3rd Trimester

maternity leave?

How long are people planning on taking for maternity leave? In Ontario, Canada, I am entitled to take a year off and they have to hold my position for me. But, I have to go on unemployment insurance which means my income is cut by more then half. Since I am the primary breadwinner at home, this is a huge hit to us. I can probably only afford to take 6 months, if that. I feel like people think I am a bad mother for not taking the whole year and they are looking down their noses at me.

What are other people doing? What is the time off allowed where you are from?

Re: maternity leave?

  • Just FYI -- to most Americans 6 months is not an option.  So, I doubt you'll get any criticism from Americans on here.

    I am hoping the baby arrived in ealy Aug because either way, I'm going back Nov. 1.

  • In the states it seems most people get 12 weeks due to FMLA, but it's up to your employer whether or not you get any portion of your income during that time.

    I think if you work for a smaller company with out many employees that they do not have to offer you any time off at all. 

    Maternity leave in the US is terrible. I saw an article about how it rates at the bottom in comparison to every other industrialized country. 

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  • I lucked out - I had been at my employer less than 12 months (which means they weren't required to give me a damn thing) and I am getting 12 weeks! I am getting 70 percent of my income for 5 weeks with long-term disability, using two weeks vacation, and just eating the remaining 5 weeks with no money.
  • I'm also from Canada. I don't work enough hours to get maternity benefits (I would still get the time off, but with no pay) so DH is taking it as paternity leave instead. He works out of province, so it will be really good for us as he'll be home for 6 months. His work tops up what the government gives to 93% of his income so it is an offer we really can't pass up on. I'll be quitting my job in a couple weeks (I work part time) and will be a SAHM.

    I may go back to work a few months after LO gets here because I've heard word that there might be a job opening up at a place I've been trying to get into, but that's only a huge maybe. I will consider it when the time comes.

  • image Violet_McPurpleson:

    In the states it seems most people get 12 weeks due to FMLA, but it's up to your employer whether or not you get any portion of your income during that time.

    I think if you work for a smaller company with out many employees that they do not have to offer you any time off at all. 

    Maternity leave in the US is terrible. I saw an article about how it rates at the bottom in comparison to every other industrialized country. 

    Definitely.  My emplyer doesn't even officially offer "maternity leave" everyone is left to make their own negotiaitions and they may or may not grant them.  I'm due Aug 17th and have been told I can get 30% of my pay check until Nov 1 when they want me back.

  • I got 6 weeks with 66% pay (actually the first 10 days I had to use vacation time).  Anything more I would have had to use vacation time and since DS was born in March I didnt want to use it all up in case I needed it for sick days or Dr appts. So no criticism from me for taking 6 months!
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  • I'm Canadian too. I'm taking my full year + 2 months short-term disability from work which started yesterday. My employer tops us up to 85%. I'm taking the full year b/c we can afford it and I want to stay home with the twins for the full year. I'm only returning to work part-time at the end of mat leave.

    Everyone's situation is different. I would never look down my nose at a Mom who chooses to go back to work after 6 months (or 6 days for that matter) to support her family. That's a personal decision. I've known more than a few friends and collegues that only took 6 months off before returning to work. We're lucky we even get that option!
    As PP's have stated, most of the girls living in the States don't have the same opportunity.

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  • I'm in BC and while I'll be taking the full year, it's not as much of a hit to me this time because I don't have to pay to keep DS in daycare and because this is our second, it's actually better for me net $-wise to keep my 2 kids out of daycare and stay on EI for the year.

    I know quite a few people who's SOs have taken the remainder and you really won't get any criticism from me- you need to do what is best for your family and if you don't get top up from your employer (which I don't) it is definitely quite a hit to the wallet the first time around.

    How much will daycare cost you?  I would look at that and see if it is worth it for your SO to take the remainder of the year as well- you may find that the difference isn't as much as it might seem (unless your plan is to have family take care of your DC).

    DS 06.26.08 DD 10.23.10
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  • With DS1 i could take up to 2 years and I would have a job when I returned (not neccessarily the same position or location) and it was unpaid.  i took 6 months.  This time around I would give anything to take the 6 months again...I can take a year but i only get 6 weeks at 66% from short term disability and my employer pays me 2 weeks full pay (which is rare in the states to get anything from your employer).  i could also take my 2 weeks vaca time but I would like to keeps those days incase my ids get sick or i need a day of otherwise.  I am taking approx 3 months this time, with about a month or so being unpaid. we will just barely be able to afford it, and I am thankful we have that option, however, if i had to go back sooner becasue I needed to for the money I would...

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  • Wow a whole 6 months!! thats so awesome.. Where I work under FMLA they allow 12 weeks maternity leave with NO PAY! and when I come back (which I'm probably not) they will be holding a position for me, may not be the position I had before having the baby... 
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  • I'm slightly lucky but by no means as lucky as Canadians. My employer allows a woman a leave of absence up to the child's first birthday. I get 2 weeks prior to delivery off and 6 weeks after (paid using disability). Then I will take my 4 weeks of vacation (paid) and then I will start unpaid leave...3 months with no money (but they will continue to pay my medical benefits). I go back 2/1/2011.
  • I get 18 weeks fully paid and will add a couple of weeks of vacation on to the end.  I am really lucky.
  • I can take up to 12 weeks, unpaid, through FMLA. I only have about 5 1/2 weeks PTO saved up. I still plan to take about 8 weeks off hopefully, but the rest will be unpaid which is very hard for us since we rely so much on both incomes right now. SO, I may be back after 7 weeks. Seems so short.
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  • I am also from Canada and I have been back and forth about this. I am also earning more than my partner and will be getting major pay cut going on mat leave. I have looked up daycare and the cost is crazy for a child under 12mos so at this point I'm leaning towards taking the full year because the extra income I would be earning would just go to the daycare! We'll be fine with the cut, it just means less eating out and less luxuries ;) I definately wouldn't look down upon you for not taking the full year though, do what you need to do to support your family! People at my work come back early all the time. My employer's top up is laughable (as in it won't even cover a case of diapers) so we basically get the max for EI and that's it, and depending on your situation that's not always possible to live off of.
    A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die.
    -- Mary Mason



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  • I'm taking 6 weeks paid, but I have to use all of my accrued leave to do it.
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  • I'm taking 12 weeks of FMLA- all unpaid except for about 2 weeks of my vacation time.  I think it is worth it to be with DD unpaid and we can swing it.  I am lucky because I can't imagine how tiring it would be to go back after 6-8 weeks and how hard it would be to leave my baby at that young age.  

    I wish I could take 6 months or a year. I think the US is sorely lagging on maternity leave.  

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  • The Family Leave Act protects you. You should contact a governmental agency on your employer. They have to accept your time off with your position open for you when you return. You get 12 weeks.  The 12 weeks isn't paid ( unless a company wants to pay) and the Health benefits I don't believe are covered during the time (unless your company does something special). Pregancy is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act.While the US does not have the best maternity leave care, it does have some protection.

     Your whole negotiations statement is illegal. This is unnegotiable. I would get the paperwork from a governmental agency soon, get your doctor to fill t out and hand in.  You have so many days prior to the arrival of the baby. However, from looking at your last paragraph it seems that they are giving a nice choice as well. But it is important to know if you ever were pregnant in the future and working for another company that they can't deny you the rights set by the FMLA

  • 6-8 (paid, 60% of hourly here in Indiana) weeks depending on the type of delivery with STD, FMLA covers 12 weeks..

    I'm already on maternity leave, but thankfully my boss rocks & is going to hold my position even if I take more than 12 weeks, the babies are expected Mid-August.. I'll be going back first week of November

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  • I'm also in Canada and am the breadwinner. I can also take a full year but my company only tops up to 65% for 6 months (which I know is still a luxury for some - especially in my industry but still a pay cut). Either way we'll be taking a hit financially but we'll have to figure it out. I've been putting money away for months trying to have a bit of a buffer for when I'm not bringing in my full pay check. I had hoped to have more saved but some is better than none. 

    The plan for now is that I'll take around 9 months off and then DH will take the other 3. We have to have someone home for the full year since the daycare(s) we're looking at only take kids 12 months and up. 

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  • I'm in Quebec and our maternity plan is much better, and my employer pays me 30 weeks at 100%.  I'm still only taking 8 months.  I took 10 months last time.  A full year is just too much for me to be honest.  
  • No negativity from this girl here!

    We're in the US and we only get 12 weeks (usually unpaid) with protection. Most of us only take 6 weeks off. You're VERY lucky to be taking 6 months! I would LOVE to have 6 months...shoot, I would love to have 3 months!! :)

    Don't let anyone tell you what's right or wrong for you and your baby! You're the momma, you will know!! :) 

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