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.
// 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!