If you’re a dad and your partner is planning on taking primary carer’s parental leave after having a baby - which is overwhelmingly the case - the Federal Government is willing to pitch in and pay you two weeks of leave at the minimum wage. Two weeks. To adjust to life with a newborn. Two. Weeks. Let that properly sink in.
As a father of two, I feel confident in saying two weeks is categorically not enough time for a family to recover physically and emotionally after childbirth, establish a skerrick of a routine, or adjust to the new dynamics of caring for an infant. To do any of those critically important things, families need to be able to spend time together in those formative months.
I know from my own experience the difference between taking a small amount of leave compared to a decent chunk of paid leave. It was life changing.
Watch: Holly Wainwright talks about shared parenting. Post continues below.
With my first child, I took just 13 days, and it made life more difficult. For all of us.
We were adjusting to a new family dynamic, our sleep was disrupted, and I was trying to balance my regular work responsibilities on top of our home life.
With my second child, it was much easier. I took two months off using a mixture of paid parental and annual leave. Life was so much easier being able to be there for my family when they needed me without having to worry about how I could do my job. I’m so lucky I got to take that time. Paid parental leave for dads is rare and sporadic in Australia.
If you are one of the lucky few to work at a top company or consultancy firm, you might be entitled to between 18 and 26 weeks of paid leave after becoming a dad. How brilliant that there are companies that recognise their employees will be more productive if they feel supported as family members?