"I could not justify 6 weeks off even if offered, but would have loved 8 weeks of half days. For my situation at work and at home that would be ideal."

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former, pre-child(ren) self?

Our son had a condition that lead to very high fevers for 7 days each month. The day we realized we could sleep apart and alternate nights caring for him was a life saver. I wish we had started a year earlier. 

How long did you take for paternity leave before heading back to work? What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after you became a father?

8 days with our first, 10 with our second. I was lucky to work for flexible people both times and live near home when our first was an infant. There was no formal change, but I would often run home for 30 minutes during the day and come home for an hour to help with bedtime before working late.  

Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work?

There was very little support. Our families live far away and my wife and I pretty much supported each other. 

What was your biggest back-to-work post-baby challenge?

With our first we lived in an area with poor access to decent medical providers. Between my son’s condition and my wife’s postpartum depression, my attention was not focused on work. It was difficult to manage the family while remaining productive.  

What, if any, advice do you have for the private sector when it comes to making it easier for new parents to transition back to work after starting or expanding their family?

The trend towards more leave is great, but I would prefer a more flexible option that recognized different situation.  I could not justify 6 weeks off even if offered, but would have loved 8 weeks of half days. For my situation at work and at home that would be ideal. The cookie cutter approach is a little limiting. Also, we need to stop talking about paternity leave as “bonding with your baby.”  Leave is a medical necessity and should be viewed as such rather than conjuring an image of staring into an infant’s eyes. 

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

x close

Is It's Working working for you? We thought so- Join us!

Thank you

Connect with #itsworkingproject