10 Key and succinct points about the impending changes to shared parental leave in the UK…a must read for parents to be in 2015 in the UK!
Hi, having been the stay at home parent now for some weeks I have made several observations about now having a baby which I had never thought about. We all know the big changes which occur for example your sleep time is now dictated by a little person, your eating habits go out the window and your social life, well it just ends (temporarily).
But as I brought my little one to see her grandparents over the weekend I realised that even small chores are a lot more complicated. My mum phoned and asked me to bring her in some milk, no problem I thought I will go to the shop at the end of her street and get it. But wait I now have a baby, do I carry her in (shes 7 months now and not easy to carry for a long period)? Do I carry her in her car seat? In the end I dropped her at her grandparents and went to the shop hence giving me a break and them some quality time.
I then reflected back on other experiences over the past while, for example whilst out buying a shirt for a Christmas party I picked the one I liked quite quickly ( I am male and packed shops in early December don’t appeal to me), got the size and thought lets quickly try it on and off we go. But wait what about the pram and baby?? Too embarrassed to ask and not wanting to look foolish I just bought the size I thought was right and thankfully it fitted. (Here she is thinking, “you actually paid money for that shirt?!?”)
Another example is the petrol station, do you bring her into the shop to pay when finished refueling, I have seen people leaving babies in cars and paying, didn’t appeal to me. Now I ensure I go to the stations which have a pay at pump facility.
One thing which has helped though is home shopping. We just order on the computer and go to the store and load the car up without worrying about what to do with the baby in the backseat. That was up until last week when they didn`t have some of the items I needed that day. What to do? Well I had no pram with me as I needed the boot space for the groceries, the little one was sleeping soundly and I needed a few things. Rather than try to put her into one of those uncomfortable looking baby trolleys and risk waking her I decided to lift the car seat and put her in a trolley and away we went. I did get some strange looks but she slept straight through so crisis averted.
I know there must be many other small daily occurrences waiting to happen in the coming weeks, some of you must have had the similar experiences so please feel free to share them and give me a bit of pre warning…….
Thanks for reading
I am writing this as someone who last worked 4 weeks ago today as I have started additional paternity leave to look after our daughter. So what is APL? In a nut shell its when the mother goes back to work after 26 weeks and the father takes the remaining 13 weeks. There is some information out there found with a quick search but nothing near as much information as you can find for maternity leave. Some good information here from Dadzclub last year,
The government will also give you information on their website,
For what its worth in my opinion the pros are as follows ;
Getting time to bond with my daughter, its amazing, even if it took me two days to get time to write this.
Its a great experience to try a different form of work and appreciate what my wife had for the previous 26 weeks.
It also fitted our lifestyle, I work in retail which means unsociable hours and long hours over the festive period. My wife works regular hours and gets holidays over the festive period. (This may not be the case for everyone)
My wife found it tough going back to work after only 6 months.
It can be tough and demanding as you never get a minute to yourself anymore!
Financially its tough as you drop to Statutory maternity pay for the 13 weeks, this can hurt your pride.
The stigma, there are very limited men involved in parent/toddler classes for example. There was also the weird and possibly approving looks and comments from people when I was trying to explain what I was doing and why. I felt some people thought it was just to get a break from work.
In summary I am really enjoying it, its a lot tougher than I thought it would be but I wouldn`t change it for the world. I do however feel that while there are stories like this one where an employer was ruled legal to pay different rates to men and women during the maternity/paternity period the lack of uptake in men taking paternity leave will continue,
Any queries or questions with APL let me know……
Hi, What an exciting first week on additional paternity leave we have had.
We had our first solo rhythm and rhyme session with the little lady last week and do you know what? Despite my reservations prior to going, it wasn’t actually too bad!
I had a fine Balance to achieve, too early and I’m sitting making small talk for longer than necessary, too late and I’m plunged into a seat good knows where, where I may be forced into potentially awkward pleasantries.
As it turns out I want the only male, there was another father and also a grandfather which reassured me, even though I didn’t get to speak to them. I did however feel welcomed by some of the mothers.
As for the class itself I didn’t feel it was massively beneficial for a six month old but she seemed to enjoy it with our hand clapping and singing. She also enjoyed watching the other kids, some of whom are hilarious putting on the little hats to match the songs.
Maybe I led a sheltered life but I actually found out educational, who knew the bus with the wheels going round had so many passengers.
One concern I did pick up however is that we are sitting as parents with our children, some coughing and sneezing in a small room which is pretty hot in the middle of winter. Surely that’s a recipe for spreading viruses.
Will I be back? Why yes of course, I’m already booked for this week, although I may bring a breathing mask!
Am I now brave enough to take a mother and toddler group? Not so much..