Originally Posted by JennaW
Yeah, the couple I work for is awesome & flexible but at the same time, I feel like I owe it to them to give them a pretty solid come back date. They are going to have to arrange child care for while I am out and it will be hard enough to find someone to only work for a month or for them to adjust their schedules for a month. I just can't imagine calling up and saying "Sorry but I am going to need another 4 weeks off", it's not like they are a business with multiple employees, KWIM? They have been really good to me, i get paid very well, they pay me when they go on vacation and just very flexible, kind people. Granted, I do a great job and they feel like they couldn't function without me but still, something to be said for people that treat you right, you want to treat them right back.
I think in your case, I'd arrange to take the full 6 weeks from the date of birth, then perhaps return 4 days a week (mon/tue, thu/fri), so you have a bit of extra down time. I nannied for a long time, and do home childcare now. I'm taking 5 months off -- however, I know that I'm going to make some changes when I come 'back to work' afterwards, so I'm going to just wrap things up with the families I'm currently working with. One of them may come back after my leave, but I'm not certain. Since you have just one child that you care for, it will be different obviously, but I know I don't want to watch the full load of the ones I have now, plus a baby. I like my baby to be able to determine their own schedule, and with my current charges, there is too much that controls my day, instead of the other way round (school busses, one that must nap at very precise times, preschool drop off).
I know I'd want more than a month to adjust to dealing with my son & the new baby, before adding in the work responsibilities of any sort. Plus, there's the scheduling of well infant appointments and such which are so frequent at the beginning -- I'd want to keep a week day open for that sort of thing.
However, my perspective is also based on the fact that if I were working for someone else (and not self-employed), I'd be getting 50-65 weeks of leave -- it's good to be Canadian :)