Thursday, 10 January 2008

Paternal leave

After a legislative change by the beginning of 2007 more fathers here in Finland are encouraged to stay home when children are born into families.

In Finland there apparently is a four month maternal leave followed by parental leave that can be used either by the mother of the child or the father, or it can even be shared by both. Still not many men take advantage of this great opportunity with this paternal leave to spend time with their new born children, many claiming it being a matter of money and missed career opportunities and only one in ten fathers make use of this unique opportunity, which I think is really sad.

Well, outcome in hand, I can now say that my father was very keen on his career when we were young, my sister and I, at least we had the opportunity of out mother staying home with us so we had at least one parent at home when small. When we grew older and both in out time began school our mother returned to the working life first as part time, to still be able to be there for us when needed. But we never saw our father, he was busy making a career, and my, so he did!

My sister and I grew up, got married and had children of our won and our parents divorced our father getting remarried not too long after having new children with his new, much younger wife. This means I have sisters and brothers who actually are younger than my offspring. My offspring has aunts and uncles that are younger than they are. This also means I am older than my father’s new wife as well.

My father now has told me regrets the time he lost when we were children my sister and I, that he was never there for us then and that he will try to better this time, but as they say, it is hard to teach old dogs any tricks. They have already got their own peculiar ways and one thing you can sadly enough never get back is time, nor lost chances.

They are gone for ever, and never to come back!

So if anyone listens to me, take the paternity leave if given the chance and spend it with your offspring, it is way too late when they get their driver’s licenses and ask to borrow your new car!

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