In some ways, we are quite fortunate to be living in Sweden. This is especially in regards to parental leave and staying home with our Litte A. Susann has been home for the first 9 months since the birth, but this Monday was her first day back in the office. So, how about Little A? Well, instead of Susann I’m now going to stay at home until she is big enough to go to daycare this fall. Today I tell you about my first week of paternity leave.
Parental Leave in Sweden?
Parental leave in Sweden is quite a complex system, as I believe it is in most countries. In total, we have 480 days of paid leave here in Sweden for every child. During 390 days the pay depends on your income, usually around 80%. The other 90 days are so-called low paid days, these only give you 180 SEK per day. According to current exchange rates that is about 22 USD or 18 euro.
The days can be split between the parents as they see fit, that is all except for 90 days that is locked for each of the parents. In other words, paternity leave is common. Usually, you can stay home from work without using these days for the first 18 months. After that, you will most likely need to take one day paid leave for every day staying home from work.
For me, I’m actually not taking a 100% leave from work. I’m still working 25%, which is about 2 hours per day. Luckily I can work these hours from home, which is a great privilege. According to me, this is a great way to extend my income and also save a few more days of parental leave until Little A is a bit older.
My Paternity Leave: The First Week
So, it is now Friday here in Stockholm and my first whole week of being home alone with Little A has come to an end. It is of course not the first time I’m home alone with her, Previously, I’ve been home with her a few hours at a time and there were no problems. So I was not so worried about this week.
Did Little A mind that her mother was gone when she woke up? Not at all. I don’t even think that she noticed. Every day this week she has been more than happy to just have me at home. She has mostly been eating, sleeping, and playing around. Playing around is something that has really exploded this week, which has been both fun and very tiresome.
She has learned that she with some help is able to stand up. So now she is exploring all the new possibilities. All objects at home are now an aid for standing up. Sitting still is also out of the question now as there is so much to explore. Luckily she has not yet learned to walk by herself. But she is crawling quite fast already and every oddity has to be explored. I have needed every moment she’s sleeping for rest and making sure I’m able to work my two hours every day. Luckily that has been no problem so far, we will see how it goes once she runs around a bit more.
The first week has come to an end. It has been a lot to learn for both Little A and me. It is, however, nice to see that we are starting to get some kind of routines for the days.
My Paternity Leave: The Future Plan
We have several months left together and I’m really looking forward to all the days I will spend with our Little A. There are so many possibilities, both for playing and exploring. I want to make both day trips and also longer trips during this time. There is so much we want to show her and hopefully, she will remember it. That is not something I expect now of course. She has already been to 1o countries, that is probably nothing she will remember. It might, however, be something that we can tell her about later on. At least we have photo evidence!