A.E. asks from Colorado Springs, CO on February 26, 2009
Returning to Work After Baby Is Born
Hello, I am due at the end of May and am trying to figure out the best maternity leave plan. My husband and I really need the 2 incomes and I only have about 4 weeks of paid time off. After that I was planning to work for 2 weeks at just 4 hours per day so 20 hours per week and then returning to my usual full time schedule. My husband is able to stay home longer than I am so he will be doing the majority of the child care before we start leaving her with grandma after a few months. I am just looking for some input on this. I know it is going to be hard to return to work no matter how long or short of time I have off but would be interested in hearing some of your thoughts on what you did if you weren't able to take a lot of time off. Thanks!
D.H. answers from Missoula on February 27, 2009
It looks to me like your plan is good. It is always hard to leave baby. If at any time you decide you want the income but want to stay home and work, you may give me a call at ###-###-####. I work at home for a very reputable company, we could set you up an interview for you to look at it. Otherwise, I think it is awesome that grandma is babysitting, for one it will be good for baby to be with family and two, that is the best way for baby to bond with grandma. You are very lucky to have that support. congradulations.
M.K. answers from Provo on February 27, 2009
I am in the same boat as you. I just had my baby and now I have to go back to work a month later. We really need my incme as well. My husband however, is not home so that makes things a little more difficult. i will just tell you that one of the hardest things for me was the recovery, and I still don't feel back to normal yet. I still hardly feel like getting dressed in something other than comfy lounge pants. If you have any complications during labor you might want to consider taking one more week off if you can. Also I would suggest getting your baby on some sort of schedule, it doesn't have to be rigid, but have something. I am still working on getting our routine fully established, but I can see how my life will function much easier with one, especially because I am breastfeeding. I know it's hard when you have to work, but consider working less hours, if your budget would allow you to and if your work would let you. I cut back just a few hours. This is my first child and i thought it would be easier, but she needs me so much its hard.
That's great that your husband can watch her a lot. Good luck with everything. and congrats.
M.S. answers from Denver on February 26, 2009
congrats on your new baby... very exciting times! as for advice, well, after six weeks, you'll probably be a little bit of a zombie still. try and take it easy and make sure to get lots of rest. the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing is totally true. it is great that your husband can stay home a little longer... good for many reasons. are you staying home together for the first month? my husband and I staggered our time off. he took two weeks at first, then I took the rest of my time off and then he stayed home. that help extend the time before my daughter went to day care.
also, you didn't mention if you are planning on breastfeeding or formula feeding or a combo... obviously bf'ing will require a bit more of a committment of time and energy, or more specifically your time and energy. make sure your husband or grandma feeds your baby at least once a day with a bottle or either breast milk or formula. speaking of pumping, I found i difficult to pump more than once a day while at work. it was just too time consuming. if you are going to be pumping, try banking (freezing) as much extra milk as you can when you are home. but don't pump too much during your work hours or you'll be full to bursting while at work. btw... lilypadz work great for the office (don't show through your clothes and don't leak as much as the other pads).
uhmm, what else? yes, it will be hard... I feel for you having to go back to work so soon. be sure to eat healthy food and get lots of rest. you'll be really tired, but once they hit around 3-4 mos old, they'll start sleeping longer and eating less frequently.
D.L. answers from Boise on February 27, 2009
That is what I had to do as well, except at 6 weeks. I was able to stay home, and once I did go back to work, I only went back part time. Possibly 25 hours a week. That lasted for about 3 weeks and then went full time. It is not too bad. Of course you will want to stay home with your child, what mother/parent wouldn't, but you will soon realize it will be ok. I also chose to work an extremely early schedule. I took the 6am to 3pm shift. That way I had the entire afternoon/evening with my daughter. Once she was about a year I went back to the 8-5. I just figured that way while growing, she still wanted to sleep early in the morning plus the nap-- so it made me feel like I wasnt missing much.
C.H. answers from Denver on February 27, 2009
It sounds to me, from the way you phrased your situation, that you would like to optimally stay home with your baby. That will take some planning, but if you come up with a plan today, you can start implementing the plan tomorrow, so that you do not find yourself in the same predicament still in three years, or for subsequent children.
If you want good advice on coming up with that plan, you can ask me to meet with you. Congratulations on your new baby, and blessings to you!
H.H. answers from Denver on February 26, 2009
Congratulations on your pregnancy. There is nothing better than being a mom. I was lucky enough to have my son in the beginning of the summer (I am a teacher) and have 8 wonderful weeks with him before going back to work. And then I was lucky enough to be able to just teach part-time. Like you said, no matter what, it will be hard going back to work. But each day gets easier. I don't really have any advice, but hopefully just some encouragement. I hate being away from my son, but the time apart just makes the time we get to spend together even more precious. Now that he is crawling, our sitter says that when he hears he come through the door, he drops his toy and takes off to greet me. Seeing his smile when I come home is one of my favorite parts of the day! So, it will be hard, but just soak up every second with your baby while you can. By working you are obviously providing the best for your baby by bringing in an income. Your baby is so lucky! Take it easy until May, and see as many movies as you can and go out to eat as much as you want!
L.H. answers from Salt Lake City on February 27, 2009
Try to figure out how to do it on one income before the baby comes. As soon as you hold her you will never want to leave her -- and that is the way it is supposed to be. She needs you more than whatever a second income gives her. Good luck!
A.S. answers from Denver on February 27, 2009
Congratulations! You are so lucky to have an employer that is letting you get back to work gradually and that your husband and then grandma can care for your little one. I wasn't that lucky. I was expected to return to work at 6 weeks to my same work schedule and we had no family in town, so day care was our only option. I decided that it was best for me to find an income working from home instead. I just couldn't bare leaving my baby. Now I have two children and have found an income working from home while also making my home safer for my family. You can call me at ###-###-#### and I can tell you how I made the transition to working from home instead.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck! It sounds like you have an understanding employer and wonderful family around to help you.