Planning Maternity Leave Can Be A Challenge. Here Are Some Tips to Help!
In approximately 9 weeks, my maternity leave from my job starts. Working while pregnant is a blessing for me. It keeps me busy and pre-occupied so that these pregnancy symptoms don’t remain my top focus.
Over the next several weeks I have some major planning ahead to make sure all is smooth sailing for my team and co-workers while I’m out of the office enjoying our new little baby.
This being my 4th kid- I’ve had my fair share of maternity leave planning. There are a few things that have helped me and those I work with that thought may be useful to other working moms or soon to be working moms!
Tips for Planning Your Maternity Leave
Here are 5 tips for planning your maternity leave. These are things that I have utilized over the last 3, now 4 babies and hopefully, you will find them helpful.
Know Your Rights
The most important thing is to know your rights. You may have heard FMLA – but have no idea what that means. FMLA stands for The Family and Medical Leave Act. Read more about it here, you must know your rights.
Talk to Your Human Resources Department
Talk to your HR department and find out what your company’s benefits are. The company I work for offers disability. I hate that maternity leave is considered a disability, but whatever. All that said, disability has strict rules for what I can and can’t do. Also, my benefits vary depending on if I deliver the baby naturally versus a c-section. Make sure that you get all of the paperwork needed for maternity leave. My maternity leave forms included one that my doctor has to fill-out stating how much time you should have off.
Find Out What Your Co-Workers Need
I have a small team of developers and creators working under me. With me being out, there are certain needs that my team has that I just won’t be able to accommodate. I need to make sure that they know who to turn to while I am out with the baby.
Make sure that whoever needs access to your files have it! The last thing you want is your work calling asking where a logo file is!
Write Out an Action Plan
With each leave, I write out a document with anything and everything that any of my co-workers may need to know. Who handles the web servers should the website go down? If we need to run a last minute web campaign, who does that and how? Where is the budget located and where are we with that budget? It’s a lot.
I did this with the last pregnancy and this pregnancy and it has helped massively. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I created a Google doc with random notes. Thru-out the months, I jotted down all things that I know that someone else may not know. It may be information overload, but again, I would rather provide this than have someone call me while I am on leave.
Plan on Doing Nothing
I am the worse at this, but if I can impart wisdom from what I have learned as a working mom going on maternity leave, I leave you with this. Leave work at work.
Hopefully, you have the 3-months off (or hopefully more) that you can enjoy bonding with your baby, setting up new routines and adjusting to your new life with a kid (or an additional kid.) During this time, it’s not just your baby that needs you, but your family needs you to. Plus, you need to heal. Your body did what is was made to do, but that said – it may hate you for it. Relax and enjoy your new baby love. They grow way too quickly, enjoy this small lull.
Don’t forget to turn your out-of-office autoresponder on! Enjoy your baby, don’t worry about work. You will have PLENTY of time after your maternity leave to think about those things! Enjoy this time. Again, it happens ALL too quickly.
What advice do you have for someone who is planning maternity leave?
Take a Day Off!
I gave myself the best gift ever for Mother’s Day this year. A day OFF!
My husband and I are constantly juggling work life balance and raising a family. I haven’t taken a vacation day since Christmas. I’ve been saving my days to have the extra paid time off with our baby in my belly. With the business of life – a day off is just what was needed. And to make the day even better, my husband took the day off as well.
Rules for Our Day Off:
- No schedule
- Get the kids to school on time then SLEEP until whenever
- Don’t look at work email
- ZERO STRESS!
We headed out of town this past weekend so we were zonked. I woke up at 7:15 am, rushed the older kids to school, then headed home to SLEEP. The babe slept until NOON and so did me and the husb. We don’t get enough time with Iza, so he skipped childcare and hung with us for the day. A belated Mother’s Day for me and Birthday treat for my husband – we dined at a Brazilian Steakhouse. Then off to enjoy a pedicure, pick up the kiddos early from school and enjoyed a date night. (P.S. Limitless is an amazing movie! and THANK YOU BETSY for babysitting!).
It was the absolute perfect day that I know will be a rarity in the coming years as we add another person to the house. Juggling it all is hard, but one this is for sure. We are dedicated to testing and trying out whatever we can to make our work life balance work.
Take time to evaluate how you can take a break from the everyday. Make yourself a priority. Give yourself a day off!
What Would Your Perfect Day Off Look Like?
Kissing online? Technology is getting weird.
Making Out With a Device?
Robots are getting weird, y’all. There is a new make-out device that let’s your kiss people online. And no, I’m not talking about kissing someone that you MET online in person, but rather kissing a person with some weird device, via online.
This tops the list of weird things I’ve stumbled across the onthe internet. Take it, I am sure there are many odder things, but I won’t be searching those out. This new device transmits the feel of a kiss via a computer.
This redefines the practice kiss. Instead of Mavis Teaches Typing, is there going to be a Mavis Teaches How to Kiss? Whatever happened to practicing on your pillow? Guess that’s so 80’s. But if this ends up on the hot Christmas Gift Items for 2011, I’m just saying Jesus maybe returning soon.
Tactile communications: it may not sound too exciting, but its precisely the field of research that produced a device which lets users transmit the feeling of a kiss long-distance.
The Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications has created a device which consists of a hardware receptacle which is placed into the mouth, and software that remembers the movements of your tongue and sends them to the other connected device, which moves accordingly.
Of course, theres more to a kiss than just the movement of the tongue, and the folks from Kajimoto plan to recreate them all. The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue. If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device, they explain in a video showcasing the device prototype. via Mashable
I’m just not sure about this. You guys, if people are now using devices connected to the internet to kiss people, can you imagine what is coming next? EEK!
Let’s talk about surviving the morning rush. If you were to sit in the living room watching all that goes into getting us out the door in the morning, you would laugh.
There are 5 of us – and on various days of the week we’re in different locations, but for the sake of this post – of the 5 people, there are 4 different locations we’ll be.
- Z & E are at school – must be there by 8:00 am – we have to leave BY 7:45 am to get there and make it thru the crazy drop-off line.
- Izaiah is at his sitters.
- Sean – at his work
- My – at my work.
I would love to say that Sean and I wake up at 6:00 am, brew our coffee, read the latest news and chat while I make breakfast. That’d be a big fat lie. We’re night owls. No matter how hard we try to change this, it just isn’t happening.
We wake up at 7:00 am. And by 7:00 am I mean we have our alarms set and are hitting snooze and know our butts MUST be out of bed by 7:00 to make all things go. The kids must be dressed, eat breakfast and all things must be ready in order to make this happen. While I know we could make adjustments, and this and that – the whole goal we have set for our family is to adapt to what is best for us. To create the best work-life balance for OUR family. And for our family, the work-life balance is must sweeter when we aren’t taking medication to force ourselves to sleep so that we can wake up earlier when we are just NOT morning people!
Here are 5 Tips to Surviving the Morning Rush:
1. Make Breakfast Before Hand
Breakfast food is easily accessible for kids. This helps with the morning rush before school and work. Work-life balance people
I would love for my kids to eat a wonderful full breakfast in the morning. With all of our priorities, my goal is now to just make sure what they are eating is somewhat healthy and is actually consumed by them.
My son who is in Kindergarten has a 10:30 lunchtime, so am not TOO worried about him eating, as he eats early and has a snack 2x later in the day. My daughter who is in 2nd grade – has a 1:00 lunchtime! CRAZY! While she has a snack around 11 am, I want to make sure that she’s not having to wait that long to eat.
The kids are responsible for feeding themselves (with us reminding them of course!). In order to make this work, I make sure to have food ready for them and milk or juice on a refrigerator shelf that they can access. Pre-made muffins, packaged muffins and fruit are the favorites among my little people.
The baby is a different story, my husband usually makes sure he eats at least fruit and has his milk. His sitter does feed him a full breakfast, but giving him a morning snack let’s us all enjoy time with him before the hustle and bustle. He helps make the mornings smiley!
2. Shower and Lay Out Clothes the Night Before – Including Yours!
Taking showers and laying out clothes the night before helps with the morning rush.
Having the kids’ clothes laid out the night before is essential for us getting out the door in time in the mornings. As part of the night time tuck-in routine, their clothes are laid on either the top bunk or on the side of the bed. This gives no excuse for delay in the clothes department! If socks are needed, those are laid out – as well as belts. We take showers at night, no time for that in the morning with our schedules.
As for myself, anytime I am headed to the office, I lay everything out the night before. ESPECIALLY pregnant, I find myself in a major rut when I don’t know what I am wearing ahead of time. This leaves me second guessing and that’s time I don’t have in the mornings!
My hair is extremely thick taking hours to self-dry and a good 30 minutes to blow dry, not including the flat iron. I take showers at night, sleep with wet hair and then flat iron in the morning. It only takes a few minutes for me to do. Again, another time saver for the morning rush! Plus the shower at night doesn’t have a time limit, unless you count bed time.
3. Backpacks and Shoes at the Door
Shoes and Backpacks are placed at the front door ready to pick up and GO!
Before being tucked in, the kids make sure their backpacks and shoes are at the front door ready to roll.
Both kids still need snacks for the morning, those are packed at night.
Any papers needing to be signed or homework we make sure is done the night before. Mornings aren’t our thing for that1
4. Require Shoes On & Hair Done Before Eating
Hair brushed, shoes on feet – before hitting the kitchen table for breakfast.[/caption]
My daughter has this amazing head of hair that goes down most of her back. The great thing is it’s beautiful. The bad thing is it must be brushed regularly! Before eating breakfast in the morning, she makes sure her hair is brushed and I help her beautify with either an accessory, braid or a ponytail.
My son sometimes spikes his hair, but for the most part, it just needs that un-bedhead look which requires a 60-second brush!
Shoes must be on their feet with their backpacks in hand at the kitchen table as they eat breakfast. By putting this little rule into place, we’re all set and ready to go should breakfast need to be cut short.
5. Be Loving & Graceful – but FIRM!
I love my kids to no end. While I would love to say I’ve never broken this rule, that’d be a flat out LIE! The stress of getting everyone to where they need to be on time is painful, but one thing I’ve learned and reminded myself of DAILY is that starting a day with yelling isn’t going to get things done any quicker. There is no point in working myself up and getting the kids even more upset on days that just aren’t happening like we need them to.
Make sure to tell your kids you love them. Hug them tightly. But stick to a schedule and encourage with love and grace. This will not only help your day get off to a great start but theirs as well!
Being a working mom can be hard. Remember, with the key is finding what works best for YOU and your family in regards to the work-life balance. Keep finding tips and tricks to ease your schedule. While it may not be perfect from an outside perspective, it’s all about what works for you!
Leave a Comment and Share Your Tips to Saving Time in the Mornings!
It’s a sign of the times. Twitter is breaking news. Tonight I logged on to Twitter, and this is the first tweet that I see.
Osama Bin Laden is Dead – Twitter Changes News Game
Osama Bin Laden is Dead
Curious as it’s 10:30 pm-ish at night – which means an hour ahead in DC – Obama is on the screen delivering a live stream off of the White House’s website stating that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Yes, Osama Bin Laden is dead. The evil man who is reported to be behind the attacks of September 11th, as well as numerous other terrorist activities, is gone. He’s killed so many directly and indirectly – we’ve spent the last 9 and a half years seeking him out and now, he is dead – like that. It’s crazy to think of what exactly this means, and what it doesn’t mean.
Something else that I find crazy is that I found out as soon as the rest of the world did, on Twitter. I wasn’t watching television, like in previous fashion when learning about this – nope, I was online. On Twitter.
White House on Twitter
The White House joined Twitter and is great at keeping the Twitter world up to date with the latest. Thru-out the brief press conference, they tweeted the highlights of what President Obama was saying, keeping the Twitterverse up-to-date on all of the happenings surrounding the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
You can follow the White House on Twitter at @whitehouse
Twitter is a Game Changer
Twitter is a game changer on how news is being delivered. In a typical day, I would not have been checking news sites at this hour. While sure, someone could have tweeted a link, the fact we learned this information about Osama’s death directly from our President via a web stream – is a game changer on how news is delivered.
The White House Tweets Osama Bin Ladens Death Announcement
It’s crazy to think that the Twitter social network is now where I am getting my news. What does this mean for the future?