It's Working Project

“I wasn't smart enough to ask if my company gave any time off for paternity leave. Turns out that they do, up to five days at manager's discretion.”

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

Stop taking uninterrupted sleep for granted. Also, actually ask about the paternity leave policy before the birth of your first child. But if I can only pick one, definitely the sleep thing.

How long did you take for paternity leave before heading back to work? How close was your back-to-work plan with the back-to-work reality?

I took two weeks of time off for each child. The first was mostly vacation, because I wasn’t smart enough to ask if my company gave any time off for paternity leave. Turns out that they do, up to five days at manager’s discretion. My manager gave me the full five, so between a holiday weekend and the fact that we get every other Friday off, I only had to take a couple days of vacation to be off for two weeks.

Work did a good job of not bothering me while I was off. My return to work went maybe a bit better than I would have expected, as my job was well-covered in my absence, so I returned to less of a backlog than I thought I might.

What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after having a baby?

There were no formal adjustments made to my schedule upon returning to work, but I certainly made a point of getting out of work a bit earlier. My work schedule is usually pretty flexible as long as I’m keeping up with what I need to get done.

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

I haven’t really thought about this until now. I suppose the answer would be my wife, in that we both supported each other. She has chosen to stay home with our children, and that certainly makes returning to work easier when you know your kids are in the best hands they can be.

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

My biggest back-to-work challenge was without a doubt managing the fatigue. I would have times where I could just feel my brain shutting down from exhaustion.

As a working parent…

I never expected waking up would be so difficult and forgetting about work once I got home would be so much easier. 🙂