Post # 1
So I work for a great company and they encourage 12 weeks of fmla leave after a baby. However, it is a combo of STD, PTO, some unpaid leave depending on how much PTO you have, and one week paid leave. STD is based on either 6 weeks ( vaginal) or 8 weeks ( c section). That’s something I’ll just have to wait n see on. I’m going w 6 weeks bc that’s the plan. If I have to have a C section then I will get two additional paid weeks off. So 6 weeks STD paid at 100% plus one week maternity leave will put me at 7 weeks off. I will have 15 pto days and plan to save 5 for Xmas holidays. So that gives me 10 days or 2 weeks of PTO which puts me out for 9 weeks. I would like to swing 3 more weeks to get to 12 full weeks. I just feel like that’s a better age to start a baby in daycare since I’m going back to work full time. However, that would be three weeks of unpaid leave. we can afford this, but it will be close to holidays and extra money is always nice. I’m just wondering your thoughts. Are the 12 weeks worth it or will I be ok going back at 9? I know it’s a personal decision and everyone’s will be different, but I am asking for opinions. Thanks!
Post # 3
I thought I would return to work after 6 weeks (part time weekends as I’m a wedding planner) but he just turned a year last month and I still haven’t gone back. I could have never imagined the dread of trying to go back to work. Now we are in a position where I HAVE to go back to work and I’m still pretty upset about it.
I would take as long as you can.
Post # 4
That’s the kinda info I am looking for. i just want to know how other moms feel/felt. Thanks so much!
Post # 5
You’ll never get those three weeks with your new baby back, but you can spend more on the holidays next year. I’d take as much leave as you can reasonably afford. You’ll be amazaed at how it flies by.
Post # 6
Take the full 12 weeks. My son was born a 7 weeks early. I originally had planned on taking only 8 weeks for FMLA. But since he was born early I went for the 12 weeks so I could have my bonding time once we got out of the NICU.
Post # 7
I don’t have a baby but a lot of my family and friends have had babies. They all say the 12 weeks goes by really fast and wished they could stay longer so I can imagine anything shorter than 12 weeks will feel like a blink of the eye. You’re not going to get this time with you baby again. They grow up so fast so take as much time off as you can afford because even with all the money in the world, you can’t have a do over.
Make sure that it’s true that c-section is 8 weeks. I’ve helped many employees with this and disability companies have lowered the c-section benefit to 6 weeks because they say that recovery time is taking much less time with improved medical procedures. They automatically give our employees 6 weeks and reevaluate based on documentation from the doctor.
Post # 8
This just makes me even more grateful for our 1-year mat leave…
Post # 9
Did you calculate if you get any vacation days that acrue while you are out? Did you see if any holidays match up with when you might be out? You might be able to gain another few days that way. A coworker even told me to plan it out and block sick or PTO around the holidays (so they are paid – if unpaid is near a holiday, it’s not a paid holiday) etc. Read the policies carefully!
Post # 10
That includes my pto. No matter what way I play it I will be looking at about three weeks of unpaid leave.
Post # 11
CherryWaves +1 I can’t imagine dealing with going back to work that soon. Where we are we get 1 year. Good luck to you! hope you get as much time as you can!
Post # 12
In your situation, it makes sense to take the full 12 weeks I think, especially since you’d be paying someone else to take care of your child during those last three weeks, so you probably wouldn’t earn much more anyway. I only get six weeks, so I’m jealous and a bit worried about how all that’s gonna go for me.
Post # 13
zoeygirl, do you not qualify for fmla?
Post # 14
@Sanola831: My job also has the standard 6 week leave. I’m also thinking of using at least 2 weeks vacation to make it 8 weeks. If it’s a situation like what @sassygrn said, I’d consider using the FMLA to extend it, but if things go relatively normally, it doesn’t make sense for me to take unpaid time. Obviously i wish there was more paid time off, but i think thats pretty normal these days.
Post # 15
Take the full 12 weeks – you will never get that time back.
Post # 16
I feel like I’m the odd one out, but I’ll share what I ended up doing…
I went back to work a few days shy of 6 weeks. I also was entitled to FMLA benefits but only had enough time off saved up to be paid for 6 weeks. I did not want to go on leave without pay.
I’m in a very lucky situation, though- my MIL comes to our house and spends time with the baby while we’re at work, and MrDane works a lot of evenings so he is home in the mornings. If we had been stuck with a daycare facility situation I would NOT have come back to work so early.
That said, I’m glad I came back to work. I love my daughter, but after about a month I knew I wasn’t going to be staying home for very long. It’s just not something I’m really cut out for. Even after the first day back at work I felt like a more balanced person, therefore a better and more patient mother and wife.
I do miss her while I’m gone, but I work less than 5 miles from home so I pop in at lunch, and I wear her around the house in the Moby during the evenings. I spend as much time as I can with her cuddling and snuggling. I am so fortunate that DH has the ability to spend time with her during the mornings, and I know as she grows up she will be very close to her grandmother- and they will BOTH benefit from that!