{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I go on maternity leave soon, and my firm offers 16 weeks paid leave, which I plan to fully take advantage of. The only female shareholder in our office keeps pushing me to only take 6 weeks though, because that's what she did. I feel really put off by her comments, but its also making me feel guilty about taking the full time. This is mostly a vent, but if anyone wants to give me some words of wisdom or thoughts, I will take them!", "post_id": "6165cd6348168e002b9b7b75", "reply_count": 58, "vote_count": 26, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

I go on maternity leave soon, and my firm offers 16 weeks paid leave, which I plan to fully take advantage of. The only female shareholder in our office keeps pushing me to only take 6 weeks though, because that's what she did. I feel really put off by her comments, but its also making me feel guilty about taking the full time. This is mostly a vent, but if anyone wants to give me some words of wisdom or thoughts, I will take them!

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Firstly, take it all, even if you Netflix you deserve all the time you want. Then for the pressuring part, document it and keep it in your files. Even if not reported to HR, if you have a specific documentation of the incidents it’s still very much use it if you face issues from the shareholders later on. Also on the flip side, I know I was very sensitive during the pregnancy stage… so maybe have a think about whether she said it in a way like just reminiscing about her process and thinking she did it the right way or actually pressuring you to return. The third possibility is that she’s telling you that coming to the office is easier than child caring, which is absolutely true. Dads are notorious to all of a sudden become super hard workers at the office and work late when coming home means a crying baby and relentless home chores. Hang in there and enjoy the process!!

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You will need to weigh your career progression / clients with your personal/family needs unfortunately. Taking a long maternity leave means someone else is covering for your clients and you're missing time and experience doing work. People may differ on how they wish to weigh these in their own lives. Some people have more child care options or family nearby to allow them to return earlier, others don't. Physical and emotional recovery times from birth differ by person. That being said, the choice is yours and yours alone. While it is sometimes helpful to get the opinions/perspectives of others who have done it before, their priorities, family situation, birth recovery and other related preferences and choices may be different than yours. There is "right" or "wrong" answer - it has to be what is right for you personally weighing the upsides and downsides.

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Do NOT listen to her. I can never understand why women are so hard on other women. It’s like they want us to struggle in the exact same ways they struggled, instead of making the space more endurable for the next generation. I will never understand.

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There are studies done on this. It’s this perceived notion that there are only limited spots at the top for women (or POC) and thus you have to beat out the competition for those limited spots. Also the whole “I had to struggle and so should you” mentality.

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Don’t you dare take a day less than 16 weeks. Frankly you should tel HR that you’re getting pressure from your superiors to only take 6 weeks. If that shareholder has any power over your future success you need to document that early on

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As an employment attorney who defends employers…she should not have said that. Tell HR. Document it.

likeuplifting

That says wayyy more about the shareholder than you. She clearly doesn’t value work life balance. Burnout as a badge of honor is so passé. You are offered the time off for a reason! Please take it and spend invaluable time with your beautiful child. Billable hours can wait.

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Take it all

likefunny

6 weeks!! You will quickly find that’s not nearly enough. Sorry to be crass but f*** her. This is your baby, take all the time you can get

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Take it alllllllll!

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I only got 6 weeks (not paid by work, just state disability) and it is NOT enough time to bond and recover. I sobbed going back to work and I’ll never get that precious time back. Take all the time you can get!

likehelpful

I mean 🤷🏻‍♀️ It is what it is. I’m never doing that again, I would rather find a new job (and I don’t work at that terrible place anymore but wasn’t in a position to quit at the time). The point is, take the time! I wish we could all get 6 months minimum, childbirth is *kind of* a big deal, seeing as how it perpetuates our species and literally brings you within inches of death.

likesmart

Ask her if you can get paid double time for those weeks. When she responds with confusion or whatever, tell her you don't work for free.

likesmartfunny

Take it all. Sounds like your first kid—six weeks is basically the bare minimum for a birthing parent to physically heal. And hormonally/mentally it can take a few months. There’s a reason why advocates have pushed for the timeframes offered now. Even a boss who doesn’t care about you as a person should not want you back too soon. A sleep deprived new parent will not be doing their best work. Most babies spend the first few months sleeping cyclically so will have a few hours awake in the middle of the night. Plus you risk marking yourself as a sucker for working when you would also get paid for not working. Does your boss just take client matters without getting paid? Of course not. Sending you solidarity and hope you get a better work environment soon!!

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Our leave policy is 16 weeks and my colleagues with kids say it is not enough! Def take as much time as you can. You won’t want to miss out on those 10 extra weeks with your baby just to work.

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Absolutely take the full 16 weeks! You can tell her you understand that she only took 6 but, of course, this is a highly personal decision and you will do what’s best for you and your family and take 16. Don’t feel guilty and don’t explain.

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Take it all, you own it. Do not listen to her, it seems like a very toxic behaviour to bully employees to convince them to waive their rights.

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Just plan on the full leave. If You feel you want to return sooner then do that. But you will probably end up appreciating the full leave. was the paid leave period shorter when high pressure shareholder took her leave?

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No... paid leave was still the same!

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I had a female shareholder tell me she was only "out-of-pocket" for 48 hours each time she gave birth, trying to make me feel bad for planning to take 4 WEEKS. I eventually realized impressing those people is the least important thing ever and, long story short, ended up quitting and taking 10 weeks unpaid between jobs (luckily we could afford it). Take the time, set an example for other women on how to set appropriate boundaries between work and parenthood.

likehelpful

In the UK people take 6-12 months off! 6 weeks is a joke. The fact the shareholder took that, and she thinks that you should, makes me wonder what sort of a relationship she has with her child/children. I absolutely think we should be allowed to be working mothers and continue to advance in our careers, but if someone only wants to take 6 weeks off when their baby needs then the most, I kinda wonder what the point of having them was…

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Probably a good idea to keep your “wondering” judgmental comments to yourself and support all working mothers, whether they want to take 6 weeks or 60 weeks. Happy/Fulfilled Mom = Happy/Fulfilled Kid no matter what that looks like. Be nice.

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Take it! Moments with your child are priceless plus recovery is its own battle!

likeuplifting

Absolutely take the entire 16 weeks. It is necessary and you will feel better coming to work after 16 weeks than only 6. That’s horrible that she is making you feel like you shouldn’t. What she should remember is how absolutely difficult life is with a newborn and she should not want anyone else to go through what she went through in leaving such a small baby. You have so many years to work and you only have a short time to make sure you are bonded with you baby, and the effects of that bonding last a lifetime. I always told people I don’t want to raise a psychopath so I’m taking my full leave thanks. With my second, I took 24 weeks as a partner and, guess what, everyone managed and I was happier coming back.

likeuplifting

This is a medical leave, not a holiday. What your body is about to go through (as I understand it, full disclosure I have not had kids myself), either pushing something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon or getting cut in half. Take the full time. It is healing time.

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Take the full time, you are entitled to it. After your leave is over and you go back to work, you will not regret the time you spent with your baby.

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Take it all & don’t think twice about it. I’m holding my 6 week old baby with 14 weeks of leave to go & I’m telling you even that won’t be enough.

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Also, my aunt who is a doc continued to do rounds while she was having contractions (!!) and my mom, a nurse, went back 3 days after birth (!!) to maintain health insurance for me, her new baby. Women had to do shit stuff in the past; that does not mean we have to continue it. These were not sacrifices they wanted to make, but gratefully now we do not have to. I proudly take the full 5 months & shout a big thank you to women like my mom & aunt who made a better world for me & my babies.

likeuplifting

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