Maternity Leave Plan — The Bump
July 2019 Moms

Maternity Leave Plan

Has anyone gotten started on their maternity leave plan for work?

I'm working on mine. So far I have the following elements to it:
1. Expected dates of maternity leave
2. Important projects/events that will happen during that time
3. A list of all the items I will prepare in advance before going on leave and where they will be saved
4. A contact policy on how I can best be contacted during leave
5. List of all my job duties with options on who could cover each duty

Anything I'm missing?

I'm a STM. After first maternity leave, my boss and coworkers were really impressed by how well I planned out the leave. BUT, I'm in a totally new job now. My last job was very predictable, and I pretty much just did all of my work in advance. My new job is very unpredictable, and there is very little that I can do in advance so someone is going to have to cover it. I want to make it as easy as possible on my coworkers (whom I LOVE!), but that isn't so easy here.

What are you doing at work to plan your maternity leave? 

Re: Maternity Leave Plan

  • @ameliabedelia-2 ahahahahahahah

    @strickland8052 Do you have to contact a lot of people as a part of your job? If so, a list of key contacts, names, email, phone, their relationship to the job/you could be helpful.

    I am about to rotate into a new role next week, so no idea what my plan is yet. But last time, I did the same as you. 
    Pregnancy Ticker
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  • Hahaha love your plan @ameliabedelia-2 :)

    I had the first of probably many meetings about this today. We focused on the “who takes what” part. Once that is well established we will move to the “what”.

    Your list looks good! Are you in a job with clients? I know that how/when to inform clients is an important one for me.

    Also do you have direct reports? That’s another one I didn’t have to deal with last time but now need to figure out and communicate well!
    strickland8052LandS2016
  • @Panaceia I hate you a little :) 2021 sounds pretty amazing 
    Panaceiabrake09strickland8052
  • I'm prepping a binder with any notes/documentation for all projects and programs that will take place after I go on leave. I do have a partner for the bigger projects so my replacement will have someone to rely on which is nice.
    I have a section with my community contacts. I work with schools, community centres, hospitals, etc. and it's not always easy to figure out who to speak with for different projects. And then I also have a section for regularly used resources like programs scripts and handouts. We have them available electronically but I like to have the things I often printed out so I can just grab them and go.
    I'm actually going off twelve weeks ahead of my due date (plus using up vacation days) so I've only got seven weeks left to get everything in order before I'm done. I'm also going off for eighteen months and won't be back until the beginning of October 2020. My organization changes a lot in short periods of time so I'm sure what I come back to will be so different from what I leave!

    @Panaceia I'm guessing you are Canadian too! How are you feeling about being off for the eighteen months? I'm excited but also super nervous.
    canuckmommaPanaceia
  • Canadian here- I think I am taking the 12 months but debating the 18 ... I am under the impression that even with the extra 6 months you're getting the same compensation as 12 just stretched out longer, is this correct @panaceia @alliecourcel ?? My work allows me to take up to 6 extra months unpaid leave after the 12 months is up so that's an option too.

    My employer has maternity leave plans so I have already done this rodeo once. I notified my HR benefits person and will go over the contract in spring. I plan on taking vacation time to be off by end of June and Mat leave officially starting mid July. I don't need to prep much, just will have to train the person who is temp'ing in my position. HR will find that person and we'll be good to go!

    Panaceiaxtinecatherinemrscammack
  • @canuckmomma Hi, fellow Canadian! Yes, instead of getting up to 55% of your regular pay over twelve months you get up to 33% over the eighteen months. We will have to be more careful with our spending each month but decided that we can definitely manage it. I also have the option of doing the twelve months followed by six months unpaid but we liked that the eighteen month option means budgeting would be simpler.
  • @cannuckmomma What @alliecourcel said. It's the same amount as with the 12 just spread over 18. This will be our last though so I'm taking the full amount. I took the 12 months with DD and I was ready to go back. Now that DD is older I'm finding I like being at home much more. Plus she's in school so I'll have all day with baby and then all evening with DD. I can't wait.

    @alliecourcel I'm a little nervous about being away for so long, but I know my job is totally safe and secure so I just have to keep reminding myself that once my mat leave starts my job is no longer my responsibility until I return to work. I do love my job though so I find it hard being away.
  • ameliabedelia-2 LOVE this, hahaha. 
    ameliabedelia-2
  • Well I am hoping it stops snowing because at this rate, I am going to have to take maternity leave this year, as school will go through June.  But depending on when the baby is born, I am planning on taking 12 weeks total.  So I will be gone for a few weeks when the school year starts.  
    wineandcoffeePanaceia
  • I wish I lived in Canada and not North Carolina. Lol
    blsparks2010samanthak46Panaceia
  • @erynpdx
    Hooray for your awesome boss! And hooray for paternity leave and for dads who take the full amount offered!!!!!!!
    erynpdxPanaceia
  • I may subscribe to the @ameliabedelia-2 way... DH doesn’t want me to go back, but if I don’t, we can’t afford our dream home. If I do, I’m miserable and possibly waiting to get fired. They gave me a “final warning” for being “disrespectful to coworkers”, which is BS because no one came to me first saying I was doing anything wrong. There are no adults again my job, only whiny ass cry babies who go to “daddy” if there’s a problem instead of confronting the issue head on. 

    So yeah, I may be doing the f you work, enjoy finding an MRI tech who is willing to put up with your BS! I would absolutely miss my friend, but she’s the only thing keeping me there right now. 
    Panaceia
  • @erynpdx your boss sounds awesome. 

    I will have a talk with my boss at some point, but my leave should be pretty easy to cover. I have a pretty easy boss, too, so I don’t need to have it all figured out. It’s nice having some flexibility. 
    erynpdxjenniferjoy37
  • @Panaceia I was also super ready to go back before my twelve months were up the first time around so I'm a bit nervous about taking the longer leave this time around. This baby will also be our last and we definitely felt like we should take advantage of the fact that the eighteen months would span two summers.
    There are going to be quite a few exciting things happening at work while I'm gone that I'm a bit sad about missing out on, but we are also going to go through some departmental changes that I'm happy about missing out on so it's all balancing out ;)
    Panaceia
  • That is far more detailed than I have.

    I am trying to figure out who (if anyone) can cover my projects.  My boss and I will meet to transition clients.  
  • I don't have a super detailed plan. I work at a VERY small firm and we work very collaboratively so I don't necessarily need to worry about off-loading specific clients. Still trying to figure out how much time I'm actually going to take off. I get 4 months full pay (my employer is very generous) and then an optional 6 weeks short term disability which is practically no pay (it's capped at an almost ridiculously low amount). Right now we're leaning towards me just taking the 4 months but I don't know how I'll feel as it gets closer.

    For STMs - did you start your maternity leave on your due date and/or another date in advanced or did you just keep working up until you actually went into labor? Just curious about what the norm is and if there is any advantage to either approach.
    erynpdx
  • edited February 12
    @msimi - My plan was to work right up until labor. Week 38 was torture, and I couldn't imagine going back for Week 39. I did everything possible to naturally induce labor that weekend, so I wouldn't have to go back. By 2 a.m. that Sunday night, I was literally crying about having to go into work for another long week. Then my water broke, so I didn't have to! haha. This time, I'm going to take Week 39 off whether baby comes early or not. 
    hakele
  • @msimi ... first time around I started ML a week before my due date... he end up being 2 weeks late so I was off 3 weeks before he even came. This time I've saved some vacation time and am taking off 3 weeks before EDD and mat leave starting either on DD or if baby comes early (doubtful). If babe is late again then oh well. Lots of women work right up to they go into labour but that just doesn't seem appealing to me. I hope to spend some quality time with my DS, since it'll be summer we can go to the kiddie amusement park, splash pad and I'll want to prep some meals/easy snacks.
    Panaceia
  • @alliecourcel I'm a little nervous about it too but with the change in government and our contract being up this year I'm sort of glad I'll be off while our union is renegotiating. Plus our school is amalgamating with an inner city school in September so out student population is about to change drastically. I'm glad I won't be there for the growing pains! 
  • @mismi I went off on doctor approved sick leave 2 weeks before my EDD. And the 2 weeks before that were the Xmas holidays so I guess I really had a month off before my ML started. My ML ended up starting 2 days before DD was due because she was 2 days late. For me I get a doctor's note when I feel I'm ready to go off and that takes me up to whatever date I request to start my mat leave (in this case I'll be an RCS so I'll request that my ML starts on my surgery date but I'll likely go off about a month early).
  • @msimi
    With my first I stopped working 2 weeks before my due date as per company disability policy at the time.
    With my second I worked up until I delivered.
    With my third I couldn't bear working anymore around 38.5 weeks and announced I was starting my leave then (she was born right at 39 so I only had 3 days "off").

    This time I'm still trying to figure it out. I feel like such garbage I'm ready to stop working now, TBH. 
    Panaceia
  • @msimi maternity leave here starts at 36 weeks...however DD was born at 41+5 and I honestly wish I had worked longer to distract myself! At 36 weeks I was happy to have a little break but this time I’ll try to go to 38. That way they add on two weeks with baby!
    Panaceiacanuckmomma
  • I was planning to work right up till the end, if possible.  I figured I'd want the extra time after the baby's here, and I thought sitting at home waiting might make me anxious, but work would take my mind off it... but this is my first baby, so I really don't know how I'll feel!
  • @msimi With DD, I got a call at work saying “your 48 hr pee test has a lot of proteins in it, so do you want to have the baby tonight or tmrw morning?” I was in shock, I thought we had another week at least. But no. So I had her via scheduled c-section the next morning. So my maternity leave began the day I had DD. 
  • @msimi with my first I think I was due on like a Monday and it worked out that I went into labor just one day late so I had a three day weekend - pretty ideal. It was right before the holidays, so I'd said I'd be "working from home" until the end. At the end of the day with a relatively tight amount of maternity leave, I'm glad I hadn't blown through a week or two of it before the baby was even here. I'd probably feel differently if I was looking at 6-12 months off, but I needed all of the time with baby I could get, and while I was uncomfortable at the end, I was happy to be around people and to have the distraction of work. I plan to work right up until labor this time, but likely will give over the reins as head of department by the first of July, and will basically be support for that last week or 10 days-ish.
    The other thing to think about is how your husband requests that leave. I know people who's partners put themselves out on the due date, baby is a week or 10 days late and then boom, your time with husband at home with baby is cut in half. Kevin's telling them the due date, but with the deal that he'll keep coming into work and those days will shift until I go into labor.
  • @msimi In NJ the state pays for four weeks before the due date.  It's use em or lose em, so you can't tack it on to the end.  I took 3 of the 4 weeks.
  • @hinotes that's kind of what I'm thinking. Not sure if working at 38+ weeks or anxiously waiting for the baby to get here with nothing to do would be worse 😂
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