September 2012 Moms

Are you the breadwinner? WWYD?

I am.  I'm happy to go back to work after 12 weeks maternity leave (I say that now) and when I do, DH will be home with the baby 3 days a week (working the 2 other weekdays) and either my mom or a nanny will cover the other two days. 

I work for a fairly small financial firm in middle management.  My compensation is about 60% salary (which we live off of) and 40% bonus (which we are saving for a house), so the amount of my bonus makes a BIG difference in our finances.  I am expecting them to prorate my annual bonus for the time I am out on maternity which means I lose out on a lot of money (not that I consider being home with baby "losing").

I've had numerous conversations with my boss about who will cover my job while I'm away, and he has no good answer for me.  A part of me is glad because maybe they will finally realize how important my role here is! 

That said, I am ***considering*** offering to come in one day a week after the first month in order to do some of the more important work in my job - in exchange for them giving me the full year's bonus.

I know that staying home and bonding with my baby is the #1 most important thing, but as the breadwinner, I am thinking about our financial future as well.

What would you do?

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Re: Are you the breadwinner? WWYD?

  • Our original plan was for me to take 6 weeks maternity leave and another 6 weeks unpaid. I am keeping the idea of coming in 1 day a week after the 6 weeks maternity leave on the back burner as an option, but honestly, have no idea where we'll be at that point and if I'll have the energy/want to. Yes, the money would help, but I'm not making any promises to myself and certainly not my company until that time gets closer.

    Do you have the kind of relationship with your boss where you could discuss it as a potential option, but not definite? You also have to make sure you're giving yourself the time to recover, rest and adjust to motherhood. 

    Met DH - Aug 2001 :: Married - Jan 2010 :: DD born - Sept 2012

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  • skyejoskyejo member

    Have you discussed your bonus with your employer at all or are you guessing what they will do? My first plan of attack would be to approach them asking for your entire bonus while out on leave.  If they say no, perhaps you could negotiate a decrease in your bonus while you're out.   

    If that doesn't work are you able to do the same work at home that one day or does it require you to be in the office? Either way, I think you have a great plan in mind.  Sure it would be nice to spend 100% of your mat leave at home but if you need the bonus you'd be missing out on otherwise then go for it.

    I get a large bonus at the end of the year but my company is not allowed to pay it out while I'm on leave.  The money is allocated to me at the beginning of the year and it can't carry over to the next year.  I was out on leave with DD from October to February and when I talked to management about it I was able to be paid the full amount prior to my ML. 

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

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  • Technically I will take a 6 week ML but I will probably work one day from home after the first week or two.  It's what I did with DD#1 too because there is no one else at work who can do some of my job functions. It wontt change my compensation but allows me to save PTO which I can use after I go back if I need a day or two at home with the baby.  So, IMO, yes, it's worth it.
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  • I am in a similar situation. I got them to agree to me working from home after 6 weeks for 15 hours a week for the rest of my maternity leave (16 weeks total in CT). 
  • hmp1hmp1 member

    4 weeks is pretty early, will your doctor release you? I was still bleeding pretty heavily at 4 weeks (not everyone does though).  I was more than ready to go back to work at 13 weeks.

    Can you do anything from home? I work from home now and I am considering telling them I will work intermittent LOA after 6 or 8 weeks with the baby at home. I am thinking about doing this for my own stimulation. 

    James Sawyer 12.3.10
    Leo Richard 9.20.12 

  • I think you have to see how everything is going at home, and how you're feeling.  If you feel up to it, what's wrong with going in one day a week?  If you aren't ready, then you aren't ready.

    I'm taking 10 weeks off, at least that's my plan.  If I feel like I want to go back before then, I will.  If I don't, I'll take the extra 2 weeks on the end of my leave.  If it were me, I'd play it by ear. Smile

    Nancy James 9.1.12

    Calvin Donald 8.27.14

  • Will the 12 wks you are taking be through FMLA or through your company?  I'm not positive you're allowed to go back to work at all if you're collecting through FMLA (which would be the first month and a half, not the full 12 wks, I guess). 

    I'd just make sure you're not messing with any of the leave requirements.  

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  • eaglei1eaglei1 member

    In my case, I own a company and work out of my home, so slightly different. But I have employees and I was officially back to work after 2 weeks on my first pregnancy. Frankly I was working within a couple of days of being home from the hospital (when the baby was asleep) but I only spoke with my employees on any issues that needed handling. I didn't get in front of my clients.

     So that being said, yes you can do it. If I were in your shoes, I'd do it, although it will be really tough when you aren't around your little one on that day. Plus make sure your work will allow you to pump if you are going to BF. Like previous post said, if there is a way for you to work from home, you might be able to offer a couple of days a week and I think you'll find that working from home once your LO goes to sleep is pretty easy to do.

  • I am also the breadwinner and in a middle management position that I can't just walk away from. 

    With my first, I offered to be available via email whenever I had time to answer, and I shortened my leave to 8 weeks.  When I returned, I worked part time half the week, to ease myself in.  In my 6th week, I came in for an important meeting.....and I used to call my direct reports once a week to catch up and stay on top of issues.

    All of this is technically illegal if you are receiving short term disability, but I don't know who is going to bring that up.  I was paid 100% of my bonus and they didn't short me for leave, since I technically worked during my leave.

    This time around I'll be offering the same's really the only way to keep my department running. 

    Wrangling babies since 2010
  • Technically I'm not allowed to work at all during my leave.  I'm fortunate that our policy gives 100% pay for short term disability.  In your case I would find out for sure what the policy was (talk to HR, not your boss), then once you know that, discuss the options with your boss.  As for the personal effect it could have, 4 weeks might be early, but 1 day a week after 6 weeks would probably be a nice break and shouldn't cause your bond to suffer.
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  • Thank you ladies - its really nice to know I'm not the only one in this situation.  It's certainly a lot to think about and I'm not ready to offer anything up just yet.  But it's helpful to know what other ladies are doing!


    Thanks so much for the advice! 

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  • I am the breadwinner in our household considering he works in public service as a firefighter and I am in healthcare (and just got a 15% raise) so I am planning 6-7 weeks out and then I'm headed back as long as my doctor clears me. Luckily we're moving into a house that costs less than our current one so that'll be a relief.
  • I work full time and my H does seasonal work.  We rely on my salary to get by and for health insurance.  I teach and we have to use our banked leave time to get paid.  I think I will have 9 weeks of leave time.  I plan on taking 8 and saving the last week for emergencies and doctor visits.  Prior to being KU I taught self-contained math class to 7th and 8th graders, but b/c I will be out at the begining of the school year they are moving me to 6th grade and I will co-teach.  I am a little disappointed that I am losing "my classes", but I am hoping I will appreciate the reduced work load once my LO is here.  I typically don't like working with 6th graders as they are too needy and I am not close with any of the 6th grade teachers.  I would prefer co-teaching with 8th graders.  I was told the reason I am with 6th grade is because the other 6th grade sped teacher is the only person that will pick up my work load while I am out.  This bothers me.  I don't think another teacher should have to pick up my load.  Things are slow right now and I could do paperwork for next year now if I knew my caseload.  I am hopeful that things will work themselves out.  As my dept. head is not open to new ideas or suggestions.
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