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One of my most important engineers is going to be out for several weeks now because we had this conversation:

Him: Hey, my wife's having a baby.

Me: Congratulations! When?

Him: February timeframe. And I was thinking... I know I only get a week of paid paternity leave, but I have tons of vacation saved up, so I'd like to use it to get an extra week off after that? Do you think that'd be a good idea?

Me: Jesus man YES. That week? Nothing! It'll fly by! No one should leave a woman alone with a seven-day-old when she's just had a baby! Yes you should take an extra week, or MORE, FMLA gives you 12 remember so you could even have some unpaid, I'll help you with the paperwork, I know all about it. We'll survive! It is no problem!

Him: Wow, thanks. I'd heard supervisors weren't always so supportive of that. I'll tell my wife I'll be with her longer than the week then, she'll appreciate that.

Me: GOOD, you're doing the right thing!

(then silently to myself: crap what have I done? well those reports were already behind schedule... what's one more head down?)


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
I hope he takes a bunch of time. Men here can get 6-8 weeks PAID and often don't take it!!
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:20 pm (UTC)
You're awesome!!
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:25 pm (UTC)
How unAmerican of you :-)
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC)
Be grateful you're not living in a civilised part of the world. You wouldn't see him for months! :->
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC)
This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
Good on you. I think that kind of thing pays off in the long run, and more importantly, is the way we should treat each other.
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
So agree with every word you said =)
Mar. 9th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
I agree and disagree. After I had my second baby, I was pretty much ready to be rid of my husband after a few days. I told him to go ahead and go back to work. I already had daycare for the older one, and the baby wasn't a two person job. And then he got to save his vacation and personal days for when I needed it more. Considering you don't get unlimited paid leave, sometimes it is better to save up those days for unexpected illness, or days when the baby should've slept but didn't.
Mar. 10th, 2015 06:24 am (UTC)
As long as spacefem is also flexible about letting him return earlier there's no problem with planning to take this leave etc. now.
Mar. 10th, 2015 09:28 am (UTC)
I think there's a big difference between 2nd baby vs. 1st baby. (I can't say for sure, since I've only had the latter). But I really really appreciated having someone on hand to keep me fed and hydrated while attempting to nurse AND who cooked supper every night.
Mar. 9th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
Yay! Hey, by investing in the family now, with time and attention, maybe there will be less last minutes illnesses and such later on!
Mar. 10th, 2015 12:57 am (UTC)
I agree with litlebanana. With my first baby, I was confused, scared, unsure of what to do, so it was great that my mom stayed with us for six weeks.

But with Brian, he went back to work after 2 days? And like litlebanana, theolder one was in daycare and babies aren't really a two-person job when you cosleep with the baby and nurse her 10 times a day. Brian ended up taking 6 weeks of paternity leave when I returned to work, so that both our kids didn't have to start daycare until they were 6 and 7 months respectively.
Mar. 10th, 2015 12:59 am (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2015 01:11 am (UTC)
Awesome response! So glad there are people like you in leadership!
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:09 am (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2015 04:04 am (UTC)
<3 THIS is exactly why this stuff matters.

It always fascinates me how much depends on your immediate manager. If one of our guys wanted paternity leave, my boss would (of course) let him take the time if he had it but he would be confused as fuck and probably see it as a "weak" thing to do. On the other hand, my husband's new manager has a young child and is an involved dad and I imagine if one of HIS direct reports wanted to take extra time off he would be all like "high 5!".
Mar. 10th, 2015 09:26 am (UTC)
I got to use my personal experience the other day to rewrite some of the gender equity "best practices" for my department to change "new mom" to "new parent" in the section about "don't expect Ph.D. students to get much work on their dissertations done if they've just had a baby". I remember how wrecked my husband was those first few weeks (months), it's not just the woman who needs the time off!
Mar. 10th, 2015 01:24 pm (UTC)
Kudos to you!
Mar. 10th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
Awesome! You rock!

It sounds an awful lot like his wife would really like him to be there, so the "I just wanted him out of the house" naysayers, seriously: he's asking for the leave, I think we should all be supportive of that. I'm sure if he wants back to work sooner that can also be handled by such an awesome boss.
Mar. 11th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
Awesome you!
Mar. 11th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
February timeframe? Is his wife an elephant or a horse or something?
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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