The much-awaited enhancements to the Marriage and Parenthood package are here, and I must say I was pretty excited to read about, even though we are not planning to have more kids (that ship has sailed, believe me!).
What I found really encouraging was the increased paternity leave and shared parental leave that couples can now tap on! When we had our first son, through careful calculation (sheer luck), he was born in December, which coincided with the school holidays for my teacher husband. As this was my first child and a tricky pregnancy, I was utterly wiped out when they bundled little M up and handed him to me. Actually, they handed him to the husband, who promptly learned to diaper, burp and swaddle like a pro and did so for 7 full days while I slept like the dead.
When I look back on that period, I wonder how many mums handle those early days by themselves. Yes, there are confinement nannies and parents on hand if we are blessed enough to have them, but nothing beats having my husband and best friend next to me (burping the baby).
It’s great that the government is recognizing that it takes both dad and mum to parent a child. I believe the next generation of babies will remember their fathers changing their diapers and playing in the playground as much as their mothers did!
Judith Xavier is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about Family-Life issues. Together with her husband of 6 years, she spends her down-time exploring new playgrounds with her two young sons, Micah and Ezra.