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Paternity Leave - How Much Time Did You Get Off, If Any?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Greetings all-

I'm interested in hearing other folks (Moms, Dads, and otherwise) stories about how their employer reacted to their newfound parenthood. Were they understanding? Did they give you a generous amount of time off? Were they pricks?

My story is as follows: After school let out this past spring semester, my partner was 6 months pregnant. I was unemployed from then until mid-to-late July. I am in the IT field, and nothing had panned out. Then in July, I got offered a job through a recruiting agency doing software testing. S and I were way low on funds, so it was decided that until I had earned enough money, I would keep the news from my manager. After two weeks, I told him, and he was really nice about it. We agreed on two weeks off, while working from home with a company laptop (which he actually was not supposed to give to contractors). So, S gave birth Monday at 1:55 am, and I have the rest of this week off and two days off next week, and then a four day weekend. Aside from a couple of jerk-ish emails wondering why I hadn't emailed or called Monday or Tuesday (how about an unexpected hospital transfer, a55hole?), this has worked out well for us. So, share your stories, be they nightmarish or heavenly. I think this country would do well to learn from the Swedish model, which provides generous amounts of time off for both mom and dad.
post #2 of 63
last summer when my ds was born my husband took one week of vacation time and worked from home one week.

we are currently traveling to adopt a baby and they have let my husband work remotely for almost a month now. he is taking vacation/sick days when the baby is born, and his immediate boss said they could cover for him for a week past that if he needed it (although i doubt he will since we'll be home and settled by then).

he gets no 'paternity leave', but his department heads are all pretty family oriented and they take ood care of him/us.
post #3 of 63
My DH got no official paternity leave but here's what we did:

After the birth of the baby I took the 12 week FMLA (partially paid) and DH took a few days. After my 12 weeks, I had a phase back period and then DH took 8 weeks (mostly unpaid except for vacation). This gave us almost 6 months at home with the baby and it was easier for me to go back to work leaving the baby with her daddy. Plus it's nice to have them home when they are that young.

DH is a legal assistant and wroks with a lot of women who took FMLA. They were VERY supportive of him taking time off and the men (mostly management) I think saw things in a new light.

It worked out great for us. Gave DH a LOT of confidence in dealing with the baby on his own. I wish I could have convinced him to take all 12 weeks off, but the lack of a paycheck scared him a LOT.
post #4 of 63
My DH too a week of vacation time. No working from home for him.

post #5 of 63
The plan was for DH to take two weeks off and then two weeks part time (work 11 - 3). His boss verbally OK'd it.

Well, on the last day of the two weeks, his boss told him he needed to come back full-time - no ifs ands or buts. I was sad that DH decided he wasn't going to fight it even though he had previously contacted the HR dept. to classify it as FMLA.

If we have another child, DH is going to have it written out.
post #6 of 63
I am a teacher so my time off (if I planned for it to be paid time off) had to come from my sick leave. I took two weeks off w/ the first 3 boys and 1 1/2 weeks off for my 4th.

post #7 of 63
Canadian mama here. My partner had a grand total of a week off with our first son. I took the maternity/ parental leave benefits for the year. When we had our second son, I hadn't gone back to work, so I wasnt eligable for benefits. The way it works here though is that there are a certain amount of maternity weeks and then the rest is considered parental leave totalling to a year. I think that it is somthing like 32 weeks of parental leave. So My partner took the parental leave for that winter... I think it was for three months. We only recieved about 1000$ a month for that time , but we were both home which was great. There is our spoiled situation!
post #8 of 63
My husband got a whopping 12 weeks off... but only took two right after dd was born, and is using just one extra day at a time as needed. That was basically the unspoken "catch" to the generous amount of leave.
post #9 of 63
I took the 6 weeks paid medical leave that's standard in VT and then I also took advantage of the 90 day leave (unpaid) that the state allows. I had 3 weeks of vacation built up, so I got paid for 9 weeks out of the 90 days. After the 90 days was up, I resigned.

My partner took a week of vacation time. I wanted himt to take more, as we were also buying a house and moving at this time (we closed on the house on my Due Date!!).

In the end it all worked out very well. He still has his job, and I don't. :-)

Our employers were very cool with the time we asked for.
post #10 of 63
We lived in California when our DD was born. California has a nice family medical leave law, which provides for partially paid leave. The pay is I think 55% of your salary for 7 weeks, but it's up to a very low maximum amount. My husband was lucky enough to be working for a cool company that gave him the full time off, but paid him at 75% of his real salary, not just the 55% of a low maximum salary that the state would have provided. So he got 7 weeks off at 75% pay. That was great.

None of his colleagues have taken advantage of this though, which I find insane. Lots of them take a week or two and then claim that they're going to take the rest some time later in the year after which they have a child, but no one ends up doing it. I think it's just so ingrained into the American mind that you must work hard or you will miss an opportunity for advancement or will be viewed as a slacker or something that men just can't imagine taking the time off.

Interestingly, I think my husband's colleagues generally respected him for categorically stating that he was taking the time off, as opposed to apologetically asking to take advantage of a benefit that the company offered.
post #11 of 63
I don't get Paternity leave as such. I have to just take regular vacation time.
post #12 of 63
DH gets 4 weeks paid, which he's planning to take two weeks right when baby is born and then take Mondays and Fridays off to fill up the remainder of that time which I think amounts to 5 weeks of 4 day weekends.
He's also got like 4 weeks of vacation left in this year, so he's going to have to use it or lose it...so maybe we'll get some extra time with daddy before and after baby is born.
post #13 of 63
I took the whole 3 months of Family Medical Leave. Unpaid, except for a couple of vacation weeks I had. It was great to be home for that long experiencing the beginnings of my DS' new life on Earth.

My DW said, "Next baby, 2 weeks will do." ????
post #14 of 63
* nevermind - didn't make any sense.
post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 
It's disappointing how many people out there are in situations that put them at the mercy of someone who may or may not be understanding about new parents and their needs. I got lucky; I wasn't owed anything. It sounds like most of the responces related good experiences. Any bad ones?
post #16 of 63
Originally Posted by papapoochie
I took the whole 3 months of Family Medical Leave. Unpaid, except for a couple of vacation weeks I had. It was great to be home for that long experiencing the beginnings of my DS' new life on Earth.

My DW said, "Next baby, 2 weeks will do." ????

I can understand your wife's thought a little. The boys and I have a nice little thing going on here, when my husband (zaadad) is home for the summer (about 12 weeks or so) I am beginning to wonder if there's not a better option.

It's like a weekend every day, so nothing gets done!
post #17 of 63
There is no "paternity leave" at my husband's job... he is the manager of the meat department at a small grocery store. But, he did use 3 weeks worth of sick hours. He had many hours built up from years of not missing work. It was the longest stretch of time he has ever had off work, and we enjoyed it immensely. I didn't really need him at home, because Gail was such an easy newborn, but I did love having him there with us, a little family of three at last, after 7 years of trying for a child. Such wonderful days of NAPPING on the couch with our baby and waking up all together in the morn with no hurry to be anywhere. :

Here is a PHOTO of him and Gail on his last night home before returning to work... she looks positively worried about his impending daytime abscence!

I wish that everyone could have had such a positive experience.
post #18 of 63
I was lucky to get 2 months paid maternity and 1 month vacation paid (then I quit). Dh was just starting new job so he got 1 week paid vacation and 1 week off unpaid.

The funny thing is is gets 2 weeks paid paternity but he had to be with the firm for 1 year, and the baby had to be under 1 year...so we are right now enjoying his paid paternity since he just hit 1 year with the company and DD is 11 months. Too bad he is using it to study for CPA
post #19 of 63
I went back to work at 5w PP.

My husband took 16 weeks of leave (mandated by DC's version of FMLA). 2 were paid paternity leave, and after that,he exhausted his sick, vacation, and personal time. After his leave ran out, he quit to be a stay-at-home dad, and stayed home with our daughter until she was 9.5 months old. He and our daughter have a tremendous bond, and I can say in good conscience that he is a true co-parent. The only downside is, I was sometimes very jealous that he got more time with her than I did.
post #20 of 63
my dh works for home depot, and he got NO paternity leave AT ALL. of course they let him have off for the birth, but he got no pay. he used his 2 days off a week and the little bit of personal time he had.
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