[Parentsgroup-list] maternity leaves

hoyte at fas.harvard.edu hoyte at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Aug 1 10:17:11 EDT 2005

Hi all

I thought I'd jump in and say hi.  I subscribed to this group a month or two
ago, but I never got around to officially introducing myself.  My name is
Kirsten.  I live in Concord with my 19 month old son.  Though we live quite far
out from Cambridge (20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by Commuter Rail), I would
love to get together with any other Harvard families with kids around the same
age.  Or if anyone is interested in a day trip to historic Concord (Walden Pond
etc), just let me know. I would also love to hear about how others are balancing
(or not balancing) their studies with parenthood.  I'm a G4 in FAS/JFK.

In any case, I decided to chime in about the maternity leave thing since my
perspective seems to be different.  While I think it would be great for paid
maternity leaves to be available for those who want them, I'll be honest and
say that the 10 or 12 weeks that I spent at home with my son after his birth
was absolutely enough.  I do feel fortunate to have been working at the time
for a place that gave me a paid leave though.

I adore him and love spending time with him but I would not want to be taking
care of him full time with no day care.  I can only play certain toddler games
about 100 times in a row before I start longing for the adult world. Of course
if I had a cheap source of day care and a year long maternity leave at the same
time....  Over the last 18 months, we have had various day care schedules, I
think that the one that I liked the best was when he went 4 days and stayed
home 1 weekday plus the weekend.  Also, the summer has been lovely.  He still
is signed up to go every day, but we have had lots of late drop-offs and early
pick-ups or mornings/afternoons off.  Just not having to rush too much, and
getting to spend relaxed time together is great.

Nevertheless, since I find my work and studying life quite fulfilling, I was
very ready to return to work after three months.  So I found the cost of day
care to be even more important than my employer's leave policy. I have several
friends who would have preferred to return to work, but it was hard to break
even with day care tuitions being so high.

my two cents.

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