{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My wife is giving birth in a few months to our first child. Should I take the full 16 weeks? Four months seems like an extremely long time. What about utilization and bonus? Getting replaced in projects and initiatives?", "post_id": "617ab7f67c2c17002a23e54f", "reply_count": 189, "vote_count": 26, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

My wife is giving birth in a few months to our first child. Should I take the full 16 weeks? Four months seems like an extremely long time. What about utilization and bonus? Getting replaced in projects and initiatives?

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Taking the full amount of paternity leave was the best thing I ever did. So much quality time with the kid. So many early milestones that I was present for. Did not affect my career at all. I actually got promoted *while* on leave and then again a couple of years later.

Wife and I staggered our leaves. I took a month of vacation after birth. I then went back to work for 2 months while she finished her leave. And then I had the kid all to myself when my wife went back to work. It made me a much better parent and allowed us to prolong daycare until the kid was 7 months old.

Paid parental leave is part of your total rewards package. If you don’t take it, you are losing out.


Definitely take the full 16 weeks! What’s amazing about Deloitte is that they let you take that over the course of a year if you want to stagger it vs take it all at once. The approacb you can decide with your wife, she can tell you based on how she feels and what nanny support she has (I assume at the very least you have someone who cleans your house, and don’t expect her to do that as well).

You know your wife will be “on” around the clock, attending to the baby 24 hrs a day, whether feeding, changing, preparing bottles, washing endless bottles, bathing, putting down for naps, burping, figuring out every cry, all while putting her own needs aside. She will no longer be able to sleep through the night, waking up every few hours to feed/change, and repeat, she will extend herself physically and mentally beyond belief. So you contemplating taking off 16 weeks *fully paid*, makes you sound like a hands off husband and father. Please reconsider this incredible privilege that most people in the US don’t have


Amen to “…reconsider this incredible privilege that most people in the US don’t have” 16 weeks is AMAZING. My wife cried when my employer changed from 3 days to 4 weeks.

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Is work more important than your child?


My dad was absent a lot and drank a lot because of his feeling that he “needed” to do it to provide for us. I can say with certainty I would have preferred a happy, sober dad who was around waaay more than whatever dumb shopping sprees my mom went on. He ultimately became so miserable and drunk that he lost his job and most of the money anyway. Take care of your family. The job is a means to an end and the workaholics on here have it backward. No amount of money will ever fix my parents missing my graduation.


So... You're feeling what every woman feels while giving birth? Minus the nausea, discomfort, postpartum depression and tearing up your body.

Take the 16 weeks. Be there for your wife and child. When you're old, your utilization is not going to take care of you.


Take the full time, your career will still be there and your wife will really appreciate the help. I'm really hoping my husband decides to take his full paternity leave at the same time as me (there's been debate about staggering when we take it to extend how long before we need childcare), but I think I'm going to need the help while I recover


Good thing you don't work for Palantir


You will only have this time once with your child and you cannot work harder, network, take classes or talk to anyone into giving you that time back. You can hustle work, you can’t hustle being a father.


Oh yes you can...I don't recommend it and it left me with many childhood scars but you can indeed hustle through fatherhood. Should you? Nope. But can you? Yup.


As somebody in the middle of my paternity leave…take the whole thing and don’t look back. Cherish every moment. It’s tougher than you may think, but is also amazingly rewarding and truly a once in their lifetime opportunity.


Portfolio Manager 1 - you are an interesting study - purposefully polarizing comments here - is it more fun when people reply to your messages, and that's the primary focus? If so, it's obviously working! Reminds me of someone. Hmm. Who could that be?


Take the time. Stay connected to set up the project you’ll join when you return. Not sure how it’ll hit utilization but it should not impact bonus. If Deloitte practices what they preach, they will absolutely not penalizing you for taking the time away to bond with your child.


That is because paternity leave is a part of short term disability insurance. So you can’t work when on it


I forced my husband to take his full 3 months. He took it after my 4 months. He was so nervous, he’s never taken that much time off work.
He was SO grateful during and after that he almost wanted to be a stay at home dad
Take it! You’ll save your child from being cared for by someone else for that much longer, you’ll actually learn how to take care of them on your own (invaluable to you and your wife), and you will get a “break” from work and your normal life which is so unusual and special.


18 years from now if you were to look back at this post, you would be in utter disbelief that a concern of yours was your utilization and bonus would be impacted.

I think it’s natural to be apprehensive to the impact of this on your career trajectory after working so hard, but take the time and the rest will fall in place. Future you would be regretful if you didn’t.


I think focusing on the pay is the opposite of being open minded, especially when all of us in consulting have jobs that pay us quite well.

There's a perceived stigma for taking paternity leave. At some of the bigger firms, especially for those in supportive teams, we can take the leave with little to no impact on our careers. People can miss a few months and still be highly rated, get promoted, and get a good bonus. I recognize that's not true with every firm or every team though.

Yes, take it! Your wife will thank you. It’s a lot of work and sleepless night and so much easier when there’s someone to share the load with. You’ll get replaced on some stuff but if your networks are strong then people will bring you back or onto new opps and projects they are working on. Work will always be there but don’t lose out on this experience, you only have a first child once!!


Please note, you should do this for every child you have, not just the first.


I will offer the other perspective. Not to diminish paternity leave, but I personally (and recognize it’s my own opinion) do not believe it’s needed for that length of time. I did not take anywhere close to that amount of time and I have an incredibly close and positive relationship with my children. You will find the demands of parenthood will increase as they get older, so being in a better financial position later in your career will be important. You do you. Don’t let anyone guilt you into staying home longer than you want or going back in sooner than necessary.


“Easily 1 year in 3-4 years” is a ridiculous statement. It happens, but it’s very rare. It takes a minimum of 9.5 months to have a baby, and it’s not recommended to have a baby within the year after, but at a bare minimum 2 months after…I know many stories of 2 under 2 but have you literally worked with anyone who had 4 singletons in 4 years (1 year of leave)? I don’t even know an anecdotal friend-of-friend story of that scenario

Also, maternity and paternity leave is not vacation. It’s kinda the worst time ever - I slept a maximum of 1.5 hrs for 7 weeks and then a max of 4 hrs after that for another 6 weeks. Every. Day. For months. Equating it to vacation is also ridiculous. That said, I do think anyone with a child or not should have access to sabbatical time after a certain # of years.


I just took paternity leave. It doesn’t affect utilization. Take it all!


Here’s an unpopular opinion - don’t take the full-time. Your baby will likely be fine and this could significantly impact your career.


Oh you were not kidding and we all know this


Take the whole thing. Your wife will probably need the support as she’s healing. I echo what all the other commenters have said about that but also want to add that before 4 months the baby is most lily not sleeping through the night. You should be an equal partner in helping with that. The lack of sleep and stress at home will most likely impact your performance, which will also impact your bonus and reputation. They probably won’t give you a pass since you volunteered to turn down leave.


This. Turn down leave and you will face a lot more pressure balancing home and work

Take the time. Can you break up your leave? Had a kid last year and I took a few weeks right away and then the balance after my wife’s maternity leave was complete.

I’m very glad I took the whole time.


It's not that long. Babies stop being babies quickly and you can't get that time back


That's amazing PM! What all does that include?

Unequivocal yes to taking it all.

1) You’ll miss the newborn smiles, babbles, smell, cuddles when they’re older. Take advantage of it now. You can’t buy it back with your bonus or raises.

2) any other medical experience other than pregnancy where someone loses as much blood, experiences as much pain, and has such a long recovery would be considered major trauma. Be with your wife, this is really freaking hard on her. Support her and take care of her. Wether that is taking care of the baby so she can get a break, getting her the food she wasn’t allowed to eat while pregnant, whatever just be there for her.



Newborn > Work


Does your wife also work? What is her maternity leave like?

ZS allows for people to take their paternity/maternity leave in multiple chunks within a year. My managers who had kids took a couple weeks off after their child was born, returned to work and then used the remaining leave once their wife’s maternity leave ran out. And as everyone else said - take the full leave!


I did the same for my child last year. Definitely recommend!

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