Any women in here successfully negotiated for an extended mat leave? My agency gives the standard 12weeks and I'm hoping for more but it's not the norm here. I'm feeling frustrated in advance about the lack of options while raising a family in this industry.

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I did. My leave ended up being 6 months, and when I came back it was part time (3 days/week). The key for me was to not start negotiating until after my daughter was born. That allowed me to come from a place of certainty - this is how I feel and what I need. And I ended up with some medical complications that couldn't have been foreseen, which put me in an even better negotiating position.

Basically, my advice is know in your head what you want but don't start talking about it until you're out.

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Thanks for the insights. I've been at my agency for awhile (much longer than most of my coworkers) but my manager relationship is new-ish which is making this conversation confusing. This is my second child and I did the standard with my first and felt conflicted and upset about it for a long time. I don't want to have regrets with my second and potentially last.

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I think it also depends on how long you've been at your agency and your relationship with your manager. I was also able to extend my leave after talking with my managers (only to 16 weeks, wish it was 6 months!). Their opinion was that it was better for me to come back "ready" - even if it took a little longer - than come back at the standard 12 weeks unhappy.

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Interesting. Following.

oh boy. That article really makes me nervous to go on my own maternity leave.

Wow. That “Julie” story in the AdWeek article made my blood boil. Absolutely not okay.

@72S1, don’t let it make you nervous...our policy is one of the best. My advice is to make a plan with your boss/dept head to stay in touch as your return to work is approaching to see where their head is at at plugging you back in.

The article also talked about people going around new moms for trips and projects...I had the opposite. Was put back on a very busy team with a weekly travel commitment and was on a plane almost weekly (sometimes overnight trips) for client meetings and shoots for the first two months I was back. I didn’t want to say no to anything and be seen as less than able because of my baby. But it was stressful personally. I became a pro at getting my milk through TSA. But that’s a whole other mom/work/life balance thread 🙄.

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