How New Dads Can Handle Work/Life Balance After Paternity Leave
Going back to work after just two weeks paternity leave, leaving your partner and a new baby, can be a daunting experience.
A Career Coach at Monster comments: “There’s surprisingly little advice available for Dads returning to their job after paternity leave. It’s not unusual for new fathers to really struggle with looking after a baby, getting far less sleep and supporting an exhausted partner while also being expected to maintain the same pace at work.”
For new dads returning to work, Monster has the following tips:
- Know your rights – it’s difficult keeping up with changes in regulations around paternity leave but it’s worth doing your research and knowing what you are entitled to. Sometimes, there is a possibility to defer your paternity leave (or some of it) to later in the year after your baby’s birth
- Investigate the possibility of flexi-time. Concentrating on work after a night of comforting a teething baby is no easy task! Some employers are amenable to offering more flexible working hours or at least a more flexible attitude to when you need to be in the office and what work you can do outside of the office. It’s worth investigating this before baby arrives. Being able to work around baby’s sleeping times can help ensure you are rested and focused for work
- Find out what your office policy is on child illness. If your child is very sick or if your partner gets sick too you will want to be there for them. Find out what your employer’s policy is in advance so you know what to do
- Time out – despite the fact that it’s work, office hours are time out of the house and away from the routine of baby care. You'll need to ensure your partner has some time off to break her routine with the baby – maybe the occasional afternoon out, or a night out with friends – something that will reassure her that life isn't moving on without her
- It’s worth bearing in mind that while weekends were once your time to relax after a busy working week, they are likely now to be filled with the many jobs that your partner simply cannot hope to manage in your absence. Finding a balance and getting some down time where you can is key – reclaiming your lunch break could be a good first step!