Post # 1
I’m a uk bee with a 6 week old baby. Here we get 52 weeks maternity leave. Add to that the holiday I had from last year and the holidays I get this year (which I’m adding to the end of my leave) I will have been off work from Dec 2016 to end of Feb 2018.
I saw a post earlier about an 8 week old in day care – how do you ladies manage with so little time off? Like even how do you get out the house on time for work? How do you cope with BF? Can you Boyfriend or Best Friend for as long as you want to?
These are all genuine questions, I’m super impressed that you can have you shizzle together enough to go back to work so soon.
Post # 2
I went back back to FT work at 11 weeks PP. my leave was all unpaid – no pto etc. I worked 7 12 hour shifts in a row then had 7 off. I was able to breastfeed for an entire year. Exclusive Boyfriend or Best Friend for the first 6 months before solids. It was doable. I have great family support. I guess you just get it done as it is what it is.
Post # 3
It’s just the way it is here. Many, many coupes temporarily live with their own parents (or choose someplace closer to live) so they can have family helping/watching as they go back to work.
Post # 4
Not a parent, but my mom was a single mom and I was put into daycare as soon as they allowed (8 weeks). She wanted to breastfeed but simply couldn’t since she worked full-time (~50 hours) and back then they weren’t as understanding on postpartum rights. It’s sad to say it hasn’t improved too much, but I believe a lot of places have policies allowing breastfeeding moms so many breaks her day. I don’t believe it’s law, though, just good practice.
It’s reaching the point where childcare is so expensive and careers so unforgiving that many women are just choosing to quit their jobs. My sister was one of them (They wanted her back when my niece was 4 weeks, saying that the 2 weeks she had off for bedrest before she was born was counted with the mandatory 6 week leave…illegal yes, but worth the fight and lawyers? She didn’t feel so. She just quit).
Since we’re on the topic, I’ve always been curious: how do other countries afford to give women that much time off? Who pays? The business? Does that mean businesses have to pay double for a maternity leave mom, or does the government pay for the temp? I’ve always been so curious how it works!
Post # 5
My mind was blown on the other post too. Like you, if I tack my vacation on to either end of mat leave, I’ll have 58 weeks, with 90% pay (EI and employer top up). I can split that with my fiancé too. I’m also curious how breastfeeding is maintained, and how parents get anything done at work when their babies are in daycare? Wouldn’t you be a better employee if you returned when they’re older and out of the newborn stage?
I believe that society benefits as a whole when parents can bond with their babies for that first year, which is why I’m happy for my taxes to pay for mat leave.
Post # 6
cloverdemeter : In Canada, and many European countries, we pay a lot more in income taxes. On every single pay cheque, from however old it is that you get your first job, you start paying into employment tax. There is no way a 16 year old at a part time job is ever going to be eligible to collect any sort of insurance if they get laid off or pregnant. You have to work a certain number of hours in a certain period of time to be eligible… But with everyone paying in, it makes it possible that we a decent EI payment for parental leave. However, it is 60% in Canada, for 52 weeks, and while okay, it is still no where near as great as some places in Europe.
Post # 7
In australia you have 18 weeks paid at minimum wage by the govt, then you can have up to 34 weeks unpaid (52 total). I will be back at work after 18 weeks. My workplace (childcare) gives great staff discounts, 2 paid breastfeeding breaks and flexible hours.
Post # 8
We had (and have) a lot of support from our families. I quit my job (privilege) and was a stay at home mother for two years. I now have a job that allows me to telecommute several days a week (privilege) and my husband and I have talked about hiring in home support for any additional children (privilege).
I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby in daycare at 8 weeks and I was fortunate (and privileged) to not have to. It’s complete bullshit that it’s a privilege to make the choice to stay home with your child during their most vulnerable weeks and months, though. Absolute bullshit.
Post # 9
Wow I’m incredibly jealous of you ladies who get so much time off! I don’t have kids yet, but this is a constant worry of mine too!
Post # 10
Twizbe : it was really hard. I cried a lot when I went back to work. I was lucky enough to have 12 weeks with her before I went back to work (but I did communicate with work no help them over the phone my whole leave)
Things were really different when I went back. They wanted me to work 12 hour days when I had originally worked 8 before maternity leave. I ended up leaving that job because I had a complete mental breakdown.
Im lucky enough to live so close to my mom and Mother-In-Law and they help a lot. My daughter is 3 now and I really wish I had that time with her as a baby back.
Post # 11
It’s one of those things you do. It actually feels kind of condescending when people say “I can’t imagine.”
Look, most of us aren’t clamoring to go back but there aren’t a ton of choices that don’t involve a lot of privilege.
I went back back when my son was 12 weeks. The first week was awful but then it just clicked. He was EBF and continued bf until 20 months. I realize my role is very flexible (my privilege) and many working families have it harder.
I will say, however, that daycare isn’t something horrible or regrettable. My son is so social and is used to spending time away from me. Even when we switched providers at 20 months he just eased into a new routine with zero separation anxiety.
So yes, it sucks to leave your baby, but it’s not the end of the world. My son has always done so well in care- better than I could have done mentally if I was with him 24/7.
Post # 12
I’m very lucky to have so long off and DS will go to nursery when I go back.
I think my main question was how are you ready for work and out the door on time when they’re so young? I have to leave at 7:30 to get to my work on time. Even with baby waking at 5:30 I’m not dressed, fed and baby fed by then. Practical tips welcome.
In the uk the government refunds my employers my stat maternity pay. The leave isn’t fully paid (last 3 months are unpaid) my company enhances that pay. I’m on full pay now, but will drop to 90% soon. The job I do means the don’t need to replace me as such (I’m a consultant so I’m just off the project roster) but most companies do temporary promotions to cover mat leave and then get a fixed term person to cover the more junior (cheaper) role. It can be great for others at your work. A friend of mine (male) was able to develop his career really fast by taking on a few mat leave covers.
We do pay more tax, but that covers loads including cradle to grave healthcare and out state pensions. I have no issue with that as I know it means these things are there for me should times get tough
Post # 13
Just to add I think a lot of employers have twigged that they lose out long term by not supporting new parents / women. It costs a lot to hire someone and train them. Support them when life changes and you’ll get longer service and more loyalty from them. It’s such a shame that companies lose talented women by taking a short term view.
Post # 14
cloverdemeter : In Australia you get 18 weeks paid leave, paid by the government at a set rate (everyone will get paid the same amount for maternity leave). I think people get confused about who is paying because the government gives the funds to the employer who then pays it out to the employee. Dads/partners also get 2 weeks off like this. You are also entitled to 12 months leave without pay, so the employer might have to get a temp if needed but they’re not paying two people at once!
Post # 15
cloverdemeter : German bee living in the UK here. You can get up to 3 years maternity leave in Germany, with a guaranteed job afterwards and a right to demand (and get) part-time work if the company has more than 15 employees. The first 12 months (if only mum stays home) or 14 months (if dad covers a minimum of 2 months) are paid at 65% (? think this may have changed) of the parent’s usual income, but at a minimum of €300 and a maximum of €1800 per month. That can also be spread out across the full 3 years and there is a bonus for siblings so that many mothers choose to have a second child when baby 1 is ~2 years.
Germany is a welfare state, though. If you earn around €25000, about half of it will go towards tax and various tax-like imposed insurances, such as pension, unemployment benefits, care for the elderly/disabled,… . Like most other countries the state version of this is often not great but it covers your costs of living and keeps you alive. And they don’t screw you over quite as much as private insurances.
To me, the UK 6 months maternity leave was already a culture shock (btw, how do you ladies get a year out of this?)