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    Thread: How Much Time Off For Dad to help Wife?

    1. Member nobbyv's Avatar
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      06-21-2012 09:18 AM #1
      We're expecting our first at the end of September. I have 2.5 weeks of vacation time left. I was considering taking Fourth of July week off (burning four vaca days) and then keeping the remaining week and a half for when the kid is born so I can help out, etc. My wife says she has no problem with this, but I don't know A) If she's just being a trooper, or B) She has any idea what she's in for.

      Just curious what some other dads did. For those of you that took extended paternity leave, I am jealous, but my wife is planning on four months off so that's not really an option for us finacially.

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      06-21-2012 09:35 AM #2
      I took 4 weeks off the first time and it was too long. There is very little for the dad to do the first few months and really I was just kind of in the way. There were tons of relatives and friends in and out for the first month or so, and my wife and baby were either just breast feeding or sleeping. My wife even says that it would have been more helpful to take the time off when she was planning to go back to work- for the adjustment period.

      The second time I just took a week off and it was perfect.

    3. Member titleist1976's Avatar
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      06-21-2012 01:33 PM #3
      Self employed here... I didn't take much time off. Maybe a work week and the weekend. Second one was probably a half a work week and a weekend.

      I think the problem is what you stated. She may not know what's in store. You just never know. Not being able to breast feed or postpartum depression, etc. My wife had complications from a c-section with the first kid. I got to help her pack that wound after it ruptured. Yummy!

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      06-21-2012 03:09 PM #4
      This answer is probably heavily dependent on how much other family help youll have and how flexible your job is.

      My husband and I will be off for a month together. My mom took 2 weeks off, and my mother in law will be in town next week. My husband is the one with the extended time off - he gets 3 months paid off. Meanwhile Im back on rotations so I can graduate on time in 4 weeks.

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      06-21-2012 04:11 PM #5
      Im a little unusual, we're closed from mid Dec to early Jan, baby came Dec 22 so I was already off.

      Then I took 2 weeks in early Jan.

      Then I started back 2 days a week from late Jan to Early March. In this time I collected family bonding, disability, whatever for the other 3 days. Net pay diff was about $0.

      Then I was back full time March 5.

      It was 74 days from when he was born that I went back full time, and in those 74 days I worked a total of 11 (one of the 2 days/week was a holiday).
      I'm just a regular Joe, with a regular job. I'm your average white, suburbanite slob.

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    6. Member Tornado2dr's Avatar
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      06-21-2012 04:27 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      I took 4 weeks off the first time and it was too long. There is very little for the dad to do the first few months and really I was just kind of in the way. There were tons of relatives and friends in and out for the first month or so, and my wife and baby were either just breast feeding or sleeping. My wife even says that it would have been more helpful to take the time off when she was planning to go back to work- for the adjustment period.

      The second time I just took a week off and it was perfect.
      This.

      Our first I planned a week and a half off but was sent back the next monday (baby came home on a thursday). for the second I was sent back to work after only about 3 days home, because I was "being disruptive" by taking calls and doing work (had a LOT going on at the time).

      After she went back to work after the second, I gave up a lot more "at work" time to help in the AMs and get home a bit early till school just left out. Talk about a rough couple of months (personal and professional).

    7. 06-21-2012 10:15 PM #7
      Short answer is "who knows".
      C-section, a cranky baby, post postpartum depression and difficulty breast feeding= 6 months off
      4 hour delivery, sleepy baby and relatives helping = 2 days

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      06-22-2012 09:31 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by kar_nut View Post
      Short answer is "who knows".
      C-section, a cranky baby, post postpartum depression and difficulty breast feeding= 6 months off
      4 hour delivery, sleepy baby and relatives helping = 2 days
      Great point. There really is no way to know.

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      06-22-2012 01:48 PM #9
      Our first is due this summer. My company gives 3 weeks for fathers to be taken within the year of birth. I'm planning on taking a week or so after the kid is born. Her entire family is within 10 minutes of us, so I assume we'll have (probably more than we want/need) help. My mom said she could come down for a week to help around the house to give my wife a break (laundry, dishes, cooking etc.). So if everybody is healthy, I think a week will be good. Then I can take another week when my wife is ready to go back to work, if I want and my work schedule isn't crazy.

      I'm not sure I would want to be out of the office for 3 weeks straight. I feel I would be so far behind. From everything I've read and been told that there won't be a ton for me to do at home, I'd just assume go to work and be productive. That being said, my boss knows I may be gone for the first three weeks. I'm going to play it by ear.

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      06-22-2012 02:46 PM #10
      Both kids were c-section.

      First, I took a week off when we got home from the hospital. Week-of birth ahe didn't need me since the nurses do a great job. I did sleep at the hospital.

      Second, I took no time off because I was changing jobs.

      Both our families are local. Grandmas were by almost every day for the first. Maybe once or twice a week for the second.

    11. 06-25-2012 12:03 AM #11
      Is her mom/other planning to stay after birth? When our baby was born I took a week off and honestly I wasn't needed/in the way. Though as others have said it just depends on a lot of different variables.

      Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2

    12. Member nobbyv's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 06:46 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenWagen View Post
      Is her mom/other planning to stay after birth? When our baby was born I took a week off and honestly I wasn't needed/in the way. Though as others have said it just depends on a lot of different variables.

      Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2
      Her mom is only 20 minutes away, and regularly babysits for our nephew who lives a mile away, so she'll be around quite a bit. Plus, her sister in law (mother of our nephew) will be our nanny once my wife goes back to work, and she is more than willing to help.

      Thanks for all of the advice, guys, I did end up taking July 4th week off and will plan on a week around the time of the birth (assuming no complications).

    13. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 02:57 PM #13
      it will all depend on your wife's energy and how much family help she can get.

      baby came a week early.
      i took off thurs, fri and then had the weekend.
      went back to work mon-wed to clean up and get ready to leave.

      then i took thur-fri and the whole next week as well.

      all that time really wasnt needed. her mom is in town and everything health wise is roses. mostly i stayed home so much to finish up the nursery since the kid came too soon and to help me adjust to the new 'lack of sleep' schedule.

      work gives dad's 10 days paternity leave to use anytime after the birth till the end of the fiscal year. so i used 6 days already and will use 4 more during the first week of Sept.
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    14. Member nobbyv's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 05:43 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      work gives dad's 10 days paternity leave to use anytime after the birth till the end of the fiscal year. so i used 6 days already and will use 4 more during the first week of Sept.
      BTW, when you guys say "paternity leave", I assume you mean 10 paid days, right? That must be nice. Work for a school (public or university) by any chance? My buddy works at a famous university in Cambridge, MA (not MIT) and gets some ridiculous amount like two months. I swear he had the third kid just for the time off...

    15. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 06:04 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by nobbyv View Post
      BTW, when you guys say "paternity leave", I assume you mean 10 paid days, right? That must be nice. Work for a school (public or university) by any chance? My buddy works at a famous university in Cambridge, MA (not MIT) and gets some ridiculous amount like two months. I swear he had the third kid just for the time off...
      yeap, that is what i mean.
      10 days off paid.

      nope, no school/gov't job.
      www.concur.com been here 8.5yrs now. my normal PTO for the year is 28 days. plus 10 paid holidays.

      not sure if there is a cap/limit but i know coworker that has 3 young kids and got 10 days for each one.
      epitome
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      07-01-2012 07:34 AM #16
      I had different circumstances because we adopted our daughter from Vladivostok. The court timing, protocols, and paperwork had us in Mother Russia for almost a month. Once home, though, we flew in on a Tuesday, and I was back at work the following Monday. After nearly a month, I wasn't needed around much. I ended up pulling FMLA for the time, and my company was cool in not making me burn any vacation or sick time before the leave time kicked in.
      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    17. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      07-11-2012 05:50 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
      I had different circumstances because we adopted our daughter from Vladivostok.
      When I first read this I thought you said "...when we adopted our daughter, Vladivostok."

      Vladivostok

      I was like
      "she will kill you when she grows up"

      then i reread... from... and it all turned out to be ok.
      epitome
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    18. Senior Member beng's Avatar
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      07-11-2012 06:40 PM #18
      I got two weeks paid leave... And was ready to run back to work when it was over
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      07-12-2012 10:05 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by beng View Post
      I got two weeks paid leave... And was ready to run back to work when it was over
      Haha. Being with a newborn is...just...difficult.

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      07-31-2012 04:12 PM #20
      I took 3 weeks for my twins. I wish I had more time off but had to work. Nightmare c-section and long recovery time for my wife made it very difficult to go back to work. I'm pretty sure we hit the sleep deprivation limit for humans the first 2 weeks.

      The lesson i learned was that you should give each other some nap time during the first few days. I had twins and feeding every 3 hours along with diaper changes and getting them to sleep, etc, sleeping was not an option.
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      07-31-2012 04:42 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      nope, no school/gov't job.
      www.concur.com been here 8.5yrs now. my normal PTO for the year is 28 days. plus 10 paid holidays.
      We actually used to use you guys for travel/expenses until we moved to "all-in-one" business enterprise solution software (SAP). Let's just say...you are missed.

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      07-31-2012 07:53 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by nobbyv View Post
      BTW, when you guys say "paternity leave", I assume you mean 10 paid days, right? That must be nice. Work for a school (public or university) by any chance? My buddy works at a famous university in Cambridge, MA (not MIT) and gets some ridiculous amount like two months. I swear he had the third kid just for the time off...
      Yes
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      07-31-2012 07:53 PM #23
      I think 2 weeks is a good amount of time to stay home for the first one. The time off should be thought of as a way to help mom out - not necessarily caring for the baby since mom will probably be doing most of that (especially if she's nursing). Depending on how mom's delivery goes, she may be in a lot of pain, exhausted, and dealing with all kinds of unexpected issues/pains afterwards.

      I know the biggest help that I needed after having my baby was cooking and cleaning. I was in a lot of pain from the delivery and nursing and trying to cook decent meals didn't happen for several weeks. It was nice to have my husband around to cook or at least make sure I was fed. Our family was 3,000 miles away so we didn't have the luxury of having that kind of help around. If we did, my husband could have probably gotten away with doing less

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      08-01-2012 09:56 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjunkie View Post
      I know the biggest help that I needed after having my baby was cooking and cleaning. I was in a lot of pain from the delivery and nursing and trying to cook decent meals didn't happen for several weeks. It was nice to have my husband around to cook or at least make sure I was fed.
      No issues with that...I do 90% of the cooking anyway.

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      08-02-2012 02:15 PM #25
      I took 3 days off.

      She is not going back to work. I run a biz. Gotta pay them bills.


      I get to go home for lunch and give her a break so that helps.. the tiniest bit.


      8 weeks today!

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      08-02-2012 05:19 PM #26
      I took a week off from work. There wasn't much for me to do, other than normal household duties. I mainly kept the dog company.

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      08-07-2012 11:51 AM #27
      After 1 week my wife was like "Can you go back to work early?"

      I'm not a good "just sit there and help" type of person
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      08-07-2012 04:19 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      When I first read this I thought you said "...when we adopted our daughter, Vladivostok."

      Vladivostok

      I was like
      "she will kill you when she grows up"

      then i reread... from... and it all turned out to be ok.



      I would have had my add kicked if I tried something like that. Wouldn't have been my name list. We're not a Hollywood family that we'd pull that off.
      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

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      08-08-2012 08:21 AM #29
      i have lots of family around, but they all work full time. my wife is due in Jan. i was thinking about taking 2 weeks. figured that was enough. other people here in the office have only taken 1.
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      08-08-2012 12:48 PM #30
      Wife due with the second in October. My company gives me a week and I take another week vacation.

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      08-09-2012 06:38 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by SinisterMind View Post
      Wife due with the second in October. My company gives me a week and I take another week vacation.
      what???? ur company gives you a week before u have to use vacation?? must be nice. lol
      Quote Originally Posted by Danza. View Post
      Your car is powder blue, and calling something "jazz" anything doesn't make it less gay.

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      08-09-2012 09:28 AM #32
      We actually get Paternity for dads. 6 weeks. I didn't take it, though, because I wouldn't want my job to know they could be without me for that long.

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      08-12-2012 10:27 PM #33
      2 weeks.
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    34. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      08-14-2012 05:08 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      We actually get Paternity for dads. 6 weeks. I didn't take it, though, because I wouldn't want my job to know they could be without me for that long.
      6 weeks! wow. thats a ton.
      truthfully i wouldnt even want to be gone for 6 weeks straight.

      as i said above, i got 2 weeks (10 days).
      good thing about my manager is that he doesnt care when i take them as long as i use them within the same fiscal year the kid is born

      so i have only used 6 of the days so for, back in June. the next 4 are on the schedule for 1st week of Sept.
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      08-28-2012 08:56 PM #35
      Uh.. 0.

      That's what a WIFE is for, man.

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