From the very beginning, my husband and I knew it would be difficult to manage work and baby. He is a teacher and while his schedule is fairly predictable…mine is almost exactly opposite his. I work for my family business and so our busy season is during the summer. When my schedule slows down, he’s hectic with midterms and planning for the upcoming spring. In the end, fate decided for us and we just had to plan for the exciting times ahead. The lessons learned from this experience was, there’s no “good” or “bad” time to have a baby. It’s all hectic and full of perceived worry, but as long as you set your mind to it and organize a bit…you can make anything work.

Recently, my father (and boss) and I have had to come to grips with the fact that I will not be working for a few months. Before this year’s busy season started, we hired a new bookkeeper so I could step away from that portion of daily operation and get the rest of the office running in a somewhat orderly manner. In a busy construction office, this is quite a challenge and still a work in progress. Ninety percent of my job is thinking on my feet and finding resolutions to problems that can pop up at any moment. As you can imagine, this is incredibly difficult to teach someone how to do…let along someone who will hold the job only temporarily.

The business aside, I had to figure out what our finances would be like without my income for the time I’ll be on leave. While my father has been very supporting in saying I can have as much time as I need, the cold hard truth is we can only afford my lack of income for so long. I’d love the opportunity to stay home for months and months…however, reality has to set in eventually.

Our plan of action as we see it:

  1. Settle upon a date (close to my due date) when I’ll plan to “leave” work for good.
    – This at least gives us a target date to shoot for and allows us to tell potential hires what the expectation will be.
  2. Start calling temp agencies (they are few and far between in our area) and see what the potential cost would be.
  3. Potentially advertise independently in local papers.
  4. Interview  and settle upon potential candidates.
  5. Set up a schedule for the new employee to begin work (while I’m still actively working) and be trained.
  6. Start phasing out my time in the office, perhaps moving to a part-time schedule to give the new hire time to acclimate.
  7. Complete the transition to the new hire and stick around only on a consultation basis.

I’ll let you know how it all works out…

~ While thinking about your own maternity leave, there are a few things to remember. If you are a full-time employee, the FMLA act requires that your employer keep your job for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Many companies offer maternity leave as a benefit so be sure to speak to your Human Resources Department. Some states also offer Short Term Disability compensation for various pregnancy and birth-related procedures. ~

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