'm having a similar dilemma over leave and my OH earning less.
Does anyone know if the new rules (from April) allow both parents to have say, the first 3 months, off at the same time?
Id be gutted, we've had this discussion ourselves and I was secretly horrified. I can't afford to take the full years maternity leave and we were going to share the maternity leave, but in the end my OH earns much more than me and we would be worse off financially, so I might as well stay off for the additional time.
Oh I'd love to be able to share leave but it's just not practical as DH earns about ⅓ more than me so it's just not sensible to do it. I'd love for things to feel more equal as other posters have said.
Hope you sort this out so that both of you are happy with the arrangement.
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