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Thread: Maternity Leave?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I'm a mortgage broker and that's commission only, so any time that I have taken off has been unpaid. Luckily I'm able to work from home, but that's easier said than done, so I'm debating about going into the office a couple of days per week.

    Hubby got two weeks paid after C was born, but I don't think that is common in Georgia. His employer was just nice about it.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    In the U.S. the federal FMLA mandates that employers with more than 50 employees in a certain geographical area provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but that includes all leave to care for sick family members or the employee's own illness, etc., not just maternity leave. Also, employers can force you to use your accrued paid time off during your FMLA leave.
    That establishes a minimum. Some states require more and some employers choose to provide better benefits.
    My employer is not subject to FMLA and they have a graduated leave policy that allows employees to accrue extra weeks of personal medical leave for every year they work, up to 8 weeks personal and 2 weeks additional for care of other family members. This is fully paid. Any additional unpaid leave is by request at the employer's discretion.
    I had accrued 5 weeks that I used after EJ was born, then used a week of my paid vacation time and then another week of approved unpaid. I spread those extra 2 weeks out by working 3 days a week for several weeks.
    It wasn't completely terrible because EJ was attached to DH, who stays home with the kids, and luckily we had no problems with pumping/bottle-feeding. Also, the transition to going back essentially part time for a month after my leave was super helpful for all of us. I think we would have had a much harder time if I'd taken 7 weeks straight and then went back FT. And I also think I would have been a wreck if I had to take my newborn to a daycare center.
    I really think FMLA should be beefed up.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post
    I think we would have had a much harder time if I'd taken 7 weeks straight and then went back FT. And I also think I would have been a wreck if I had to take my newborn to a daycare center.
    I really think FMLA should be beefed up.
    I totally agree! I took seven weeks off fulltime, another three part time. Even then, the only thing that made going back to work bearable was that I was lucky enough to find a nanny (and an AWESOME one at that) who provides him 1:1 TLC all day. I feel extremely fortunate that I wasn't faced with my newborn in daycare, it would have made this transition even worse. It goes to show you how the US really doesn't prioritize family leave and raising kids, other than in strict monetary ways, like taxation.

    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I did 16 weeks

    I had a 2 two week unpaid period, where i was required to use any and all vacation/sick time i had accrued.
    then I was paid 6 weeks (they say it's 8 but count the 2weeks prior ) of Short Term Disability from a voluntary plan I pay into weekly at work, my salary put me a bove the max so I only got a few hundred dollars per week not a 60% check. (this would have been 2 weeks less had I not had a C-section)
    then I took 6 more weeks unpaid as part of the 12 weeks Federally mandated FMLA Molle mentioned
    and finally 4 more weeks unpaid as part of TN extended FMLA.

    not nearly long enough IMO.

    oh and my employer is all or nothing, no coming back early and working part time for a period of time
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I got 8 weeks at full pay and took another 4 weeks paid vacation, so I was out a total of 12 weeks. I had the option to take those last 4 weeks as unpaid leave or to use my vacation time, and since I get 5 weeks vacation and my son was born in June, I preferred to be paid. DH got a total of 3 days - nice! - but he also gets a lot of vacation so he took a couple of weeks off while I was on maternity leave.

    On the one hand I think it would be awesome to have more leave, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to do so (and I recognize that it would have to be a trade off between one or the other). I think it would be cool if we had something almost like a health savings account where you could choose to pay in money a little at a time rather than taking the hit all at once - but that is of course biased toward people who can afford to make those payments, whereas doing it via taxation gives everyone equal access.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Pacific Northwest

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I am a US federal employee. My child is now 11 which means that FMLA was not in place when he was born. No one could tell me what the maternity leave policy was. I just asked other moms what they did. Everyone thinks that federal employees are in fat city on benefits. They are decent but far from what everyone expects.

    I had saved up sick time and vacation time which is how I managed to take 8 weeks off paid. Then I used more sick time and vacation time to work part time for the next two months. Since I had my child at 40, I had saved up 16 weeks sick leave and 6 weeks of vacation time over the prior 10 years. Not sure how I would have managed if I had been a newer employee with little leave time "in the bank".

    My husband quit his job when I went back to work so we didn't need daycare for about the first 2 years.

    The individual who posted getting $800 every two weeks - wow! That was more than I took home when I was working full time as a new mom. With over 20 years of service, I now finally take home about $1000 every two week and am very grateful for the job that I have.

    I would prefer that the USA have univeral health care first then look at how to have some paid maternity leave.

    DS nursed till he was 2 1/2.
    He can now ski faster than me.
    He can almost run faster than me.
    He is playing music loud, "turn that down!"
    He is reading Lord of the Rings.
    He is wonderful !

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    One thing that I thought sucked about the way MY system worked, was in CA you get 6 weeks for vaginal delivery, 8 for a csection. So we ended up having an early baby that was in the hosp for almost a month. And the second he was born my time started. So basically if I had had a vaginal delivery I would have had to go back to work when he was home from the hospital for only 2 weeks. (barring the extra FMLA of course). I just thought that was pretty crappy. Personally I think that it should start from your due date for everyone, and special circumstances if you go over...
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I'm a teacher and was planning to take the remainder of the year off. My DS was born Jan. 11th. I saved up my sick days knowing that one day I'd want to use them for maternity leave. I was allowed to use 6 weeks of sick leave for maternity leave and anything beyond that would be unpaid even though I had plenty of sick days left. So I took another 6 weeks of FMLA unpaid leave. If I went beyond that then my benefits would go from about $250/mo. to $975/mo. because the school system would no longer put up money. So now I'm back hoping summer vacation comes quickly! My husband didn't get any paternity leave exactly, he just took a week of vacation time.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    another Canadian here One year at 55% of my average gross. So nearly 70% of my previous earnings per week.

    However we decided I would not to go back to work full time. I always did photography on the side so I'll keep that up, but to pay a sitter full time just isn't worth it. I did start watching a child half days to make a little cash (which has now ended ) and I'm hoping to take in two in September.

    mother of 2 boys!

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Maternity Leave?

    I am also a federal employee (in Oklahoma). I'd only been working for about a year when my son was born and had managed to save up ~3 weeks of both sick and annual leave. I took a total of 6 weeks off so half of that was unpaid.

    We are planning on getting pregnant again and my *dream* is to be able to take 12 weeks off. In order to save enough annual and sick leave for that amount of time I would have to save every single hour of leave I earn for the next 2.5 years! That means that I can never take a day of vacation or get sick AT ALL to accrue that much leave. (My husband is a SAHD, so we depend on my income. Therefore quitting or taking more unpaid time off is not an option)

    I am SO JEALOUS of anyone anywhere who gets paid maternity leave. Even one day is more than us in the States get.

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