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Paternity Leave: How Dads can Relieve the Pressure on WAHMs


If it is an option for the father of your children to acquire paternity leave from their business, it would be a good opportunity for you as you begin or continue working from home. Not only will they be able to share parenting duties, your personal work/life balance will be maintained.

Working from Home with Newborns

As a work-at-home mom, you know that working from home can be stressful, especially if your children are newly born. As newborns require a lot of special attention at various times throughout the day and night, starting or maintaining a business could be near impossible. You cannot neglect your child, but you cannot neglect your business either if you want it to continue bringing in revenue.

Though there are several options to working at home with newborns, such as babysitting or a "mothers helper", in the first few months of your babies life, both you and the father will want to be involved with your child.

Benefits of Paternity Leave

If the father were able to get paternity leave, it would take a huge burden off your shoulders. You would still be able to help in the raising of your child, but the father would be there to help change diapers, feed the baby and make sure they are down for another nap. This would enable you to focus a little longer on your work and get some projects out of the way (or make a business call without worrying about being interrupted).

Even at night, you could share in taking care of the baby, instead of worrying about him being presentable for work the next day. The first few weeks after your baby is born will be stressful without adding your home business on top of it.

Additionally, paternity leave is a great way for the father to be able to bond with the baby and spend more quality time with him.

Though it may be tempting to let the father of your screaming infant take care of it once again, make sure you do your fair sure of the "dirty work." This will help your relationship with the father stay in tact and cause less fights caused by stress or lack of sleep.

Creating a Schedule

Make sure you schedule specific times that you will be responsible for taking care of your baby and let the father have some relaxation. It is just as important for him to be able to have a break during the leave as it is for you to have a break. Becoming overwhelmed will just cause the both of you more stress, and when he goes back to work, he will still feel the stress.

Before the father takes paternity leave, make a schedule of the work duties you will need to accomplish during the leave and any duties that he will have outside of caring for the newborn. Divide your time so that you can each have a time to work and each have a time to help with the baby. Also, each of you should take care of the baby at least an extra hour a day so the other can rest. At night, rotate taking care of the baby in shifts, the first 4 hours go to mom, the next 4 to dad; this will ensure that each parent gets at least 4 hours of sound sleep.

During the paternity leave, enlist help from a family member so that you and the father can have time alone to relax together. It is a stressful time for both of you, but you need to take time to foster your relationship and keep the romance alive in your marriage.

Paternity leave is a great way to help out a WAHM, and should be taken if offered.

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