Okay. First, I'm going to be a new mama in about three weeks (due Sept. 18, 2012, but he can come at any time now. ^.^) I am also new to this site/community and I hope I am posting in the right area. My question is, when to return to work/ when to start looking for work again?
Currently I am unemployed. The job I had before didn't have maternity leave, and I can return once baby is born if I so choose. But how soon is too soon? I've heard from many of my friends that are mama's that returning 2 months after baby was born was just too soon for them and they felt that they missed crucial bonding time with new baby, but then I've also heard 12 weeks is the norm. I am a student and I'm going for nursing, so I will be starting classes again come Winter Quarter, and the financial set back that my significant other and myself are dealing is making me want to return as soon as I possibly can. But if I wanted to take extra time, we're set enough where I could; I'm just horribly independent and would be described as a "workaholic", so not working is driving me crazy. Again, though, I've heard that that will change once baby is born and I am already dreading the prospect of returning to work, especially "too" soon. Maybe I'm just over thinking things and stressing a little too much over this topic. . . but I truly don't want to regret either waiting too long, or returning too soon and feeling as though I missed out on "crucial bonding" time with baby! Any advice? Average time frame?
I talked with people at my old job while pregnant about this question, and most said at least 4 months, preferably 6. I could see waiting until age 3, though!
DS1 (6) , DS2 (3) , DD is here!
I started teaching my classes again three weeks after my daughter was born and it went very well. I enjoyed being a professional again. That said, it was only a few days a week and I taught at home the rest of the days.
I returned at 2-3 weeks but I brought him with me... so I am not sure I count. But like previous posters have mentioned, you'll know. I have friends that want their 6 weeks of maternity leave to be over already and other choose to postpone returning to work as long as possible.
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay
Married to overworked DH since 2003, happily mama to DD (01/09) and DS (4/12)
DD is 3 weeks old and I'm starting work a week from tomorrow. It's very bittersweet because I am starting at a job I've wanted for a long time, but it's earlier than I wanted. I wanted to start after at least 6 weeks, but I was told the only way I could have the position was if I started no later than the 10th. My heart is already heavy with missing my little girl, but with my husband's hours getting cut, it was this or both of us donating plasma every week just to pay bills and at least now I can afford to take her to a local vax-friendly, homeopathic doctor for well-baby visits (paperwork from Medicaid already suggests I "have" to vaccinate and I have not found a doctor who takes Medicaid and is amenable to the delayed schedule we'd prefer).
DH's mother was a single mom and went back to work (as a nurse) at 4 weeks. She says you sometimes don't want to go back so early, but you find your special little ways to bond and you make it work, the two of you.
But again, it depends on so many things unique to you and your family. You'll know!
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
i went back after 6 weeks with dd and will be going back after 7 weeks this time. i can afford any unpaid time off. honestly i could easily go back after 2 weeks if i had to
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
I know for myself even 1 year would have been really hard. I just went back to school for nursing and my LO is 2 now. I didn't feel great about leaving him ever but it has been a positive transition at this point, I think. Leaving him when he was younger would have been a lot harder. However! Everyone is different, you will know your comfort level once the baby comes. Having trusted childcare is also a factor. You may find you're ready at 2 months or you may find the prospect of leaving your baby makes you physically ill. It is so individual, and like another poster says "You'll know". It's hard to plan anything until that baby is in your arms. I do understand the necessity of trying to get back into school though and finish up that degree. Mamas these days have so many pressures!
One thing I would recommend is do it gradually. Get used to a few hours away at first, build up to a day, and then try 2 days away. Going from home 24/7 to BAM gone 40 hours a week is a shock to the system.
Good luck to you!
Three months for me both times. I could have extended it a bit longer (6 mos.? 1 year?) the first time even though DH was taking care of DD1. It was hard for me to work in the office while she was home, plus pumping in the office sucked. The second time DH was still taking care of the kids, but I was working at home instead of in an office, so it wasn't too bad.
Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (15) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"