Hi! I am seeking feedback on self-employed mamas and how long they took off of work after having a baby... I am expecting in a month and just not sure! I keep going back and forth between 2-3 weeks, and a month...
I work at home, but still! I did X post in WAHM forum.
Do you pay self-employment taxes? In my state, you are considered disabled by birth recovery for eight weeks. (And there is a program that you can pay in to for maternity and short leave disability benefits.) You are considered disabled and in recover for ten weeks with a c-section.
I think you have to make the decision about the kind of birth planned and its outcome, breastfeeding, and your childcare arrangements. I think a month is terribly short time. If this is your first baby, I assume at least two months.
Ds was born on a wed, i went back to work the next thursday. (he was born april 4) it's been rough, but with lots of support, doable...
good luck mama!
Married to overworked DH since 2003, happily mama to DD (01/09) and DS (4/12)
I took three months off. Unfortunately, that meant working like crazy while I was pregnant, but fortunately, it coincided with working on a relatively (for me) lucrative project that helped us get through.
It really depends on your financial situation and your clients. In my case, my clients were mainly in Europe, so they didn't blink an eye at three months and just said, "We'll call you in September." I was very lucky that way.
Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"
I took 5 weeks off after DS2's birth (had someone work locum tenens for me) and then wore him to work in a Moby until he was 8 weeks old. I had my office make my schedule a little lighter during that 3 weeks of baby wearing. I was really glad to spend that time with him, totally worth the lost income.
Just to keep life interesting DS2 decided that only straight breast milk from the source would be acceptable, and refused to take the fruits of my pumping from any bottle with any kind of nipple or cup or syringe or spoon, etc.... I had to nurse him right before leaving, run home at lunch to nurse, and then come straight home and nurse. Then it was a nurse-a-thon all night. We did this for a year then eliminated the lunch session. On the bright side, I was able to donate 1700+ oz of breast milk to the San Jose Milk Bank, so at least some babies liked what I had pumped.
What crazy times! So we decided our family was complete with the 2 DSs. :)
Wow - I cannot imagine going back after just a few weeks! I was self-employed when I had DS1, and I took 6 months off. Both DH and I were self-employed and had irregular income (he as a freelance photographer/graphic designer and me as a consultant), so we were a) used to living well below our means, since our cash flow was sort of all-or-nothing, and b) had a years' worth of living expenses sitting in the bank, where we could get at it. (This at the advice of our financial consultant.) Anyway, I was really lucky to be able to take that kind of time, I know, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Your baby is only a baby once, and that early time together is really special.
Having said all that, by the time I had DS2 I was (and am) employed at a large firm, and I took 12 weeks off (6 paid, 6 unpaid). I do so wish I could cut back to PT, or had been able to extend my leave - but I am now the primary breadwinner by a long shot, so it's not really an option.
One thing I would offer is that, in retrospect, I could have worked harder to change my circumstances so that I could have more time off with DS2, but I was afraid. Don't be me!
I took a month. I work from home as well and physically it is a nonchallenging job (sitting at a desk :) ) I also only worked part-time at that time, so it was doable. There was a lot of trying to type with a baby nursing on my lap! I would have loved to take longer, but couldn't afford to.