Maternity Leave

Yesterday I spoke with my employer about my maternity leave. When it comes to boss’ I am very fortunate because mine is very family oriented and just all around super kind. However, I feel like I left the conversation feeling more concerned then when it started. This feeling had nothing to do with my boss. She is more then willing to give me the time I asked for (20 weeks). The concerned and uncertain feelings comes from how much I didn’t know about maternity leave in general. You have a baby, get unpaid time off work, come back and that is that!….WRONG! I have never felt more naive then I have in this pregnancy. I had no idea that I had to pay my own insurance premium after a certain amount of time. Now that I know it makes total sense; I just didn’t give that a second (or first for the matter) thought.

Currently I am hunting for childcare. Trying to find something within budget and that works for our schedules is proving to be a bit more difficult. I have so many concerns with being a working mom. Some of this stems from my own childhood and some stems from who I want to be as a mom. I would love nothing more then to be able to be a stay at home mom, but financially it makes no sense for my family. We are accustomed to living a certain way and I don’t want to give that up either (especially with the added expense of a child). I am at war with my mind and my heart and it is really hard.
Because I cannot be a stay at home mom I really want this extra time with my baby before going back to work, but I’m having a hard time swallowing the fact that I have to pay financially for this time. Sure I can cut my losses and just not get paid for that time, but to have my income not coming in and then paying is just not an idea I’m having an easy time with.
Monday-Wednesday I am gone from my home for 14 hours (commuting and work). Thursdays are a bit of a shorter day for me and I have Fridays off. This is another thing weighing on my mind. Can I really be gone for 14 hours half of the work week? What stress would that put on my husband? I don’t even know if his work will be flexible when it comes to childcare drop off and pick up. I keep telling myself not to stress about it. To enjoy my pregnancy and take this one step at a time. Have the baby then worry about work schedules. I am a planner and totally type A in regards to control so this is easier said then done. I am 16 weeks (as of tomorrow) and I feel like I have so far to go in my pregnancy, but I know it’s going to fly by and I don’t know if I can not obsess over this.
Is anyone else having a hard time grasping maternity leave? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you are going to do or what you have done and how you are handling it emotionally.