Post # 1
I have a job interview coming up soon and if i get it, i will have to negotiate i am assuming how much time i am taking off full time once the baby is born. I want to prepared if they ask “how much time do you need?” Most of my friends with stable jobs take a year off, which i would LOVE to do, but i am assuming I just can’t ask for that after only 4 months of working at a new job!
So my question is, how much time did you find was essential to take off and be with your baby full time before going back to work full time? This is my first kid, so i really have no idea right now. I thought I would start by asking those who have done it and have experience.
I have heard 6 weeks is typical in the states, but i think in Canada i can get more. But if all you got was 6 weeks, was it enough? To me that seems like the baby is still fresh out of the hospital! I was thinking of saying 3 months.
Post # 3
@dynamic_duo: I only get 6 weeks so thats all I am taking 🙁 I too think it’s too short but what can I do?
I think 3 months would be ideal.
Post # 4
Tough one, I think it really depends on your baby, the help you can get and how fast you’re back on your feet after delivery… I would not have been able to go back at only 6 weeks, moms who do it are heroes! I’d say it took about 10 weeks to get my head out of the water; maybe by 12 weeks would have been the earliest I would have considered going back to work if it was necessary… BUT I would have been heartbroken about it; the first time I actually missed work, Little E was almost 5 months.
Post # 5
My working friends all said the same thing, after about 3 months they were in a comfortable routine and felt ready (ready as possible) to go back.
Post # 6
I took 4 weeks off work but, I only took 1 week off of school. I HAD to get to classes and they all had attendance policies. My son stayed with my dad, his grandfather, for the first 9 months as I was living with my dad at the time. So I really don’t remember it being really hard to leave him. When he started going to my aunts it was harder for some reason. 3 months seems like an eternity to me! I was still bleeding from delivery when I went back to work! ( I was poor and could NOT take time off)
Post # 7
@dynamic_duo: In Canada you can have a year of maternity leave. You can split it with you hubby too. So if you only took 3 months mat leave, he could have 9 months paternity leave. As long as the combinaiton of the two of you don’t take more than a year that is what EI covers.
Post # 8
I have no idea about what’s actually essential but I’m pretty sure even if you’ve only been at your job a short period you’re still entitled to 17 weeks maternity and 37 parental under the canada labour code. There just may not be any top up by your employer. If you’ve worked 600 insurable hours in the last year you’ll be entitled to federal benefits though.
If it’s more a matter of needing your full salary or just not wanting to take a huge leave right away would your husband take some of it? The 37 weeks can be split anysway you see fit and if he was staying home that would definitely sway my idea of how many weeks would be essential for you to take
I would bank on at least taking the entire 17 week maternity leave since that’s meant for healing/bonding.
Post # 9
I went back FT after 6 weeks too. It was a bit difficult to get into a routine, but it worked out fine.
Post # 10
I would say 6 weeks would be a bare minimum; most moms I know agree that things drastically improve (sleepwise, parenting-wise, breastfeeding-wise, etc…) after the 6 week mark. I took 3 months with my daughter, though, and I wish I could’ve taken longer; sometimes, it’s never enough. 🙂
Post # 11
@dynamic_duo: If you have the hours worked prior to your due date (EI requires 600 hours I think it is?) you are entitled to the year off, and I wouldn’t think an employer could ask you how much you need? It’s not a negotiation thing, you’re entitled, and if you want it….take it? You definitely don’t have to ask and I would assume your employer would assume maternity leave = they lose you for a year. I know that’s the “no feelings” involved answer 🙂 You would be extra nice offering to come back sooner or putting it out there going for less time, I still don’t see how it’s fair if they ever asked “how much time do you need”!
I know everyone is different and some are ready to go back to work, but what if you aren’t ready to go back after X months (3 months let’s say) and really resent not getting to take the time you are entitled to?
Post # 12
I get 4 months maternity leave at my job. I have the option to rack up vacation and sick hours on top of that as well. I plan to work up until the last minute, so I can stay home as long as possible with baby.
Post # 13
I have no kids, but just want to say I’m moving to Canada when I have kids! Haha
Post # 14
I think it took me six weeks to feel like a person again 🙂 I wasn’t ready to go back at 12, but a lot of people are. See if you can check into labor laws, maybe you’ll be entitled to even more.
Post # 15
thanks for the replies everyone, good to hear about everyone’s experiences and how much time they needed.
@Robin_Sparkles: lol, you totally should! it seems to be better than even i thought!
@SapphireSun: i looked it up and you are right about the 600 hours, which translates to 15 weeks full time. If i get this job (*fingers crossed*!), and start working by July, i would be there about 17 weeks before my due date, so if all goes well, it could work out perfectly!
i guess i am worried about what they are going to say/think when i announce i am pregnant as soon as i get hired, so i feel like i should be all “i will take off the minimum time i need, i promise”……but if there are these expected standards as some of you are saying there are in Canada, then maybe determining time off will be no biggie. In the end, it might come down to if the time is unpaid or what percentage i am getting while on leave. I may just want/need to go back sooner to start making more money again.
And with that, I will now focus my attention on preparing for the interview so i CAN be in this situation of needing to determine time off!! wish me luck 🙂
Post # 16
@dynamic_duo: The pay for leave from the government is paid through Emplyment insurance and isn’t tied to a specific job. If you worked 600 hours at any job where you paid IN to ei in the last year you’re entitled to collect maternity and parental benefits. Im sure there would be some calculation if you worked two vastly different pay grade jobs, but the simple formula is that they’ll pay you 55% of your average salary up to a maximum that’s determined annually by each province.
What you may not qualify for is if your company tops up your benefits (I would imagine most hospitals would have something). Example, I work for the city so I would collect 54 weeks at 55% of my salary from ei and then as part of our union’s negotiated benefits package employees that have worked there for at least a year are entitled to be bumped up to 90% of their salary (and for subsequent children provided you come back at leAst one year in between leaves).
That’s the part that they wouldnt have to pay you if they have a similar program. BUT if your husband has been at his job longer, and has a top up I would definitely look in to letting him take a part of the 37 weeks parental leave if you’re not going to. When the time comes we totally plan on considering it. I really love my job and don’t want to be off track for a full year and dh’s job tops up to 93% of his salary so it’s almost a no brainer that if I choose to go back early he’d take parental leave.