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Paternity Leave - Joe Shlabotnik Is My Hero [Who Is Joe Shlabotnik?] [20 Random Pictures Taken By Peter] [What Is Peter Reading?]
June 13th, 2008
05:10 pm

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Paternity Leave


When I tell people that I'm taking 12 weeks off to stay home with the kid, the most common reaction by far is along the lines of "that's so great that your company lets you do that!" Which is kind of an odd reaction, considering that it's the law; my company (and probably your company, too) has to let me take leave. If it were truly up to them, they wouldn't.

It's unpaid leave, but I wanted the time off more than I wanted the money. Because being home with Violet is great. It's much better than working. Sure, she can be demanding on occasion, but so can my job. And my job isn't as rewarding.

Oddly enough, I think I'm getting less done around the house than I did when I was working. Violet's "down time" (when I'm not actively feeding, bathing, changing, walking, or playing with her) is maddeningly unpredictable. I can't say there's not enough of it; it's just that when she goes to sleep and/or plays happily alone, I never know if it's going to be for ten minutes or three hours. So I never know if I can finish what I want to start. And yet I feel like I have an infinite amount of time. So nothing feels urgent.

And now all of a sudden it's 5pm. And it's Friday. I should start dinner.

(The lovely father-daughter moment captured at right is of Violet's first dip in the ocean. We went to Jones Beach on her third-month birthday and it was a smashing success. We must do it again. And indeed we are, a week from Sunday, just before my birthday. Are you joining us?)

(Yesterday, I took her to her first mall - plus it was the first time I've driven her anywhere by myself. We survived. And now that she's been to the beach and the mall, she's a true Long Island girl.)

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From:kryscat
Date:June 13th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Oddly enough, I think I'm getting less done around the house than I did when I was working. Violet's "down time" (when I'm not actively feeding, bathing, changing, walking, or playing with her) is maddeningly unpredictable. I can't say there's not enough of it; it's just that when she goes to sleep and/or plays happily alone, I never know if it's going to be for ten minutes or three hours. So I never know if I can finish what I want to start. And yet I feel like I have an infinite amount of time. So nothing feels urgent.

Very good description of life with baby. Getting stuff done is hard. Adorable pictures, btw. :)
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From:joeshlabotnik
Date:June 14th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

Thankfully, I don't feel frazzled or tired or stressed; just lazy.
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From:rebbyribs
Date:June 14th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
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I agree!

I found it really difficult to judge whether Iris would be able to stay asleep if I put her down, and so I was never sure whether it was worth trying to do something, or whether I should just stay put and enjoy the sleeping baby time.
From:tracied
Date:June 14th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
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awwwwww! I love that picture. And what fun, staying at home with Violet. I think more dad's should do it.
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From:joeshlabotnik
Date:June 14th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
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So do I! I'd feel less strange doing it...
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From:sbtorpey
Date:June 17th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Lovely! We should definitely arrange a play-date or two before you have to return to the salt mines.
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From:karinebou
Date:August 5th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)

Paternity leave

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This is great: in my English oral exam (to become a school teacher), they gave me a text about "new Fatherhood". How fathers were more and more like mothers.
I had to summarize the text for the jury and then they asked me questions. They asked me all kind of questions about it and it was right up my alley as Derek is an American father who would just LOVE to stay home and take care of the kids.

Then I thought of you and your fight with your company to have your rights respected. I told the jury about facts and reality in the US: how maternity leave was actually the same as in France but that not every woman knew it or took it. Same with fathers.
Like you say: it's the law. But so many Americans are scared not to find a job if they go against the will of the company !

Here, you can decide to stop your job for a year or even more without pay and you get some kind of money compensation from the governement. Isn't it great?
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