Sunday, November 15, 2020

Paternity Leave

Sam has always taken a week or so off of work at the birth of a new baby,
but St. Jude generously offers 6 weeks of paid paternity leave when a baby is born!
Unfortunately we didn't get to take advantage of that perk when Benson was born, because you had to have been employed for at least 6 months and Sam had only been employed for 5 months (boo!), but we scored with Elsie!
We decided that 2 weeks would be ample time for us to adjust and that the full 6 weeks would be a bit much for Sam to take off work, so we enjoyed a golden 2 weeks of paternity leave and it was glorious!

My mom was here for the first 2 days of the first week,
and I felt so grateful. She did what she always does and entertained the kids, cleaned the house, did my laundry, stocked our fridge and pantry with delicious, novel food, made dinners, and showered us all with love.
We were sad to see her go and so thankful she was willing to make the sacrifice to come be with us.

And my sister, Breanne, was here for the remainder of that week! The boys LOVED the extra attention from her and it was so nice to have an extra set of hands to take kids on walks or throw them into the pouf or hold Elsie.
Just look at all those happy faces!

For the second week, Sam took the kids to school and picked them up every day and entertained Maxwell and Benson during the day...doing countless puzzles, going on a daily walk or bike ride to playgrounds, playing lots of rounds of alphabet Go Fish, and reading stories on a constant repeat. He made lunches and helped with homework and managed the morning rush and put kids down for naps. And we had SO much fun just staring at our new little Elsie Girl and enjoying her together. During the day we all took turns holding her and at night Sam and I stayed up late watching her, commenting on her piercing stare, comparing her features to our other kids', bathing her, and cuddling her and it was pretty much bliss.
We found ourselves feeling an increase in love for ALL our kids during this sweet period.

And watching Sam with a daughter has been the sweetest thing.
He loves his baby girl!

After two weeks we settled back into the swing of things, but it has still been very calm and peaceful.
Pregnancy during COVID restrictions wasn't my favorite, but postpartum during COVID restrictions has been amazing! There are almost no extra demands on our time, outside of school, work, and church, and we have been able to fully soak in this newborn phase.

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