What's your company's policy for paid time off? You might be able to piggyback some vacation days onto your company-granted leave to add another precious week or two to your maternity leave. This is an option you should look into before taking your leave, so you can start saving up those vacation days as soon as possible.
Many employers are sympathetic and might be willing to work with you so that you can transition slowly back into your job while still spending time with your baby. Does your company offer any sort of flextime or teleworking opportunities?
Maternity leave is also an opportunity to look at your finances. Maybe you can swing working part time or even quitting your job to spend more time with your baby. Crunch the numbers and see if there are places where your family can cut back to make this happen.
If you can afford it, talk to your boss about coming back part time or taking an extended leave of absence while you get acclimated to working motherhood. It's expensive to hire and train new staff, and your employer just might be willing to let you ease back in rather than risk losing your valuable skills.
It's hard to face the end of maternity leave, but for most moms it has to end sometime. While it might feel like having another few weeks or even a month would make things easier, it's never going to be easy to leave the fun of bonding with your new baby and head back to the office. Just remember -- your newborn will be waiting for you at home, giving you something to look forward to each day!
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- How to Figure Out if You Can Afford Not to Go Back to Work after Maternity Leave
- Are you doing too much while on maternity leave?
- Ask Dr. Sears. "Bonding With Your Newborn." 2006. (Dec. 15, 2010)http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T101100.asp
- Brindle, Beth. "How to Figure Out if You Can Afford Not to Go Back to Work after Maternity Leave." HowStuffWorks.com. Nov. 16, 2010. (Dec. 15, 2010)https://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/work-after-maternity-leave.htm
- Trotman, Karla. "5 Tips For Deciding When To Take Maternity Leave." Belly Button Boutique. July 6, 2010. (Dec. 15, 2010)http://site.bellybuttonboutique.com/blog/2010/07/06/5-tips-for-deciding-when-to-take-maternity-leave/
- U.S. Department of Labor. "Family and Medical Leave Act." (Dec. 14, 2010)http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm