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Old 10-02-2011, 11:12 AM   #11
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

I would have a hard time doing 6 weeks. When I had my babies (I was a teacher too) I had like 9 weeks off with both. With my daughter, she was born on June 17 and I went back to work when school started in August. With my son, he was born December 13 and I went back Valentine's day.

In your shoes, I would take 6 actual school weeks and consider the holiday vacations as bonus. How is your pay structured? For me, I was only counted "on leave" on work days, so I still got half month pay in December because they didn't take off for xmas break, because that was contract time. Does that make sense? Do you have disability insurance? I was lucky in that my policy paid concurrent with sick pay, so my leave didn't actually have a huge financial impact.

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #12
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Just wanted to add: whatever you decide, communicate it as soon as possible, present the plan, and stick to it. Honestly I think HOW you handle the leave will more of an impact than how long you are gone for. The very worst IMO is when I don't know when an employee or colleague is coming back. Give them time to plan, and in fact, do the planning for them. The easier it is for them and the more smoothly it goes, the better you will look.

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Old 10-02-2011, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

i took 7 weeks with each of my LO. It was very hard going back. If I had the option to take longer I would. What about 9 or 10 weeks instead of the full 12. I would have no issues filling up the 12 weeks off.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

I was able to take 8 weeks with both of my girls, and honestly, that was plenty for me, lol. Poppan is right - make a plan, give it to HR, and stick to it. And you don't have to take 12 weeks - you can take 8, 9, etc.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:13 PM   #15
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

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Old 10-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #16
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:41 PM   #17
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

I think the best impression you can make is to be responsible while you are working - if that means taking the 12 weeks and being as present in your job as possible when you come back than that is what I would do.

As a side note - I live in Canada and we get 50 weeks PAID mat leave (plus 2 unpaid) plus I got 15 weeks PAID sick leave before having the baby because of complications - I can not imagine how you mama's do it only taking 6 or so weeks off. Hats off to you!!!!
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #18
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
Just wanted to add: whatever you decide, communicate it as soon as possible, present the plan, and stick to it. Honestly I think HOW you handle the leave will more of an impact than how long you are gone for. The very worst IMO is when I don't know when an employee or colleague is coming back. Give them time to plan, and in fact, do the planning for them. The easier it is for them and the more smoothly it goes, the better you will look.

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I would plan on taking 12 weeks and let them know now. And then do all that this mama said.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:19 PM   #19
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Re: WWYD? Maternity leave..

Can I move to Canada now? I'd still be off!

My daughter is my only child, but other than that my situation was similar to yours. I'm a teacher, and I struggled with how much time to take off. I ended up doing 12 weeks, and I'm glad I did. Like you, it was/is emotionally difficult for me to be away from my daughter, and breastfeeding was/is important to me. My husband does work, but only PT and I'm the primary breadwinner. We couldn't really afford it either, and used money we had in savings. My daughter is with either her dad or one of her grandmas during the week, and while it does help that she's with family, it would have been really hard for me to go back at 6 weeks, or even 8.

Just one more Q for you--are you sure that your days off during Thanksgiving and Christmas break count toward your leave? Because for me, they did not. Spring break fell during my maternity leave, and it was a bonus--I was actually off for 13 weeks. So check on that.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:06 PM   #20
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