What an incredible five weeks I have had on Paternity leave. I cannot begin to put into words how incredibly lucky I have been to be able to take five weeks off work, fully paid, to spend with my family. I recognise that not all Companies are as generous as the Company I work for, but they should be. As you are probably aware by now, I will also be taking a period of Shared Parental Leave in March 2019 for 13 weeks!
Having the opportunity to take five weeks off has meant that I have been able to be there for some of the early milestones of Henry’s life. Over the last five weeks he has changed so much, his face as filled out and he is the mirror of Gracie when she was his age, he has started to look around more and focus on things around the room, he suckles my finger (a bit cruel as I’m sure he thinks he will get milk), he is sleeping in blocks of about 4 hours and his favourite thing is to nap on my chest – this was one of my favourite things Gracie did and I am so glad he is also content napping on me.
I couldn’t have timed my period of Paternity leave any better, Henry was born and it was the start of the heatwave of 2018. We had five weeks of glorious sunshine. Not having to worry about wearing a suit and tie in 30 degree heat has been magical! Ive spent five weeks wearing shorts and t-shirts, taking walks in the sun, pretending we are living in the Costa Del Sol….it was perfect. Quite a few people commented on Henry and how he coped with the heat, he didn’t know any different…he was born and it was hot. It stayed hot for 5 weeks. We adjusted the sleep suit and bag he was using and he has spent most of his life so far in rompers….he has loved pretending to be a little Niño.
After Henry was discharged from hospital we spent the first few days at home, finding our feet and establishing our new routines. Gracie was incredible with Henry and still is! She wasn’t the best behaved for Mummy Hew and I, she started back chatting and challenging us, I guess part of that is her age coupled with the changes at home. She settled after a week or so and is back to her cheeky self.
Mummy Hew’s family live in Harrogate, we spent the first weekend visiting all the relatives. I thought the 200 mile drive with a 3 year old and 6 day old would be more difficult than it was, we only needed to stop once. Henry fed, Gracie peed and we were back on the road. I have to be honest and say I was hoping for more pit-stops, I really wanted a Burger King. Henry was very lucky and the family treated him to loads of new things.
We decided to reduce the time Gracie goes to nursery and decide that she would no longer attend on Wednesdays and Fridays, I think it is just as important for her to spend time with us as a family. I also wanted to take advantage of her helping change nappies, it was short lived. We decided to only reduce her by two days so we could still have time with Henry and she wouldn’t have her routine upset too much.
As Mummy Hew had a C-section I have been the boss of the house. I’ve really enjoyed it too. I been in charge of cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking – you name it, I’m in charge of it! Im not sure Mummy Hew can be trusted with the chores when I go back to work….although she will be sitting around all day, she will need something to keep her occupied right!
We have had the best day trips, to the beach, the park, into town, shopping and the office just to name a few. There is something quite magical about pushing a newborn round in a pram, everyone notices. You see peoples heads turn and smile. It give me the proudest feeling ever.
I’m preparing to return to work…..I really don’t want to but I know I have to. It will take some time to adjust again, especially waking in the night and then having to do a full days work. I am hoping to be able to continue with my half day on Wednesdays, this will allow me to spend time with Gracie and Henry as well as giving Mummy Hew a well deserved rest. For now, I am going to enjoy the last few hours I have without thinking about work…and then its back to the daily grind.
Im thinking my next blog post will be after I have been back at work for a week or so and update how we are all getting on with our new routines and in the meantime fingers crossed I win the lottery!