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Working Mama, what are your plans for after baby comes?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18uDutylDa4

 

It really got me thinking about my maternity leave.

 

I am expected to take six weeks paid maternity leave and then return to work. I want to talk to my boss about either an additional six weeks off unpaid (we are a small company so Family Medical Leave Act does not apply but they do have a policy similar to it) or work remotely from home for the second six weeks returning to the office when baby is three months old. I am not sure when or how to do this. A girl in my office had a baby last May and she came back at six weeks. She has completely different values than me, a scheduled induction, epidural, formula feeding, and dropping baby off at daycare at six weeks old even though her husband gave her the option to stay home. So I can't base what kind of response I will get from my employer on her experience.

 

I do not have the option to stay home for very long as I am the primary income in my family (I made three times as much as my husband last year).

 

So what are you doing after the baby comes? I am looking for advice so state those opinions praying.gif

post #2 of 16

Talk to your employer as soon as possible about it so they can plan for it.  If they have a policy similar to FMLA, then certainly take advantage of it.  Let your employer know that you'd prefer to have 12 weeks off, but can understand that that might put them in a tough position and would be willing to work from home if that would help them out.  Just be upfront and let your honest emotions come through.  Let them know how important it is to you.

 

 

I am a chiropractor with a very busy solo practice.  I'm fortunate to have an associate doctor right now, but being gone will decrease our capacity.  I hope to hire and train an additional associate before the baby is born.  Either way I know (after the first born) that 6 weeks is nowhere near long enough!  I've done the best I can to take 12 weeks off each time since then.  (Had to come back early the second time.)  Even the practice may suffer some, I owe it to this little one to be home as long as possible.  Fortunately in my situation DH is a SAHD and even when I return to work he brings the kids at lunchtime so the baby can nurse.

post #3 of 16

Interesting video.  My friend and I were discussing this sort of topic since we're both working moms and to be honest, we don't want to move up the ladder.  It's hard enough to balance work and family being on the bottom of the totem pole.  I refuse to become a manager because I know it will mean longer hours and I really don't want to put in extra hours because that would mean sacrificing time with my family.

 

As far as your situation, talk to your boss.  If your company has a policy, you shouldn't feel guilty for taking advantage of it.

 

post #4 of 16

I work in a hospital and FMLA applies to me.  I would LOVE to take off 12 weeks and I hope to do so but there are a few other factors for me.  If I work until 38 weeks I will have enough PTO days to cover 4 weeks of pay.  After that short term disability kicks in and I will get 60% of my average salary for the remaining 8 weeks.  I 'think' thats enough but we really need to go over all of the finances and make sure.  Ideally, I would work until my due dat but I have a very physical job and already (at only 29 weeks) I am having a hard time keeping up with the pace.  I worked 3 days in a row and I am DYING right now.  I ave one more day to work tomorrow and I am wondering how I will make it!  The sooner I have to go out of work the less time I will get with baby.  With dd #2 I went our early and then she had the nerve to be born at 41 weeks and 3 days.

 

If I were you I would put together your ideal time off package (but be reasonable) like ideally 6 weeks paid and then 6 weeks unpaid.  Take it to your boss and just be prepared to negotiate.  Approach it like "this is what my optimal situation would be, how do you feel about this?"  Maybe he will be okay with it or maybe you will have to compromise with working from home or coming back part time earlier or something.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarCat View Post

If I were you I would put together your ideal time off package (but be reasonable) like ideally 6 weeks paid and then 6 weeks unpaid.  Take it to your boss and just be prepared to negotiate.  Approach it like "this is what my optimal situation would be, how do you feel about this?"  Maybe he will be okay with it or maybe you will have to compromise with working from home or coming back part time earlier or something.


This is my plan.  I've been told I get 6 weeks paid, and then can take up to 12 weeks unpaid with FMLA.  I don't really want to go 12 weeks without pay, so my plan is to talk to my boss about 6 weeks paid and 6 weeks unpaid, with the stipulation that if we (my husband and I) get it worked out so that I'm comfortable coming back sooner, I will.  And when I do come back, I'm only coming back 4 days a week at first.

post #6 of 16

I'm taking a total of 12 weeks FMLA. 4 weeks of those are paid with accumulated sick hours. The rest are unpaid. My husband is taking a month of leave time when my 12 weeks are up. By then, baby should be 4 months old.

 

We got into a great daycare that is 5 minutes away from my office. They have a "mother's lounge" for moms to come in and nurse during the day. They also will do cloth diapers, which is unheard of around here.

 

It would be great to stay home with baby, but we really can't afford to. A lot of the natural parenting books I've been reading are making me feel guilty and defensive about going back to work. My husband & I both work in the non-profit sector, we live in a modest house in the inner city, share one 10 year old car and live very frugally.

 

I have one of the Dr. Sears books and it suggests asking your parents for financial assistance in order to stay home from work for a few years. Ha! It bugs me that this book assumes all expectant mothers are in their 20s and an extended family who will readily shell out the cash to help support their grandchild.

 

The United States doesn't give new moms a good deal at all. I hear about the maternity leaves that other countries get and it makes me want to emigrate.

post #7 of 16

My situation is a little different. RI has a state short term disability insurance and I will be using that for 6 weeks. Last time I had up to 12 weeks off, but we have less than 20 employees so I don't think FMLA applies to my work (I'll have to look it all up again). My boss and his wife are very understanding. I'm due 4/15, my sister is getting married 5/14 (across the country), then when we return from the wedding we most likely will have to start preparing for the movers to come. DH is military and we are due to move June/July, but we won't find out where until March at the latest. If we move out of state I plan on taking unemployment if I'm allowed. RI allows unemployment for military spouses because of the military on a case by case basis. Thankfully DH is advancing and the pay raise will help if I don't get unemployment or a new job right away.

post #8 of 16

i will be off 6 months minimum. I am a private care night nanny, and I just dont want to leave my baby to care for someone else's. I may work this summer at my friends local farm since i can bring all of the kids with me and just keep baby in a sling. I dont get any paid time off with my job, there are no benefits of any kind.

 my husband and I started a network marketing business  last april, and that will supplement our income and hopefully in the siz months im not working I will be able to build it enough to never have to go back *evil laugh* so thats my plan.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppiegirl View Post


 

The United States doesn't give new moms a good deal at all. I hear about the maternity leaves that other countries get and it makes me want to emigrate.



Agree.  Only replace "emigrate" with "vomit shards of glass". 

post #10 of 16

Liora and guppiegirl, I would like to wholeheartedly agree with you both. I had a patient the other day from Canada who asked how far along I was and then we started discussing the many benefits Canada offers its families and mothers. He was shocked at how little support we get in this country and I think I have it pretty good compared to other moms. I work in a large hospital in Alaska where this is an additional month added to the FMLA by the state, plus I get 6 weeks short term disability and I am returning to work part-time (two 12 hours shifts a week). We are lucky that we can afford to have me not work for so long. My husband is/was planning to take off a month (he gets 2 weeks from the Army plus he will take other leave he has stock piled) but we just found out he might be deploying (Sur-frickin-prise!) more than a year ahead of schedule to Afghanistan for a year a few days after I am due. Hopefully he can negotiate to stay for the birth and a few weeks, but we will have to see how everything plays out. 

 

I would like to second the opinion that so many attachment and natural parenting/birth books seems to think women returning to work are somehow letting their children down and that they are the exception. Most American households simply cannot afford to NOT have two working members. I do think my career and education are important and don't like the insinuation that I have to give it up in order to have children. 

 

Pattimomma, I agree with the sentiment that you should try to work with your boss. Who knows, maybe if you can't work from home you can do some part time work for 6 weeks or longer to give yourself more time with your little one while still bringing in some income. 

post #11 of 16

When I hear about the maternity leaves offered in countries such as Sweden, I even get jealous, and I'm Canadian!  We definitely have a better deal in Canada, than you do in the US. 

 

I'm going to take 1 year off.  During this time, I collect employment insurance benefits for 50 weeks (15 weeks maternity leave + 35 weeks parental leave) which I admit is nice as there is some financial support which after taxes (isn't it funny that your government benefit is taxed!) I will be bringing home $410/week.  The thing is, I don't work with an employer who offers a top up so I'm losing a significant portion of income that I contribute to my family.  We can make it work, but it's definitely tight in our budget, and we've had to do lots of cutting.  I think we will end up with $10 extra per month in our budget after we account for all of our fixed and variable expenses. 

 

While on maternity leave, my organization is moving to another city.  I've been given the opportunity to work remotely.  I'm not quite sure I'll take that on, but it's nice to know that I'll have a job to go back to as I won't have any employment insurance to use.  I'm not the main breadwinner in our family, DW is, however, I make 2/3 of what she does.  Our incomes combined means that we have a really great lifestyle. DW would say it's tight, but I would say we don't want for anything.  For a young family with a mortgage, kids and the need to save for school and education, the fact that we can do all of that, I think indicates that we're doing okay.

 

After my mat leave is up, I'm thinking I would like to work part-time or take on consulting.  I could work part-time as a consultant and make more than I do now.  DW is very opposed to the idea given that we'd have a fluctuating income and the risks involved in being self employed.  I think with some discipline we could live off of one income.  She feels way too pressured to be the sole breadwinner.  So, for now, we're at an impasse.  This is further complicated by the fact that many of the daycare programs don't start until 18 months and would eat up 50% of my salary.

 

Pattimomma, if you can afford the 6 weeks off unpaid, then perhaps you should ask for it.  But, if you want/need to work and are able to make working from home arrangements, then I think that would work too.  You know your employer best and what their desirable outcome would be.

post #12 of 16

If you can take the additional leave it's definitely worth talking to your boss about now and figuring out how to work it all out. Luckily dh is our main income right now and has been making really good money so I was able to quit my parttime job. I'm not working now so I don't have to worry about maternity leave. The job I had didn't offer a set plan for maternity but the boss was great and would work with us to take off as long as we needed to. That said I only did 2 wks after dd because we couldn't afford for me to take off and I took about 6 wks after ds. It wasn't too bad because it was only part time 2 nights a week and it was close to home. They allowed me to leave in the middle of the night to go home and nurse. I would definitely try for a long maternity leave if you can do it.

post #13 of 16

When I do go back to work I have decided to go back as 'weekend option' i will sign a contract to work every friday, saturday, sunday.  i will get paid more per hour for this.  plus- we figure it will save us approx. $250/week in daycare. not to mention we won't have to call in sick as much (if/when they are sick) we will get a private sitter for Fridays (I've started looking into SAHM's in my area who would be able to take the baby for just Fridays) This is NOT an optimal situation- especially for DH.  He will have 3 kids to get ready on Fridays.  DD's will be in kindergarten and 2nd grade. Plus he will have all 3 by himself ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday.  I work 7a-7p.  Not to mention we will have no time together as a family unless he takes a day off from work during the week (whic he can do) and no date nights for us at all.  But we figure the benefits outweigh the bad parts.  No day care for baby, I get to be home with the girls after school, we can do dinner together every night as a family, and we save a LOT of money.  and its only a 6 month contract to start with.  if its not working out we can switch to a normal schedule.

 

I agree, though.  I have been stressing about maternity leave.  working my butt off to get extra money and acrue as much PTO time as possible to be able to afford to take just 12 weeks off.  We shouldn't have to worry about this.  It should be automatic that OF COURSE moms get the first12 weeks with their infants- at least.

post #14 of 16

I will get 6 weeks paid.  The rest of the time I can either take paid using vacation time or take unpaid.  I usually take it as paid.  I'm planning on taking 8-9 weeks off which should take me into July.  Then in July I will work part time.  Full time in August.

 

My DH stays at home with the kids so that makes it a bit easier to head back to work.  I just hate pumping so I'm trying to push off that as along as possible.

post #15 of 16

I work for the Federal gov't and we have "great benefits." In other words, ZERO paid maternity leave. eyesroll.gif

 

But, technically, I can take up to a year of unpaid leave with supervisory approval and retain my job, salary, benefits, and seniority. In reality, that only happens if there are serious medical reasons. Since I have a good boss and some (minimal) bargaining power, I'll end up taking a bit more than FMLA allows for.

 

I'll probably take about 3 months off, full time (of which about 1 month will be covered by my accumulated sick and annual leave, and I'll file FMLA paperwork for the unpaid portion), and then come back part-time for a month or two, then work my way up to full time by 5 months or so. Even once I'm up to full time, we have flexible hours and I'll be able to work up to 2 days a week from home, so it won't be that bad.

 

We are lucky to have a wonderful daycare already, and I do well with the pump. I can only hope that this babe is as content with a bottle of EBM as DD was.

post #16 of 16

I feel I'm actually lucky for what I can get in the US.  I can take 12 weeks of short term disability, the first 80 hours I have to use PTO and then I get 10 additional weeks at 60% pay.  I'm able to use PTO to suppliment that 60% up to full pay.  I've been very careful about saving my PTO for the last couple of years, so I'll be able to have 10 weeks of full pay and then the last two weeks 60% pay.  Last pregnancy I was also able to work from hope a bit and bank those hours and they took me off of disability early and I got a regular paycheck while still being on leave. 

 

This time around we are a one income family (mine), so my husband and I will get 12 weeks together as a family with our two LO's!!!

 

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