I'm trying to collect some opinions on this, because I'm a first time parent and most of my friends don't have kids. Basically, I'm trying to work out how much I will be needed at home during the first weeks and months of the baby being born. Don't get me wrong, I'd love stay home with the baby the entire time but its a comprise between supporting the girlfriend, raising the baby and work/money commitments. I'm trying to strike the right balance.
Just to outline the situation
My girlfriend is due around November this year, and I am planning as much as I can in advanced. I've been talking to HR at work, trying to decide what the best arrangements to make for work are at the time of birth and directly after.
To be it into context, it just so happens that I am the main bread winner in the relationship and my girlfriend will be stopping work a couple months before and staying at home to look after the baby. She will then looking for a new job after a duration (6months? undecided as of yet). So my girlfriend will be the main carer for the baby (9 to 5) initially.
What I'm entitled to
I am entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave, at statutory pay; which is significantly less than my usual pay and makes a huge impact to our finances. I also have flexible hours, some holiday available and the opportunity to work from home some days of the week.
My current plan
First of all, I'm assuming everything will go ahead as expected and there will be no complications. If there are any, I'll need to change plans anyway so if it happens I'll rethink things.
Roughly the week proceeding the due day (or the point where it looks like it might be any minute) I will work from home, and be able to spring into action straight away and drive her to the hospital. Its worth noting that the mother-in-law is very local, and very helpful so she'll be on standby to help throughout the birth and the months after.
After the baby is born, I will take a week of paternity leave and the odd couple days of holiday to bridge across the nearest weekend or if we need a extra day of so.
After the initial paternity leave period, I will go back to work and work from home ~2 days a week flexibly, depending on how I'm needed at work and home. I'm an engineer, so my time is split between working on a computer (anywhere) and working in a lab (in the office). I would keep working from home a couple days a week for a month or two, probably up to Xmas.
In the New Year, I would look to going back to work in the office full time. I have flexible hours, so I can work different times to work around baby commitments as needed.
So I'm wondering, how much will I be needed during and after the pregnancy. Is just over 1 week dedicated, plus working from home for 2 months after enough?