I have, as of late, become privvy to the strong opinions of moms when it comes to returning to work postpartum.
Before I go any further, I should tell you that I go back to work tomorrow. The baby will be 6 weeks old.
I’ve been(not really) fighting off the mommy-nazis who think that it is TERRIBLE that I am returning to work so soon. With comments like:
“He’s so young”
“Can’t you wait longer?”
“Is it legal for you to go back so soon?”
I’ve really just shut my ears and thickened my skin just a bit.
Yes, it’s legal. Yeah, we have FMLA in this country, but (it is my understanding that) this only applies to people who’ve been working at an establishment for a certain amount of time. I just started at this job in August, so according to our HR department, I wasn’t eligible under FMLA. The district gives me maternity leave cause… well, they’re nice. Now, legally, yes they have to give me up to 12 weeks, but guess what? That’s 12 weeks without pay. Here’s how they calculate maternity leave in my district:
They take your salary, figure out your daily rate (mine is almost $300 p/day) and they multiply that by how many days you will be gone less all of your sick and personal leave. So if you’re gone for 12 weeks, which is about 60 days if you don’t count weekends minus 10 days of sick and personal leave, that’s 50 days that you will be losing pay for. If my daily rate was $300 (which it isn’t), multiply $300 by 50 days and that adds up to a boatload of money.
I’m not sure why other women work, but I don’t work solely for the joy of working. I don’t work because I don’t really need to work and I just do it because it’s fun. I work because I went to school and trained for 4 years to do this. I work because I’m good at what I do. And really, I work because my income is what helps to run this household. We did the I stay home, you go to work thing… yeah, that was hard. Realistically we need two incomes to function well. And the true reason why I am going back to work when my baby is only 6 weeks old?
I CAN’T AFFORD TO DO OTHERWISE.
There. I said it.
Money is a driving factor in many of the decisions that we make in life. This, is one of those times.
We have bills to pay and 2 kids to take care of and groceries to buy and hopefully trips to take with our kids.
So, yes, I will go back to work when my baby boy is 6 weeks. Thank God my husband has an boatload of sick leave saved up, so he will be home with the baby for 2 whole weeks and then we have 2 weeks of holiday break (So that’s 4 weeks we can ward off daycare.)
Kudos to the women of the world who don’t have to go back to work when their baby is 6 weeks.
Kudos to the women who choose to take a ginormous pay cut to stay home for 12 weeks or more. I’m glad that your household will be able to stay afloat with this financial hit (I seriously am, the more time with your baby the better).
BUT, I need to make the right decision for my family, which is to return to work.
So, lay off my case. I’m glad that you’re so concerned about my child’s adjustment/life, but I think he’ll be fine cause I’m a great effin’ mom. (Duh!)
As for me, I’ll wake up in the morning nurse my baby boy, pack the toddler’s lunch, comb her hair and then?
Hi ho, Hi ho… it’s off to work I go.
And don’t worry, folks, I’ll be over here on my soap box all week.