When a Twin Dad Should Take Paternity Leave From Work

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - October 22, 2019

When a Twin Dad Should Take Paternity Leave From Work

As the father of twins, your help will be needed when the babies come home from the hospital.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA in the United States) allows both the mother and father to use up to 12 weeks of leave for prenatal and post-pregnancy care. Your employer will likely have specific policies on how that time is allocated (vacation vs. sick time or time without pay).

So the question is: when should you take your paternity leave?

Prenatal Care

If your wife is on bed rest, she may need help even before the twins arrive.

However, this may put you in a sticky situation: your family needs you at home for more time than you can take off of work.

The first piece of advice I give to anyone that tells me they are having twins is “get help.” When people ask how they can help, put them to work.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Helping the Newborns

When our twins were born, I took a week off right when the twins were born. Most of that time was spent in the hospital but it did give me a few days back home with our girls.

I then returned to work for several months since we had lined up helpers to come and stay with us. When all our helpers went home, I then took the last piece of my paternity leave.

Thus we stretched out as long as possible having more than just my wife at home.

(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)

Stay flexible because your situation will vary from mine. For example, your babies may spend time in the NICU which will require more of your time and effort.

Plan Ahead

Be creative in how you handle staffing needs at your house with newborn twins. Talk to your employer to see what your options are and see if you can work flexible schedules if needed.

While you might not be able to take off a full 12 weeks without pay (you do have two new mouths to feed), by planning out when and how you’ll take your paternity leave, you’ll be able to help transition your family into your new reality as gently as possible.

How are you planning on taking (or did you take) your paternity leave?

Picture by EtanSivad

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

6 thoughts on “When a Twin Dad Should Take Paternity Leave From Work”

  1. We are at 30 weeks. Twin girls due in 2 months. My company is giving me a month off paid, starting most likely when they are born. Although, I’m in a “project” type position so my work load will be weaned off as the date approaches.

    Wife negotiated 3 full months of half pay, so that’s pretty nice.

    Starting to freak out a little… 🙂

  2. Wife is at 13 weeks now. In Canada we get a year but that is combined between parents. My wife makes more so at 2/3 pay from the government is better for her to take the leave as she makes more nut I’m planning a month off (vac time )
    Plus trying to get family here in Calgary

  3. My twins were born in the winter but we decided that my husband would take his paternity leave in the spring. This worked out really well because we had family coming to help when the twins first came home from the hospital. It also gave me something to look forward to because in my opinion the scariest time with newborn twins is the time that you are alone with them with nobody around. Knowing there will be help ahead was a great feeling.


Leave a Comment