Eight weeks old. Eight weeks that I've been on paternity leave. It both went by really fast, and was also some of the longest days I have ever lived.
"That's so great that you got that much paternity leave." This is a common statement that I have heard multiple times. Let me clarify: I did not get any paternity leave, I took eight weeks off. I was very fortunate that I had the PTO built up to take as much time off as I did, but there's a misconception that I was given paid time off. Maybe one day, parental leave will be the rule and not the exception, but even working for the company that I do, there is no paid paternity leave.
Having gone through this experience, and taking the time that I did, I can't conceive how people do it with any less. I just now feel like I've got a pretty decent handle on this dad thing; if I had to do this, and go back to work after a week (or, in some stories I've heard: three days), I would be incredibly tired, pretty angry, and would feel super guilty for leaving my wife with the child all day, every weekday.
And let's just pause for a moment and give a hearty "Damn!" to all the moms that have to wrangle all the pieces and parts while their partner is back at work. Insanity. And to all the double-dad families, not having access to free, perpetual milk is an added challenge that I also salute.
So, the boy is now 8 weeks old, and has had his first round of immunizations: time to start getting him out into the world. First stop was breakfast with friends (a rousing success), and then, on his two-month birthday, mom and kiddo will be coming to see me at work, so that we can go to lunch. And so he can be fawned over by the folks in the office. But also have lunch.
I go back to work in two days. I'm sure it will be hard, but mom will have it well in hand. And then it will be the weekend, and the next chapter of our new life will have already begun. A routine will (eventually) be established, and we'll hopefully look back on these last eight weeks and say "Damn", both because it's going by so fast, but also because we survived.