Maternity leave for teacher — The Bump
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Maternity leave for teacher

I teach k-8 general music and will have my first baby in November. My biggest fear right now is that I won't be ready to go back to work after having baby. How do you work full time while you are still being woken up in the middle of the night? I'm not concerned about feeling guilty about leaving my baby or anything. I'm just very concerned that I won't be able to handle it physically. What has your experience with this been? How long did you take off? How long would you say is needed?

Re: Maternity leave for teacher

  • I took off 6 months with each baby, not really a reason, but a benefit to that was that they slept through the night.  If you can take off until they sleep through the night I would, I can imagine it would be very hard being up all night and getting up so early for work, although, now at 5 and almost 3, I'm still up 1 or 2 times most nights, lol, but atleast it's just putting them in my bed or going into one of their beds and going to sleep.  Night time feedings do take longer.  I'm assuming this is your 1st LO.  You'll be amazed at how little sleep you can get by with as a mom.
  • I went back to work after 6 weeks.. It was fine.. You get used to very little sleep.


    I have a Daughter born 2/26/2013. She is pretty much amazing!


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  • I am not a teacher but I work for the school district. I went back to work at 10 weeks. I kind of timed mine just right because there was only six weeks left until summer break. It depends on what type of baby you have. Some babies naturally sleep long periods of time other babies wake up multiple times. Even though I work full time, I do not sleep train or cio. I just got up with my daughter when she woke up. Just goes with choosing to be a parent. She is now two years old and starting to consistently sleep through the night more. Luckily I have a very flexible job. Being a teacher you have more days off than most people do.

    The best advice is to just follow your baby's lead/cues.
  • I teach K-5 general music and am currently on maternity leave with #2. 
    With my first I took 6 months.  She was born in March and I went back in October.
    Baby #2 was born in November and I took the remainder of the school year off.  I will start the new school year in September. 

    Honestly, for me it didn't feel like enough time with my daughter and I suspect it won't feel like enough when I go back this time after 9 months.  Working while having a baby is freakin' hard and it's not just because you're getting up at night.  When I was working I always felt like I was rushing around and being pulled in so many directions.  Being home is so much easier in my opinion.  Anyway, DD didn't sleep through the night until she was 2 years old.  I just coslept.  It was the best way for all of us to get the most sleep.  I don't have the patience to CIO or sleep train.  All babies will sleep through the night eventually.  DD did it on her own. 

    My advice is to take as much time as you are able to.  In my school district, they will hold your job for up to two years.  Of course, it is unpaid and they don't pay your health benefits either but I would have loved to take 2 years with both kids.  You are lucky though that you are a teacher because you do get so much more time off than most people.  Good luck.
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  • I am a teacher and took 4 months off  with my daughter.  I am currently pregnant and planning to take 4 months off again. In the beginning, say the first month, I got by on adrenaline.  I went to bed as soon as I could...sometimes 7:00.  I have heard of couples splitting the night up in shifts and taking turns.  This sounds great but if my daughter was up I could not fall back to sleep. Hoping the 2nd time around I will be more relaxed and sleep when I can.  If you can, try to save some sick days for your return.  If you get overwhelmed with being tired you can call off now and then.  Also remember you will make it to summer break and the time off with be a big help.
  • veckia said:

    I teach k-8 general music and will have my first baby in November. My biggest fear right now is that I won't be ready to go back to work after having baby. How do you work full time while you are still being woken up in the middle of the night? I'm not concerned about feeling guilty about leaving my baby or anything. I'm just very concerned that I won't be able to handle it physically. What has your experience with this been? How long did you take off? How long would you say is needed?

    I feel your pain! I teach K-5 General music and am due November 2. I know I'll have to go back in January because I can't afford to take unpaid leave, but I'm also concerned about being ready. I feel like as a music teacher I don't have "down time"(not that any teacher does). However, its not like I have kids do seat work or read quietly, the whole day is singing, playing and moving.

    My husband teaches K-5 PE so we both have very active jobs, it shall be an adventure!
  • I am a teacher but I am due at the beginning of June. So in reality I am not taking any time off. If baby is born close to edd I get 10 weeks off. I wouldn't have enough days saved up to take a true 6 weeks off and I figure that my l/o will get sick so I need those days.
  • I'm not a teacher but I feel it's ok to still comment. I feel the topic of lack of sleep is NOT discussed enough. I took off 12 weeks and work full time but as a consultant so I control my hours quite a bit and work from home a lot. Even still, I'm very tired. I find it depressing the way women are supposed to become mothers and -wham!- go back to work like nothing's changed. I don't expect paid maternity leave but 6+ months protected leave would be nice. A lot of teachers belong to unions where you can take a year off unpaid, no? Perhaps that's an option?
    marijaa333veckia
  • Agreed @kikimeemee

    And I think we *should* expect paid maternity leave. 
    museic-2
  • veckia said:

    I teach k-8 general music and will have my first baby in November. My biggest fear right now is that I won't be ready to go back to work after having baby. How do you work full time while you are still being woken up in the middle of the night? I'm not concerned about feeling guilty about leaving my baby or anything. I'm just very concerned that I won't be able to handle it physically. What has your experience with this been? How long did you take off? How long would you say is needed?

    I feel your pain! I teach K-5 General music and am due November 2. I know I'll have to go back in January because I can't afford to take unpaid leave, but I'm also concerned about being ready. I feel like as a music teacher I don't have "down time"(not that any teacher does). However, its not like I have kids do seat work or read quietly, the whole day is singing, playing and moving.

    My husband teaches K-5 PE so we both have very active jobs, it shall be an adventure!
    I also teach k-5 music.  While I agree with you that music teachers don't have much down time, I think we're lucky that we don't really take any work home with us.  I think in general we have it WAY better than the grade level teachers.
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  • Agreed @kikimeemee


    And I think we *should* expect paid maternity leave. 
    I agree. 
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  • So true @kikimeemee I knew newborns don't sleep, but learned the hard way that the whole first year can be filled with not enough sleep.  So hard to work a full day after being up half the night.


  • Hi to all the music teachers on this post! I also teach PK-8 General music. I just found out I am pregnant with #2! My first was born in October 2011, and I took about seven weeks. I couldn't afford the pay cut either do I had to go back. My girl didn't sleep through the night until 11 months (I cringe even now), which meant even when I went back the following fall, I was lucky if we got a five or six hour stretch of sleep. I hate to say it, but you do just get used to functioning on less sleep. Our bodies are amazing. I love my sleep so this was a surprise for me at the time. You will be tired, but you will likely adjust and do fine. Good luck!
    veckia
  • veckiaveckia member
    Thanks so much for all the responses! I learned that I can take the rest of the year off in my district. I won't get paid, but I'll still have a job the following fall. Luckily, my husband's job can take care of us while I'm off. This is a relief. I know everyone says that you get used to less sleep, but I already need more than 8 hours a night to feel normal...
    msangeliname2
  • kkarikkkarik member
    edited July 2015
    I'm also a music teacher (7-8). I'm due Dec. 15 and get 75 school days out, but once I get back it's concert time. Does anyone have any experience with this?
  • K-5 school librarian here... well I was but will sub next year as I go through ivf (infertile with diminished ovarian reserve) anyway, I would take a while off. I need to sleep in solid chunks of a few hours at a time due to a medical issue I have so DH and I slept in shifts at first. And I did a combo sleep train and cio because it was best for us. It is great teaching on the one hand because there isn't down time ever so you are go go go but man those babies are exhausting.
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