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Dad Life

Elliot has written a piece for us about his experience of entering parenthood, paternity leave and coming back to work.

On 19th August 2023, my wife Grace and I welcomed our wonderful daughter Melody into the world. Starting off at 7 pounds and 14 ounces, she’s grown and developed considerably since then. She is now looking less squishy and has even learned to smile, to our considerable joy. This made me reflect on the seven odd weeks she’s had in this world. 

Melody’s start in life wasn’t totally conventional. We spent the first week and a half in hospital as both mum and baby had infections. Thankfully, everyone is happy and healthy now and it’s simply a memory. I have to thank the amazing staff at the Wheal Fortune unit at Treliske for all they did for us. 

I always expected fatherhood to be the hardest thing I had ever done and honestly, it has been, but not how I thought. Yes, bouncing on an exercise ball at 3am singing Taylor Swift (Melody’s favourite) can be exhausting and yes, you are always tired, hot meals are a rarity, and warm drinks are rarer still! Regardless, not only do you viscerally love this little baby but something quite innate kicks in. I’ve seen my wife become an amazing mother and you see yourself grow as a person too, all in pursuit of making sure this life you created is fed, clean, burped and entertained.

Being able to take four weeks off work for paternity leave has been an immeasurable gift to our little family. Being able to be present for the first four weeks meant we were able to tackle everything as a unit and really have that time to settle in and learn how to be parents for the first time. 

Going back to work after four weeks rather than the usual two meant we were able to get Melody into some form of routine and have more time in preparation for me not being there every second. The first week back at work was also my first working only four days - Monday to Thursday. The office is trialling a four-day working week for the next six months. Having three-day weekends has been amazing. It has to be said that finishing work on Thursday still feels odd, but as Grace can attest, the extra day together as a family makes a real impact. 

I look forward to seeing how life will evolve and what the future has in store for us.

Elliot Coomber

For all of us here at Jacksons, it's been a joy to see Elliot and Grace welcome Melody into their family. They are absolutely wonderful parents and we too are excited to see what their future will bring. Go team Coomber!