When you become a parent, all of a sudden time becomes next-level precious.
Not only do your kids grow up in the blink of an eye, but your personal time becomes extremely limited – to the point where you crave those five minutes of undisturbed peace when you go to the loo. (And even then, it’s not a given you’ll be able to relieve yourself without someone watching you.)
One dad who realised he and his wife needed to do more to give each other time off for themselves is Matt Ragland.
The parent took to X – formerly known as Twitter – to say they are working on “a family PTO (parent’s time off) plan”.
“Parenting little kids is one of the most meaningful parts of life, but the gift of time is one of the best ways to support your spouse,” he wrote.
How does the plan work?
The pair take it in turns to have time away to do whatever they like, while the other parent looks after the kids.
They have one night off per week, a half-day over the weekend per month, and one full day off at the weekend every three months.
“We use these times to meet friends, sleep in, go camping, play golf (me), long runs (her), read and journal, or just chill,” explained Ragland.
“It’s hard to run life’s race on an empty tank, and these times are great ways to refuel and recharge.”
The couple also have “together time” which the father says “is mostly limited to date nights or half days on the weekend with a babysitter”.
Needless to say, fellow parents were fully on board with the idea – including those who have tried it for themselves, either as a couple or on their own.
More of this, please!
Have you tried parental annual leave – or would you try it? Let us know in the comments or get in touch via @HPUKParents.