Post # 17
I was only able to take 6 weeks 🙁 — purely for financial reasons as I wasn’t being paid a dime during leave. On one hand I was ready and excited to be back at work and feel social again.
Now my baby is 12 weeks old (tomorrow) and I think it would be so much fun if I had been able to be home with him the last few weeks. He’s interacting/smiling/cooing and stuff now so it’s so much fun!
If there’s any chance you can go back part-time after the 7 weeks I’d recommend trying that. You’d get the best of both worlds.
Post # 18
This is so hard – it’s SO individual. I personally took 12 weeks (turned into 13 weeks because of snow!) and went back part time for 6 months. Now that my part time is almost up, I asked for an extension and was told no. So I’ve given my notice and will look for something else part time (or freelance). I really love going to work – it’s such a brain break, and it’s nice to dress up and talk to adults. BUt I also would hate for someone else to basically raise my kid (I’d be gone 50-60 hours a week and we have no family nearby that can help, and my husband is the bread winner), and the days I work I usually only see him for about an hour that day.
I’m not trying to make anyone else feel bad about their decisions – just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. It’s really hard to leave your peanut, but it all depends on what you can swing at work and afford personally. There are benefits for you and your baby when you get out of the house, though, too.
Post # 19
You’re very lucky in that you have the luxury to decide what it is you want out of motherhood and your first few years with your child without having to worry about work. Based on some of the responses, it seems like those moms who went back to work did see a benefit to going back for the social or the stimulation piece, but that the time that they miss with their babies has been, well, truly missed. And I keep hearing again and again that this is a time that we won’t get back. If we miss it, it’s gone.
It is such a personal decision. I’ve chosen the opposite route: I’ve already told my employer that I’m leaving a month before my baby is due (assuming I’m comfortable working even that long), and that I’m not coming back. If stimulation and social activities are what you are looking for, there are ways to get that in your day that don’t involve going to work.
If I decide one, two, six, or 12 months into it that I really miss work and want to go back, then I have the option of going to work part-time. But if I go back to work right away and decide I shouldn’t have, then I’ve already missed time with my baby. I’d rather miss time at work than time with the baby.
Good luck with your decison. It’s not an easy one.
Post # 20
Stick to the 7 weeks and legally he can’t ask you, however, it sounds like a small place so there’s always differences. I wouldnt tell him.
Post # 21
Thanks everyone for the advice. He actually seemed like he wanted to move me into taking on more responsibility once I return – however, I told him while I’d be interested I’m not committing to anything definite because the future is simply an unknown (and I’m not sure if more responsibility would result in pay raise that would enought to convince me to take it on).
I’m concerned that I might be resentful of having to be at work every day when it’s not a necessity that I be in an actual office. If I did decide to take the Stay-At-Home Mom route I still would be able to do some freelance from home so my brain wouldn’t totally turn to baby mush. 🙂
Post # 22
I think you should still say 7 weeks, even if it is at the back of your head that you might make it permanent. I mean, it’s not as if you know you are not coming back and are stringing them along to get benefits.
Who knows how you will feel at the time, and it’s probably not a decision you can make right now, so I wouldn’t commit to anything yet. As of right now, your plan is to go back after 7 weeks right?
For me it’s a pretty easy decision- I have to work. Even after daycare costs it’s too much money to forgo, so I will be working no matter how I feel about it. My mom told me once she really struggled with staying home vs. working- she did a brief stint as a Stay-At-Home Mom while finishing up her degree. Whenever I ask her what she preferred, it is pretty much always the same answer- the grass was always greener on the other side. When she worked, she felt guilty and missed being at home, when she didn’t work, she didn’t like feeling like she didn’t have her own money, her own goals, her own life outside of me. Not to mention staying home, even for just a few years, can have a HUGE negative impact on your career trajectory. I feel like I have had to claw my way just to get where I am and I’ll be damned if it was all for nothing. Not saying you can’t stay home and then go back and still have a successful career, just that it can be difficult and some careers don’t recover. It’s just such a personal choice and there is no one right answer for everyone.
Post # 23
Please do not feel guilty- tell them 7 weeks and until that 7 weeks is coming to an end do not say anything further. No decision needs to be made at this time- you’ve gotta protect yourself.
Post # 24
If I was you I would stick to the 7 week plan for now and if you change your mind, no offense but too bad for them. You have to do what it right for you and your little family. And who knows, maybe if you do end up deciding that you want to resign they might change their tune when you try to give them your notice.
As an example, I went into my job a couple of weeks ago and officially resigned because the hubby and I have decided that I would be a Stay-At-Home Mom. BUT, the next day my boss gave me a call and said that even though she has never had kids she understands how hard it would be to go back to work after 6 weeks so she asked that I take the summer to think more about wanting to actually resign or not. My time off is unpaid, but she wants to hold my job for me for the next 2 months, then she said we’ll chat more about if I do want to come back and what kind of schedule I would want and we would see if there would be a way to work it out so that it worked for everyone. They normally aren’t so easy to work with so I was beyond shocked that they are trying to accomodate me. She said that maybe after being at home for a couple of months I would like to get out of the house even if it was just for 2 hours a day or even 2 or 3 days a week. Moral of the story: If you’re a fabulous employee, maybe your boss will end up working with you once faced with the fact that they may actually lose you. 🙂
Best of luck!
Post # 25
@Lillindy: That’s such an awesome update to your situation! I remember you post about your leave plans before, and I think it’s great that they’re being so flexible!
Post # 26
@Mrs. Spring: I know, after dreading the whole situation and being so torn about what to do I couldn’t have been more pleased with how it all turned out! 🙂