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Thread: Am I being unreasonable??

  1. #1

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    Default Am I being unreasonable??

    DH and I are at loggerheads. In summary, I am our main income earner and sadly, have no entitlement to paid maternity leave. This leaves me with the fabulous option of taking all of my accrued annual leave (8 weeks worth) and then using the baby bonus to take another 4 weeks - giving me a total of 12 weeks off work before retuning FT.

    DH has now come up with the idea that instead of me taking the additional 4 weeks that he could take 8 weeks leave and look after bubba and I could go back to work.



    I have several issues with this. Firstly - I don't think that DH has a clue as to what it is like to look after a little baby. Secondly I want to BF so I would be essentially going back to work full time and having the pleasure of BF'ing during the night and getting very little sleep. Thirdly - I don't want to go back to work (very selfish reason I know - but nonetheless!).

    I really feel that after working FT throughout the whole PG and dealing with the nausea and tiredness and lack of sleep etc etc that I should get to spend an extra month with our baby.

    Common sense tells me that it would be better for our baby to be at home with one of it's parents, but I am having real trouble dealing with the idea of being back in my stressful job FT 8 weeks after having a baby.

    Am I being a selfish cow??

  2. #2

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    Nope. Stick to your guns. You need to have 12 weeks off. After your 12 weeks are up he could then take some annual leave (if he has any owing). That sounds fair to me.

  3. #3

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    Nope, nope, nope.

    You are working while preg, you are doing enough. You have no idea how strongly you will not want to leave this bubba once it's born. And to go to a stressful job...

    I ended up resigning (have mat leave tho) as I couldn't face it. Big cutbacks on the finacne front, but I cannot make myself go back yet. I only had 3 days off with my 3rd (a worked at home tho) and I loved my job, but resented having to do it.

    I might be time for DP to step up.....

  4. #4

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    I went back when DD was 18mths and I cried almost the entire night (unfortunately I had to return to full time work) We are settled in now but it still wasn't and isn't my first choice to be back and I have the benefit that my DD is in daycare at the centre where I work so even though I can't physically look after her myself I can still see enough of her to feel involved in her day.
    I think it makes sense for you to take the time you have owing to you and it would be nice if your partner could take his time off after this.
    you will be able to settle back in to work and have some space to work out how you can juggle bubs routine and your work arrangements, sort of a trial run before you both have to return to work

  5. #5

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    Shellbell - it's not selfish to want to spend time with your baby. Take off as much time as you can/want to.

    BTW, I wasn't sure how I would go. I'm very easily bored and thought there was a possibility I might want to hotfoot it back to work. Instead, I'm thinking I might resume my career when DD is well, about 15! I've told DP that if we can't afford for me to take as much time off as I would like, he'll have to get a second job. I'm joking (I think) but my point is that they're only little once so treasure every moment.

  6. #6

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    You are not being selfish at all, stick to your guns you will find even 12 weeks will go so fast!

  7. #7

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    No way!!! I was earning more than my hubby when I left work 4 years ago. I just economised and used 'gentle persuasion' to encourage him to earn more. Now here we are, earning much more than a combined income less childcare fees - and I'm still at home with my babies!

    I know not everyone can do it, but that time is so precious and I have worked fulltime with bubbies, and it's not easy. You do what you have to do for you and your bub!

  8. #8
    aussie overseas Guest

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    Oh, no you are not being selfish at all. The first three months were the toughest for me (after the baby was born) and I needed all the time I could have with DS. Especially as I was breast feeding.

    My DP used his holiday leave to spend time with DS afterward.

  9. #9

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    I planned to return to work about 3 months. Now at 9 months I am still planning. It is really hard to leave them I can tell you. And 3 months is not very long at all.

  10. #10

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    Its a hard decision, but definately not selfish to want to spend time with your bub.

    I know in my case, I would not have been able to go back to full time work when she was 8 weeks old for a few reasons. I had a rough 2nd stage labour and did some nasty damage, resulting in quite a bit of pain for around 3 months. I work in an office job, so for me, the thought of having to sit on my still rather sore bum all day was not sounding appealing. Claire is also breastfed, and only recently started sleeping more than 2 hours at a time. I know that with her waking as frequently as she was, I wouldnt have been able to work full time.

    8 weeks, and even 12 weeks went soooo quickly. She was still a little blob at 12 weeks and I cant imagine having left her then. I still havent gone back, but thats more because I'm being stuffed around by my employer. Having said that I have a friend who went back to work full time when her baby was 5 weeks old. Bub was in day care full time.

    Can you do up a budget and see how long you might be able to spend at home with your bub?
    Would you be able to go back to work part time instead?
    I'm not sure what type of work you do but would there be the chance of working from home?

  11. #11

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    You are not unreasonable at all!

    I planned on getting back to work after 8 weeks but just couldn't do it - I extended my leave to the full 12 months (unpaid for the last 6).

    What we did was the first part of my leave was at my half-pay, so we had DF's full income and half of mine. We adjusted our belts and worked out what we could & couldn't afford ... then when my half pay dropped out it was easier to survive.

    Can you get your ARL at half pay? Take 16 weeks ARL at half pay?

    Good luck!

  12. #12

    Default

    I planned to go back to work when DD was about 4.5 months old. I did and I resented it. And then I got very sick. I developed gall stones 5 weeks post birth resulting in surgery when DD was 8 weeks old and had complications from that soon after returning to work resulting in me taking further time off. I think 12 weeks off is reasonable. Do want you feel you need to do.

    MG

  13. #13

    Default

    I also was the main income earner, working full time and travelling over 200km a day to get to work before having Angus, but we were committed to me taking 12 months unpaid maternity leave. It has meant we needed to adjust our lifestyle and our spending commitments (mortgage etc) but I couldn't have gone back to work when he was 8, 10 or 12 weeks old. He's still fully BF and I can't see how I could go back to work now even.

    Can you look at your family lifestyle, expenditure etc and make some significant cuts to allow you more time off? I ended up having an unexpected c section and I couldn't have managed to return to work physically due to that within the first 4 months. I don't buy myself any new clothes, we don't go out to dinner any more, I don't go shopping in the nearest big town just for fun (petrol is too expensive), I don't get my hair done so often, my husband doesn't play golf hardly at all. I buy food etc when things are on special or in season, buy cheap meat and make casseroles, economise in all things. But this is what we needed to do for one of us to be at home full time for at least his first year of life.

  14. #14

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    Thanks guys, I feel better having read your responses. After a while with all of these hormones etc I start wondering if I have lost all grasp on reality! DH and I are still talking about our options. I feel that I will be sticking to my guns though. I really don't want to return to work at all and going early simply doesn't sit right.

  15. #15

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    I can't agree more with everyone else.

    Reading this thread, I realise how lucky I am. My DH works from home earning a pittance doing what he loves... I work full time and am the main breadwinner. When I go on leave, we can only afford to take the leave I get paid for - but in my case that's about 6 months worth (14 weeks maternity, 7 weeks Long Service and 3 weeks Annual Leave). When I return to work, it will be on a full-time basis (well, that's the plan!). DH will stay home and be the stay-at-home-daddy - so no child care costs. He may be able to continue to do some work at home (depending on how demanding bubs is) and I work only 5 mins walk from home - so if I'm still BF it will be relatively easy to manage.

    I'm also really lucky to have a wonderful workplace that is very supportive and so close to home.

    I wish you all the best Shellbell - to you!

  16. #16

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    I am getting into this discussion with DH tonight.... I am also the main bread winner (yay to all us women being the highest earners by the way!!!) but really want to take 6 mths off, and then try to go back part time. I discussed with my boss today how he feels - and being a manager he says he doesn't want me part time but knows he has to offer it and will accept it if that is what I want. I get 14 weeks paid leave, then I want to take some annua leave - maybe at half pay to see if we can survive on it meaning I could go back to work part time. Or if we can't and I go back full time, I am hoping I can do most of my week in 3 and 1/2 days per week. I must admit - I not looking forward to trying to budget this, but it will all be worth it when I get to spend more time with my little girl

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