Back in November, I started working out what my maternity leave and return to work plan would be. It has just recently been approved. Glad I was so ahead of the ball!
So here’s my plan:
Since Emma has a 50/50 chance of coming on or after her due date, I’m planning to work right up until then, meaning my last work day will be April 5. Ideally, I’d be able to take more time off before she comes but because my time off is limited, I’d rather use it after she comes. If she comes early, I’ll start my leave early (duh).
If I work through April 5, 12 weeks of maternity leave would put me coming back on the week of July 4th. Since my FMLA leave won’t start until May 7 (when I’ll have worked at my job for 12 months), I’ll be actually taking 13 weeks instead of 12. Six of those weeks will be covered by short term disability at 80% of my pay, and 6 of those weeks will be unpaid. If I end up starting my maternity leave earlier than April 5, I’ll cut my leave to 12 weeks total.
When I return to work, I’ll be coming back part-time 3 days a week (Tues – Thurs). My boss is awesome and really fought for me with this arrangement. Apparently, transitioning to part-time is very rare where I work. My three immediate supervisors are kind of making an exception for me and offering this arrangement on a 6-month trial period. They want to make sure that the workload isn’t too much for being part-time. I had originally requested to work 2 days half the year and 3 days a year half the year (since our workload tends to be very seasonal) but they didn’t feel comfortable with only 2 days.
Until recently, I had always planned on being a stay-at-home mom once we had kids. I’m not a career-driven person by any means, and until recently, my job had bored me to tears about 80% of the time. But things at work have really turned around, and Travis and I both agree that it would be nice to be able to pay off some more loans while we only have one child, so that my staying home in the future (when we have more kids) will be more feasible. I also have a pretty well-paying job right now and we have a good friend who is going to watch Emma for a very affordable rate. So we really do come out ahead with me working.
I’m still not completely sure how I feel about going back to work 3 days a week, or what I’ll think about it in July. But I’m willing to try it out for a month or two. I try to remind myself that just because I’ll be a mother doesn’t mean I have to only do mothering things. And it’ll actually be beneficial to our family if I keep pursuing my own goals and dreams. Maybe that means working part-time. Maybe not. It’s another one of those questions I’m hoping becomes more clear once I’m living the reality.
And just something kind of funny, I got this in the mail yesterday: