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when is too soon to return to work?? Lock Rss

I'm a teacher and am wondering if 4 -5 weeks is too early to return to work after bub gets here.... any thoughts??
I would say yes but really its up to you. What do you think? I know myself I couldn't have fathomed leaving my boys for extended periods when they were that old. At 4-5 weeks old you are still getting to know your bubba. Would you be going back full or part time? And who would be looking after bubs



I really don't think it is enough time. What happens if you have a c-section? You're not meant to drive or do anything strenuous for at least 6wks in that case. 4-5wks goes by SO fast and like DW mentioned, you're still getting to know your bub at that point.

Can I ask why you want to go back so soon? Can't you get maternity and Paid Parental Leave?


Wow, that's really soon. If you don't have to, I would wait as long as you can. But understand that sometimes you have to do these things. But baby's grow up so fast!
I think it's to soon, I think you should give yourself atleast 3months, but at the end of the day its your choice. Good luck with your decision and good luck with your pregnancy smile
In my opinion it's way too soon. Breastfeeding is usually still getting established at that time. Unless you are going to be taking baby with you to work then no I wouldn't do it at 4 weeks. For me personally absolute earliest I would go back would be 3 months if I had to and had no other choice. I would only be returning under duress lol.

You will be so sleep deprived you wont be able to think straight let alone be focused at work. At 4 weeks you are still recovering physically too. Also I dont think daycare centers will take babies under 6 weeks old. I also wouldnt let my bub go to a daycare center that young as they are full of germs and you dont want a newborn getting a cold or worse. They are so vulnerable.

I guess if you were bottle feeding or expressing and the father or grandmother were going to be minding baby at your home you could make it work.

Even in cases of financial difficulties you can get help from the government and don't you get some paid maternity leave?



My husband took 5 weeks off after both our kids were born. The time flew by! I definalty needed him home to help, adjusting to a new baby is tough.

Also I didn't stop bleeding after birth for 2 months either. So I had extra check ups etc. Also I leaked breast milk for the first few months too, not very nice when in public. Personally my body needed at least 3 months to settle back after baby.

If you can I would take the first term off after baby is born.
If you're a teacher in Australia you would be entitled to some pretty good maternity leave entitlements I would think?

At 5 weeks I think I was completely delirious. Dd didn't sleep she screamed all day and fed 12 times a day, cluster feeding 5 hours every night from 6pm. I still was bleeding and had the baby blues pretty badly. If I had to work I think I would completely fall to pieces. So for me it would definitely be too soon. Before 4 months I wouldn't have even contemplated it.

That's my experience thouhh and everyone os different, as is every baby. Mine was difficult.

I am going to start worki from home next week and dd is almost 10 months.

I went back to work full time when dd was 3 1/2 months due to financial reasons. Dd wasn't even sleeping through the night. It was so so hard for me. She was also a colic/reflux baby too. I almost had a nervous break down so many months later. I personally would recommend trying to have more time off work if you can. The decision is yours of course. xx




I thought the same as Steph smile My DD's teacher left last year to have her first baby & I'm sure she said teachers can have up to 7yrs maternity leave so they tend to have their babies closer together in that period then return.

It is completely up to you what you do but I do worry that it isn't enough time. What happens if you agree to go back so soon after but when bub comes you change your mind? Would they then allow you to make those changes? The feelings you have for your baby when they arrive cannot be described & for me whatever plans I had went out the window the minute I was cuddling my daughter. Don't rush your decision, think everything through because they are only little for such a short amount of time & you never get it back smile
What I find interesting now is the comments "Oh, you're JUST a mum" or this one "Do you not work?" And I say back I work, I work 24 hours a day...I see you have a coffee in your hand, did you enjoy your break? When baby is sleeping, jobs to do, when baby is awake it's learning, fun time, groceries, picking other kids up, dropping off to various activities, tea to make, baby food to make, washing etc.
Did you enjoy your sleep last night? I was up three times through the night with a teething baby who's not settling and up again to start the day at 5:45am...I can't hit a snooze button!
Do you enjoy your pay check each week? I don't get paid.

My point is, don't be in a rush to go back to work. Don't EVER let other people make you feel bad for wanting to be at home with your children. If you can take at least a year's maternity leave, do. So much happens in that time, amazing changes (some not so!), forming that special bond with baby, sharing his/her journey through everything AND you'll be really tired!!!

It is the most rewarding/stressful/tiring/frustrating UNPAID job you will ever do. But when you look into baby's eyes and they smile at you for the first time you know that this will be the best job you will ever have!

Best advice I got from mum and some of her friends: If you don't have to go back to work for at least the
first year then don't. Treasure this time as you'll never get it back and you will forever regret that decision.
steph19 wrote:
If you're a teacher in Australia you would be entitled to some pretty good maternity leave entitlements I would think?


Maternity leave entitlements depend a lot on the employer, not all teachers are eligible for the same leave entitlements e.g. when I was teaching the school I was at (private school) had in the EBA that there was no paid maternity leave in the first 12 months, for teachers on staff for 1-3yrs they received 2 weeks paid leave, 3-5 yrs received 4 weeks paid leave and 6yrs+ received 6 weeks paid leave. Regardless of time at the school, there was only 12 months unpaid leave for maternity leave. Additionally once you returned from maternity leave you had to be teaching at the school for a minimum of 12 months to again be eligible for any paid maternity leave for future pregnancies.

As for the OP, I'll give you the same advice I was given, it is better to organise for the maximum leave you're eligible for/can afford to take and then talk to your employer about possibly returning to work early than to apply for a short period of time and then realise that you aren't ready and ask for an extension. You won't necessarily be able to go back to your class early as they will probably have someone on contract for your class but you might be able to do things like relief work/taking over a contract for someone else who needs to take leave from the school etc. Additionally, unless you're having a scheduled c-section which I'm assuming you're not because you're considering returning to work before the completion of the 6 week restrictions post op after a c-section, you won't know exactly when bub is going to come so you won't know when that 4-5 weeks may be completed until you actually have bub which puts your school/class in a lot of uncertainty. I know that my school required a minimum of 3 months notice for time frames for when I was starting my maternity leave and when I planned to return (although I ended up resigning rather than returning to work post bub, I still had to submit my resignation letter 3 months before my planned unpaid maternity leave was completed).

I'd also suggest trying to time your return, whenever that may be, to as close to the start of a new term as possible. There's a lot less disruption to the class if you're off class for all of Term 3 (or whenever) than if you're off class for weeks 3-9 of Term 3, where you're returning just in time to be doing assessment for things you haven't actually been there teaching so you're not sure exactly what/how the other teacher has taught them the work. If bub is due close to the end of a term, personally, I think it would be better for you and your students for you to take all of the next term off and then return for the following term than for you to return and not be fully focused on your class and their education because you've returned too early.

I think this is something you really need to consider carefully and it may be something you should discuss with your principal/deputy principal/eba or union rep/business manager etc to see what the expectations for notice etc are for your school to even find out if they'd be willing to consider such an undefined return to work time frame. It may all be a moot point if they aren't willing to have such an uncertain return date from leave - if your return date is set at 4-5 weeks post birth (in and off itself, that's already a bit uncertain) that could theoretically end up being up to 6-7 weeks after your edd because there's no certainty of when you'll actually give birth.

eta- My first was due in mid sept so I originally spoke to my principal about returning to work after 6 weeks (mid 4th term). They were the one who advised me to organise to take the full 12 months unpaid leave and to see how I was going and we could possibly work out something if I wanted to return early. They were also the one who said that, for the benefit of my class, it was better to try to keep my return to the start of a term (both for ease of getting a contract to cover the class and to minimise the disruption to my class). They organised a contract to cover my class from when my maternity leave started to the end Term 4 for that year and contacted me in mid term 4 to see if I wanted to return for the start of the next school year or continue on with my maternity leave until the start of Term 3 as I had specified in my original leave request. I chose to continue my maternity leave through to Term 3 and, at the end of Term 1 I ended up handing in my resignation as I just couldn't bring myself to return to work, even part time, at that point in time.

Leisa.
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