Paternity Leave – Why I’m Taking It

When I wake up tomorrow morning, it won’t be as a school teacher ready for another week of Maths, Literacy and PE.

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Instead, I’ll be waking up as a full-time Dad, the designated parent in charge of Sophie for the next six weeks.

It means that rather than lugging a laptop, endless piles of books and assessments and a trombone (!), I’ll be traipsing round my local area with an uber fashionable changing bag, complete with nappies, Calpol and cuddly toys. Oh and with no form of payment for the privilege.

Which naturally begs the question – why?

In the first of a two part series, I wanted to explore my thoughts about paternity, see what other people think and hopefully share some experiences.

1. Copying

I’ve been looking forward to this point since we found out my wife was pregnant. Some good friends of ours split the last three months of the mum’s maternity leave as we’re doing and I was always inspired by how he was able to demonstrate his commitment to his children in this way.

2. Blessing

I appreciate that paternity leave is not always an option. We’re really blessed that it’s a viable thing and also, it’s great that my wife is supportive. It means she has to give up what she’s been doing for the past ten and a half months and head back to work.

It’s also a real benefit that the government have been actively seeking to even it up when it comes to maternity and paternity leave. It’d almost be rude not to take advantage!

3. Memories

If you’ve read this blog at all before or know me in any way, you’ll be aware that I quite like memories, experiences and being able to pinpoint events and dates. With that in mind then, the chance to create and shape memories which will quite literally last a lifetime was too good to miss out on.

4. Freedom

In some ways, having a child is the most shackling thing you can do. Your own time is no longer yours, the responsibility (both personal and financial) can be crippling and you get locked into routine and the needs of the child.

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On the other hand, being free to enjoy spending time with them is such a wonderful opportunity. We can go where we want at whatever time we want and do whatever we feel is the best thing to do. I will be free to meet up with other people and discovering the space in my head which is usually consumed with school and work will be a great feeling.

5. Parenthood

Before we delve into the world of childcare, nursery and the school system, it’s going to be so useful to be the parent most responsible for her. (Calling myself the “most responsible parent” doesn’t sound right!). What a chance to help her learn about the world, try and teach her about God and hopefully give her a good example of how to live. It’s unlikely I’ll get this chance again!

I don’t know if anyone else has had paternity leave or shares any of these sentiments from being full time Dads. I’d love to know any stories, hints or tips to give us ideas for our exciting six weeks!

2 Comments

  1. Andrew looked after Benjamin for 3 months when I went back to work. I think it has transformed the way he looks at what I do every day at home when he is at work now. I would definitely encourage Dads to take paternity leave.

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