Maternity Leave (length) poll - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ladies!

If you could take 2 seconds to answer 3 questions for me I would be very appreciative!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...R9fctIPg_3d_3d
Copy link and paste into new window
After a conversation where my supervisor told me the length of leave I was requesting was much more than the norm (based on the 3 people that have had babies at work in the past 5 years ), I wanted to actually put together a quick poll to see what the norm actually tends to be. I was basing my request on what I know from various friends leaves and tend to think it is the norm. She and I have a good working relationship and she is used to me putting together random polls (i.e. were your santa gifts wrapped or unwrapped as a child?), so these results will just be used for my own benefit and to poke fun at her if I prove my point.

Thanks for your help!

J & A together for 6 years love.gif married since 11/09 & so in love with our DD, Reed Kylie born 2/5/11! stillheart.gif
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#2 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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Your link goes to the Mothering home page for me.

But I'm not sure I should answer it - you might want to be sure it's clear it's for US moms only. I'll probably be taking the 50 weeks that can be taken total in Canada (15 weeks mom-only, 35 weeks that can be split however with both parents).

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#3 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh! Not sure why the link is not working, might be an MDC thing, who knows?

Great about your maternity leave, GuildJenn! Enjoy every moment! (Certainly doesn't make my 12 weeks seem over the top, lol )

J & A together for 6 years love.gif married since 11/09 & so in love with our DD, Reed Kylie born 2/5/11! stillheart.gif
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#4 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by burg View Post
Ugh! Not sure why the link is not working, might be an MDC thing, who knows?

Great about your maternity leave, GuildJenn! Enjoy every moment! (Certainly doesn't make my 12 weeks seem over the top, lol )
Yeah it would skew your results. I think the US is a really difficult place for moms.

If it helps I'm under a bit of pressure to take a shorter period too. So bosses are the same.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#5 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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I thought it was just on the touch but even on my regular computer the link takes me to the Mothering homepage.

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#6 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Apparently the link is no longer working on MDC. You can copy the link and paste it into a new window and that should work or answer here and I can manually enter them on Surveymonkey. Thanks for your help!!


1. How much time off did you (or do you plan to) take for maternity leave?
6 weeks or less
7-8 weeks
9-10 weeks
11-12 weeks
more than 12 weeks

2. In your experience, (going by friends and coworkers leave) what is the typical length of maternity leave?
6 weeks or less
7-8 weeks
9-10 weeks
11-12 weeks
more than 12 weeks

3. What were deciding factors in the length of your maternity leave?

J & A together for 6 years love.gif married since 11/09 & so in love with our DD, Reed Kylie born 2/5/11! stillheart.gif
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#7 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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1. How much time off did you (or do you plan to) take for maternity leave?
6 weeks or less
7-8 weeks
9-10 weeks
11-12 weeks
more than 12 weeks

2. In your experience, (going by friends and coworkers leave) what is the typical length of maternity leave?
6 weeks or less
7-8 weeks
9-10 weeks
11-12 weeks
more than 12 weeks

3. What were deciding factors in the length of your maternity leave?

-how long we could find a fill in for me
-how long I wanted to take off

Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

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#8 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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With my first, I had 7 weeks, paid.
With my second, I had 6 weeks, unpaid.

Most people I know take 6 weeks or less. Very few take more.
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#9 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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1. How much time off did you (or do you plan to) take for maternity leave?
6 weeks or less
I took about four weeks paid leave

2. In your experience, (going by friends and coworkers leave) what is the typical length of maternity leave?
Between 6 - 12 weeks, sorry I can't be more specific.

3. What were deciding factors in the length of your maternity leave?
Four weeks felt really short, but I when I came back to the office, my baby came with me. He was with me full time for about five or six months, and part time after that up to about nine months.
Also, my bosses didn't legally have to give me paid leave, but they did, because it's a small family owned company and they're good democrats, and they wanted me to keep working there.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#10 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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1. 12 weeks off full time and then started back with 3 days part time to finish out that week. Does that make sense? Since I delivered on a Wed, my 12 weeks was up and I would have to return on a Wed but my boss let me come in part time Wed, Thurs, Fri to ease in adjustment. The following week was back to my normal 40 hour week.

2. Most people I know take 6-8 weeks so I'd vote 7-8.

3. I wanted as much time as possible with DS since I will never again have totally uninterrupted time for just the two of us. I am the primary breadwinner so he has to go to daycare. DH works the school calendar so he gets to be a SAHD every summer. Luckily, I had enough sick time and vacation days built up so that my maternity leave was fully paid. That made it a very easy decision to take the full 12 weeks. If it had not been fully paid, I believe I still would have taken the full leave but this is the main reason so many of my coworkers only take 6-8 weeks of leave, they cannot afford to lose their paycheck any longer than that.

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#11 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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Officially, my company allows 12 weeks under FMLA, but only 8 are paid (under short-term disibility). However, there is a lot of discretion given to management to allow for more unpaid leave. I was ok'd to take 6 months leave, but had to go back at 16 weeks because we couldn't afford to keep me out of work any longer. I get the feeling that this is very unusual. I also switched to part time when I got back.
FC
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#12 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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P.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_...ve_Act_of_1993

12 weeks is not unreasonable. As long as you meet certain conditions they cannot deny you the 12 weeks, but they don't have to pay you for it either.
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#13 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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iw as able to use survey monkey so i just did it there.

would you post the results? i would assume most people take the max they can which is 12 weeks if they are protected by FMLA. for me, none of it was paid.

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#14 of 34 Old 10-29-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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I took 13 weeks, 9 of which was paid. In my experience our company gives about 6 paid weeks and most people only take maybe 8 weeks. 12 weeks is in NO WAY unreasonable. Ask those women who took leave how long they would LIKE to have taken! Ask them how effective they were in those first few weeks back. I'm betting it was purely financial for them and would have gladly taken longer and would fully support you in getting more!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#15 of 34 Old 10-30-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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I took six months. The norm for my circle/area seems to be 12-18 weeks (in WA you can take an additional 6 weeks on top of FMLA).

Factors: how much sick leave I had saved up, how long my boss was willing to let me be off without filling my position.
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#16 of 34 Old 10-30-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
But I'm not sure I should answer it - you might want to be sure it's clear it's for US moms only. I'll probably be taking the 50 weeks that can be taken total in Canada (15 weeks mom-only, 35 weeks that can be split however with both parents).
I am also in Canada, where we get a full year (that's 52 weeks, but only 50 weeks of EI pay). It can be split between parents and I know a few people who have done that, but in my workplace most women take the full year. So you can use Canada as an example in your defense!

ETA: I saved up vacation time so that I could extend my time off by 2 weeks.

Now mom to a boy born January 2010. 
Cautiously expecting Dec 2014!

 12/08 (6 weeks),  1/13 (11 weeks), &  12/13 (9.5 weeks)
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#17 of 34 Old 10-30-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NSmomtobe View Post
I am also in Canada, where we get a full year (that's 52 weeks, but only 50 weeks of EI pay).
"ONLY" 50 weeks of EI pay!!! Us mamas down here in the US are so jealous.
(It sucks to be a working mother in the US...our policies are so out of date.)

I did the survey on survey monkey. I'm taking almost 6 months off right now with our third child, b/c I regret the very short leaves i've had in the past. we saved money up for me to be off, since only 6 weeks will be paid by my leave balances.

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#18 of 34 Old 10-30-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laurabfig View Post
"ONLY" 50 weeks of EI pay!!! Us mamas down here in the US are so jealous.
(It sucks to be a working mother in the US...our policies are so out of date.)
I know that we are very lucky in Canada to get the year and some money so please don't think I am ungrateful by any stretch. However, depending on a person's circumstances, it isn't always possible for some mums to afford a full year on our mat leave. I make the maximum EI payment based on my working salary but it is $802 every two weeks so approx $1604 / month. While it is better than nothing, it can be tough for some families to get by on that.

For me, it is a huge reduction in salary because EI is capped at 55% of salary up to a max of $40,000 / year (I think these are the amounts). If you make more than $40,000, too bad. I am making less than 1/4 of my working salary. Some companies will also "top up" the EI to your salary for a time (my work does it for 3 months). Now, I am very happy to be getting something and so happy I can be home for the year with my little guys but it does make things a lot tighter for that time. I am reliant on DH to pay for a lot more because, let's face, most of us live up to our salaries and get used to a certain standard of living.

Anyhow, I still think it sucks the US mat leave policy is so terrible but ours isn't 100% perfect either.

Loving my two wild and crazy boys -- DS1 06/07 and DS2 12/09
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#19 of 34 Old 10-30-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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We are given 12 weeks under the FMLA. 6 weeks of that are paid through short term disability at my company. I used vacation for another 4 weeks. So, I ended up with 2 weeks unpaid.

I think 12 weeks is reasonable to expect for the US, simply because of the FMLA. However, I don't think it's enough.

Driving factor? Being able to have money coming in through most of it. I went back because a) I couldn't go without pay any longer and b) FMLA ends at 12 weeks.

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#20 of 34 Old 10-31-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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My disclaimer: I believe that all mothers should have the first 3 mnths, minimum, ome with their babies. unfortunately, reality does not jive with that ideal.

I took 5 weeks and 4 days with ds. All but the last 4 days were unpaid.
I was unemployed the last month of my pregnancy with dd and started workin again when she was 7 weeks.

I would say most womn prefer 3-6 months but most go back much sooner than that for financial reasons.

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#21 of 34 Old 10-31-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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4 months Then 6 months mostly unpaid.

I would gladly take a year unpaid if I could keep my job.
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#22 of 34 Old 10-31-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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1st baby -- 10 weeks
2nd baby -- 6 weeks
3rd baby -- 6 weeks

************
I was working FT when my first was born. I could have taken 12 weeks but I decided to go back at 10 so I could work half days on some days the first two weeks back.

With my next two, I was working part-time. Because as an independent contractor, I wasn't entitled to any leave at all, I was happy my boss gave me 6 weeks.

Factors: money, job situation

Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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#23 of 34 Old 10-31-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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I never returned to work after my 1st was born... but I can answer for my DH... the first two he only got 2-3 weeks...

The last two, he had, and took, 7 months of Parental leave.

 
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#24 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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planned 2 weeks (1 paid), took 6 weeks (due to complications), forced to quit my first day back (can't say much nice about what happened).

Most friends took 6 weeks, some took 12. very few were paid for the entire leave.

I returned at 6 weeks due to finances (that quickly got worse with the forced quit and dh not working). Needed more time. wasn't back to my normal until 12 weeks.

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#25 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaeDyCo View Post
I know that we are very lucky in Canada to get the year and some money so please don't think I am ungrateful by any stretch. However, depending on a person's circumstances, it isn't always possible for some mums to afford a full year on our mat leave. I make the maximum EI payment based on my working salary but it is $802 every two weeks so approx $1604 / month. While it is better than nothing, it can be tough for some families to get by on that.

For me, it is a huge reduction in salary because EI is capped at 55% of salary up to a max of $40,000 / year (I think these are the amounts). If you make more than $40,000, too bad. I am making less than 1/4 of my working salary. Some companies will also "top up" the EI to your salary for a time (my work does it for 3 months). Now, I am very happy to be getting something and so happy I can be home for the year with my little guys but it does make things a lot tighter for that time. I am reliant on DH to pay for a lot more because, let's face, most of us live up to our salaries and get used to a certain standard of living.

Anyhow, I still think it sucks the US mat leave policy is so terrible but ours isn't 100% perfect either.


Also, not everyone is eligible. Self-employed parents just got some sort of opt-in option, but students, for example, are still left out. (I had DS while in grad school. I was making decent money via fellowships. I had protected time off and took 6 months, but I didn't get a cent during that time. Fortunately we had been able to save hard for it. DH took the other half, and he got EI.)

I would still take that again over the US option, though.

professor & maman de DS1 (6) & DS2 (1)

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#26 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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(For the US) If your employer has 50 or more people and you have been there for a year before your leave will begin, then 12 weeks is the federal law. As in, you can't be fired if you return in 12 weeks.

Pay is a whole different story and based on your company's polices.

DD1 - I did not return to the job I was in before her birth and stayed home for 18 months.
DD2 - I was able to take 12 and I was planning on it but I ran out of money and went back 2 weeks early part time. No maternity pay for me though my company has since changed that and does pay some.

Most people I know take at least 8-12 weeks.

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#27 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I took five days.

I am/was self employed, so I couldn't afford longer than that. She was born on a Thursday, and I was back at work on Monday.
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#28 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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In a hurry because I am at work right now.

I planned to take 8-12 weeks. I ended up taking 13 weeks because I had a c-section and my DD had a 3 week NICU stay. FWIW it was totally a surprise--bad SH!$ can happen to anyone.

[/downer]

ETA: I think they would have held my job for me for longer, but I felt guilty about taking off more time than this. Assuming you're in the US, you know what i mean.

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#29 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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I planned 10 weeks, but went back 5 weeks post partum (6 weeks total). I had some disability insurance, but it only covered a few weeks of that and I needed to go back in part for financial reasons. The other reasons were that I needed the structure of work and such because life with a newborn was killing me. I ain't so good at the mothering thing, thank god DH is.

I have no idea how much leave most people take. I know alot of folks who just decide to stay home.

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#30 of 34 Old 11-01-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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We get 3 weeks paid, but I was working from home by week 2 for both babies.

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

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