When my daughter was born, it was a roller coaster of emotion – joy, excitement and awe… It was also incredibly overwhelming for me, particularly once my paternity leave had ended and I went back to work.
My wife and I looked into the options of shared leave or taking extended paternity leave, but it just wasn’t financially viable for us. Luckily I had been miserly enough with my annual leave up to that point and had enough days left over for me to take every Friday off work for about three months as holiday.
Not every man has that option however, and while mothers often take on the greatest burden in caring for newborns in their early weeks, the lack of flexibility available to men from their employers contribute significantly to the stress we experience during this life change.
Incomes Data Research (IDR) conducted its Maternity and Paternity Pay 2018 survey between February and April 2018 and found that only 9% of employers improve on the two-week statutory paternity leave entitlement for new dads. It also found that less than 40% of organisations provide full pay for both weeks of paternity leave and only 4% improve on the statutory paternal leave entitlement.
The reality is becoming a new parent can be just as overwhelming for dads too and without the support, it’s easy for us to default to a protector/provider role instead of a nurturer/caregiver one – sometimes at the expense of bonding with our newborns.
In our conversation on this episode, we hear from Courtney Hoilett and Maurice Reid.
Courtney has been married 27 years and is a dad of three. Maurice has no children yet, but is thinking about what it means to take on that role eventually in the future. We explore our roles in the lives our significant others, we talk about sex and conception, and we talk about becoming parents.
I hope you find this conversation insightful. If you have any questions about the issues raised here or just want to give us some feedback, use the contact form at the bottom of the homepage.
In the meantime, click the button above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.