How long are you planning to take off? — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

How long are you planning to take off?

Hi, everyone! I'm a FTM who is very career-driven, and I'm curious as to how long you all plan on taking off after the baby arrives. I teach two days a week in higher education, so my schedule is pretty flexible with a newborn, but I would also like to hear from those who already have children and have done this before. I'm planning to return back to work after 6 weeks, is that too much or do-able? Thanks in advance for your input!

Re: How long are you planning to take off?

  • I'm going back full-time after 6 weeks, but I'll work from home part-time before that if it doesn't interfere with my short term disability.

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  • I'm planning on taking as much time as I can. I'm allowed up to 12 weeks of bonding time through FMLA but since DH works for the company, we have the split the time. He's only planning on using a week or two but I'd like to use as much as I can without using up all of my accrued leave
  • I'll be taking the full allowed leave, which is around 16w if I remember right. I took the same with DD#1. I started getting stir crazy toward the end, but I'm really glad I took as much time as I could with LO.



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  • I took about 15 weeks with my first and it was sooo hard to go back to work. This time I will probably take 12 weeks.
  • I plan to take my full 12 weeks fmla plus an extra nonwork of spring break. You have to do what is right for you. I think if you only work 2 days a week, it can be definitely be manageable to only take a 6 week leave.
  • Unfortunately my company does not qualify for FMLA so I'm still trying to figure out how much time I will get. With my first child, I qualified for FMLA but only took 8 weeks - it was tax season and they needed me. This time I'm hoping to take the same amount and work from home a few days a week also.

    Unless the woman I am replacing retires then I will go back FT in the office since I'll be making way more money and have more responsibility.
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  • RRC216RRC216 member
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    I guess I will go back when I feel like it. I own my business, so I will hire someone to take my place. Guess I will be playing it by ear. I want to ultimately stay home. We shall see!


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  • AchaeAchae member
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    I took 8 weeks with my first and was going crazy by week 4. I'll probably still take 8 again this time since daycare doesn't start until 6 weeks so I figure I'll just make it even :)
  • Taking my full 12 weeks
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  • Taking 12 and then hoping to take another 4 at 6 hr days to ease back in. I was originally going to ask to come back at 5 hour days but I need 30 hours a week per office policy to be considered full time for insurance.
  • Taking the whole maternity leave - so 12 weeks
    I have a strange career where we go on hiatus every May through July so I'll be coming back only 2 weeks before hiatus (if I give birth in time) - husband will take some paternity leave to cover those weeks and then I'll be off again til last week of July. So I'm very lucky that I'll be home the first 6 months with baby but it is nerve wracking with money. I think my job only pays 2 weeks and then I'll have to go on family leave insurance, then unemployment.

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  • I took off about a year with my first then started part-time. I won't have that luxury this time around. I plan on taking off about 2-3 months then I will start back part-time again. Wish I could just quit until baby is ready for pre-k though!

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  • @inomniaparatus, I'm in the same boat with the "hiatus." I stop teaching the second week of May every year, and then don't have to be back until the middle of August! It's really quite nice. Given the timing of my LO, I will be returning to work only for a few weeks before going on summer break for three months. 
  • I am very lucky that I will have a full 6 months off after this kiddo. I had planned to try and find a half year teaching position (starting in Jan) but that wouldn't make much sense now. Instead I am just going to take that time to get my resume looking great and try and get a job starting in August. 

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  • I plan to take the full 12 weeks. I'm considering going back to work part-time for two weeks to ease into everything. I'll have to get it approved first though. 
  • nbc2015 said:

    @inomniaparatus, I'm in the same boat with the "hiatus." I stop teaching the second week of May every year, and then don't have to be back until the middle of August! It's really quite nice. Given the timing of my LO, I will be returning to work only for a few weeks before going on summer break for three months. 

    We are apparently very good planners :)

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  • ecmbecmb member
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    I get 12 weeks paid so I'm taking 12 off. I'll likely work from home a bit during those 12 though.

    Me: 32  Hubby: 31

    Married 12/29/12

    Started TTC July 2014

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    Emmett born February 2016

    Expecting Baby #2 in August 2017

  • I am taking 12 weeks. It just makes the most sense because of insurance, savings, and the fact that my son will be at my school. Then I will go back for 6. Then have the whole summer off. With my other pregnancies I took 4 months (my leave rolled into summer) and 9 months. The long leave was way too long. Staying home with a 2 year old and newborn was stressful for many reasons (DD was a tough baby, our house was being renovated, and money was tight). So this will be the shortest leave I've taken but I'm fine with it.

  • I took 11 weeks with my son but worked about 10 hours a week from home whenever I could during the last 3 weeks. I still felt like it wasn't enough time.
    This time i will probably only be able to take 8 weeks (not enough leave time, can't afford to take leave without pay). Desperately hoping they'll approve a temporary part time work from home situation so I can stay home a little longer.
  • There's a good (and free!) podcast about FMLA and capitalizing on your maternity leave for those who want to maximize their time at home.  The podcast series is called Pea in the Pod and I think  the episode is "Working While Pregnant."  It has some good tips on how to make approach it with your company and what you are eligible for.

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  • I can take up to 12 weeks. But if I do I'll exhaust my vacation time. Not sure I want to go back to work without any one off again. If daycare is closed for a vacation day or one of the kids gets sick then I'll have an issue. Thinking of taking 11 weeks and then negotiating for a week or two 3/4 time.
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  • ARogers26ARogers26 member
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    edited July 2015
    I will start with my 12 weeks for FMLA with either 6 or 8 weeks at 80% pay then finish with vacation time. Followed by 4years 9 months unpaid. We have been killing it with Dave RAmsey for the last 6 years and are finally in a good spot. It have been a rough road but this has been our goal. I will go back to work if I am bored, but we will see.
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  • I took 10 weeks off with DD but have always regretted not taking the full time so I plan on at least 11 if not 12 weeks. I would consider myself pretty career driven as well but I also remember how much I hated leaving that lo for the first time.  Its hard no matter how much you love your job! 
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  • @ValMonk me too! I'm actually hoping to take 13 months off. I'm able to work overtime and bank my hours so I'm hoping to work enough OT over the next 6 months to have an extra month off.
  • ErinkaErinka member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited July 2015
    Told my boss this week and he was very supportive. I'm thinking I'll take 2-3 months then DH will take a few months of his FMLA. We got a good little plan! And he's psyched. I feel so lucky to have such an enthusiastic partner.
  • I'm a high school teacher in the U.S. I plan to take 12 weeks of FMLA, with 6-8 weeks of that being paid by short term disability. I'm hoping to work right up until the baby is born, but with my medical history, I don't think I'll make it that far.
  • I took 8 weeks with dd and wished I had taken more. I'm hoping to be a sahm and not have to go back after this one
  • I plan on taking 12 weeks, but may have to do it unpaid.  I'm actually applying with new firms during pregnancy, which I know is a risk, but I'm unhappy at my job.  I have nothing in writing about leave, but I know they can afford to pay me for 12 weeks.  Just a matter of if they will.  And how I'm going to pump after that.

    It sounds like the original poster is an adjunct.  I think you could handle going back after 6 weeks with some support from loved ones.  Just make sure you get plenty of sleep!
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  • I'll be taking 6 weeks off. My company is super small and there is no way budget wise I can justify paying a temp for longer, so unfortunately I'll be going in while on maternity leave to check on things and coming back full time at 6 weeks :(

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  • With my last, I took off 12 weeks total; 8 weeks from the firm (which is written in my employment contract), and 4 of my vacation weeks. Since that time, my firm has significantly downsized, so being off for 12 weeks will have a larger impact on my cases, clients and my boss. When I am ready to tell my boss, I plan to talk to him to see how we can handle this to minimize the impact, this might mean that I need to return to work at 8 weeks or earlier. Not thrilled about it, but it is what it is. 

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  • for both kids i've taken around 10-11 weeks off.  I don't know what you're planning on doing for childcare or if you ever are doing any of that, but most places won't take a child younger then 6 weeks.  So something to think about.  If i were you I'd start with the 6 weeks and see where you're at.  You're probably not going to know what you really want to do until that little baby comes anyway.  
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  • 4N6s4N6s member
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    The full 12 weeks.
  • I haven't fully decided on if I want to come back or not. H makes more than enough for us on his own, but I don't know if I'll miss my independence of working..

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  • LEAA14LEAA14 member
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    My office provides 30 days with full pay, and after that I can use up to another 30 days of any leave time I have saved up and continue to get paid. I get up to 80 days (16 weeks) total (so assuming I have 30 days of leave saved up, I'd be out for 4 weeks without pay if I use all the time). I'm not plannnig on using the full 80 days right now and will probably be out full time for 12 weeks then come back at half time for a few weeks/working from home quite a bit until daycare starts. Our daycare center won't have a vacancy for baby until mid June, so my (our only retired grandparent) is planning to stay with us in the gap time, which should also overlap with the weeks that I'm working 20 hours. I'll probably end up billing about 20 hours on my cases while I'm "out" full time, but there's no expectation that I work during that time. There *is* an expecation that I bring the baby into the office at some point for show and tell. :P
    Durham, NC
    EDD: 2/20/2016

  • I'm a student - so I don't really get FMLA with my internships.  Some of my supervisors are really understanding and will basically let me do what I need to do - There's a place I work at 1/month - so I'll "skip" February, but HAVE to be there in late March (this thing has been planned for over a year and I can't miss) - but that's only going to be a 1-day shot and DH and LO can come with me for the day.  As for school - I'll be in my last semester and due to 5th years finding jobs, profs already expect us to be in and out from Feb on... so... I'll just be in and out for different reasons and can play it on a day-to-day basis.  I'll also have some combo of my mom and/or MIL out to help with childcare during the couple hours on M/W that I ought to be on campus.
    28yo, TTC#2 since 6/2014
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  • This is all super up in the air for me. I may not go back to work at all, or may take 12 weeks unpaid FMLA then go back. We really don't need my income so I don't have to go back, but I also feel like I might go stir-crazy in the house by myself with an infant, so I keep going back and forth on what I want to do. Another option is to leave my job, take as much time as I want, then look for something different, perhaps closer to home, down the road. Lots of decisions to make!

  • I'm taking 12 weeks, I would love to take more but can't risk taking time off that isn't legally protected. I took 8 with my first and it was really hard for the first month. I'm hoping 12 is much easier.
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  • I'm also in Alberta. I am going to take the full year. I am also lucky my employer will top up EI for almost half the year.
  • Taking the full year as well in Ont
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