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WHOM rolecall

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

What do you do?  How are you managing?  When do you plan to start your mat leave and how long (if decided) are you thinking of taking?

 

I guess I'll answer my own questions!

 

I teach high school biology and chemistry.  I'm exhausted!!!!  I'm literaly counting down the periods (not days!!!) till Christmas holidays!  After that, we get two weeks back in class, then a week of exams where we don't teach, just supervise and mark exams, so it's much more relaxing, and then we start a new semester.

 

I plan on March 1st being my last day (it's a Friday).  That would give me 3 weeks to rest and relax before my DD.  That means I would have to teach for the first month of the new semester, new classes and stuff, but I'm ok with that.  So all in all, the next few months are going to fly by, work-wise!

 

We can get up to a year off, but I don't want to return after the semester has started next year, so I think I'll go back at the end of January (2014) but only take on one class (so work 33% time) for the remainder of that school year.  That is what I did with DD (she was born at the end of October and I went back with one class at the beginning of the school year for that semester, then two classes for the second semester) and it was awesome!  I loved having a little bit of both words: the SAHM for part of the day and the WOHM for the other part.

 

I could also just go back in september of 2014, but that would mean absolutely no income from me from march 1st-september 1st...six months.  Ouch! 

Also, if I go back to work at the end of January, DP can take the remainder 5 weeks from our parental leave and stay at home.   I think he'd like that alot.  Again, that's what we did with DD and he loved that time at home with her, even though it was short. 

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

 Ha! Ha! I realised I made a mistake in the title!  I can't edit it!! I meant WOHM of course!!!

post #3 of 21

Right now I work full time at my job I've been with for almost 10 years.

DH and I also own a natural baby/maternity shop and are there part time.

I also doula and encap. placenta. I don't doula anylonger, but will do placentas probably up until Feb.

 

My maternity leave and return to work is uncertain, because they may not renew our contract. If that happens, the contract ends March 31st. That would mean, I would work up until 40 weeks and then be done for good. That would be lovely for me to stay home with my babies, but not ideal, because we need that income. If they decide to renew, I may begin leave March 1st and then return in 2-3 months. 

post #4 of 21

Bena, you are so lucky that your school allows you to come back in increments like that. I wish I could come back a little at a time, but even if that was an option professionally, it's not an option financially. I work 23 hours per week as a theatre teacher in an elementary school. My classes rotate with the other "specials" classes like art, music, PE, and Media. However, my position is budgeted only as a classified tutor position, even though I am doing the same amount of work as all of the other specials teachers who work a 90% schedule and I am a certified teacher. Not fair, but I also have the freedom to only work my scheduled hours, and I have been working on limiting the amount of time I spend outside of those hours planning, grading, etc. Aside from loving what I do, I don't have the same workload I had when I taught middle school and high school English full-time. Now, it's hard for me to even think about going back to what I did. I also teach at a private children's theatre company in town, as a "vendor" directing an extra-curricular theatre club at a couple of elementaries, and for our city's recreation department. Next semester I am scaling back slightly teaching at the children's theatre company, but that's it. So, my maternity leave will begin whenever I go into labor. I'm hoping this is a few days late (I was 4 days late last time) because the following week is Spring Break and I wouldn't be getting paid for that time off anyway. I will return six weeks after the birth, which should put me at four weeks before the end of school. I know what you mean about counting down the class periods because when I come back to school I  can anticipate how many lesson plans I'll have to write for each grade level- since the classes rotate, roughly 4 plans per grade level, so 24 total I think. The really good news is that I don't think I will have to work this summer at all. I was anticipating having to teach at various camps around town, but it looks like we will be able for me to afford to stay at home, except for the 4 weeks at the end of this school year, until next August. Yea!

post #5 of 21

I work in the home 4 days a week, and in the office 1 day - I process disability claims. I will work until delivery, which if this baby is like his siblings, will be well past my due date. I get paid 6 weeks mat leave at 100%, but will be take another 2 weeks of vacation following, for a total of 8 weeks. I can't afford any unpaid time, unfortunately.

 

With my first, I took 7 weeks (because that's all I could afford to) and went back to work 3 days at home, 2 in office. with my 2nd, I did the 8 weeks (better planning!) and back at 4 days home/1 day in. DH is a massage therapist, and manages his schedule to dovetail mine, so we thankfully don't need any outside child care. I am grateful that I have a flexible work location sort of job, because going back to work is so much easier when I can be with my babies too! And that one day in the office is a nice respite from the kids too, LOL. And when in the office we have desinated lactation rooms (with fridge, sink, recliner, magazines and radio) so at least that part is as pleasant as possible.

post #6 of 21

I am a project manager for GE and work at home full time, while my dad watches DS.  I just started a new role on Monday.  With DS, my boss allowed me to leave work 2 weeks before the due date but I was in the office full time back then.  With this one, I don't know if I will get the same benefits as I have a new boss but I just talked to the disability center and that option is still available.  With working from home and not at the office anymore, it may not be necessary.  I get 6 weeks disability + 2 weeks paid parental leave and after that I can use my vacation (4wks) to get to 12 but with working from home, I don't actually think I will do this.  I'll probably start easing back in at 8-9 weeks part time and be full time by 10 because with a baby so early in the year, I still want a week at the beach in August and time at the holidays/school days off.  

post #7 of 21

I'm a tad jealous of some of your amounts of time off, part-time and work from home options. There's so much variation in this from place to place, it seems. 

 

I'm a programmer and data analyst at a research institute. The most time I can take is 12 weeks (thanks FMLA), so I'll plan on that. 6 weeks of it is paid, then vacation and sick time, then unpaid (we have enough saved to handle that fine). 

 

My husband is a SAHD and last time I was able to pump pretty well, so that makes it a little easier (mentally) to go back, but it's still quite a transition from maternity leave back to work. Last time around I had to leave 2 weeks early because of high blood pressure, so I was only at home full time for 10 weeks and then back to work, hope I can avoid that this time and work up closer to when the baby comes. 

 

A sucky effect is that coming back I will have zeroed out my vacation time and have to start earning it again... But they do offer a week of "parental leave" in the first year that we used last time to take the baby to see long distance relatives.

 

It will be nice to have 2 parents home for awhile and help my daughter get used to having a little sister baby.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madelaine View Post

I'm a tad jealous of some of your amounts of time off, part-time and work from home options. There's so much variation in this from place to place, it seems. 

 

I'm a programmer and data analyst at a research institute. The most time I can take is 12 weeks (thanks FMLA), so I'll plan on that. 6 weeks of it is paid, then vacation and sick time, then unpaid (we have enough saved to handle that fine). 

 

My husband is a SAHD and last time I was able to pump pretty well, so that makes it a little easier (mentally) to go back, but it's still quite a transition from maternity leave back to work. Last time around I had to leave 2 weeks early because of high blood pressure, so I was only at home full time for 10 weeks and then back to work, hope I can avoid that this time and work up closer to when the baby comes. 

 

A sucky effect is that coming back I will have zeroed out my vacation time and have to start earning it again... But they do offer a week of leave" in the first year that we used last time to take the baby to see long distance relatives.

 

It will be nice to have 2 parents home for awhile and help my daughter get used to having a little sister baby.

 

 

I must say that MDC has been a huge eye opener for me to see the reality of women and mothers in other places, notably in the States.  Here (Canada) we are so incredibly blessed to have a total of one year parental leave that are protected by law and covered by unemployment insurance.  Your workplace cannot refuse you that time.   The first 17 weeks are maternity leave that only the mother can take, and after that it can be split between mother and father.  Which is why DP would get 5 weeks off work if I go back early next year.  I am convinced that this is also the reason why there is a higher incidence of breastfeeding here; we are with baby to do it! 

 

Then, on top of that, certain collective agreements will have extra perks like a top up (eg. we get 100 % of our salary for the first 6 weeks of our leave, then 75% untill week 17 when we fall under UI).  I our case, the reason I could go back part time is that we are allowed to extend our 52 weeks for up to 2 years, unpaid.  So what I do is request to extend it 66% only.  In theory, my principal can refuse and ask that I either come back full time or not at all, but so far no principal in any of the school in our board has dared to do so!

 

I have so much admiration for moms who manage to go back to work during that first year!     I am so incredibly grateful of what we have!!!

post #9 of 21
As a US mama, this topic can make my blood boil. That said, I'll play nice. lol.gif

As a professional staff member at a university (I'm a development professional, writer, and editor), I'm allotted 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave (which I realize is more than many WOHM in the US get). I can use any vacation or sick leave that I have accrued to have some amount of income while I am gone, and to retain my benefits (we have to "work" 8 hours a month to retain our benefits, which can be taken care of by using leave). I'm currently debating whether or not to work up to my due date. I really, really want to take at least a week off before I am due, but if I am late even 1 week, then I will have used up 2 weeks of my precious 16 without a babe. Ugh!

I'm grateful FMLA exists (imagine the pickle we would be in without out it), but it is such a sad little benefit compared to what people in other industrialized nations get. Do you think I would like Sweden?

I'll have to decide at some point in January what my "plan" is. I use scare quotes, because last time reality and my maternity leave plans were nearly diametrically opposed. ha! I'll likely make the decision based on how my body is feeling when I am making the plan.

Any FMLA advice from seasoned WOHM US mamas is appreciated.
post #10 of 21

YES, it makes my blood boil, too!!!   

 

I work part time (2-3 days a week) as a nurse and therefore don't qualify for FMLA [for you Canadians out there, that stands for the Family Medical Leave Act and extends time off to 12 weeks but it is unpaid, it just protects your job.] (you have to work at least 1250 hours a year I think and I only work like 1100 or something... ).  So, I ONLY get 6 weeks disability paid at about 60%.  I don't have much paid time off either.   I can request extended unpaid time off but it must be approved by my nurse manager and she denied it last time.  POOP on her.  

 

It is REALLY hard to go back to work when you have a 6 week old baby at home!!!!   With my first baby, I got 8 weeks because I had a c-section, but I tell you I NEEDED every single day of that 8 weeks to recover and I was not ready physically to go back yet.  I had no choice.  

 

Even though I work in maternity at a hospital, pumping is not really supported.  We do have a pump room, but nurses work like crazy and we don't even have time to eat dinner sometimes let alone take pump breaks.  I got really good at setting up my pump and pumping both breasts and then cleaning everything up in only TEN minutes.  Talk about stressful.  :P  Definitely not ideal.  I would only pump once per 8 hour shift.  I have always had a good milk supply, and it worked for us, but I can see how that would really interfere with breastfeeding with other moms, especially if working full time.  

 

And my husband was only given 3 days off of work last time (his managers took vacation time the same week as my due date even though they knew we were expecting a baby.  It was infuriating.  So, my husband was not allowed to take his vacation time when i had the birth.)  I was home alone with two kids under 2, trying to pack up our house because we were moving 6 weeks later, only 3 days after giving birth.  It was so stressful.  :(

 

Why does the US hate moms and babies??  haha, maybe an exaggeration, but doesn't it seem like it sometimes??  

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapsie View Post


Why does the US hate moms and babies??  haha, maybe an exaggeration, but doesn't it seem like it sometimes??  

It feels that way to me, too, Chapsie.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapsie View Post
FMLA [for you Canadians out there, that stands for the Family Medical Leave Act and extends time off to 12 weeks but it is unpaid, it just protects your job.]

 

I was just about to ask!!

 

I any of you want (find time!!) to become militant about this, I will sign any petition or whatever you have planned!  Heck!  I'll drive down to any demonstration too!  I'm not in your shoes and my blood boils!

post #13 of 21

Yeah, wow..  What do you do with a 6 week old baby?  I had a hard time finding care for my 9 month old last time I went back to work!  

 

Another lucky Canadian here.  I'm planning on working until baby comes, unless things get uncomfortable, or something else comes up.  


I work in a non-profit professional association and manage the communications and government relations department.  I'm hoping to work a few hours a week after the first 17 weeks off (before that they claw back the benefits dollar for dollar).  

 

Last time I was off two weeks before my EDD and beb was two weeks late, so I was off for nearly a month with no baby.  DP took 8 weeks of the leave last time and will do so again this time, leaving me with ~10 months of leave.  We take the time concurrently over the summer to do stuff as a family.  His benefits are actually better than mine and he will be topped up to 93% of his salary for 5 weeks.  I'll end up getting about 50% of my salary for my time off.

 

I'm not sure about my plan for returning to work.  DP has a good job with excellent security and benefits, but has a 2 hour commute on the train each way.  So he leaves at 6:45 every morning and gets home at 6:30.  We're managing fine with one kid, but my job has some extra hours requirements which might not be practical with two children.  We're still in the midst of planning/negotiating ;)  The 5 p.m. to 6:30 pm gap is my biggest issue lately, if I have any meetings after work I need to find a sitter for an hour and a half. 

post #14 of 21

My blood is boiling, too!!  Like Bena said, this has been a real eye-opener.

 

I'm not sure how long I'll work until.  I'm thinking March 1st or so.  I'll be off for a year (paid) and then [hopefully] I will apply for another year (unpaid) if we can manage.  I'm hoping to take in other children part-time to make it work, but it's kinda hard to see that far into the future.  I think DP will take a bit of vacation leave (a couple weeks?).  He already works 4 on, 4 off (similar to what I used to work) so he'll be around a lot anyway. 

 

It's odd, I saw a show on TV about pump-friendly work environments and thought to myself "how very advanced, I haven't heard anything like that in Canada" (not that I'm really paying attention either...)  So of course now I'm thinking, you guys need pump rooms because you return to work earlier greensad.gif

post #15 of 21

 

It's odd, I saw a show on TV about pump-friendly work environments and thought to myself "how very advanced, I haven't heard anything like that in Canada" (not that I'm really paying attention either...)  So of course now I'm thinking, you guys need pump rooms because you return to work earlier greensad.gif

 

Yeah... I usually can get away with not pumping anymore between 10 and 11 months.  (I nursed DD til 26 months, but didn't need to pump the 9-10 hours I was away from home if I fed her right before and after I was at work.  

 

But in the beginning... you really should pump every 3 hours or so.  I will try to pump twice a shift when I first go back just so I have enough breast milk to be bottled to the baby when I'm away.  That's tough too-- getting a baby to take a bottle so early.  My DS did fine, but my DD would often wait until I got home to eat-- she would refuse the bottle and just be hungry the whole time I was gone.  So sad... 

 

My coworkers that work 12 hour shifts-- man, that's gotta be tough with breastfeeding.  I have no idea how they have time to take so many pump breaks during the day!  As it is, I can barely squeeze one break in... and sometimes not until about 9pm (I clock in at 3, which means I'd feed my baby at 2pm... My breasts would be SOOOO full and uncomfortable.  Set up for mastitis for sure.  But what can you do??  I'm hoping things will be better this time around-- I'm a lot better about advocating for myself now that I'm on baby #3!  

post #16 of 21

I should say that in my state, it is required that the employer allow the associate to have as much time needed in unpaid break time in order to pump breast milk for her baby during the work day.  I know my legal rights, but the work environment is just not conducive to taking those breaks!

post #17 of 21

oh... and because I work with a lot of women (lots of nurses), if the pumping room is being used already, I'd have to wait... so its hard to even plan out a time to go pump.  There's only one room for probably dozens of mothers at the hospital.   Sometimes i could use the lactation rooms in the NICU but those are for patients, and if our census is high and those rooms are being used by patients, we weren't allowed to use them.  Oh man... thats the hardest part of being a work out of home mom is negotiating my pumping times!  haha.  That, and not being around my babies 24/7.  :)   

 

That said... I do love my job and find it a privilege to do what I do (help new moms and babies) and to contribute to our family's finances.  But... it is good to vent about it every now and then!

post #18 of 21

Yep, matermity leave in the states is a joke.

My job doesn't give any paid mat leave, but in CA, you get 6 weeks paid at a percentage of what you make.

I think it's like 50%, I forget.

It's better than nothing, which is what some states give, but it's a far cry from where it should be.

post #19 of 21

I'm an electrical engineer for a semiconductor company. I've been there 6 years. I was still pumping for my daughter when I started and my option was the restroom. They have just put in a lactation room and I've been VERY vocal about that. 

 

In WA you can use short term disability and FMLA. There's a little known law where the STD is non-concurrent with the FMLA, so you get the 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA and 6 weeks of STD for a total of 18 weeks. I'm trying to talk my husband into taking 12 weeks of FMLA, too, which is legal for men in WA, so baby won't be in day care until 6 months. He's a little stressed of 24 weeks without a paycheck. 

post #20 of 21

On the subject of pumping, my principal is very understanding. I think it helps that she has kids of her own; although, I know that's not always the case with every boss. One of my colleagues had a baby a few months ago and she gets to pump twice a day. Because we have the exact same work schedule it will be interesting to see ho w we manage pump times. She has her own classroom, so she manages to pump in there during our lunch and in another colleague's office during class. I don't have a classroom or office, so I might be able to use our colleague's office for one time, but then I'll have to find another place for the second time... With my son, the room I used housed a bunch of computer equipment so it was always toasty and warm in there. Sheepish.gif I don't care too much where I get to pump as long as it is clean, private, and not freezing!

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