The End of Paternity Leave

Chris Paternity-8As I’ve mentioned before, Chris was able to take an eight week paternity leave from his job. When we’ve discussed this with other couples, we’ve been greeted with a variety of reactions from “Woah! I wish my husband got that much time off” to “In my day, fathers didn’t take any time off!” The subject of maternity and paternity leave has come up frequently lately, with the U.S. notably trailing behind other countries to offer time off for new parents. But, to Chris’s employer who afforded us the extended paternity leave and to Chris who chose to opted stay home the full 8 weeks, I have just one thing to say. Thank you.

On the first couple days after Rosemary joined us via C-section, you learned to care for our child when I couldn’t move. A few days later, you even taught me how to change a diaper. Thank you.

When we got home and I was learning to feed our baby, you were there at all hours of the night to change her, burp her, and keep me awake. You even got creative with your tactics, buying new M&M flavors for us to try out and critique at the 3AM feeding. Thank you.

When I needed a little extra sleep, you took the morning shift so I could stay in bed to rest and recover for a few more hours. Thank you.

When I cried because I was in pain or didn’t think I could survive one more feeding, you were there to tell me I was doing great and that you were proud of me. Thank you.

As the weeks passed, you helped me establish a routine and find ways to make Rosemary smile. Thank you.

I knew very early on in our life together that you were a kind man who would do anything to make me happy (as I would you). It’s been wonderful watching you share that with our daughter. On your first day back at work, I am sad to watch you head back to the office, but so thankful that we got all this time when so many others are given none. I know I will always treasure these weeks we had at home together bonding as a family.

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