As I’ve made clear in my title I don’t like to share. Whether it’s time with my husband or my kids, chocolate or wine. It doesn’t really matter what it is I don’t like sharing. That doesn’t mean to say that I won’t share. Growing up with 3 sister,s sharing becomes apart of every day life very quickly and I can do it. I just choose not to when I can.
Some would call this selfish. I would call it honest. Be honest with yourself, when your child wants that last cupcake but you’ve been eyeing it up for a brew later, when they’re in bed. There’s the stand off where you try and think of a reasonable excuse as to why they can’t have it that doesn’t involve you looking peevish. We’ve all been there.
This is why I’m so glad that the shared parental leave came into play after little Noo was born. There was no argument or discussion because sharing the maternity leave wasn’t an option for us. However I’m interested to explore the concept.
Previous to my maternity life I worked as a manager for a care company in the home care department. Whilst my job was stressful it was also very satisfying and I know a number of women who have shortened their maternity leave dramatically, opting to put their children into nursery in order to return to their careers.
In all honesty there was a time when I would have done the same. I think it’s interesting the way gender roles might now be changed now that the shared parental leave is an option.
I’m very lucky my husband is hands on with the kids. He’s also very domesticated and, if asked, will put a wash on, hang washing out, wash dishes, make dinner etc. He doesn’t have to at the moment, I see my job as the homemaker as I’m not working but I wonder if our relationship would work if there was a role reversal and he was home more whilst I was working? Would he clean the bathroom to my standards? Would I care after a 40 hour week?
Our roles are very clearly defined which means there’s less room for bickering. What would happen if those lines became blurred? For example I think my husband has done 3 night feeds with Noo. I have no issue with this as he works full time. I therefore wouldn’t expect him to get up in the middle of the night and then go to work when I can get up in the middle of the night and then sleep when Noo naps in the morning. I do however expect assistance, through the day, on his days off. Otherwise I don’t get a day off………ever because as we all know mumming is a 24/7 position. What would happen if we were sharing the parental leave? How would we fairly distribute the responsibility without it becoming a hum dinger of a row?
I love the concept of shared parental leave as it allows dads more input and involvement in the early years of a child’s life. I’m certain this has been beneficial to many parents, whose job does not allow for flexibility. I’m also a huge supporter of anything that gets dads more involved in parenting as they are so often overlooked as a care giver which is unfair. There are some aspects of parenting that my husband is better at equally good at as me!
If your considering this an option and want more information on how to go about shared parental leave check out the info graphic provided by Citrix GoToMeeting
Have you any experience with shared parental leave? or are you planning to use this new parenting option with the change in employment law? If the answer is yes or you just want to add your two penneth in, hit the comments section and let me know your thoughts.