Sharing the care of your newborn after delivery is an important topic to discuss beforehand. You will want to figure out how you and your partner will care for your little one, and how long that might work job-wise. It is very easy for work to get in the way of a large life change, but if you are prepared, you’ll be a strong pair. Getting that extra helping hand for the early mornings and nappy changes will make the world of a difference in the end.
How long can my partner take off?
If you and your partner are both hoping to take unpaid time off together, Fair Work allows for up to 8 weeks of concurrent leave. On the other hand, if your partner will be the one taking more time off to help you get back to work, they can start their unpaid leave as soon as your child is born for up to 12 months. They’ll have to take advantage of this leave within the first 12 months as well.
Aside from these dates, the key thing is for your partner to figure out their leave up to 10 weeks before delivery. As long as they speak with their boss and make a strong plan, they should be able to spend plenty of time with you and your baby.
Tips for taking leave together
1. Be open about your plans
Take time to speak with each other in-depth about how you will navigate the first few weeks. Who’s better at waking up in the middle of the night? Maybe your partner can plan on taking a few more night shifts if you don’t mind the nappy changes as much. This is only a suggestion though as the responsibilities will definitely get blurred and shared when you’re both sleep-deprived. Either way, don’t leave it up to fate; talk about your plans.
2. Figure out who will be going back to work first
Long gone are the days where women wouldn’t even consider going back to work. With more and more mamas getting back into the swing of things after their little ones have grown, this discussion is necessary. If your partner wants to be a stay-at-home dad, you could be the one returning sooner than you thought.
3. Don’t crowd each other
If you’re not used to having your partner around for extended amounts of time, do your best to give each other some needed space. For the first few weeks, as you’re learning how to be parents together, you might feel overwhelmed with the heightened presence. Be vocal about the alone time you might need and take turns with your baby without hovering over each other.