(Closed) Maternity leave — how long is enough?

posted 10 years ago in Babies
Post # 17
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think the more time the better! Even 6 months is great though! The bonding time you will have with your baby is irreplaceable and priceless and it is so much fun =)

Post # 18
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I know what you mean about being worried about losing momentum, I work in a very male dominated area. That being said…My thoughts on this issue completely changed once I actually had a baby. Don’t get me wrong, I went a little stir crazy sometimes during the 5 months that I spent at home with my little man but I am so thankful for every minute of it. Now that I am back at work, all of the competition and worrying about what the guys I work with are doing, is gone. My son is my priority in life and I would give anything to be with him every day. 

I say definitely take the 6 months. If you have a competitive career field then go back after that but I guarantee you it will be harder than you think to leave that baby:)

Post # 19
3613 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I would seriously consider moving to Canada for this. We only get 3 months and it’s one of the biggest factors that makes me doubt the decision to have a kid. I’m the primary breadwinner so can’t afford to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, but I may consider just going on extended leave for a year and living off of DH’s income and our savings.

Post # 20
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Im in Australia and you get paid via a fortnightly baby bonus payment for about 6 months. Its not very much per fortnight but its enough to cover mortgage/ rent and other living expenses. I have taken 8 months off (one month before bub was born) and I will only be going back part-time. My FH is a subcontractor so he will be schedulling in his clients aroung my 15 – 20 hrs a week.

Even though DS will be 7 mo when I go back to work and its only part-time I dont want to leave him! I would abandon my job anyday to be at home with him as a Stay-At-Home Mom, but bills have to be paid.

I know my job’s maternity leave contract allows mums one extension (ie if you put in for 6 months you can extend it for how ever long extra but you can only do that once) so maybe you should look into what the maternity leave contracts like?

Post # 21
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

View original reply
@Zippy: I used to work at a daycare and the babie had to be at least 6 weeks to start we had at least 2 or 3 parents want to start their kids earlier than that.

Were I work now you get 6 weeks for natural birth and 12 weeks if its a c-section.

Post # 22
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I work for a state agency and we get whatever we have in sick/annual leave that we choose to take and then up to 12 weeks unpaid if needed.  I still have to figure how those can stack together (aka can I take 10 weeks of sick leave and 12 weeks unpaid FMLA time)?  

Post # 23
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

My problem with “taking what you’ve earned” is that it puts a lot of pressure on a new family when a baby gets sick, and a lot of pressure to space your pregnancies further apart, making people like me (30 years old, who wont be TTC until at LEAST 2013 because FH will be in Afghanistan) push back our second births if we want another child – or more. 

It’s frustrating, but will never change unfortunately!

Post # 24
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I’m American living in Ireland and I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the maternity benefits compared to home.  I’ll get 6 months paid (75%) plus 16 weeks unpaid.  I’m planning on being out for at least a year total assuming we can afford it.  There is a monthly child benefit of a few hundred euros so that might help take out some of the sting and since they’re twins we get a payment when they’re born – I think it’s about 700 euros – so that will help too.

If I were at home I would do my best to get to at least 6 months’ off – if I were close to my parents (geographically) I’d be less worried about going back to work but if I had to find daycare outside of family I think I’d be pretty stressed out…

Good luck to all the mamas to be – so many decisions to make!

Post # 25
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I’m in Germany and maternity time is quite generous here as well with the first year being paid to (I think, I don’t have kids) 60% and your job held for up to 3 years. That being said, a friend of mine who recently had a child and did not want to throw her career off track decided to take 8 months. She thought she’d get bored but said the time flew by. However, once she told her company 8 months, she could nt extend as they made a decision not to fill her position since she would be out less than a year and she didn’t want to get on her boss’ bad side by trying to extend. I would imagine you’d do better to start with a year and if you feel you can return earlier, talk to you boss then.

Post # 26
14181 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Could you take 6 months maternity leave and think about working part time or working from home for the last bit? My friend got antsy after 3 months and was ready to get back out into the world.

Post # 27
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Being in the US – everyone I’ve talked to said to take the full 12 weeks even if part of it is unpaid. I’m planning on doing that but also arranging something where I can work part of my day from home and part in the office. Because of my job it’s easier to telecommute but I’d hate to totally be away from it.

Post # 28
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Oh man, I’m so jealous of you Canadian girls!!!! 🙂 I think 6 months would be ideal. I think daycare is good for kids – getting them socialized and interacting with other children/adults. I don’t look forward to putting a teeny infant into daycare, but I do think it’s good for kids to get out of their own homes, at least part of the time.

I get 6 weeks of mat leave at 100% of my pay, paid through my company’s Short Term Disability plan. If I elect to take more than 6 weeks, my pay drops to about 60% of my current salary, for up to an additional 6 weeks (through a long term disability plan). It’s crazy that this is a “good” maternity leave deal.

Post # 29
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

I got 12 weeks paid and had another 6 weeks vacation saved.  Then I took another month+ off unpaid.  By the time I go back Ryan will be a bit older than 6 months – I am very happy and lucky I didn’t have to go back before then, because these last few months with him have been so wonderful  – it sucks in the US that most moms have to go back at 3 months right when the babies are becoming so fun! I think I am ready though to not have my life be 100% baby at this point – although I really would prefer part time vs. my current full time (50-60 hours) job.  I know a lot of other moms who find that the 6 month mark is when they start to get a bit stir crazy and missing that other part of their lives…

Post # 30
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We have a couple of choices on how we get paid duirng maternity leave. Using short term or long term disability, combined with your earned sick time and vacation time.  I’ve worked for the company for 4 years and have only taken a few sick days, so with that accrual it looks like I will have 12 weeks of maternity leave with my full salary (yay!).

I work from home full time, which does provide me a lot of flexibility (especially during the first trimester when I was exhausted). However, there is a common misconception that working from home means you do not have to arrange childcare.  My company actually requires that I show proof of childcare arrangements for the time that I am working (office hours).

So be warned that if you do land a telecommuting or work from home gig with a company, they too will probably require you show proof of childcare arrangements outside of your home.

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