Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The First Time I Don't Want to Go Back to School

Today is the first day back to school for a lot of people. It's been the same for me for many years, given that I have yet to leave school behind for good. But this time, I don't really want to go back quite yet.

I was only able to take 8 months of maternity leave. Well, I suppose I could have taken a whole year, but we decided that we couldn't afford to miss my income that long.  (Even though most people in Canada get a bit of employment insurance while on leave, I didn't due to being a student.) That 8 months didn't last nearly long enough.

The good news is that the transition into student life shouldn't be too abrupt.  I've actually been working on a couple of projects this summer, giving me a bit of a head start.  I've also got a taste of how things might go with me and Molly at home while I work.

I'm not getting full time day care.  I'm going to try working while looking after her some of the week, go into campus while her grandparents look after her once a week, and have her other grandfather entertain her a couple of afternoons while I work at home.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.  If it does, I will be very grateful that I can be working but not miss all of Molly's firsts.  (She's got a lot of them out of the way, including crawling, pulling herself up, cruising, and even standing a bit on her own, but she's still got walking and talking to do!)

And if it doesn't... well, I'll still be grateful that I got even the 8 months.  Not every country is so lucky to have good maternity leave policies and attitudes.


plam said...

By the way, many people don't know that NSERC automatically funds 4 months of parental leave for students who were funded through their supervisor's NSERC grant prior to the leave. See here:


Gail Carmichael said...

Wait, what? I knew you could get 4 months of pay if you had the PGS/CGS award, but is this saying that I could get it if my supervisor has NSERC money? Could I get it retroactively?

plam said...

Beats me about whether it works retroactively: I've never had one of my students go on parental leave while I was paying them. But, yes, the link does say that, if you were funded through your supervisor's NSERC money, then NSERC will kick in 4 months of funding during your parental leave. Since many people don't know about this provision, it may also be hard to get an answer to the question about retroactivity. But 350 Albert St is not so far from you.

Gail Carmichael said...

I doubt it's going to help me, but I was able to tell one of my labmates whom I just found out is pregnant! :)

PassionMan said...

I can attest from personal experience that 6 months is a dream come true when compared to the USA. My wife only was able to get 6 weeks of pregnancy leave from Dell. -Neville

Gail Carmichael said...

Anytime I feel sad about not having the full year I remember that 8 months is WAY more than Americans get. Makes me feel slightly better.

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