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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Dunbar

Maternity and Paternity Leave Go Hand-in-Hand

I went to bed at 8:30pm last night and woke up at 3:30am. I slept for 7 hours. This is the longest I’ve slept in 3 months.

Photo by Media from Wix.

I’m still on maternity leave. The 4th trimester has always been a struggle for me: sleep wise, hormone wise, mental health wise.

So how did I get this much sleep? Did my 7-week old decide to bless me with the longest stretch she’s ever done? Hell no. But my partner did.

I’m not one to ask for help 😬 but my husband started to see me struggle and took action. He offered to take the 12am shift. Even though he isn’t on paternity leave and has work the next day. I felt horrible at first, but took his offer.

I’ve never had a partner willing to “take the night shift”. With my first 3, I felt like I had to do everything myself at night, even though my ex had 6 months paternity leave and I had 0.

So here are the realizations I came to at 4am:

1. Paternity leave is so utterly important. 2 weeks doesn’t cut it for a working dad. We have to do better as companies to offer more.

2. When on Paternity leave, support your significant other in this process. This leave is meant to connect with the baby and support the mother, not get in the best shape of your life, start a company or finish a project.

3. When not on Paternity leave, support your significant other in this process. We all make sacrifices and “having work the next day” isn’t a get out of jail card when it comes to sharing baby responsibilities.

4. It’s so important to pick the right partner. In life and in business. A partner who doesn’t wait for you to beg for help, but sees you need it and offers support and suggests solutions.

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