A Problem Shared: Home Alone After Paternity Leave Ends?

A Problem Shared Parenting & Family Advice | by | 20th Jan 2017

A Problem Shared: Home Alone After Paternity Leave Ends?

A new mum from Flintshire is about to be home alone as her partner returns to work after paternity leave. Do you have any advice for this week’s A Problem Shared…?

If you need some help with any ideas or with any issues that are causing problems for your family why not share with the FamilyPoint Community? You can get advice and support from other parents as well as get an answer from one of our trained and experienced helpline adviser advocates. Click here.

Hi FamilyPoint,

My husband is finishing his paternity leave this week. I’m a bit apprehensive as I’m going to be home alone for the first time and it’s our first baby. Whilst it’s been an amazing couple of weeks together as a new family, the reality is dawning on me that there won’t be that safety net of his extra pair of eyes, ears, hands – etc!

I’m sure lots of people have their worries as new parents but I’m not sure if that reassures me! Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Alys

Our FamilyPoint Advice for Alys

Thanks for getting in touch with us here at FamilyPoint about your worries.

Whilst it doesn’t reassure you – it’s completely understandable for any new mother to anticipate possible difficulties or isolation and sense of responsibility as sole carer, when their husband returns to work following paternity leave. The transition from being a secure couple providing joint caring responsibilities to then being the sole carer for much of the day is potentially a daunting prospect.

However, there are a number of  possible options that you could consider. These may very well ease this feeling of worry and unfamiliarity, and make this transition easier and a lot smoother for yourself.

Ask family and friends

Family and friends can provide a great source of support during what can seem a very isolating period.  You may wish to think about making contact with anyone who’s available, for both practical and emotional support.  Maybe popping around with your newborn baby, to see a neighbour for a cup of tea, or going for a walk with a friend around the park is a good way to fill your day.

You may wish to ask your family or close friends for childcare support. Especially if or when you feel you are in need of some time out or to ease any potential isolation.

Friends and family important when paternity leave ends

Mother and baby groups

You could also consider making contact with a mother and toddler/baby group or club. Here you can meet other people who are in your shoes, and who would also appreciate some face-to-face contact and engagement. A mother and toddler/baby group is also a great place to gain further information and access to local services and support for new mothers and parents.

If you navigate our website, you will see a link to your local Family Information Service which provides help with childcare, information, money, parenting, and Things To Do in your area. Our website also has a link for Things to Do in your area. Also see our magazine section dedicated to Things To Do.

NCT logo for paternity leave article

National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is another great source of practical and emotional support. NCT is a national organisation that provides accurate, impartial information so that you can decide what’s best for your family. They also provide an opportunity to be introduced to a network of local parents. They will even match you up up with mothers who have similar birth dates to your baby, where you will be able to exchange similar experiences with local like-minded people, and if you wish you can meet up.

You are not alone

Above all – you are not alone after your partner’s paternity leave ends. Keep communicating your feelings and if you’re struggling at any point – talk to your health visitor and/or your family and friends. There is plenty of support out there.

We hope that this may help your transition over the next few weeks and that you are able to enjoy this very precious period you will have between you and your new born baby.

Helpline Graphic for Play out alone problem

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Best wishes,

The FamilyPoint Cymru Team

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Got a problem you want to share? Ask us now. Got advice you want to share? Leave a comment below or write an article for us!

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