So tomorrow I go back to work. On day 61 for those that are still counting (see here). Whilst I love my teaching job, and am somewhat looking forward to having a bit of a routine, I am seriously going to miss spending so much time with my little girl! It’s been a real privilege to see her grow and change so much. Those moments will be a bit more spread out now, but it will definitely make me a much more efficient teacher so I get more free time at home (see, always looking at the positives!).
I’ve been meaning to post about the summer and some of the unforeseen perks of being a dad it brings – and should apply to all those on paternity leave too- but haven’t quite managed it. Because of this, I’ve had to split this summary up into two, possibly three posts. This one focuses on how to make the most of your paternity leave, and the next will focus on about that first overnight trip away…
Onto paternity leave then. I can only recommend taking the full allowance if you can. Obviously people may have various (and valid!) reasons for not doing so, but if you can, it’s a fantastic time to get to know your newborn, and more importantly know what your partner will be dealing with when you go back to work!
The other serious perk, which is what I took full advantage of, is you have two weeks of time to not worry about sleep (I won’t be one of those bloggers that goes on about tiredness, but will naturally end up referring to it from time to time!).
But the best bit about the leave? You have two weeks where you don’t really want to cook or sort things out. So…that means cake (well, it did for us). It also meant a few nice meals at the hospital cafe for a couple of days. Lucy (my wife) doesn’t like staying in the house for too long, so we were out every afternoon for tea and cake (helped by the fact Beatrice likes an afternoon nap!). Honestly take advantage of this as there’s probably loads of places you’ve fancied going to but never bothered. Whichever partner is going back to work, it’ll also provide them with a nice variety of places to head out to and meet up with other people.
Don’t like cake? We went to the North Norfolk coast a few times, which meant ice creams, crab sandwiches and fish and chips if you so desire!
So my number one tip for paternity leave that you probably won’t find anywhere else? Eat out, explore and just go for it- you’re still in control, you just need to be prepared! We’ve had the public ‘poonamis’ (on a park bench) and a range of other little hiccups, but nothing is impossible. Start small, just a little walk to the park or shops, then get out in the car. Remember also to laugh stuff off. Your baby has no idea how embarrassing or ridiculous its behaviour can be, so don’t take things too seriously!
I’ll finish off with a few photos of our outings…second post to follow later today!