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i'm not ready to return to work, advice appreciated.

(15 Posts)
happymschicken Tue 19-Feb-13 12:23:48

I was on maternity allowance (I was a contractor before mat leave so wasn't entitled to Stat pay).

The other posters are right - you are entitled to 12 months leave. Once my maternity allowance finished I had to survive for three months on no money whatsoever until I started a new job. It was bloody awful but manageable but that's thanks to my DH who works. We basically paid the bills and lived frugally (and this was during Xmas too!)

I totally understand how you feel about leaving your baby. I went back to work when my first DC was 16 months old and I've regretted it ever since not because I didn't want to go back to work but because I went back full time for a few months. It was dreadful leaving him and what I should've done was waited until I found a job that was part-time instead but as we know, they are rarer than hen's teeth.

I had another DC last year and I'm very fortunate to get a working from home job, which I love and gives me the best of both worlds. I work in the morning and have the afternoons to spend with my two DC.

My advice, for what it's worth, is contact your employer ASAP, say you intend to come back after the 12 months is up and in the meantime find childcare. Yes, it's expensive but believe me, finding a job is hard enough at the moment but finding one that is part time is even harder.

EATmum Sat 16-Feb-13 10:48:17

You are definitely entitled to 12 months of maternity leave. You also have your annual leave allowance, and that continues to accrue during your maternity leave (which always strikes me as odd but there you are). So you could well get a further 4 weeks or more of paid leave. And there is also parental leave, where you could request another 4 weeks of unpaid leave.

All of this based on the assumption that you want to return.

As an HR person, I'd strongly suggest talking to your employer at this point. You don't have to show your hand even, but ask them ideally what they would like you to return to. Staying working, even a very small amount of hours per week, can make a big difference to your household income and wouldn't necessarily take many hours away from your DC. Waitressing suggests evening work might be an option, when possibly your partner could be available (limiting childcare costs).

Everyone has a different response to working after they have children, and I don't think you know how you will feel until you're there. With my first two DD I was very keen to get back to my work, much less so with the third. But after I returned, I realised that I was very happy that I'd done so.

Hope this helps! Good luck.

missingmumxox Sat 16-Feb-13 02:17:41

Hi, fedup was correct I actually spent nearly 5 years as a SAHM before my boys started school, 1 years mat leave and back 18 months, then 3 years off, they went to school just before their 6th birthday (living abroad) but the mat leave was mainly unpaid and the other 2 1/2 years was because I could, husband was earning a wage which enabled this.
I think if you can afford it then it is a great way to go, so long as you understand it is lonely, unpaid and unappriciated,

fedupandtired Fri 15-Feb-13 19:21:25

I know how expensive child are is which is the main reason why I didn't go back to work until mine were at school. Paying child care for two children would have cost more than I earnt effectively meaning that it cost us money for me to work.

thesnootyfox Fri 15-Feb-13 17:46:18

Have you looked into childcare because that might sway your decision?

Where I live the hourly rate for a childminder is more than the hourly rate of a waitress.

Obviously I don't know your personal
circumstances but if you are going to need childcare you need to start looking at the options now.

Metalgoddess Fri 15-Feb-13 17:37:33

Hi, I'm also wondering what to about returning to work after mat leave and totally agree that you have to do what's right for you and your family. In terms of benefits, you may able to get child tax credits but watch out for the new universal credit system which is coming in October this year. It includes changes to tax credits and there are conditions which households have to meet. For example if one partner wishes to stay at home then the other has to earn equivalent to 35hrs x minimum wage. If they don't earn this amount then both partners will be required to seek work to earn this amount or face their benefits being stopped/ cut. This is my understanding so sorry if I'm wrong but I've read a lot about it. Also if you have savings you may not be entitled to anything.x

tankgirl84 Fri 15-Feb-13 17:18:22

hey fedupandtired, thank you for pointing that out to me, i didn't realize, i guess i may sound a bit entitled or something.

i don't expect hand-outs, but we don't get any financial help towards our rent, or any tax credits or child tax credits. but thanks to lookingfoxy's link i've found out we should be getting child tax credits. atm we live off my husbands paycheck and my maternity allowance. it's not a huge amount and we're getting by.

i wanted to know how long i'm entitled to off more than anything. and was worried i would have to return to work before i was emotionally ready to leave my baby. my husband is happy for me to be a sahm. like i said before i'm not judging anybody else's choices.

i find the system really confusing and was looking for advice. not criticism...

also i think what people seem to forget is how expensive childcare costs are.

fedupandtired Fri 15-Feb-13 15:57:21

I don't think missingmum was commenting on your decision not to go back to work but the fact that you were enquiring about whether you could get financial help to stay at home.

Bottom line is no. No-one's going to pay you to stay at home with your baby.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 15-Feb-13 15:12:36

If your household income can manage then not returning is an option. If you plan to claim benefits then its not really a wise choice and you will find it very hard to find work when the benefits stop.

You say you dont want to miss your baby doing x,y and z but obviously your partner will but that seems ok. Why does he get to miss it and not you? Its a huge burden to take on being the sole earner and very easily can lead to resentment. Being a SAHM also leaves you vunerable in tne event that you end up single.

tankgirl84 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:09:14

Thank you lookingfoxy, flowery and eskimo for your helpful comments. it's very much appreciated. there's so much to think about, it's not an easy decision for us. weighing up the pros and cons of me returning to work. i do want to go back at some point.

and missingmumxox, i do understand where you are coming from, but you're being a bit judgmental. everyone has to do what feels right for themselves, you felt you wanted/needed to go back to work and that's what works for you. i'm sure you do a wonderful job as a parent, as all working mums do. but i choose to stay at home longer, that's what i feel i need/want to do. i understand also that in this financial climate it's difficult to be a single income family, but if we can just manage our finances with myself not working then surely that's something to think about. it doesn't mean that it's right for everyone. you have to do what feels right for you.

lookingfoxy Fri 15-Feb-13 07:31:48

You can check out this link here to see if you and your partner would be available for any help if you decide to stay off work.
If you can afford to I would stay off as long as possible, I went back really soon after my first ds and really regret it, I missed out on so much.

flowery Fri 15-Feb-13 07:30:31

Your Maternity Allowance stops after 9 months maternity leave but you can take 12 months off. If you're employer thinks you are coming back after 9 month, write and notify them that you will be taking the full 12 months.

If you don't want to go back to work and are lucky enough to be able to afford to choose not to work, you will need to resign from your job as normal.

Eskino Fri 15-Feb-13 02:03:53

I think most people have doubts about going back to work after mat leave.

You're not the same person that left work before your baby was born all that time ago and it takes a certain amount of "getting your head around" to adjust to it.

I completely understand you though. I'm on mat leave now and won't be going back to work (I have 2yo and a 3 wo) but that's a financial and emotive decision myself and my partner had to weigh up together.

Could you go back to work in the evenings then you could still spend the day with your baby?

missingmumxox Fri 15-Feb-13 01:33:54

OMG, I am going to sound like a bitch, and I imagine that is why your post has been free of comments, thus far, but unless you have a money to fall back on, you need to get back to work, oddly at the 6/7 month stage I would have found that easy to get back but each child is different.
every mum wants the precious time, every working mum wants that.
but whatever TV and the papers say, working mums can give their children a great life and its not about money either.
I make far more effort to be a mum as I work than I ever did as a sahm (that is me not all) every day dragged into the next and it could always be done tomorrow but never was.
you will be a mummy very day, for the rest of your life and beyond, My Mum died when I was 27 and worked the whole time, I was a latch key kid, I am 42 and she is my Mum and cooked cake with me, took me to the park, on holiday, working doesn't make you a bad mummy, you just have to pack a lot more into your time.
enjoy your baby, I had to get twice the value out of my mat leave, twins smile
don't give up work, hell when are you ever going to get a hot cup of teas otherwise smile

tankgirl84 Thu 14-Feb-13 19:02:33

i worked part-time as a waitress for about 2 yrs with the same restaurant, until i got pregnant and finished work to go on maternity leave. as my hours during the mat. pay qualifying weeks weren't enough, i receive maternity allowance NOT statutory maternity pay.

unfortunately this stops at the beginning of april and i'm not ready to leave my baby boy and return to work yet. he'll only be 6.5 months as i started my maternity leave earlier than i intended to due to health issues during the later months of my pregnancy. we're both ok, but it was a stressful time.

does anybody know where i stand if i decide not to go back, yet or at all! i'm not sure what financial help i might be able to get, if any, as i think if i decide not to go back i'm effectively quitting?? i'm pretty sure my employer would struggle to find hours for me if i do go back as there isn't much work atm, legally i think they'd have to give me the same hours as i was contracted to do before. if i did decide to go back.

basically i really, really don't want to give up these precious times with my son, i don't want to miss all the amazing things that are around the corner. i would be devastated if i missed his first crawls, first steps etc... i want to be a mummy as long as possible.

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