Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Returning to Work, Part II: The Mental Game

Okay. So I am 99% sure I'll be heading back next Wednesday from maternity leave--11 weeks. Good grief, that is basically a week. I haven't started weaning G yet from nursing...but I think that's okay. I told work I'll probably be shortening the top/tail of the day upon my return, and I was going to keep my Thursday & Friday afternoons at home; they were fine with that.

Ughhh. I dread this. I mean, I know what to expect in a way since I've been through it before...which means I'll live, we'll all live...but now with two kids it is just going to kill me for the first couple weeks. It is what it is.

I've figured out my leave, using my vacation/personal days/sick days. So I think, retroactively applying those days across my leave, I'll wind up with only 2 1/2 weeks where I wasn't fully paid. That's not bad, really, when it comes down to it. And that is because I am also keeping a week of vacation stashed aside for Aruba in November. Which I will desperately need by then, I am sure.

Now to get on my soapbox, since I have to get it out somehow....
What is wrong with the US? Really. We are the most advanced country in the world, and we treat our people like crap when it comes to having babies. Every candidate, every politician talks about the importance of family and creating a strong foundation. What a load of crap. There are a few things that just don't fly with me:
  • Only two nights in the hospital. Yes, I did it both times...regular delivery, and I've survived. A woman's milk doesn't even come in by then but you are encouraged to breastfeed, only you don't know what the heck you're doing, and it creates a serious amount of stress. Healing is less of an issue that the breastfeeding, here, for me.
  • FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), provisions. This is the government basically saying that you can take 12 weeks off for having a baby and come back to your job. But as for figuring out how you can sustain your income during that period, well, you're on your own, sister, unless you happen to work for a super-generous company. While I'm at it, let me give a big ol' shout-out to NY state for the crappy compensation that accompanies the "disability" for this period (see my "Part I" post).
  • FMLA, duration. 12 weeks is nothing. I know most people who may read this are educated enough to know that Europe in particular allows a much longer period to bond with your newborn child.
  • FMLA, application. I actually had to add this...C reminded me that small companies aren't even held to honor this. Which, having owned a small business myself for a year and a half, I understand why. But...it does leave a lot of people hanging out there.
I'm griping, admittedly--hey, this is part of the purpose of this blog thing anyhow, no? I know very well what I signed up for. I need to work. C and I have made decisions as to where we want to live, what we want our house to be for our family, how we want to raise our children, what preschools (and public schools...hello taxes) to send them to. We want to give them the best we can, and in our case, this is what it takes. At least right now.

I know...if I don't like it, move to Canada (well, we'll see how the election goes in November). If we didn't just rebuild our house, I may ask C to consider it.

Oh, that reminds me of a hilarious blog...Stuff White People Like. See, there's the threatening to move to Canada thing on here. I am not unique, clearly.

Part III to come next week, unless we have some interesting developments. Like a Powerball win or something. In the meantime, I'm trying not to dwell on it too much.

1 comment:

Kwana said...

Hey N. Don't even get me on that soapbox. i'm right with ya. It's just awful. The whole back to work how to manage it thing. Awful.

I love the Stuff White People Like Blog. Did you hear about the big book deal there?