Maternity Leave – Sweet, But Short.

by Kerry Rivera


With baby No. 3 due in about a month, I find myself making final preparations in the office for my brief departure. There are multiple forms to fill out for disability, family leave and getting the baby added to my health insurance after she is born. And then of course there is the housekeeping that comes with halting your work for a couple of months … expectations for assignments, deadlines, managing the staff. Combine getting ready at home, the increasing number of doctor’s appointments and a heftier belly and clearly this is a time that is stress-free, right?


To be honest, I’m actually feeling prepared and ready. After all, I’ve done this before and know what to expect. But … I can’t help but think that while my life will soon be fuller with a new addition, by the end of the year it will also get more complicated. Maternity leave for my company allows me to take roughly 18 weeks off after the baby is born. Some is paid, some is not. But regardless of the money, the policy states it will hold my position for only that period of time.


Similar to my other two maternity leaves, I plan to take the full amount of time. We’ve socked away some funds to ease the financial burden, and if I’m lucky maybe the baby will be sleeping through the night by the time I return.


I now have a number of mommy friends who sport all types of jobs, so I’ve become familiar with the different types of maternity leaves that exist. Some are longer, others shorter. Some moms get their leave fully paid, others get nothing. Some elect to leave the workplace after their leave abruptly ends, and others suck it up and squeeze back into their slacks and sweater sets for office life again.


For me, one of the greatest struggles is going from zero to 60. Unfortunately there are no part-time options, shortened days or telecommuting solutions when I return to the office. I do have supportive bosses and a nice place to pump, but really it is back to the grind from day No. 1.


Wow, 18 weeks is a dream. I have four children and the longest I was able to take was 8 weeks for each of them. I agree that something longer would have been awesome and paid or unpaid I would have taken it! Enjoy your time with your baby!