'Supernatural's' Jared Padalecki won't miss any episodes for family leave (and Sam won't turn into a goat)

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jared-padalecki-genevieve.jpgSince Jared Padalecki and wife Genevieve Padalecki announced in October that they're expecting their first child, "Supernatural" fans have rallied to support them. At last count, over $25,000 had been donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in honor of the unborn baby, which Jared suggested in lieu of sending gifts.

Jared tells us that he and Genevieve have been humbled by the donations, though not necessarily surprised, given the enthusiasm of the fans (and their dedication to other important causes).

Though the fans are certainly psyched to welcome the youngest member of the "Supernatural" family, we've noticed a few fans expressing concern as to whether Jared would be missing out on some of the final episodes of the season to spend time with his family after the baby is born in mid-March. We caught up with Jared recently to check on his plans, and assured, SPN fans -- Sam Winchester isn't going anywhere but crazy.

"I'm not missing any episodes," he tells us. "I've just been informed this week that I'm going to get three days off, which is better than no days off. We're hoping for the baby to be born on a Wednesday so I can get Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then come back up here for work."

While three days off may not sound like much, it's rare for Jared and his co-star, Jensen Ackles, to get weekdays off at all, so he's genuinely appreciative of the schedule-shuffling. "The writers and Sera [Gamble] and the bunch have expressed a lot of interest in helping me out as much as they can. Unfortunately, it's the end of the season so I can't just vanish or turn into a goat or something," he laughs.

(Hey, we had unicorns this year. Anything is possible.)

Of course, while his wife and son will be his number one priority, "Supernatural" is as important to Jared as ever, so he's glad to be able to strike a balance between work and baby. "Everybody knows I'm not, like, trying to get some extra days off, scheming: 'How can I get some days off? I have an idea!'"

"We've really become a family here, with the writers down south and everybody involved up in Vancouver as well, so they want me with my kid as much as I want to be with my kid," he adds. "They certainly understand and want me to see my child as much as possible. I think they've been kind enough to really kind of jump through some hoops and shoot a bunch of stuff I'm not involved in back to back, even if it's teasers from episode 19, 21, 22... [that way] they can get everything taken care of, stuff that doesn't involve Sam and Dean."

New episodes of "Supernatural" return March 16. In the meantime, you can vote for Jared, Jensen, Genevieve, Jim Beaver, and Misha Collins in our various TV's Most Crushworthy polls. 
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images