07 July 2012

It's the beginning of the end and the end

I've been sending the weekly Paxlet pictures to my family. I know my step-grandma and step-mom love seeing them by the emails I receive in return. Today, in my step-mom's reply she mentioned how they are getting a package ready to send to me. In this package will be a light green snow suite, which they (step-mom & sister) found in some of my mom's stuff. There is an H marked on the care tag, which leads them to believe this was mine as a kid. As soon as I read this, I started bawling. Which was made hard to do because I had just taken a bite is of bread and it's hard to cry why you can't breathe with a tummy (and lungs) full of baby. I miss my mom so f-ing much.

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Today was my last day at work, at least until I am done with my maternity leave, which is officially over only at the end of May next year. Yes, you read right, I will be on maternity leave for about 10 months (plus or minus a bit depending on some things to be decided by Mr Siili and I).

In Finland, a woman has to start her maternity leave at least 30 working days before her calculated due date. But she can start the leave up to 50 working days before the due date. And if she works in a job/field that is harmful to the pregnancy, such as dealing with chemicals, she might start leave even earlier.

Leave from work is broken down into several parts. The first being 3 months of maternity leave for the mom. A woman has to take these 3 months. During this period of time, the mom is paid her full wages.

Then comes the parental leave period. This is 6-7 months of leave that can be taken in full be the mom  or the dad or it can be split between the two. During this part of the leave, the pay (from the social system) is only a percentage of the normal salary.

Also sometime during these two periods of leave, while the mom is taking them, the dad is allowed up to 3 weeks of paid leave (that can be taken in one lump of time or split into 3 periods).

The father is also allowed a "father's month" of leave, which is usually taken at the end of the mom's parental leave period. The mom 'gives up' at least 12 working days (Saturdays included) of her time off for the dad to stay home with the kid.

During any of the above mentioned leaves, the parent is guaranteed their job back in the company they work for at the start of the leave, if they have a permanent contract. In addition, holiday days are accrued during these leaves too.

The final type of leave is called "child care leave". This type of leave can be taken in up to three parts until the kid is three years of age (or if more than one kid is involved, until the youngest is three). The pay during this leave is very minimal, but the mom/dad is as guaranteed a job (not necessarily the same position) back at the company they work for (if they have a permanent contact).

And that's why I won't be going back to work until next year sometime.