So a statistic has been released this week to say that just 1% of dads took up shared parental leave in 2015 – however it has been reported that the statistics are not entirely accurate due to the information they could gather within the space of the year.
I think it is great that paternity leave is becoming more accessible today, as of course it should be.
However, is paternity leave all it is cracked up to be? Would you even want to share the care of your child between parents or is there a better way of using the time when you have a new baby?
I only took 6 months off work for my maternity leave. Hubby took 2 weeks annual leave as we couldn’t afford at that stage for him to take any paternity leave. It would have meant that both of our wages were reduced at the same time, which would have left it more stretched than it already was.
However, he then got another job and was put on gardening leave for 4 weeks just a couple of weeks after going back to work.
This was amazing, and helped me massively. It wasn’t the fact that I wanted him to look after our baby, I wanted us to be able to adapt as a new family. 2 weeks once little man was born just didn’t enable us to do that.
It doesn’t give you any time to get used to life as a 3, after being a duo for so long. That to me is more important than shared leave so that the mother can go back to work early.
I remember the day that he went back to work after his 2 weeks annual leave. I was holding a 2 week old baby and just remember thinking ‘What on earth do I do now?’
Without that stroke of luck and hubby having a fully paid month off, I am not sure how I would have coped on my own.
So paternity leave sounds great, and gives the mother the flexibility of going back to work early so that the father can help take care of the baby. However, being off together is personally much more valuable than being off at separate times – I am not talking a full 6 months off for both Mum and Dad, but more than a couple of weeks would be nice option.
It is just unfortunate how much of a financial strain it is for both to be taken at the same time.
So what happened with your maternity leave? How long did your partner take off to spend time as a new family?
Busy Working Mummy XOXO