Post # 1
my baby boy is a little over 5 weeks old and i’ll be taking 12 weeks total maternity leave (some paid, some unpaid). i’m already not looking forward to leaving my little munchkin all day 🙁 but for now i’m just enjoying every milisecond with him. he will ultimately be going to a small daycare center, but my mom will care for him for the first 3 weeks to make the transition a bit more comfortable. i’m trying to start mentally preparing for what *might* make the transition back easier when the time comes.
my job allows 16 weeks of unpaid leave in certain circumstances with a supervisor approval. i know it’s never easy to return to work after you have a baby, but i’m trying to decide which of these (possible) options may make more sense to propose to my boss:
- request an additional month of unpaid leave, then return to work full time
- request to return to work as scheduled, but work half time for the first week or two
thoughts from moms who’ve gone back to work? just not sure if more time might make it easier on me and my baby, or phasing into a full time schedule would. dh and i have figured it out financially, but i dont think we can afford for me to ask for both… i just want to be strategic about what i propose because once i open that can of worms i’ll have to really justify my request (dont you love US maternity leave =/)
i hope they approve one of these options cause i can’t imagine going back to soon at full speed!
ETA: I know moms go back after less than 12 weeks all the time – it takes a lot of strength! for me though, and especially since my baby was preemie, i feel like i need more time. thx!
Post # 3
I went back to work super early for financial reasons. My daughter is home during the day with my husband so my circumstances are a little different, but it was still extremely hard to leave her. My first week back to work I eased into it by working a few hours each day. It didn’t make it easy, but it was more bearable to leave her for a few hours as opposed to a full day. If your mom is going to watch him for a little bit when you go back I suggest easing into things by even taking an hour or two to run errands or do things away from the house so you get used to being away from him for even short amounts of time.
Post # 4
If you can afford the extra month off, I would do it. I think it would be so hard to go back so early, big hugs to you.
Post # 5
I went back to full time work at 8 weeks. The week before that I would spend an hour or two at my son’s daycare each day just watching or leaving him for an hour to get coffee or run an errand. Just enough to get a feel for it but not too much that I’d get too anxious. It really helped me in being able to go back to work. For the options you described, I’d suggest option 2, part time for a week or two and then back full time. The only reason I’d suggest that is that it doesn’t get any easier to leave them. Especially as they get older, they get more interactive and fun and it just makes it harder and harder.
Post # 6
I went back at 8 weeks part-time. I went in one day the week before for a couple of hours to catch up on emails and paperwork. I thought that worked out well so you could adjust to being gone and pumping (if you are BF).
Post # 7
I plan on doing the same as CutiPie, Darling Husband is planning to stay with the baby during the day because he can work from home, so I’ll go back to work as early as I possibly can – but I’ll go back half days to start. I’ll be back to full time at 8 weeks though, because that’s my company’s policy.
Big hugs to you – I hope they approve one of your scenarios and that you’re comfortable with it. I can only imagine how hard it will be.
Post # 8
I went back to work full time at 12 weeks, but I work near the daycare center so every day at lunch I went to visit my son for about 20 minutes for the first 2 months. This allowed me to nurse him at lunch and to bond with his caregivers. Seeing the daycare “in action” made me feel much more at ease about the care he was receiving.