Paternity leave for farmers

Paternity leave has been in the news this week. Mumsnet released the results of a survey which said more than a third of new fathers take annual leave because the statutory paternity pay is too low.

I understand, when statutory maternity pay itself is so low, it must be really difficult to make ends meet for families.

Do spare a thought for the self-employed though, they usually have to go without any pay when they have time off-whether for holidays or new babies.


I know first hand. Not only is my husband a business owner but he is responsible for the welfare of animals.

They don’t understand if they don’t get fed because the boss’s wife has had a baby.

When I had Boo, we didn’t even live on the farm. I joke that it was touch and go that he was at the birth at all because a cow was in labour too.

It was hard. He’d leave the house at 7am and sometimes not come back until 6. Thankfully my mum came down a lot but sometimes it’s your husband you need.

He slept in the spare room for most of the first six months because he needed sleep to work and that was hard too.

There are advantages though. I imagine if you are all in the same room, you both end up tired. At least when Hubster got a full nights sleep, he had Boo for a couple of hours after tea so I could have a sleep.


What could we do?

This time, we are at the farm so it should be easier. We will be in separate rooms again but this time it will probably be me in the nursery with the new baby and Hubster in our room. He has promised to take Boo to nursery for a couple of weeks when the baby is born and, if he gets a full nights sleep, at least he will be bright eyed and bushy tailed to help me when I most certainly won’t be.

I am a farmer’s wife. I knew what I was getting in to. I am not saying I am so pragmatic about things all the time but it works for us, most of the time.

Sometimes though, I think statutory paternity pay seems quite attractive though if it gave Hubster a week off.


Then again pigs  sheep might fly.


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