Oh paternity leave, I miss you!

One of the best parts of my 2016 was Tim’s paternity leave. I mean, Isabelle’s birth was okay and all, but we all know those first few months with a new baby are a blur of hormones and I really don’t remember the summer at all. However, we waited for a few months for Tim to take his paternity leave, so he took it at the end of the year and we had a wonderful and memorable time.

He got 12 weeks off.

12 weeks. Paid.

He took two right after Isabelle was born, and the next 10 he took over September/October/November. And it was glorious.

Because of his paternity leave we were able to spend so much time together as a family of four, and he was able to experience a lot of Isabelle’s first. Her first roll, her first crawl, her first experience with solid food, her first time sitting up by herself… the list goes on. (Please note that I did not include “her first time sleeping through the night” because we’re still waiting for that milestone. And we may be waiting quite a bit longer at the rate we’re going. But that’s a different post for a different time. Moving on.)

Plus, we were able to search for and move to a different house, host our families and friends when they were in town, and do countless fun adventures. Together. So much togetherness. What a blessing.

12 Weeks of Paternity Leave

Together, we…

// explored Deception Pass

// hiked on Whidbey Island

// found a pumpkin for Halloween and a Christmas tree for the holidays

// took a vacation to San Diego with great friends

// found several new-to-us parks in Seattle

// enrolled and took Clara to her swim lesson bootcamp

// ferried to Bainbridge Island to drink coffee and eat ice cream

// got Isabelle on a sleep schedule

// traveled to Lake Chelan with friends

// went wine tasting on a day date

Plus he was able to take Clara to her gym class, the library, on some play dates, to the zoo, and was just generally available to me and both of the girls.

Some days were ‘ordinary’, but a lot of the days were truly memorable (for me, especially)! It has definitely been been difficult for us to adjust Tim being back at work, but our weekends now mean that much more! I’m so glad that Tim works at a company that offers paternity leave, and I hope that an increasing number of companies offer it in the future.

Sidenote: Can you believe that some of Tim’s coworkers don’t take their full leave?! This gives the message to companies that they don’t need to offer it. For Pete’s sake people, if you (or your spouse) get paid leave, take the leave! 

Did you get maternity/paternity leave?

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17 Responses to Oh paternity leave, I miss you!

  1. Rachel Emily says:

    What a huge freaking BLESSING. I can not believe some people don’t take that. Not to be dramatic but that is such a slap in the face to even the WOMEN who would love nothing more than 12 paid weeks off! Moving on, what an awesome time for your family!!

    • Lisa says:

      I totally agree. I think people (mainly men, I’d assume) don’t take their full leave because they simply would rather be at work than at home with a newborn. And for Tim’s specific job he gets paid for the leave but his bonus gets prorated to exclude the 12 weeks, and since his bonus is a large part of his salary it still ends up costing us quite a bit of money. But to me it was SOOOO worth it!

  2. oh my gosh thats incredible! my husband only gets 2 weeks paternity and so were just grabbing relatives while we can for a few weeks after he has to go back in May ha! so awesome! wish i could get 12 weeks paid off!

    • Lisa says:

      Two weeks is just not enough time for paternity leave! I mean, a c-section recovery takes at least six weeks! (And unfortunately that’s what I had both times). I’m glad you have family coming in to help out!

  3. Lauren Harrelson says:

    That is INCREDIBLE of his company. i am absolutely baffled. That’s how it SHOULD be everywhere, but WHOA it is not … my sister only got 4 weeks paid MATERNITY leave, and her husband got NOTHING. How do people NOT take it?!

    • Lisa says:

      I agree, his company is definitely moving in the right direction and I hope more follow! 4 weeks of maternity leave is RIDICULOUS and some women don’t get any paid leave! Such awful stuff. We have a long way to go as a nation to support families!

  4. That’s wonderful, you got to transition to a family of 4 with all hands on deck! Here in Canada we get a year off, it can be split between the mother or father, which I see tons of benefits too.

    • Lisa says:

      That is amazing and I am so envious of that system. I just met another mom who moved here from Sweden and I think she said her and her husband got 40 weeks off to split… or maybe it was 400 days… either way it was a ton of time!

  5. PEOPLE DON’T TAKE THEIR LEAVE?! Can it roll over into a joint account then? And we can all share it?

    • Lisa says:

      Exactly! I wish it could be given to someone else because I totally would have loved Tim to spend even more time at home. We have more adventures to do!

  6. I still can’t get over the 12 weeks paid. That’s SO amazing. So many women don’t even have that. And that’s dumb because BOTH parents should get to raise their kids and not have to worry about their jobs.
    WHY WOULD YOU NOT TAKE THE LEAVE?!

    • Lisa says:

      And I met someone at Clara’s preschool who just came over from Sweden and she got FORTY WEEKS PAID to split between her and her husband. So amazing. America still has a long way to go in supporting families!

      I think people (mainly men, I’d assume) don’t take their full leave because they simply would rather be at work than at home with a newborn. And for Tim’s specific job he gets paid for the leave but his bonus gets prorated to exclude the 12 weeks, and since his bonus is a large part of his salary it still ends up costing us quite a bit of money. But to me it was SOOOO worth it!

  7. I really can’t believe people don’t take it more. I guess I can somewhat understand. Even during my unpaid leave, I had questions and work things coming in constantly, because my position is unique to me and although there was someone to take over those duties, there are so many non routine things that happen, I got questions about them. I would be all over twelve weeks of leave!

  8. WVUGrad07 says:

    My fiancé works in banking and they recently started offering 3 months paid paternity leave. I was all excited until he informed me it was a “career killing” move at the his level and the most he would take is one month. However, most men I know only take one week so a month would still be glorious!

    My company only offers 6 weeks for women, at 60% salary. Very disappointing. I plan to stay home when we have kids so it won’t affect me but I am very jealous of my friends with generous maternity leave policies! This is a major area where the US is sorely lacking.

  9. Emily says:

    12 weeks paid…amazing! What a wonderful time you had. I’m sure you will cherish all the memories & adventures! I’m a little jealous of the San Diego trip…such a fun destination!

  10. Amanda says:

    Wow. Just, wow. That is a huge blessing. I had my baby on a Monday and Jordan was back at work on that same Thursday. He doesn’t get any PTO and we can’t afford for him to take much time off. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have that much time as a family!

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