In Norway we have a choice between 46 weeks (with 100% pay) or 56 weeks (with 80% pay) parental leave. Six weeks are reserved for the mother, 10 weeks reserved for the father (plus the 2 weeks off they get at the time of the birth), and the rest can be shared. Next year, the fathers 10 weeks will be increased to 12 weeks.
Some fathers, however, feel that they are not able to take this leave, but this very much depends on the type of work he has, e.g. somebody who is paid on commission can hardly afford to take 10 weeks off. Or, for somebody who is running their own company, it might be difficult to take so much time out.
The mother does not have the “luxury” to decide whether or not she can afford to take maternity leave, as she kind of has to take at least some time off, and traditionally it is expected that the takes most of the leave. (more…)
In January 2010 my life was turned upside down by the arrival of the cutest wee lad!
Before he was born I had quite unrealistic expectations to motherhood. I have, of course, heard people talk about how hard it is, the lack of sleep, the crying baby, the stress, but they also mentioned the love I would feel, a love greater than all others. And, I thought that love would give me all the energy needed to get through.
I also had big plans for maternity leave – in Norway most people take 56 weeks leave: a minimum of 6 weeks for the mother, a minimum of 10 weeks for the father, and the rest of the weeks can be shared equally (and this is with 80% pay). My husband is taking 4 months off, and I got the rest. Anyway, I had big plans. I would go for long walks and get back into my normal clothes in no time. I would read a lot, do lots of knitting, sort out all the filing, make all the baby food from scratch and so on. I was planning to be very social and meet up with lots of friends and lots of other things. I was going to be a “super mummy”!