I'm a first-time mama, and next week I’m planning to tell my students/parents that I’m pregnant. I’m trying to figure out how long after I give birth I can tell them I’ll be available again. (I'm a private college counselor for high school students.)
Normally, because I’m self-employed, I would take as much time as I wanted, but since my due date is October 10, right in the middle of college application season, I’m thinking I may need to return to some part-time work by the end of November/beginning of December.
The upside: I wouldn’t have to travel — I’d be editing from home and meeting students via Skype or having them come to me — and I definitely wouldn’t work more than 20 hours/week. In fact, I'd probably keep it down to 10-15 hours.
Am I going to be really sorry that I tell my students I’m available for that last month before applications are due? I imagine I’ll probably be feeling fine physically after 6 weeks or so, but I’m thinking more about how I probably won’t want to separate from the baby any earlier than necessary.
On the other hand, college application season is the time of year when I make most of my annual income, and I'm already losing students by telling them they have to finish their applications by the end of September since applications aren’t due until the beginning of January; they just feel too rushed/unprepared. Also, someone else told me not to work in September since I'll need the rest, but that's just impossible for me financially. God knows with a baby on the way we can’t afford to miss out on income.
Just trying to weigh out the issues here. Would love to hear your thoughts based on your experiences.