A Different Situation – Dads Taking Long Term Leave

Dads taking additional paternity
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Before we had our baby boy, we knew that the first year of his life would involve both of us being involved in his full time care at some point.

I have a job I love. I’m a Director at a Digital Agency in Manchester and genuinely love my work. So, I took 6 weeks off once he was born and from 6 weeks I spent 2 days a week in the office and was available at home where required. This was feasible with the help of my Mum.

Had Oliver been due just a couple of weeks later, we would have been eligible for split leave (a newer, far more flexible system). But his due date was 20th March and he was eventually born at the end of February. So we’re on the old system where Dad can’t take leave until the baby is nearer 5 months. Nonetheless, that time is approaching.

So from the end of July, Dad will be at home and I’ll be back in the office. It makes sense financially, predominantly, and he will genuinely value that time with Oliver.

As for me? Well, it’s with a degree of trepidation I head back to the office full time. I loveĀ my job. But our son is still incredibly young and I do worry that some days I won’t see him awake if I’m working long days. But we will see how that pans out…

What a wonderful thing it is, though, for us to be able to share leave like that and for Dads to be able to enjoy the same precious time in the first year that Mums can with many of the same rights to leave.

Precious. And we really do take it for granted sometimes.

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