Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maternity Leave

I know I waited WAY to long to talk to my district about maternity leave.  My doctor has been asking me about what I plan on doing for maternity leave for the last few appointments now, and I have no idea.   Just dealing with a new job, a new marriage and the day-to-day woes of pregnancy are enough to make anyone crazy.  On Thursday, with the upcoming break looming, I decided it was definitely time to haul my ever growing arse to the district office.

What I found out was not horrible, but it wasn't exactly good either.  And it is incredible confusing.  It took the woman in HR about 20 minutes to explain it to me before I figured out what the hell she was talking about. 

I will get 6 weeks of maternity leave for a normal birth and 8 weeks leave for a C-section.  Pay for maternity leave only kicks in after sick days are used up.  However, these sick days, if taken after the baby is born, run concurrently with your maternity leave.  This means days taken prior to maternity leave don't count against your leave, but they can't be added on to your leave either. 
Right now, I have 16 sick days accrued, which roughly works out to about 3 weeks.  During the remaining 3-5 weeks, depending on the type of delivery, I qualify for something called differential pay.  This means, the pay for my sub comes out of my pay, and I get the difference.  Subs are paid $150/day unless they are given daily lesson plans and then they are paid $120 per day. 

FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) allows for all employees to take up to 12 weeks, unpaid, for the birth of a child.  After my maternity leave is over, I can take the remainder of time (up to those 12 weeks) unpaid.

Confused yet?

This is what it means.  The good:
  • As long as the baby isn't born prior to winter break (starting December 18th) all of the leave options I have will more than cover the 10 weeks between when school starts up again in January and spring break in March.  Spring break is 2 weeks.  This means I won't be working full time until the baby is almost 3 months old!  Sweet.
The bad:
  • I'll be returning to work, no matter what happens, with 0 sick days.
  • In order to make the extra $30/day, I'm going to have to still be responsible for what happens in my classroom.  This means grading, planning and the like.  The sub will just be acting as a body to prevent students from shanking each other and to deliver assignments.
The so-so:
  • There is no benefit to me hanging out at work for as long as I can since my sick days, used prior to the birth, won't count against my maternity leave.
I had a mini-melt down when I got home from work.  Luckily, DH is still the best husband ever, and helped me realize that the worst parts of this deal will make life a little inconvenient.  DH agreed that he will save as much sick leave as he can to make sure that he can take time off with Bug if she needs anything between spring break and summer. 

The space between spring break and summer is only 9 weeks, thanks to our funky schedule.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with Bug for that time.  DH can cover some days, but he's the boss at his job and there isn't anyone to do his job if he isn't there.  I don't want to put Bug into daycare until she is 6 months old if I can avoid it, but we'll do what we have to do.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Shotgun Wedding That Almost Didn't Happen

It was just a few days before my super fancy city hall wedding.  Surprisingly, I had about 20 family members respond to my equally fancy wedding invite and were taking the day off to come and watch us get married.  Why? Not sure.  We were kind of hoping it would just be the two of us and someone to sign as a witness, but family is nice too.

It was two days before the wedding and I hadn't heard anything from City Hall.  Now, I am not really sure how City Hall Weddings work, but I thought they might just call to make sure that the bride and groom still liked each other.  Fishy.  Being the incredibly responsible bride-to-be that I am, I gave them a quick call to confirm that we were scheduled to get married at 2:00 pm on September 3rd. 

They had no idea who I was.  FUCK!!!!

I was absolutely sure that the woman who was no telling me that they had no record of our existence was the same one who booked the appointment.  If I could have reached through the phone and strangled her dumb ass I would have. 

As calmly as I could, I explained that I had a pretty sizable group of people showing up for this shin-dig.  My voice must have been shaking pretty badly, because she agreed to speak to the person who performed the ceremonies and get back to me.  Between then and when I heard from her were the LONGEST 45 minutes of my life.  Luckily, they agreed to squeeze in a 3:00 appointment, since my 2:00 was gone, which leads me to suspect that this is not the first time this woman has completely lost track of a wedding.

The same thing happened with my hair appointment the day of the wedding, which left me in hysterical tears sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of downtown Davis.  Luckily, I didn't know this until I showed up, and my middle sister, whom you should know is an all-American college Rugby player, somehow managed to convince them to squeeze me in as well.  But by this time, I was pretty sure that I'd just made up the entire idea of a wedding.  Little sister called and confirmed that we are still scheduled at the courthouse at 3:00.

We were planning on getting married outside, but the weather didn't want to cooperate.  It was 102 degrees and I decided that pregnant ladies and heat don't mix.  We opted for the inside affair at the last minute.  When DH and I arrived, my entire family and two of his friends were there.

It amazes anyone who knows me or who has seen me leading a class full of 45 screaming teenagers, but I HATE TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION, which is a major contributing factor to why DH and I decided on going to City Hall.  I didn't realize that getting married there meant that my entire family would end up watching DH and I fill out the paperwork and then stand around (because there were no chairs in the room where we got married) and stare at us while we said our vows.  One of DH's friends teased me about my voice breaking up during the vows, but he didn't realize it was from nerves, not tears. 

Between the heat and the gawking, I look absolutely miserable in every picture that was taken of us that day.  Our poor baby is probably going to think that we only got married because we had to because she was coming. 

After the ceremony, we headed out to Buca di Beppo, where my parents were kind enough to buy dinner for the entire procession.  The food was good, and we got to sit together and talk and not be the center of attention, thanks again to the crazy attention whores (my sisters). 

Since we were planning on having a barbecue the next day for friends and other people who weren't able to make it, we offered our house to the fam, most of whom live a couple of hours away.  This gave us babysitters for Daisy Dog and the opportunity to have a one night "honeymoon" at the Citizen hotel.  We ended the night celebrating our marriage, and enjoying each others company. 

Though we already felt very committed to each other, it was very nice to have this last little thing taken care of before the baby comes.  I hope later she will understand that mommy and daddy never wanted a big wedding because it was about a marriage and the start of our new family.