Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paternity Leave in the Beginning

I put my foot down. I told Caskey he had to take paternity leave this month. I know, I sound like an evil demanding wife, but I had a good reason. I promise. When Lainy Ann was born Caskey was around a lot. I was able to take nearly 8 weeks of maternity leave because of my vacation schedule. Let me tell you, I used those 8 weeks. I was a first time mom. Caskey was going to school for his undergraduate degree at LMU, so although he was busy, his schedule was pretty flexible and allowed for a lot of 2:1 parenting. Add to that a doting grandma, aunt and uncle, well, we had plenty of help. When Connor and William (and the twins) were born, Caskey was working for LMU as a professor and Lab Manager. LMU was a very family friendly employer and felt that he should spend as much time as he could at home as long as his job got done. He was able to do a great deal of work from home and occasionally go down to LMU late at night after we had already gone to bed. They were also very accommodating to have the family tag along and bother him at work. Then when Alexander was born I was REALLY spoiled. Caskey took a full 6 weeks paternity leave and then gave 2 weeks notice. He was home forever. It was wonderful (and drove me a little crazy too). So when Eleanor was born I was expecting similar reinforcements. But instead he went to San Francisco when Eleanor was 2 weeks old. It was hard. It has continued to be hard for the last 10 months. Between activities for 4 children, staying home all summer, and long days, well, its been exhausting. Caskey has been working extra hard at work too as a Noogler. My mom and Tom pitch in from time to time, but its really rough doing the daily routine from 6 am to 8:30 pm (including bedtime) alone 5 days a week. Unfortunately, Caskey said to me "um, if I am going to take my paternity leave (7 weeks at 100% pay) I need to do it before Eleanor turns one." Well, he didn't have to tell me twice. I looked at the calendar, counted up all the important days; birthdays and Halloween and booked his paternity leave for the whole month of October. All of my friends have wished me luck. They say, "You will either love it or hate it." Here is to hoping I will love it.

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