Agency announced 16-weeks of paid paternity and I qualify. Only problem, I head up a very lean discipline at the agency and have a strong feeling that taking advantage could cause resentment....

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I think it’s actually CRITICAL that you take the leave—in your position, it demonstrates that the agency actually walks the walk. It makes you a good role model! On that front, I wouldn’t do weekly check-ins, it implies leave isn’t actually leave. Just put together a really solid plan before you go, and have protocol in place for emergencies (ie if the issue relates to X and is Y amount of risk, you can call me—otherwise talk to Joe). That said as long as you truly checkout during, two blocks is fine—I’ve seen many families in other countries chunk out the dad’s leave so that some is right when baby is born and some after mom goes back to work, to extend the time when baby doesn’t need care from non-parents.

likeuplifting

You should take it. You deserve it and 16 weeks will fly by. I would have killed for that much time. And as a female leader taking the time you deserve is a good role model thing to do. Do not feel bad. It will all work out. Agree with previous posts about the better thing to do being setting a good plan. Don't be afraid. Don't worry. This time is deserved and shouldn't be seen as a set back or "taking advantage." Only take two chunks of you truly want that and then be sure women that work for you and may some day need the time off understand your CHOICE. And don't let them feel like you made it for the sacrifice of the job but rather as a personal decision for what was best for you.

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I think your plan to break it up makes sense. I also think this is time you will never have again and you should take it.

likesmarthelpful

If your partner is returning to work, have you considered taking 8 weeks at birth and then 8 weeks right when she returns? Can help make her transition away from the baby much easier and give you some great 1:1 bonding time! But agree, don’t feel guilty about taking the time. Important to lead by example and also spend the time with your family.

likesmart

Just wanted to say as a new Mom- please take that time. If you have to chunk it, totally fine. It means so much to see a male leader take the full leave, like there is hope for the rest of us. Also, your partner will thank you as well.

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Don't be silly even for a second about this and take full advantage of it! Your proposed plan sounds like a good compromise but there's nothing wrong with taking off the maximum benefit allowed either. That's what it's for!! People fight for such benefits to become the norm, why tf would you be worried about the company when they can either hire freelance to cover or simply survive 16 weeks without you. This is your life and family. And, sorry, but you're a man. Your career will be fine, trust me. This will look super silly to you when you're 80 with your grandkids running around, hopefully.

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PD1 makes such a good point. We need to lead by example. Working ourselves to death and missing family moments should not be a thing.

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For the sake of everyone else who will wonder this in the future - as a leader it is your responsibility to be a good role model and take it.

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^ Great point!!! I recently read about how if senior people model company culture and values, it helps regular file and rank to believe and not be afraid to participate too. Also, Google the story about Pepsi's CEO for Australia about that.

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Commitment to family that will (hopefully) be in your life forever > Commitment to agency that will probably be in your life for a few years

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It's a tough spot but you deserve the leave just as much as anyone else. If you can have a decent coverage plan then take your full leave without guilt. Not the worst thing for them to feel some pain with you being out for a while.

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Thanks all for the continued dialogue. I appreciate both spectrums of opinion, each important to consider even if they don’t align with my beliefs. For the record, the baby is already here. :) I was only allotted 1-week at the time, but took another week and a half of PTO to handle everything since he was a month premature and my wife had to have a c-section and another complication that required close observation. I could have used up all of my vacation to extend it, but we discussed at the time and decided it would be better for me to hold onto the remaining 2 weeks PTO I had till later in the year. The surprise came after quite a bit of frustration, pressing on my part, and lobbying for change. It was going to happen eventually, but I like to think my active approach to holding the agency accountable lit a fire. Even better, I am grandfathered in so even though I technically took leave, I can still take the full amount, no questions asked. For all, I believe it important to acknowledge that leave isn’t vacation. I’m not doing this for myself even though I’ll reap an amazing reward by seeing his continued progression as his body and mind navigate this new world. If I were an unsupportive schmuck who expected my wife to handle everything while I spend the bulk of my time away from them, she likely would have suggested I take less - but like I said - we are a team, and frankly, she deserves the undivided attention, as does our son. I’ve also been thinking - I’ll be the first here to capitalize on the benefit, so I plan to document my experience and present it to the agency when I come back - not to gloat, but to show the value and positive impact the time away brings to the family. Hope everyone here has an amazing Friday! Mine started at the 5AM feeding, and will end when I place my boy in his bassinet at 8PM.

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I wish you were my VP. If you were, I know our entire department would band together to create a plan to carry as much momentum forward as we could while you were away, with your instruction.

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SVP, spoken like someone who has no kids, no partner and no clue. OP- Don’t listen to emotionally stunted posters on here that don’t believe the role of the father is just as important. These upcoming weeks are going to change your perspective on the world. It’s definitely worth taking that time off to explore your new role as Dad. You are doing the right thing, and I am inspired by you being strong enough to do it.

likehelpful

You receive benefits as part of your compensation package. Easy as that

likehelpful

If there was any negative impact on your career that would be a shame. Take advantage of the benefit. Don’t short-change your family

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LB2 - Such a disappointing take on the situation. My husband took 16 weeks with our second child last summer (he was only able to take 2 with our first a few years ago) and he would 100 percent disagree. He definitely didn't want to go back after 2 weeks and he has bonded so well with our daughter because he was here with her. (Of course the wife needs the time too, but I don't think this was about OP taking it instead of her at all.) OP - take the time. Check in if you need to, but primarily be there for your family. It will fly by and you will reap the benefits for years to come. And you'll be setting a good example for your team along the way. Do it! And enjoy!

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I work for the same company and plan to use it all when we have our 2nd kid and I am male...be sure to use it all.

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And it could also jeopardize the momentum I’ve built over the last year in my role. Any thoughts from the bowl on navigating this touchy subject? I can take leave in two blocks to break it up, and the initial thought is that I would do two 6-week periods with twice weekly check-ins to make sure shit doesn’t go south.

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True on all counts, and my record here is sound enough where it isn’t necessarily a worry about job security but positive momentum. It’s great to hear the additional perspective.

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