Originally Posted by hildare
yeah. in the states we don't typically get paid maternity leave, and we only qualify for family medical leave act job protection for 3 months, which means they cannot fire you for being gone that long, but financially, you're on your own. you also have to work somewhere with a particular number of employees and for at least a year to even get that.
that being said, i'll take the full 3 months, and dh is home with the babes.
are you married, atomicrocket? doesn't CA provide family leave for your dh too? would having him take equal time work out for you? i have some friends here that did that (both parents qualify for the unpaid FMLA time)...
what's your field of study (i am being nosy... i already had to threadjack to ask parsley!)? you're a sciences person, hence the labs, right?
I hope I don't sound like I am whining about 4 months off with (some) pay, but I guess I just worry about leaving such a young child in daycare full time.
I'm not married (yet) but DP and I have had common law status for almost 6 years, so we get the same spousal privileges that married couples get. Our original plan before I began grad school was to split parental leave 50/50 between the two of us, but one of DPs coworkers got laid off while on paternity leave when the company was downsizing, so we're hesitant to do that now since DPs job is very much tied to the economy. I think job security is more important right now.
I am in the sciences :) Without divulging to much, I get to play with lasers all day. I love it.
Originally Posted by parsley
I'll get off for the semester in which I give birth so I'll have paid leave starting in January and will be home with the baby. I don't start teaching again until late August but will have to be working on my research during the summer. My goal is to take about three months actually off and then work from home part-time through the summer.
DH works from home so that gives us lots of flexibility and last time he took off the first academic year completely to care for DD as I started a tenure track job. This time I've put the baby on lots of lists for day care but am not sure if we'll go that route for an infant or if we'll find a nanny/babysitter and work out a schedule that includes me, DH and the babysitter.
Do you have to decide now? I usually advise my students to give themselves the maximum time since it will be harder to get time once they finish their degree. But also, are you up against any time pressures for your Phd? Is there a limit to how many years you can get? Does maternity leave put a year on your time-out clock (if you have one?). Is there someone in your department you can talk to confidentially about all this?
I need to decide now because of waiting lists for childcare. I need to give them a firm date for when childcare would need to start. There are no time pressures for my PhD right now, as all I have left (besides research and thesis/defense) is an oral exam which I will do before I go on leave. I get paid from scholarships though, and they only pay for 4 years so ideally I would like to finish on time so I have full funding throughout. If it took an extra year, it wouldn't be a big deal though, it would just mean less pay. If I take a year leave, everything is considered to be on hold, so there are no issues there. The other thing to consider is that I would like to stay in academia, so I need to keep publishing and I think a full year off is a bad idea.
My other option is to do part-time daycare (Mon/Wed/Fri) and then work three days during the week + Saturday and Sunday when DP can stay home with the child. It would mean that we have very little "family time" though and while we're not really keen on that, it is still an option that I am considering.
I have a very good relationship with my supervisor, so I will discuss some things with him when I am ready to share the news. He has kids and is very understanding so I don't think there will be any issues there.
I guess I am just worried about not having enough bonding time with my child during the early stages, so I am considering taking a few extra months of leave and wondering about what others' experiences have been.