Working Moms

For those who took shorter maternity leaves

did you get flack from other moms who took the full 12 weeks or more?

The new Yahoo CEO's plan to take a short leave has the fellow pumping moms at my work essentially accusing her of taking the women's movement back a few steps and I seem to be the only one who thinks we need to lay off. That makes me wonder, how common is this? Were you given a hard time by other working moms for taking less than 12 weeks?

I took 13 weeks but by week 7-8, I felt like I could have gone back and started to get kinda bored & lonely, so next time around, I might not take so much unpaid leave. I know everyone's different and some women need more time, some need less - but holy cow, the flack you can get for not fully utilizing FMLA is pretty harsh! 

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

BabyFruit Ticker
«1

Re: For those who took shorter maternity leaves

  • I took 9 weeks and could have used more.  I went back because I had no choice (unpaid leave) and couldn't afford any longer.  But I planned on going back after 6 weeks and ended up extending it because I wasn't physically ready to go back.

    I haven't heard about anyone giving Yahoo CEO flack, but I don't get why.  Maybe they're worried people will say "well she did, so can you".  Her situation is going to be totally different.  She can also probably afford her own Nanny and doesn't have to take into account that DC will eat up half to almost all of her paycheck.  So a "few weeks" for her probably won't be so bad.

    image

  • Kie310Kie310
    Seventh Anniversary
    member
    I know just as many woman IRL that don't take the full 12 weeks as I do that do take the full 12 weeks. I personally took 10 & had 3 weeks on bed rest before that... I plan to take the full 12 weeks this time, but I'm lucky enough to be able to afford that. Not everyone is, and I have never seen someone IRL get flack for it. But none of them were CEO's of companies & none of them announced to the world their plans.
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

    image


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I was given 6wks but requested an extension for an extra 2wks. I did get a lot of flack for requesting an extension from the other mom's on my team. They said it was because I was a FTM and didn't have to care for other children like they did. They said they were running back to work after 6wks lol
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    image
    imageimageimage
  • I went back after 7 weeks. I could have taken the full 12, but my plan was always to jump right back in. I would take the full 12 if I had to do it over again because I feel like I missed out on some things. Mostly other moms acted like they had never heard of such a thing. There was a lot of, "Wow, I can't believe your back already." which added to my mommy guilt.
  • I did not take a short maternity leave, but I consider the time I got to be a luxury and could have returned at 6 weeks if I really had to.  Some women don't have a choice - they get neither FMLA protection or pay for their ML, so they need to go back at 6 weeks (or sooner).  But yes, there is tremendous pressure on women to take leave if they have it available to them because FMLA is perceived as being progress in the women's movement (even though both men and women have access to it as long as their employers qualify).  

    However, I don't think the normal "rules" of time off apply to anyone in high-level management position of a Fortune 100 company, and comparing their jobs to those of us in positions with less responsibility is like comparing apples and oranges.  Plainly speaking, these people NEVER really can have time off from their jobs.  These are the people who have their blackberries attached to them 24/7, and take 3am conference calls on vacation because their contributions to the enterprise are just that important.  The idea that Ms. Mayer should be taking a typical ML is ludicrous - she is the CEO, for pete's sake!

  • Most of the women I know take the full 12 weeks, but I do know some that went back around 8-10 weeks.  I felt sad for them, but I wouldn't judge.  Not everyone can afford to take unpaid time off. 
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I was only a few weeks into a new job when I had my baby (just like Marissa Meyer! lol, but I'm not quite a CEO) so I felt like I needed to get back a little earlier than 12 weeks. Nobody at my work put any pressure on me, though. It had been a long time since anyone at my work had gotten pregnant, so there was no real "standard" or anything. I used up all my sick leave and came back part time for weeks 9-12. My mom friends that work other places were like, "aw, that's a shame that you have to go back so soon!" but they didn't act like I was letting down the cause or anything.
    Lilypie - (8zJg)Lilypie - (Eu83)
    image
  • Hmm, I went back at 2, worked for 2.5 weeks and then took a few weeks off after that. I pumped for a full 13 months for DS.  My pay check was docked for every day of work I was not there---no one at work gave me a hard time because they all only took 6 weeks off because we have to pay out of pocket and we are still required to have all lesson plans done anyway.


    I'm not sure how anyones leave should be anyone elses business....ya know? 

    ETA: I also had my DS out at 3 days old because of the new teacher orientation lunch thing. DS went to work with me for those 2.5 weeks.

    I was a FTM then and the only help I had was DH- my inlaws and parents live far away.

     

  • Like a PP I only took 9 weeks, because that's all I could and still get paid.  At that I was one day short, thankfully I work with awesome people that donated 8 hours to me!

    I would have loved more time with LO at home, and even now I feel guilty I'm not always with him...but to each their own. I do enjoy adult conversation, and using critical thinking.

    I got more of a snooty response from other pregnant ladies taking longer than I did from anyone else.  I was fairly new to my job, and as it was just barely cleared the amount of time I had to to get my full benefits for FMLA and STD when LO was born. It was more condescending like I was a bad mom and they were awesome and knew everything...even though it was their first child too (yes more than one). I found it's the same response you get in the instance where you don't breastfeed (wasn't able to EBF) or get an epidural.  Obviously I'm sensitive to these things because despite my best efforts I can't BF and can't stay home with my little guy...so they're commentary apparently works on me. Lame. 

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers Anniversary
  • I couldn't wait to go back to work!!! i was going to do 6 or 8, but LO came before the holiday season so i went back on Jan 3rd at 10 weeks. I had enough vacation time to receive a pay check for all of FMLA's 12 weeks but I didn't want to deplete it all. i was going insane at home alone around 5 weeks.
  • aglennaglenn
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 250 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    image JoAnna914:

    I did not take a short maternity leave, but I consider the time I got to be a luxury and could have returned at 6 weeks if I really had to.  Some women don't have a choice - they get neither FMLA protection or pay for their ML, so they need to go back at 6 weeks (or sooner).  But yes, there is tremendous pressure on women to take leave if they have it available to them because FMLA is perceived as being progress in the women's movement (even though both men and women have access to it as long as their employers qualify).  

    However, I don't think the normal "rules" of time off apply to anyone in high-level management position of a Fortune 100 company, and comparing their jobs to those of us in positions with less responsibility is like comparing apples and oranges.  Plainly speaking, these people NEVER really can have time off from their jobs.  These are the people who have their blackberries attached to them 24/7, and take 3am conference calls on vacation because their contributions to the enterprise are just that important.  The idea that Ms. Mayer should be taking a typical ML is ludicrous - she is the CEO, for pete's sake!

    This!  For crying out loud, the poor woman does not have a choice.  Her hands are even more tied than those of the people who take short leaves for monetary reasons.  Yes, she has the money that they don't have, but in reality she has even less flexibility.  Her situation has zero bearing on that of most working women.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I feel like a lot of this is semantics. 

    I got teased for coming back earlier than some other women at my office, but a lot of them worked through most of their maternity leave.  I let my blackberry battery die and didn't recharge it for 2 months.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Pregnancy Ticker
  • Lets see:

    DS1- 6 weeks

    DS2- 6 weeks

    DD1- 2 weeks

    DD2- 1 week

    DS3- (new job) 9 weeks

    I can say that except for the 9 week leave I was still "on call" answering emails and making plans through out my leave.  I was #2 in a company of two people so going MIA would have resulted in a massive headache for me when I returned. With DS1 I could have gone back after a week or two (first baby, my body bounced right back!), but I could afford to take the 6 weeks (no paid leave at that job) and I didn't have paid vacation either at that time.  As much as I'm sure I'll get flamed for it (because ML isn't for vacationing), that's when we planed several family vacations, and it was wonderful!

    To answer your question, yes, people need to back of and leave her alone.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Lilypie - (HKbp)Lilypie - (WKbt)
     Lilypie - (2DqE)  Lilypie - (1KYE)
    Lilypie - (RlhZ)Lilypie - (1CAm)
  • I only took 6 weeks because that's all we could afford for me to take without pay.  I got 5 weeks of STD plus I had to use my PTO for the first week.  I wanted to have some vacation time in case DD got sick or I got sick or whatever and by then I think I only had less than a week left after ML.  I am not upset that I took a shorter leave and no one else should a give a rip either.  I worked with a girl who only took 7 weeks, she was going to take 12 but got serious PPD and was ordered by her doc to go back to work.  To each their own.  It's the same as the argument about working moms and SAHM's.  My sister in law is preggo and while I commend her for wanting to be a SAHM because she doesn't want to put her kid in daycare, I think it's real shitty for anyone to make anyone feel bad about anything.  I don't give SAHM's grief. I think it's great-I couldn't do it because I know I am not cut out to be home 24/7.  I have to work and I like to work and I am ok with that. 

  • I took 12 weeks off from going into the office everday but I only really took a few, full days off from working at all.  After I got home from the hospital I began working part-time from home.  I did it in part because I enjoy work and don't like feeling like I'm playing catch-up when I return and also because if I worked part-time from home I could return to work with leave I could use later.

    I can't really say that I was given a hard time about it but I did have people question why I would want to work from home. 

    Kelly, Mom to Christopher Shannon 9.27.06, Catherine Quinn 2.24.09, Trey Barton lost on 12.28.09, Therese Barton lost on 6.10.10, Joseph Sullivan 7.23.11, and our latest, Victoria Maren 11.15.12

    Secondary infertility success with IVF, then two losses, one at 14 weeks and one at 10 weeks, then success with IUI and then just pure, crazy luck.  Expecting our fifth in May as the result of a FET.

    This Cluttered Life

  • I took my 12 week leaves all 3 times but I also worked through all 3 maternity leaves.  Maybe it sounds better to say I took 12 weeks off but the reality is I was (at previous jobs) and am at this job the only person who does what I do, so while people can fill in here or there, there are things that only I could do.  My last ML in particular I worked basically every spare minute I had while the baby was sleeping and then started the baby in daycare 1 day a week at 6 weeks and then 2 days at 9 weeks so I could do a full day of work.  It wasn't ideal but my job provides me flexibility I might not have at another job and I'd much rather have to work on ML then have to work in a job where I could take 12 full weeks and then have to work late all the time.  It's give and take.  I think it's a shame that anyone judges or criticizes MM for her choices.  She has done amazing things at a young age and has landed a job that most people could never get.  Yes, it requires some sacrifice but that's the way it goes.  What if a pregnant woman were elected president?  Should she just take 12 weeks off because that's what FMLA entitles her to? 
  • LoCarbLoCarb
    5000 Comments 250 Answers Sixth Anniversary 100 Love Its
    member

    I took 5 wks both pg.  I only heard one comment from another mother who couldn't understand why I wouldn't take the full 12 wks covered by FMLA.  Ultimately, this mother quit her job and decided to be a SAHM-so I think or rather I know, she struggled w/ the idea of being a working mom to begin with.

    I have no guilt over taking a short ML and feel ppl who judge can suck it!

    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
    image
  • Thanks for the insights ladies!

    I'm glad to know that the norm isn't to judge those who take short leaves and for the few of you who said you got some unfriendly comments about it, I'm really sorry to hear that. Honestly, I was surprised to find that I'm not at all cut out to be a SAHM, even for just a few months, and I'm sure there are plenty of women who think they'll need less time but find they need more once their baby's here. I wish we could just back off each other's case sometimes. Each family's decision isn't a political/social statement on the progress of women and that's way too much weight for anyone, even the CEO of Yahoo!, to carry. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • PeskyPesky member
    Nope, no one said a thing, good or bad.  But I'm not sure anyone would say anything to my face and I work with mostly men.  With DD, I took 7 wks, went back PT for 2 weeks and then FT.  That was too short and the PT thing was a farce.  My job doesn't lean towards remotely PT so it was difficult to do.  Also, I was a bit shell-shocked with DD, body was still torn up and had some baby blues and really just need an extra week or 2 off.  With DS, I just took 8 wks and went back FT and it was fine.  Would have liked just one more week off but I certainly don't think 12 weeks would've been right for me. 


    image
    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • True story that happened to me like two weeks ago -One of my co-workers took shorter leaves. So when I told my boss I was taking 12 weeks with this LO (same amount I took with DS) he kind of gave me a "Uhhh why so long" reaction and reminded me that so and so took 7 weeks of leave. Yeah well, so and so's situation is different than mine so I plan on taking the maximum amount of leave I am legally allowed to take. It's like he tried to guilt me into taking less leave. 

    Anyway, it COULD set up an expectation that everyone should take a shorter leave bc so and so did it. 

    ETA : I do NOT judge Mom's who take shorter leave at all. You gotta do what ya gotta do. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • 2 weeks....which was insane.  But, it was midsemester and in order to keep my funding I needed to finish out the term.  Where I am graduate students are allowed two weeks of paid leave if they are funded.  That said, I had some major grants due during those two weeks, so I was working on those because the baby had come 6 weeks early.  He was also in the NICU for those first two weeks, so I was running there too...
  • image financialdiva:

    True story that happened to me like two weeks ago -One of my co-workers took shorter leaves. So when I told my boss I was taking 12 weeks with this LO (same amount I took with DS) he kind of gave me a "Uhhh why so long" reaction and reminded me that so and so took 7 weeks of leave. Yeah well, so and so's situation is different than mine so I plan on taking the maximum amount of leave I am legally allowed to take. It's like he tried to guilt me into taking less leave. 

    Anyway, it COULD set up an expectation that everyone should take a shorter leave bc so and so did it. 

    I think it was wrong for your boss to give you the side eye for taking the full amount. You're entitled to it and if you feel that's the best amount of time to take, then you should.

    But I don't think the lady who took 7 weeks should be pressured to take a longer leave just for other women's benefit (not to say you're implying she should).  

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • image cecilyandgautam:
    image financialdiva:

    True story that happened to me like two weeks ago -One of my co-workers took shorter leaves. So when I told my boss I was taking 12 weeks with this LO (same amount I took with DS) he kind of gave me a "Uhhh why so long" reaction and reminded me that so and so took 7 weeks of leave. Yeah well, so and so's situation is different than mine so I plan on taking the maximum amount of leave I am legally allowed to take. It's like he tried to guilt me into taking less leave. 

    Anyway, it COULD set up an expectation that everyone should take a shorter leave bc so and so did it. 

    I think it was wrong for your boss to give you the side eye for taking the full amount. You're entitled to it and if you feel that's the best amount of time to take, then you should.

    But I don't think the lady who took 7 weeks should be pressured to take a longer leave just for other women's benefit (not to say you're implying she should).  

    I 100% agree with you that she should not be pressured at all. :-)

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • i took 9 weeks last time, 6 on short term disability, and supplimented the other three with vacation/float/sick time i had accrued.  i desperetely wanted to take the full 12weeks alloted to me with FMLA, but i wasn't able to afford any unpaid time off.  I am still sad i missed out on that precious time, but i had to do what was best for my family. 

    this time around i am praying we can afford for me to take the full 12weeks off, even if it means some of that will be unpaid.

    i felt lots of mommy guilt, because all my friends and family were able to be SAHM with their children, and i got flack that i wasn't in the position to do so.  I love my job, but if i had the choice i would SAHM too.  Luckily my supervisor is very understanding, and gave me the opportunity to WAHM, so even though my DD goes to daycare during the day while i work, i feel like we get more bonding time, because i'm not making such a commute to work anymore. it was a nice compromise for us.

  • I took 6 weeks with DS.  It was not really enough, but it was what everyone in my residency program did.

    I am taking 10 weeks with DD.  No one has said anything one way or the other about it.

    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
  • I was so bored that I started working very part time at 2 weeks. It was what I felt I needed to do mentally. Judge away.

    I think we lose ground as feminists when we judge other women for making choices they have every right to make. 

  • I took 3 weeks.  Any nobody could give me a hard time because I am the owner and the boss.  My company is too small for FMLA anyway.  I don't see why people are judging her.  Life's not fair.  She's deciding what's best for her family and her career.
  • shannmshannm
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 250 Answers 250 Love Its
    member
    Yeah, I got some side eye from coworkers (took six and seven weeks to prevent projects from completely stalling). Annoyingly, some are childless. Some of it was understandable because I work with many foreigners, often Europeans. Anything less than a year is crazy to them. I agree that there is way too much judgement from all angles. In terms of the yahoo CEO, I'm in the "good for her" camp. I don't think it will put pressure on others and I don't think her baby will suffer. That is demanding position but in many ways has a lot more flexibility than other jobs.

  • I took 12, 10 and 8 weeks leave (8 weeks with my last DC and also with my highest "ranking" job).  I don't know why anyone would think it's a step back.  If anything, she's showing you can get to the top and have kids. I think that's a good thing.  She can also probably afford lots of help that allows her to go back to work early. 
    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • Everyone just needs to do what's best for their family and their job.  If the new Yahoo CEO came on this board and posted something like, "I'm applying for a job as an executive and I'm pregnant.  How would you address this in the interview?" we would probably all tell her to tell the company she plans on taking a short maternity leave and to promise to be available to the company on an as-needed basis.  

    Because of my job and when I had the baby I decided to take a shorter maternity leave than I would have liked.  My baby was born August 7th and school started two weeks later.  You bet I was at school two weeks later instructing my sub and my team on how to set up the classroom.  I also did my own parent orientation and showed up to introduce myself to the students on the first day of school.  I also attended my team meetings after dropping off my DD at school.  If DS was born at the end of the year maybe I would have wanted to take off longer or been less available, but that was what I felt worked best for everyone at the time.  I don't regret being available during ML.  I just brought the baby with me and everyone understood.  I was pretty bored on ML anyways...

    However, it did suck going back to work before DS was STTN.  But that's what coffee is for, right?

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
«1
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards