It only seems like the other day I was announcing that I am a Dad. Here I am now writing this knowing that next week I finish paternity leave and return to work. It’s pretty scary how time really does fly when you are having fun.
Todays blog I am going to summarise the top five things which I have learned from being on paternity leave. The past few weeks have been an amazing start to what will be an amazing journey, for all involved.
What has Paternity Leave taught me?
- Nappies – So before Sonny I had never changed a nappy in my life, that changed dramatically. I mean Jesus, how many poos do newborns do? I am seriously thinking about taking out shares in Pampers. Paternity leave has enlightened me, I could well be the fastest nappy changer in the west. To be honest I enjoy bonding over dirty nappies and often use this time to play with Sonny as he is being changed. To be honest if I didn’t help out changing I’d be missing out on spending some quality time with the little man.
- Milestones – In my opinion no parent wants to miss out on their child’s achievements. However during paternity leave I have had to attempt to come to terms that this for me is highly likely. Returning to work means being away from Sonny for longer than I’d like. During this time I am certain I will miss out on things such as his first words and steps. Of course this is upsetting however there will be many more milestones which I can share and I need to be positive.
- Teamwork – Ironically since Sonny’s arrival I’d say that my relationship with Kate has shown a new side. Strangely enough we haven’t worked well as a team before when carrying out tasks. This is mainly down to the fact that I have severe OCD and a very short fuse. Put the two together and you get a social hand grenade. We have worked together extremely well with Kate taking the lead during the night with feeding and changing nappies. I take over in the mornings to let her get some extra sleep. I have been cooking all meals and cleaning the house, we really are managing being parents at this early stage well.
- Time – Arguably this has been the biggest eye opener for me. How much time does a newborn baby soak up? The answer pretty much all of it. Life is now on his watch, there is no more quickly popping out together to the shops. Activities are now planned around feeds and naps with military precision.
- Parenting – The past few weeks have really highlighted to me that there really is no set way to bring up your child. Yes Kate and I are complete novices in the world of parenting, however we both are doing great. I really think that you need to trust your guts on most things, after all one of our main reasons to be on this planet is to reproduce. We now understand the different noises which Sonny makes and what they mean. Crazy to think that I’d be fluent in the world of grunting and pig noises.
I think I speak for every loving father when I say that paternity leave is way too short. I don’t feel that two weeks really is a long enough time to bond with a child. Secondly a phased return to work would be much better. Kate would then have a smoother transition to being left alone. However I am not going to cry about it, it is what it is. It is important that I continue to be supportive and try and help out as much as possible. I can’t use the excuse “I have been at work all day” especially after witnessing how hard it can be being a stay at home parent.
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