Asking your boss for maternity leave
Telling your boss that you will be taking a year off for maternity leave can be a stressful discussion. How soon do you tell them? Will they be supportive? Will they like my replacement more? I have had to have this conversation twice with my HSS bosses, the most recent one being only five months ago. I decided to wait until after the first trimester in both cases, although since you show much sooner with the second one, I’m not sure that discussion was as much of a surprise!
Everyone was very supportive and excited for me. There are a few other moms in the office… They even threw me a baby shower before I left. I have heard horror stories from other moms who instantly felt a shift in the way they were viewed at work after announcing their maternity leave, but the team at HSS was very understanding.
The firm was also very flexible about my return date, and it actually did change a few times because I couldn’t quite decide when I would want to come back. Upon my return I found that the company had gone through quite a few changes (numerous new employees and computer software to learn). In my first week back I had some training on the new software and a lunch with the new and existing staff. A lovely, if not hectic, welcome back. But being a new mom, the word hectic was no longer foreign to me.
After much discussion with my husband, and eventual my bosses, my hours were tweaked a little to accommodate my working mom lifestyle (and to avoid rush hour traffic!). And just like that, being a working mom became my new normal. Okay, maybe not just like that, but with time it felt like it worked. Here’s to my return in about thirteen months going as smoothly as the first time. Hopefully there won’t be any new software to learn.