Maternity leave decision made

Yesterday, I went on a rant about my husband’s work schedule change and how it was affecting my decision for the length of my maternity leave.

Ironically enough, this morning I had a to-do flagged in my calendar to update my wait list position at a few local daycares. When I first called to get myself on the wait lists, they asked me to call back every 6 months to confirm.

I asked the YMCA what the likelihood of having a part-time infant spot open up would be and they told me they don’t even do part-time! I pulled up a list of other licensed/non-licensed home daycares to see who in my area offers infant care. The list was very limited. I also contacted another very reputable licensed daycare that told me they don’t accept children til 18 months.

As I kept going, I felt myself having what I think was the start of a panic attack. My chest and back felt tight. I had a hard time breathing. I took off my belly band and loosened my sweater. I walked away from the computer and took a few deep breaths.

I see this as a sign. If I am reacting this strongly, then I need to stand up for myself right now. At 35 weeks pregnant, I don’t need to be making decisions about returning to work when my baby hasn’t even arrived yet!

I crunched some numbers last night and determined that returning to work a few months early for 20 hours a week wouldn’t even be worth it due to the hourly rate of part-time childcare. I might as well stay off.

I don’t need any added stress right now and this topic clearly stresses me out! It’s hard to be a working woman in today’s society. Business is business driven. Maternity leave is an inconvenience for businesses. I feel pressure to give my employer an answer I’m not ready to provide.

In the end, my husband and I have come to the conclusion that:

  • I can not commit to returning early without knowing how the baby will be and having secured childcare.
  • I will return to work after 10 months (mid-August 2016).
  • My husband will take the last 2 months as parental leave (mid-August to mid-October 2016)
  • Childcare will present itself when the timing is right. We will look into a variety of options towards the end of maternity leave (i.e. part-time nanny, full-time nanny, daycare).

*deep breath*

It will all work out.

For other working moms out there, thought you might find this funny: The awkward realities of working and breastfeeding


25 thoughts on “Maternity leave decision made

  1. I love your plan, and I particularly love the part about not making this decision right now. Honestly, you have enough to deal with being 35 weeks pregnant, you need to spend some time with your baby and decide from there! Keep breathing, I’m pretty sure this one will work itself out somehow.


  2. Childcare has been one of the most stressful parts of having a little. I’m very glad to hear you have a plan you’re comfortable with this early. A year in we’re finally in a pretty comfortable situation (and I get to hang out with *two* babies two mornings a week!!)


  3. I’m glad you were able to come to a decision, though I’m sorry you had to go through so much stress to get you there. Staying home with your little I feel will be a relief for you, and I’m sure he will appreciate it as well. 🙂


  4. Hear hear on childcare stress. I thought we had it made when my good friend (former preschool teacher staying home with her almost 1 year old son) offered to babysit C. She’s gone for a few trials and the transition hasn’t been easy with bottle refusal and wanting to be held constantly. Hoping once she goes regularly things will settle down.


  5. Yeah, if I could confirm one thing for you-don’t make decisions right now. I totally thought I would be fine with going back, and then I had the baby and went and quit my job, which is the craziest move I’ve ever made in my life that also makes more sense than anything else.


      • You just never know-I had sort of thought I’d like to not go back before I had her but I didn’t think it was possible, and I thought I would miss my job. I do sometimes. And I’m still scared financially, but I’m glad I took the leap. You’re right, only time will tell 🙂


  6. Wow! I’m glad you were able to make out a more clear direction in where you wanted to go with this decision. I’m over here in the US and freaking out about 6 or 8 weeks.. and my employer doesn’t have short terms disability (to be used while off for the 6/8 weeks), so now I have to make sure that I save every ounce of vacation and sick leave that I have until I get pregnant.


  7. Returning to work is so hard and I hope your decision gives you some peace for a while. I know financially I couldn’t be a SAHM and I also carry the health insurance through work for myself and Mackenzie. It all does work out in the end. Is this my ideal situation? Heck no. I make it work though and have a goal of maybe only working part time in a few years. We will see.


  8. I wish that the states did a year of leave, because we would ABSOLUTELY have taken full advantage of it. Granted, out pockets would have been hurting for sure (with 3 kids and one on the way), but that first year you will never get back…and I think that’s even more terrible than our bosses losing money or having to pay someone else for OT while we are away. Take your time and do what is best for you and your family, and don’t let anyone pressure you to do anything more that what you are comfortable with. Like you said, things will fall into place as the time goes on…for right now, enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, and get ready for this little guy to enter this world…


  9. It seems like a great plan. Infant child care is very expensive around here as well. Starting out at 6 weeks they charge anywhere ranging from $195-$250 a week. And the part time rate is the same price so even if your child is only going to be there for a few hours a day or only two days you pay the same price. Which is crazy!


  10. It’s so ridiculous the amount of stress we go through trying to figure everything out before the baby is even born! I’m happy you and your hubby came up with a plan that will work for you. Mine is going to take off a month when I go back to work also. I wish he could 2, but I’ll take 1 lol.


  11. Man I wish we could have a full year off. :/ Currently the US policy is 12 weeks off paid by vacation time or sick leave or unpaid. Deciding on what to do in our family has been a tough topic.

    I love your list. It doesn’t sound to complicated and is a good start. I love the idea that he will be home for two months. ❤ how awesome!!


  12. I’m so glad you have a plan! Childcare is the #1 thing I stressed about during my leave. Once I finally found a day home (still on waiting lists for centres!) I felt so much calmer! Also, my husband covers all of the daycare closure days (home daycare so we have to cover her vacation and sick time.) and it is seriously so nice to have him home with C! I just kiss them good bye and go off to work! She loves it and so does he. I’ll bet your husband will have a good time at home – and it will be good for you too! It’s much more work for me when C is in daycare.

    Also wanted to mention, some of my mama friends who have gotten into daycare centres have been able to split a full time spot with someone else – we use Facebook groups to advertise – so maybe if you need part-time at any point, that might be an option?


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