Friday 9 December 2011

Paternity, shamternity !

Change, it happens to all of us. Now I could easily write another post about how my life has drastically changed this year, from being a self minded singleton to drastically changing to being a father, a committed boyfriend and a responsible adult. But by writing a blog post about this I'd just be re-hashing what I've previously wrote.

Change is described as..... 1/ "to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone:"

This can be shown in my life recently as the birth of my baby daughter T. Now for those of you who read my blog last week, you'd know that 2 weeks ago was quite an emotional day and I'm so proud, and I still am, and can;t stop looking at my baby daughter with a sense of pride. I also can't stop looking at my girlfriend in the same look and smiling at her for what she had to go through.

The Change I want to write about this time however is about having to go back to work. Now as most guys know, paternity leave for Fathers is shockingly bad. I had 2 weeks off work. This is quite annoying and seems some what unfair for Dads. I don't to take anything away from mothers maternity leave etc as mothers do deserve longer than fathers, but I think for a father to only be able to take 2 weeks is shockingly bad. It's not my employers fault, as they have been extremely supportive and have enabled my leave to be flexible and relatively hassle free, its the government who need to address this problem. They constantly go on about a broken society and broken Britain, and broken family life. Well by starting at the basics and enabling families time to bond together in the right circumstances this might start to help address this problem.

I mean think about it, Fathers are expected to bond instantly with their child in 2 weeks and that everything with family life is back and in a routine in 2 weeks! Thats absurd! I mean how are you expected to get the mother and baby up to healthy, 100% feeling and into a routine in 2 weeks. Couple this in with the thousands of visitors you have in this time, its nigh on impossible.

I understand that when it comes to working the employer probably can't afford to pay for fathers to be off longer and the state can't afford fathers to be off for longer but surely there should be some sort of gradual plan to bring fathers back into working, like going back part time after 2 weeks then full time after a month would probably make a lot of dads more happier. Even more so, if you have multiple children.

In our case we have a 3 (nearly 4) year old, and a 2 week old baby. How is my girlfriend meant to cope by herself 5 days a week. We can't afford to send eldest daughter to nursery everyday, due to everything else in life raising costs. And we don;t have any family close by to help baby sitting duties etc so we are truly left on our own two feet. True there are lots of free clubs and play groups but these don't run everyday and convienant times or in convienant places for a mother who doesn't drive. Public transport isn't the best for singletons let alone for people with a pram and a toddler.

I do hope for all my readers this doesn't sound like me whinging and being shy of work, on the contory, I love my work and I work hard in my job, I just feel that, as Fathers we get a rough ride in this respect. I know mums will read this and think "oh dear god no change , having him round the house drives me crazy" But at least it shows that at the end of the day, now I've been back to work for the first time since the birth of my baby girl, I find it incredibly hard to be away from her, I mean look at these photos, how could you not find it hard to leave this.....

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more, my biggest beef is that the 2 weeks is essentially unpaid. How can any family afford to do that? It's so important not only that a dad bonds with his new baby but also has chance to support his partner so she can breastfeed etc. The only alternative is taking holiday which is what I plan to do for our second due next year.