Big Daddy’s paternity leave is officially over today. We still have the weekend, of course, and Big Daddy will work from home next week (we won’t get into what that entails and how it’s actually usually worse than Big Daddy being out of the house all day long), but today is our last day of free time. After 2.5 weeks the girls and I have to start making steps towards being on our own again during the day.
I’m going to miss Big Daddy like crazy and I bet I won’t be the only one.
Everyone is more comfortable when Big Daddy is around. And having the extra set of hands and arms and eyes are welcomed. Also, the fact that Big Daddy is willing to get up to rock a baby at 4am so I can get more sleep is wonderful (but Big Daddy will help as much as he can when he goes back to work including getting up early to take feedings to buy me those few extra precious hours of sleep).
Big Daddy is lucky, not only to work for a company that offers a week of “comp time” for one to take as paternity leave, but to have the vacation time to allow us another week and a half off. A lot of fathers aren’t so lucky. The European Union (EU) is a lot more progressive in regards to paternity leave with Spain offering two days of state mandated paternity leave and Norway offering a family friendly progressive four weeks. As an aside, a lot of lip service is given in our country to “family values” and in fact one of our political parties really puts a lot of emphasis on it and yet no one in this country seems to give as much time to actually promoting families as the more progressive EU countries do (and I’m not going to get into the fact that when people do push for more people friendly policies, they’ll labeled “socialist” or even better “communist” complete with nose wrinkling, but that’s a serious digression and this isn’t really a political blog despite my need to blog about Sarah Palin almost a year ago.).
Anyhow, the short, sweet and simple point is that I’d LOVE for Big Daddy to have four paid weeks of paternity leave that didn’t affect his vacation time, but I can’t speak Norweigin and I don’t want to eat Lutefisk. But I do wonder about what it really says about our family values that the general policy in this country is that there is no national provision for fathers or even mothers to have paid time off of work after the birth of a new baby.
Next week will be our trail run, with the girls and I managing during daytime hours on our own. It means dragging all three kids to 10 am speech therapy on Monday (the Princess is complaining, of course) and trying to make it to playgroup after a multiple week absence. It means trying to get back on track with dinner planning and less involved errands during the day. It means one week until I have to manage during the day with one nine year old, one 2 year old and one infant. I admit to be a little bit scared about that premise.