Work after Baby?

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Work after Baby?

Postby SarahCHW » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:53 am

I'm really struggling with the decision to go back to work or not. Anyone else out there?

I get 12 weeks of paid time after delivery (or 14 if I need a c-section). On top of that I get 4 weeks unpaid time I can take. My plan was always to take my paid time (duh) and use some of the unpaid time to go back part time and see how I feel at that point. I'd tell my boss what I decided as soon as I make the decision and work at least two weeks full time or 4 weeks part time, because that just seems like the polite thing to do, plus I might be able to swing a reference from my boss if I do go back to work in the future.

I'm really struggling though, because my boss is great and so are some of the people I work with, but I work with those awesome people less and less. And people have been treating me differently since I announced I was pregnant, like all I am good for is organizing things and doing menial tasks. I'm a lead engineer and its getting really offensive to be so mommy tracked. I leave work just furious at everything (hormones don't help). I only have 25 more work days this year (I counted) and then 15 before my Jan due date, but who knows when I'll actually go.

I guess I just feel really guilty thinking there is no way I am actually going to enjoy coming back to work and if I really know that now, shouldn't I not get my paid leave? Its starting to feel really dishonest because I am so unhappy here the past few weeks (or months). What do you think?
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Re: Work after Baby?

Postby HighlandGamesGirlCO » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:06 am

Honey - TAKE YOUR PAID LEAVE. You are entitled to it. For example, I don't get any paid leave. Zero. I had to bank every last hour of vacation for the last year just to save 2.5 weeks of time I get to spend with my baby before I go back to work. Thanks, America.

We have this mentality that paid leave is somehow unfair to take all of, or to even take at all because it feels like we are taking advantage. NO. Other countries get 18 weeks paid time, or 40 weeks, or even a YEAR AND A HALF - because they recognize that the first several months to a year or more is absolutely crucial for the child and parents to bond.

I can understand how you feel as far as being a lead engineer and being perfectly capable but being treated less than that...but it almost seems as though you now feel as though you have to prove yourself, and you don't. If you aren't happy now, it COULD be the hormones, and it could be valid. Personally, I would take my paid leave, come back when it's done, and reassess everything at that point...when the hormones are no longer a factor, and you have had time away.

Seriously though, if you take nothing else from this - TAKE YOUR PAID LEAVE! It's not dishonest or selfish, it is a RIGHT and it's vital to you and your baby!
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Re: Work after Baby?

Postby FrostedFuji » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:21 pm

If you're unhappy at work because of how they're treating you, you DOUBLY deserve your paid leave. Use it to recoup, enjoy time with your new baby, get to bond, and most importantly come back to work refreshed and able to prove to them that becoming a mother has not made you useless.

If you're still unhappy after you get back, and they can't figure out that having grown and given birth to a new life hasn't impacted your ability to be an engineer, then look for a new job. But in the meantime, you are SO entitled to that leave it isn't even funny - so take it, make the most of it, and enjoy yourself and your beautiful baby. Decisions about going back, finding something new, or staying at home can wait :)
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Re: Work after Baby?

Postby SarahCHW » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:48 pm

Thanks guys! I am really trying to feel positive about my return to work after leave. This helped a lot. It does get a little hard because I think if I wasn't pregnant I would be looking for another job at this point. Very frustrated with some of the stuff going down day to day. Either that or I would be advocating more for myself and making sure I don't get into situations like this all the time. I think I just let myself slack a bit on the advocating and now I'm getting stuck with a majority of the crap tasks :). I also came off a really long tough project at the beginning of the year and my boss has been letting me take it a bit easier. I think sometimes the hormones make it feel like I am being coddled when really my boss is giving me a break after I had two years of 60 hour weeks. Getting a break just sometimes mean that when other people have work they are too busy for I get to work on it. And the work you choose to delegate is always the stuff you feel is not worth your time. I am super lucky that I get my paid weeks and, you're both right there is no way to know how I will feel about my job in April when I have to return to work.

Feeling really conflicted, but I really am looking forward to some nice paid leave.
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Re: Work after Baby?

Postby Yelibaby » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:51 am

Your paid leave isn't a gift your boss/work is giving you. It's a right! And you have earned it every day you've worked at that place. If you decide to change jobs after your leave is over, then that's fine too. I'f they decided they don't want you to come back after your leave is over, they'd give you the pink slip and not think twice about it.

There's nothing to feel guilty about.
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Re: Work after Baby?

Postby SarahCHW » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:13 am

Thats definitely a good point about them not batting an eye if they fired me right after leave. We've had a bad year and layoff are not out of the question

I have been feeling slightly worse lately because I got someone who used to contract for me here a job in the plant and he just got laid off. I always wanted to hire him on full time on my team, but we are very restrictive about hiring so I never got a chance. With me leaving there would definitely be a backfill position open, and he would be a great candidate, but I can't tell him I might leave, because I honestly don't know what I am planning to do yet. I'm trying my best to convince the team to bring him back on contract for the time I am out :). I think its a good deal because we would never bring anyone new in for just 3 months, but hes already trained and ready to go, but I told my boss about this leave a LONG time ago so he's been planning workload around that. Too damn prepared...
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