Paternity Leave

Disclaimer: I have not done any research or anything – my comments and opinions are only based on my personal experience and views…

We are very fortunate in Norway as we get quite a lot of maternity and paternity leave. You can choose to have a total of 46 weeks (with 100% pay) or 56 weeks (with 80% pay) – all though I believe they have just upped this to be 47 and 57 weeks. We choose the option of 56 weeks.

The first 6 weeks after the birth is for the mother. Then the dad gets 10 (or is it now 11) weeks, and the rest can be shared between the parents as they please. My husband took a total of 4 months paternity leave – and loved it.

Now this is all great – however – what I don’t understand is this: Why is it that the government gets to decide that the dad has to take 10 weeks. Why can’t all the weeks be shared? It is apparently to make sure that the mother doesn’t take all the weeks herself… and to force to mother back to work… so that we can all be equal… and so that women will get better paid… and so on and so on… But is it working? My husband took 4 months off – he probably would have taken more if I had let him – but there was also the consideration of income… He earns more than me (because we have chosen different jobs), so it was natural for him to take less time off.

I love the fact that we get so much time off during the child’s first year – but I don’t like that the government doesn’t trust us parents to know what is best for our family…

There – I have said it – and I feel a lot better now 🙂

I have also written about this in a lot more detail over on WorldMomsBlog!

– Photo credit to Astrid Warren –

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5 Comments to “Paternity Leave”

  1. Paternity leave! I’ve nevet heard of such thing!
    I wonder when it can happen in my country!
    (Even the idea must sounds so amusing here in Indonesia!)

  2. I agree. The bonding stage is vital for great brain development: there should at least be an option for the mother to have those 10 weeks. I am increasingly concerned about governments putting economics before mothering…oh dear: soap-box!

    • I do think it is great that the dad gets the chance to take so much time off – but I don’t understand why it can’t be optional… at the moment they are talking about giving the father even more weeks… but there is still only 6 weeks that are reserved for the mother… now I was not fit to go back to work after six weeks so if anything they should reserve more weeks for the mother (all though I have never heard of any mothers here go back to work that quickly)! Right… I had better got off that soap-box too 🙂

  3. I think the fact that Norway offers such time off makes for a stronger society. However, Norway is Lucky to have oil to support this!
    I also recommend for any of you inspired to visit Norway to make sure to head to both Preikestolen- the Pulpit Rock- heavenly view of earth and also Bergen, Norway- gorgeous town pictorial … I’d move to Norway but for the long dark winter!

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