I’ve read a lot in the news and blogs recently about the changes in Paternity leave being increased slightly for Dads, providing Labour get in at the forthcoming general election. Currently, its a measly two weeks leave, which, if you find yourself at a company which doesn’t have many benefits or support Full pay Paternity leave, you would find yourself on £120 per week for each of those weeks. At a time when your child has just been born, in order to spend some quality time with them and your partner, when money is probably at its most needed, you are forced to effectively pay for that privilege. As a result, statistics show only around 55% of new father take this full allowance up due to financial pressures. 9 out of 20 fathers aren’t able to utilise this option.
Only 55% of new fathers take up their full paternity allowance, mainly down to financial pressures
Labour, in their quest to win people over for the upcoming election, are offering to double the leave as well as increasing the amount to £260 per week. As much as I don’t want to get into politics, it should be applauded as a step in the right direction, and I would expect whichever party who wins the election to adopt.
The thing I HATE most about being a Dad (or a full time working parent) and no, it isn’t:
- changing nappies,
- the sleepless nights,
- the constant drain on your finances,
- the sick patch on your fresh work shirt only noticed after you’ve left the house
It is the lack of time I am able to spend with my two children. Those familiar with my blog will know that I work full time, Mrs F is currently on maternity leave but we had decided to reduce her hours after H was born to three days a week as when we worked out what we’d pay out on childcare fees, we would effectively be paying nearly one persons salary each month for someone to look after our child whilst we both slaved away at work. Reducing Mrs F’s hours not only made sense from a financial point of view as I was the main earner, it also meant one of us could at least spend a couple of days a week with H having some quality one on one time.
H is, and continues to grow into a loving, funny and gorgeous little boy and I have no doubts that Mrs F has played a pivotal role in that, seeing the bond between them is a beautiful thing. I love it when he asks if tomorrow is a “mummy day” and also “what are we doing tomorrow mummy?”, as if they are a little partnership. We purposely waited a few years before having D as we knew the financial strains having a second one could have but also that with H due to start “big school” in September, it would mean Mrs F would be able to work her magic on D and enjoy that one to one time with her too, even though I know she’s going to be an emotional wreck when H does start school.
I do feel I’m missing out though… massively.
When I sat down and actually worked out how much time I spent with H each week, just H alone, not with Mrs F, and not even throwing into the mix D, I barely scratch the surface, less than double figures. Our weekends are filled with family time, and I wouldn’t change that either, we are a lovely family, (even if I say so myself) and I love Mrs F unconditionally, she is my soul mate, so why wouldn’t I want to enjoy time together as a family unit?
Call me selfish, or that I want everything, but I HATE that I don’t get to spend enough time with just H or D. Let me get something straight here though, this isn’t any criticism at Mrs F as she doesn’t stop me from going and doing something with just H or D, and she often shares my frustration. However working long hours in the week, I sometimes only just make bedtime so of course we split the privilege and sometimes I bath D whilst Mrs F reads to H and vice versa. Then at weekends, as mentioned, we spend it majority as a family.
I’m not sure there is an answer if I’m honest, other than reducing hours and in turn income. I think it will just be the one thing I HATE about being a full time working parent… not being able to spend what I feel, is enough time with my little ones….
Until next time :-/