How Do I Make the Most of My Paternity Leave?

Excellent post by Michael Roston from the New York Times on his upcoming parental leave.

It was called How do I make the most of my paternity leave?

Late last year, The New York Times Company announced that it would offer six weeks of paid parental leave for all employees. The timing couldn’t have been better for me, because late last year I became a father. I worked out some scheduling with my managers, and my wife, and in one week’s time I’ll start paternity leave with our 4-month-old daughter as my wife returns to work from her maternity leave.

On Sunday, my wife and I had a conversation about things that I should understand about being home with our daughter full time. After we discussed various particulars, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to know. There was. “Do you have any general advice on staying sane?”

Later in the post he asked these 3 questions.

What are you glad you did during your paternity leave?
What do you regret doing during your leave?
What do you wish you had done while on leave?

Of course a handful of people I know, instantly sent it to me to read as they know how much I enjoyed my leave last year.

Here are my answers that I left in the comments (and I hope get approved).

I took a 6-month leave last year. It was the best.

To answer your questions:

What are you glad you did during your paternity leave?

Took my two boys to the beach a lot. There is nothing like a Tuesday morning, nobody around and building trenches with your kids. It was the best. That is just one of the many things.

What do you regret doing during your leave?

Regret is such a strong word. I can’t think of anything major. I wish I documented more. I wish I took more time for myself. Looking after a baby, there is not a lot of things that needs to be done.

What do you wish you had done while on leave?

Possibly gone more places. But honestly, I did pretty much everything I wanted to do. I did have this crazy dream that while on leave I would have all this time to relaunch my freelance writing career, but after a week, it was clear I would not have the time, or the energy. I had the best 6 months of the year for doing stuff (april-october) so I feel very blessed.

Thanks for providing this forum Michael. Are there other dads out there who want to share? Please offer your comments here or go to Michael’s post.

I look forward to hearing how it went when it is over Michael.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I really felt that I benefited from being able to take two weeks of paternity leave when my wife gave birth to our son almost a year ago. It was such an amazing time and it was great to be there to take it all in and try to help out as best I could.

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