Post # 1
So I had posted about how I wanted to see about working from home after the baby was born. But unfortunately my employer insisted that they needed me to be in the office full-time (and didn’t offer me an option of going part time or giving up benefits).
Now my boss called me today and said he wanted to talk about my “plans” for/after maternity leave. I haven’t decided anything for sure and as it stands I’ll take 7 weeks and then return to work, because I think I’d miss it. But I know there’s a chance that once I actually HAVE the baby I may not want to return (and it IS financially possible for me to stay home) – so it’s difficult for me to know for sure.
Should I just stick by my original 7 weeks off and then if I change my mind to let them know? I’d hate to not get short-term disability (we don’t have maternity pay) by saying there’s a possibility that I may change my mind but I also don’t want them to think I lied to them (because I’m really not sure).
So wise bees, got any advice?
Post # 3
i would stick to your original 7 weeks off. after the baby arrives, you’ll have a much better idea of whether or not you want to stay home or go back. since there’s no transition available (part time or working from home) i know i would be hesistant to give an all or none action as well, but i think your best bet is telling them that you’ll be back!
Post # 4
You should wait until after the baby comes, if you have the chance; it’s just so hard to know how you’ll feel until after you have the baby. Plus, you might really want to go back to work after the baby is born, and if you put in your notice now, you’d be completely shutting that off as an option.
Post # 5
I can’t give you much advice as it is an intensely personal decision. But I will share with you my experience. I am a Type A personality and I needed to go back to work if for no other reason than to challenge my mind with something other than baby. After the first two weeks I was starting to look forward to getting back to work, talking to people that could/would talk back, etc. I took a total of 8-1/2 weeks off. Then around 7 weeks he started smiling responsively, cooing occaisionally, basically getting a little interactive where he was starting to get fun. It was hard to want to go back to work after that but I’m glad I did. He loves his daycare, I love his daycare, I like having challenges at work. The down side is that I only see him awake about 2 hours a day since he wakes up at 5:45 and we leave for school at 6:30 and I pick him up at 5:15 and he is down for the night at 7. In that time, over one hour is driving to and from daycare. I know over time it will get better in how much time I get to spend with him as he gets older and I certainly cherish the weekends with holding him as much as I can. These kinds of things are just something you have to weigh out. And some of them you may not be sure of until you hold your LO in your arms. I’d suggest you plan to go back (since it seems like you aren’t against it) and if you change your mind, let your employer know ASAP. It has happened that way to many a woman and you won’t be the first.
Post # 6
Under FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) you can legally take off 12 weeks (unpaid) from your job and they have to let you. I am telling them 12 weeks even though I am fairly sure it will be less- I went back after 9 weeks with my first daughter. I would think it would be easier to go back earlier than they expected, rather than trying to extend later. Also, if you unexpectedly have to have a c-section you may not be ready to go back at 7 weeks.
Post # 7
@Pelikila: Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s helpful to hear. Silly example but I wasn’t really a “dog person” till I got my dog – then I loved her – so I kind of feel like things may change when the baby is here.
Even thought I really enjoy working, I think I might have a hard time giving up all that time with him knowing that my job can be done from virtually anywhere.
@eeniebeans: We don’t fall under FMLA – our company is about 15 people.
Post # 8
As a manager of many people, I am never surprised when someone doesn’t come back after the baby. If that happens, he is not going to be surprised unless he is an idiot. However, I would NEVER mention it as a possibility until you are telling him you are resigning.
When you sit with him, tell him the 7 week plan. See if he is open to you taking off the whole 12 weeks with unpaid time.
@Pelikila: One of my friends said, “The baby finally got cute and fun at 12 weeks. Why couldn’t I have gone back to work right away and gone on maternity leave now?”
Post # 9
I would say look after yourself ..stick to the 7 week plan .. if you decide not go back – c’est le vie .. If you do well then everything comes up roses anyway. You have to look after yourself because nobody else will – your boss is rushing you because he is looking out for his #1 (himself) and you should be doing the same
Post # 10
totally stick with the 7 week plan! you have no idea how you’re gonna feel or what kind of mom you’re going to be until after the baby arrives. if you have that option to take a 7 week break to be with your baby and give yourself time to figure it out, by all means take it. i think every employer knows there is a chance an expectant employee might not come back. If you decide to stay at home with the baby, you can say that it’s simply a lifestyle choice that you had to make. That is not at all manipulative or lying. And if you decide to return to work, then you at least have made that an option for yourself.
It’s such a hard choice either way (being at stay at home mom is every bit as challenging as being a working mom) so I wish you the best of luck!
Post # 12
I wouldn’t quit yet, but holy cow, 7 weeks is so short!! Granted I took a long leave but I wasn’t anywhere near ready to go to work at 7 weeks – at 6 months I was! So even if at 7 weeks you aren’t ready, and you quit- you might want to find a new job as the baby gets a bit older and you find you need something for yourself.
Post # 13
@Sunchick19: 7 weeks is all I can get paid for – I could take up to 12 with unpaid time but without knowing for sure what I want to do I’d hate to take a bunch of unpaid time and have them hold my job for even longer if I do decide to take the Stay-At-Home Mom route.
Post # 14
Legally, your employer cannot ask you what your plans are and cannot pressure you to make a decision now. Look out for yourself and say you’ll be returning – if you choose not to return in a few weeks, that’s your decision but leave the option open.
Post # 15
You guys probably know this but in Canada you get a year off for maternity leave.
I’m about to move to the States and this is one thing in particular that bugs me, and I’m really not sure what I will do when the time comes to have babies. 🙁
Post # 16
@camrie: Why would you hate for them to hold your job? As long as they are giving it to you, take the time you need to make your decision. What if after 12 weeks you decided that you do want to go back? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the extra 5 weeks with your baby at home?
I would let them know that you were doing the full 12 weeks and coming back. Then decide when you’re on leave what you want to do. They clearly aren’t looking out for your best interests (not even letting you work from home one or two days a week), so why should you look out for theirs? I know you want to leave a job on good terms, but you can still do that and take your full maternity leave.