rosefox: Me pulling hair away from my face, trying to see. (confused)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2015-06-26 09:24 pm

"She's lost from the beginning"

Parental folks, talk to me about planning parental leave. How do you know how long you want to take? Does it ever make sense to save some for later? Should we all take leave at the same time or stagger it? We all have some combination of parental leave and vacation time that gives us each at least 9 paid weeks off in 2016 (the baby's due in early January, which meshes nicely with the benefits year), and have no idea what to do with it.
mrbelm: (Default)

[personal profile] mrbelm 2015-06-27 05:16 am (UTC)(link)
Start with some time together, then stagger. I negotiated a work at home day every week in addition to the parental leave.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2015-06-27 04:39 pm (UTC)(link)
While X is recovering it would be good for at least one other person to be home, and after that, I would say try to gradually drop down to one person at a time unless you have AMAZING sick time policies, because there will be illnesses that require some of you to be home and you want to give yourselves cushions. Also if you don't have to do _constant_ alone time with the baby then some alone time is really nice. Or can be--and if it turns out not to be, then you can reassess. Flexibility!

[identity profile] 2015-06-27 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
So much is going to depend on how the birth goes, and how the birth-parent recovers. I would suggest staggering if possible. The biggest shock to new parents, in my very long experience, is the "no sleeping through the night" aspect, and how that ramifies out in how the day gets organized.

Staggering will give everybody time to get needed sleep, and still have plenty of time to be the on-deck parent.

[identity profile] 2015-06-27 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
My initial thought was consecutive leaves, but I realize I don't know what the work schedules involved are like. I guess I assumed that with leave at the same time that would mean three parents all at home for X number of days, then after the leave goes away, two parents are at work all day while one is home.

My thought was, if leaves are staggered, there would be a better chance of two parents home during the day for a longer time, giving everybody a chance to get used to the new rhythms.

OTOH there is a lot to be said for three parents being there 24/7 that crucial first week. I dunno, maybe staggering, if the workplace permits that?

[identity profile] 2015-06-27 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
How flexible are the various work schedules? I ask because babies are so different. One can be super high maintenance (which can sometimes include frequent MD. visits), another can be super easy. Will you be able to make that call in that first two weeks? Going on experience here, that would be the ideal.

[identity profile] 2015-06-27 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
These are only suggestions.

Birth parent - the full chunk, starting whenever needed. (I was able to work comfortably, thanks to "Motherwell" exercise program before Debbie, right up until a day or two before labor kicked in.) maybe leave a week or so available to handle subsequent baby needs. (Kids get sick, or have bad pre-growth spurt days, or just have crazy cheerful sleepless nights that leave parents completely brainfucked the next day.)

Other parents: Two weeks minimum, both non-birth parents for immediate post-birth support, including support for whoever's up with the baby to allow the birth parent to get some freaking sleep. Also for those "oh shit out of [something]" that requires immediate run to the market. Leave enough for occasional family chunks when birth parent needs health, sleep or sanity support.

Oh man, it would have been AWESOME to have an additional parent around. I had help, Jeff's sister was there for a bit for Mariel. Deb, not so much, my mom came out but immediately came down with the flu. Don't even ask. Ugh. (Sister in law Sue had experience with birthing foals, so she stroked my flank, smoothed my mane and fed me oats. OK, maybe not the oats.)

I've been blessed with being comadre for Eira and Runa. You guys despite the paperwork crazies will do so amazingly well.

Now if you'll excuse me, Runa's got the fever spike baby stuff going on. Today will not be terribly productive.

[identity profile] 2015-06-28 04:38 am (UTC)(link)
My pleasure. We're just going through the Amazing Baby Fever Spikes Event; the year old Baby Viking is just starting to get over something flu-like, and at one point her body temp was only exceeded by the weather temp by less than a degree. Hard to get comfortable, poor kiddo. She's on the mend though.

Babies can get crazy high fever spikes. Somehow we all survive it.
ext_45721: Rabbit lying on a couch, reading large, antique book of Poe. (Amazing!)

[identity profile] 2015-06-29 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
/signed. This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. It was wonderful to have extra people around immediately after, but about 1-2 months in, we really needed about an extra week of another person to be there for helps.

[identity profile] 2015-06-29 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
This is what I was going to suggest, as well.

[identity profile] 2015-06-30 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
When Morgan was born, I took all my maternity leave in a big chunk. We found that it was really helpful to have both other parents home for about the first week, and that after that there just wasn't that much to do, so having bio-mom plus one other helper at a time for a longer recovery time was better than having bio-mom plus two helpers for a shorter time.

I would have preferred to go back to work very part-time much earlier than I did, and ramp up slowly, but that wasn't an available option so I took a long time off instead. For the people I know who have been able to go part-time for a while it seems to work quite well.

If any part of the available leave is sick time, I strongly recommend saving some of that for later because you'll probably need it. Depending on what your long-term child-care plan is, you may want to save some other vacation time for flexibility. (This is more useful the more you are planning for the three of you to be trading off part-time child care and less useful the more day care/nanny/grandparents/etc are in the long-term plan.)