What are the primary benefits of taking paternity leave?
As a new parent, it is likely that you have a fair number of challenges to undertake. This means getting yourself ready to face up against many things that are brand new to you – diapers, late nights, spit up!! If you are find yourself struggling, then you might wish to make the most of your paternity leave.
As a parent, you need and deserve time, support, and freedom to enjoy these crucial early days of parenting. With more and more parents – male and female – realizing the benefits of paternity leave – especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic when work is such a primary focus for so many – there is a requirement to fully understand the impact that paternity leave can have on your household.
In the past, parental leave was left to the mother while the father would spend time working, living as normal a life as can be. However, there are clear signs that paternity leave could be a huge benefit for both parents. By fathers taking on a more robust number of caregiving responsibilities in these key early months, the benefits extend far beyond avoiding burnout and high stress levels.
Most studies show that men who take paternity leave benefit massively from the break. While some worry it could be detrimental to their career futures, most have found it offers a better work-life balance whilst being able to help out more at home, strengthening relationships with both the child and mother.
Paternity leave isn't only beneficial to dads
It’s proven that paternity leave is beneficial in any family setting.
There are a great number of benefits that can stem from both parents taking leave in those early months. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to:
Better relationships at home
Having a child is a huge undertaking, and in the past, this would mean the mother takes on the brunt of the early childhood pressures, while fathers – or partners – would tend to still work, meaning they didn’t face the same challenges when arriving home. After work, the majority of the challenges in raising a baby are handled – the day is nearly over.
However, most studies point to fathers finding it universally positive to have more time to spend with both mother and child. They are more invested in those early days with the child, and thus they can feel the active impact that having a child has on their own life. This is very important as it helps both parents to feel the weight – and benefit – of responsibility.
Better mental health
The mental toll that can come with dealing with a newborn baby can be massive. From ensuring that postpartum care is made easier for the mother to helping out with the tasks needed to run the house, there is less of a toll taken on the body of the typical caregiver for the child.
Instead, with both parents at home and capable of handling the care that is required, there is a greater chance for tasks to be shared and the weight to be balanced. Both parents benefit from not trying to take on too much; now, one parent isn’t entirely focused on at-home care while the other is totally focused on bringing in money.
Instead, it allows the balance to be better shared so that both parents can feel like they are positively contributing.
Forming a family dymanic
A major mistake that stems from spending too much time working in those early months is the lost opportunity to form a lifelong bond. They might not even remember these moments clearly later in life, but those early moments of love, care, and attention from both parents can be essential for forming that loving, happy bond with both parents.
This allows for a more equal household role, yes, but more importantly it sets a clear dynamic that the child will be raised by both parents, not by one parent whilst the other works. This allows both parents to learn the key facts to raising a child as a duo, instead of one parent trying to work out everything on their own.
Setting the stage for the future
These key benefits also ensure that when the time comes for the child to mature and move on to preschool or childcare that they have a more seamless adjustment. When a child is used to being in a single-parent setting for most of early life, being put into a new situation can be very worrisome for a young mind.
Creating an environment where the child feels supported by multiple parental figures makes the transition to kindergarten and beyond a much easier experience. For parents who worry about having a symbiotic connection to their child that makes it hard to move on with key factors in life – such as attending school in early years – the ability to have both parents there to offer support actually reduces tension.
Now, with one parent not being tethered to the child whilst the other parent is less visible, it is much easier for both parents and children to have a more comfortable, less dependent relationship.
These factors matter a great deal when it comes to raising a child. Paternity leave is a huge part of helping ensure there is a strong support structure at home. Your job and career matters, but as a new parent you have just started the biggest, most rewarding job of your life!! Why miss out on those special beginning months of your new, unforgettable experience as a parent? Take paternity leave if you can!