Time off of work for husband — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Time off of work for husband

Hello ladies! Has your husband/boyfriend/significant other mentioned how much time he plans on taking off of work right after the baby is born? My husband just informed me (I am 31 weeks 5 days pregnant) he will be taking 2 personal days right after and then save his other 2 personal days for another time. He also has 20 sick days. I will admit I am a little upset because I am a first time mom and nervous to be alone my 1st day home with my child and my husband is already back at work. His male coworkers have all taken paternity leave or used a larger portion of their personal/sick days, which my husband has the option to do. While I do not expect him home with me for weeks on end nor could we afford paternity leave, I was hoping for at least a few extra days with him home and getting to know our son a little more, and helping me out with our 100lb puppy, and just the small things. Did most of your husbands/bf's/SO go right back to work or did they take some time off? Like I said, first time mom, so I truly don't know what the norm is for this.

Re: Time off of work for husband

  • My DH will take a week off after baby comes. If I have a c-section he will work from home for a couple weeks to help me. If I were you I'd ask him if he can stay home for atleast 5 days and just tell him how you feel.
  • Well, it's different here, my H has 10 days that he is guaranteed to take of directly after delivery.
    But even if that wasn't the case, I would definitly talk to him about it to make sure we had a plan that we both felt comfortable with. You need to tell your H what you are feeling and make sure you communicate to make this transition smoother. Good luck!
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  • My husband is only taking off the 4 days I will be in hospital (c section). My mom will be staying with us a few weeks to help with the girls. My husband is hourly employee, I don't mind him only taking 4 days
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  • My husband is planning to be out for a week. Due to the nature of his job he can't really be out for more than a week at a time (Well, he could, but there would be chaos by the time he got back) but he does plan on using vacation time every few weeks after that.

    And yeah like PP said, this was something we discussed, not something that he "informed" me of. Have you told your husband how you feel about that?
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  • With our first, DH took a few weeks but we also lived a ways away from family at that time and ended up moving just after baby. We are now right by all our family and friends so with #2 we plan on him only taking 3-4 days so that we can keep things on a schedule for our toddler and not have too much time without income. Do what is comfortable for you though! It's helpful having some extra hands around for those first few weeks as you adjust!
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    krisb70
  • My DH is taking two weeks off this time. For our DS he had more than 2 months off because his HR screwed his leave up.
    DS was a preemie and instead of moving his leave up they just pulled him off the schedule for up until his leave started.
  • My DH is taking two weeks off of work and since he is a principal and spring break is the second week in April, he will get a third right after baby or soon after.  This is my second and he took two weeks off last time and it is hard to do it alone when he goes back.  My mother is planning on taking a week of towards the end of April to also help when DH goes back to work.  I may ask my MIL if she can do the same.  I had horrible PPD/PPA last time, so planning to have lots of help coming over is super important for me.  I recovered from a c/s last time and was still in pain two weeks later so that make it super hard too.  
    If he can take more than 2 days, he probably should.  IMO anyway... 
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  • My DH is only taking 2 days off but I am having the baby on Thursday. My Mom will be helping me the first week home and niece will come help as needed afterwards.
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  • The husbandman is military so he automatically gets 10 days paternity leave.  He might take more, depending on when his leave is up.  If it's up on a Wednesday, he's just going to take the additional three days and return that Monday. 
  • Thanks ladies! Yeah my husband had just "decided" in his own mind (but trust me I make my feelings heard once he springs something like this on me). We hadn't even discussed this until he brought it up.  Financially due to my job loss he can't take off forever, but for some reason in his mind he wants to bank those other days in case he wants to take off later. Don't get me wrong, he is a teacher and will have spring break not too far away so he would have off a week, but I would just feel comfortable not being alone on the 1st day or 2 back. He swears his mom can be there for me or my mom/sister if need be, but there is no guarantee they can. I would be happy with just a week to get adjusted especially since I am so nervous as a FTM. But thank you so much for the feedback! Seems that one week to a few weeks seems to be the average. I will be sitting down with him tonight and going over this.
  • Good luck talking to him - hopefully he understands and agrees to take some more time.  I think as much as our DHs mean well they don't always understand why they need to be there.  
    So much of the process of having a baby is about the mom - we're the ones who are preg, we give birth, we breastfeed (if you choose to), mom is the one who takes the time off work - so it can be a just one of those things they don't think about

    FWIW my husband is taking 3 weeks - his work automatically gives him 1 and then 2 weeks of vacation 

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  • With our DD, my DH took 3 months off (It was amazing, especially with a first baby!), but most people were like "wow, how'd he get that much time off?". This time around, I think he's taking 2-3 weeks off using his vacation time. I think that's probably perfect this time around just for initial adjustments. You really just have to do whatever works for your family. If it upsets you that he doesn't want to take more time off, you need to talk to him and explain that you're going to need the extra help in the first little while.
  • I have plenty of people who I know will want to come help, but honestly I just want to be us for a little while as I adjust and it is very important to me. This is our first and I have no idea what to expect. His original plan was to take around 4 weeks off but he got a new job last October and that's not an option. He has enough PTO/sick leave to take off 2 weeks paid so what he is planning to do is take 1 full week off, then 1/2 days for 1 week, and save a few days just in case he needs them for other things like to go to pediatrician visits. He works 5 miles away and comes home for lunch every day, so I think that will also be a big help. We're having the baby at a birth center and will be home about 6 hours later if everything goes well. It helps that all of my post-partum visits will be at my house. If I need a c-section or just more help in general, he will take more time. It's just not something you can plan out for sure. I was really happy to learn that President's day should fall during his leave so that's one paid day for free. Yippee!

    One option you could explore is him taking half days for a week or more. Personally, I'd rather have help for 4 hours a day for 4 days straight than 8 hours for just two. If you're planning to be at the hospital the first few days, you may not even need him there (although you will probably want him). You will have visitors and nurses to help with all the baby things, but when you get home then it's just you. So maybe it would be best if he didn't take his leave during that time. Just a thought! I would ask him why he doesn't want to take the time he has, there may be something else going on. I know my husband would take a full 2+ weeks but the main issue is it is February is the busiest month and he is new with the company. Maybe your husband is stressed about how it will come across to his manager or job security, but it's something to talk about. 
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  • H will probably be taking 5 days total during/after birth. Honestly, I'd rather he only took a few days. We're going to have to switch off on our parental leaves so I want him to have as much vacation/sick time to use towards that leave as possible since we don't have much money to throw around.

  • Have you taken any child birth classes or gone to any doctors appointments together? My dh mentioned only taking a couple days, and didn't really understand why he would need to when I brought up taking a week or two. Then we had our child birth class, where they discussed this topic, and he came to a group appointment/support group with me where the topic was also discussed. We decided on a week off for now as long as the delivery goes well. Maybe your husband just doesn't realize how much help you may need?
  • This will be my third and my husband is taking 2 weeks. He took one week for the first two and that was enough. At the time he couldn't take more than a week (and it was totally fine) but I am definitely looking forward to having him home longer this time. I have my mom in town so I do have additional help (and I'm thankful for that) but we aren't incredibly close and I just can't imagine doing it without DH.

    Having my DH for the first week with the first two was a huge comfort. He is my best friend and my biggest supporter. I know there are other people who would offer help but he's the only one that will do, for me. Both of my babies were c-sections (this one will be too) and while I have no problem caring for the baby from the time I come home, it is also really nice to have him around to play with the bigger girls.


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  • I wish more places offered better leave for the spouses.  DH took 4 weeks off with our first child.  His work lets them take 12 weeks unpaid protected leave, but in order to get paid they had to cash in vacation or sick.  They just changed their policy and now offer 6 weeks paid leave for spouses/partners.  DH is taking that plus an additional 2 weeks for our little girl due in March.  I'm so grateful his company (Apple) has started this policy.
  • My husband is either taking 3 or 4 weeks.  I can't imagine two days to be honest.  I had a C-section last time and he was able to take a month of using FMLA and it worked well. I needed him home because I had a hard recovery so we are trying to plan for that this time as well. 
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