What happens if daddy gets to hold the baby?

I have recently returned to work after having my son and so the recent news about the government’s proposed changes to the current Parental Leave has certainly struck a chord with me. The current arrangements aren’t that bad, in my opinion but they thet certainly don’t cater for fathers in the same way as the proposed plans are promising.

picture from Google images


When I had my daughter in 2004, I was entitled to six months maternity leave and six months unpaid, which I took. We were lucky enough to be able to take a mortgage holiday so that we could afford to live on just one wage. When my son was born in 2009, I was entitled to nine months maternity leave and could take another three months unpaid if I wished. I didn’t take the extra three months but we still needed the mortgage holiday. In all of this, my husband got a measly two weeks.
There were so many days when I NEEDED my husband at home with me. Yes, additional parental leave for him would have been lovely. There were many times when our son needed his daddy at home with him. Again, additional parental leave would’ve been lovely.
BUT
We would never have been able to cope financially. Maternity pay is just not enough to cover the basic bills we have to pay and so the proposed plans leave me a little cold I’m afraid.I know that they would undoubtedly benefit many families but we are not one of them.

I understand that the proposed plans are to share the parental leave so that the mother can return to work with the father taking thes rest of the leave so that we aren’t forced to put our chidlren into childcare prematurely. I like that idea. Or I would, if there was any way that I could ever earn as much as my husband. Unfortunately, that day doesn’t look set to arive any time soon. If my husband were to take the rest of my maternity leave on maternity rates we would be well and truly stuffed.

picture from Google images

I also understand that David Cameron has “slammed extending paternity leave as ‘political correctness.'” (BBC news article) so it leaves me wondering: will these proposed plans even come to anything or will there be another u-turn?

So those are my views. Please leave me your comments as I would really like to know yours. Would the proposed plans suit you and why? Or do you agree with me? Or am I talking nonsense? I really want to know!

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3 responses to “What happens if daddy gets to hold the baby?

  • Lisa

    It’s not compulsory though, is it: families where the woman earns more might be glad of it!

  • Sally McNeill peter

    As a HR manager I have just finished writing the company policy on this issue, so I would like to say I know the legislation pretty well. I think for the average family these new regulations will have little impact, either through financial reasons or father apathy regarding childcare (my company is a house builder so those men I have canvassed are mostly indifferent)
    However I can see a situation where it may make a difference, what if the woman is the top earner in the family? Under the old regulations that woman would have to return to work as soon as possible, most employers in the private sector tend to pay statutory maternity, that would mean a period of 6 weeks on 90% of their earnings then just smp. As the main bread winner that would be impossible to stand, therefore forcing that woman back to work and the child in childcare in a short period of time.
    With the new regulations the man can take up the mantle of main carer freeing the woman to go back to work.
    In my opinion any steps taken to promote equality is positive, throughout history women have been the main carer’s of children and no matter what legislation is brought in this won’t change, after all its biology! However I can only apallaud the fact there is some choice for the woman, as the traditional relationship dynamic is always the norm!

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