She Says… She Works Hard for the Money am very, very lucky to work in a job where I can work from home. For the last three weeks I have taken advantage of that perk almost every day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working very hard, but eliminating my 45 minute commute in the heat wave has made me SO MUCH happier. Plus, I can walk our dog at lunch time and we don’t have to pay the dog walker. Score! However, last week the temp who is going to cover my responsibilities while I am on maternity leave started. And I have to train her. In person. Which means I went into work for some of last week and I have to go in all of this week.

My wonderful husband has offered to drive me all the way to work (instead of driving me to the subway or making me walk, which is what I normally do), since I told him how uncomfortable I get standing around on the platform and riding the train if no one gives me a seat. Even if they do give me a seat, the temperature is borderline unbearable and I have a constant fear that we’re going to get stuck in a tunnel somewhere and I won’t be able to get off to pee. I think he has an ulterior motive, though — less stress and less exercise for me means less of a chance this baby will come this week!

So my morning commute is lovely, sitting in the air conditioning of the car and spending a little more time with Benjamin. But once I get to work, I barely sit down. I’m talking to people all day and running up and down the halls (half the time headed to/from the bathroom). It’s tiring! And I am getting a little tired of everyone saying, “Oh my, you’re so big! When are you due? Counting down the days, huh? Must be soon! When are you going to stop working?“. And on and on. My plan all along has been to work right up until the baby comes in order to maximize my paid maternity leave before I take unpaid time. When thinking about how these last few weeks would go, it felt like a waste to have days off of work before the baby comes, and possibly use up a chunk of my maternity leave twiddling my thumbs before he arrives. But you know what? I think I’ve changed my mind. I would LOVE to stop working now. I would LOVE to spend my days running the last of the errands I want to run. I would LOVE to have the time to pack my hospital bag and hang art in the nursery and vacuum every square inch of our house. Oh, and rest. Right. That’s what everyone says I should be doing now — resting.

For those who have taken maternity leave, did you work up until the baby popped out, or did you stop working before your due date? For those who haven’t yet taken a maternity leave, what do you think you’ll want to do?


19 responses to “She Says… She Works Hard for the Money

  1. I’m very fortunate that my workplace gives 4 weeks of leave (at 60% pay) prior to my due date. If I don’t take it then, I can’t add it on at the end, so I’ll be taking that followed by about 3.5 months of regular leave.

  2. I worked right up to the end….and I did have the bed rest in there too, but luckily that got to be counted as working from home.

    I REALLY worked right up to the end since I was in labor at work!

  3. I am taking off at 37 weeks to give myself some time to relax. I’m on my feet all day and my patients/co-workers are starting to make me crazy with their questions and comments, so I need a break from it all! It’s a hard decision though. Congrats on getting to full-term!!!

  4. Never been pregnant, but may I suggest the website My BFF found it VERY useful close to her due date!

  5. aww! I know what you feel like sister. I’ve been training the two, yes two people who will be covering for me. It’s soooo much more stressful!

    I actually lost weight the first week I was training because of the longer hours and increased work. That freaked me out so I changed my priorities.

    I hope you’re doing good!

  6. I’m a teacher and was VERY lucky to time this pregnancy so I’d be due in the summer. Take it from someone who has been at home for a month and a half just waiting and waiting and waiting: WAITING CAN DRIVE A PERSON INSANE!! I wish I had work to take my mind off of things; but not toooo much work.

  7. I worked up to (and past!!) my due date. I ended up being induced on a Sunday, 11 days after my due date and I worked right up until the Friday before so I could have as much time after with my daughter.

  8. I took two days off prior to #1 who was a scheduled C section as he was breech, with #2 I was at work the day before, and then spent the first four hours in labor the next day working from home to finish everything before my mat leave. It was definitely nice to have more time after the baby came.

  9. As we know, this country is screwed up concerning maternity (and paternity) leave. Since we get so little (I get 6 weeks and my DH gets none), sadly most people choose to work up until they go into labor so that they don’t lose any time with the baby after the birth. Sigh, if only we lived in Denmark…

  10. I’m planning on working right up until the end. As much as it sounds wonderful to have some time at home to relax and get things done prior to the baby, I do not want to “waste” that time that I could have at home with my baby. Twelve weeks is so little time anyway, I don’t want to make it even shorter! 😦

  11. I worked right up until the end. I went to work on Friday and ended up having the baby Monday morning. For me, I also wanted to maximize my time. Plus, I kind of felt like I wouldn’t have known what to do with the extra time. Being at work kept my my mind busy and focused. I just tried to do little things every night when I got home.

  12. Thank you for this post. I had originally told my ‘work people’ that I would work up to the date but started changing my mind recently and really wasn’t sure of myself anymore. Yesterday I gave them a letter that said I would stop 3 weeks before my due date and today I was starting to feel guilty and all – wondering if it was really going to be ‘that bad’… now that I have read your post, I feel confident that it was the right thing to do. So Thank you! 🙂

  13. oh… and I’m in Canada so I kind of have the luxury of being able to do that… I don’t know what I would do in the States… phew!

  14. My last day is the 23rd which is a little less than 2 weeks to my due date. For all the same reasons I didn’t want to jump the gun and go too early (especially since many 1st time moms end up going overdue), but it’s something you never really know! I am VERY much looking forward to my last day and I’ve been training my replacement and I get home at the end of the day exhausted, not wanting to cook or anything. I would love not to think about work any more and spend the days getting errands done and all of those things you mentioned!

  15. I plan on quitting when I feel too big to work comfortably and then being a SAHM. That doesn’t help you at all though lol. Right now, I am working as a nurse in an extremely harsh work environment so I am doing what I can now and then saying screw it to the rest. 12-hour shifts are just too hard when already exhausted.

  16. Hi Kate 🙂 Like Cinemarie, I’m also in Canada so get a whopping year off with 85% pay for the first 15 weeks and 75% for the rest of the year. All you American Mamas-to-be should move to Canada! We have lots of room 😉

    My last day of work is at the week 37 mark (6.5 weeks from now- eeek!). I’m working on my transition materials now so as to make the weeks prior to my departure easier. Most days, I just cannot wait to finish work. I’m most excited about handing in my blackberry!

    Anyhoo Kate, I wish you luck in your last few weeks and look forward to reading your posts as B-Day nears.


  17. I am nearing my 36th week of pregnancy and my last day of work was last Friday (I am so happy to say). I got to a point where I just couldn’t stand being in the heat or not having a washroom within a 10 second walking distance. Even though I know some women go to work right up until the end I really didn’t want to push myself even further.

    The doctor a week ago took the baby’s heartbeat and said: although healthy it was beating a few beats too quickly because I was feeling so heated. I knew my mat leave came at a good time. Kate, I totally understand how you’re feeling these days. After you come home from work take a nice shower and put your feet up until the baby arrives!

  18. Oh – decisions, decisions! It’s tough since of course you don’t when the baby will arrive for sure. 🙂 I took off the week before my due date. My doctor recommended it and I was going to do it anyway. It was great because I was able to rest and get ready too. I think that you’ll be glad if you have a little extra time to do things for you and the baby, it’ll make you feel more prepared.

  19. Wow! It shocks me how little leave parents in the US get!
    In Canada one is entitled to 15 weeks maternity leave followed by 35 weeks paternity leave,which can be split among both parents however and if you wish at up to 80% of your pay (depending what you make)! I guess I should feel very fortunate!

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