Showing posts from October, 2015

AIPL: the mysterious world of weaning

For obvious technical reasons, the natural way to share a year of leave is for mum to take the first half and dad the second half. This meant I was able to benefit from Mrs Tomsk's hard-won experience in many areas, but weaning would be a daddy-managed activity. Little did I realise how it would dominate proceedings.

The advice from on high these days is not to start weaning until your baby is six months old, a good couple of months later than used to be the case, and exactly the time I was due to take over. Elspedoodle had tried a few things before this time, most notably in the notorious Magnum chocolate accident, but also broccoli and a chip she reached out and grabbed when we weren't looking. So she was aware of the most important food groups, but making a concerted effort on her weaning fell to me. I am rather proud of navigating her from an essentially milk-only diet at the start of my leave to three meals a day by the end while somehow miraculously maintaining her gro…

Adventures in Paternity Leave

I've been back at work now for almost as long as I was away on paternity leave, and excuses for not writing a blog about it are wearing thin. My memories are starting to get distinctly rose-tinted too: as we battle through nursery virus season juggling work commitments it feels like a lost era of tranquillity and cake. Not that there wasn't cake, of course, but I'm pretty sure I'm imagining the tranquillity. Time to publish before it turns entirely fictional.

It's only recently that fathers have been given a right to paternity leave in the UK. The standard leave of one or two weeks after birth was introduced only in 2003, and it wasn't until 2011 that it became possible to transfer a portion of maternity leave from the mother to the father (aka "additional paternity leave"). These were the rules under which I took my time off work, but things move fast in the paternity leave game and since 2015 the more flexible "shared parental leave" has …