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Finishing work- mat leave

(19 Posts)

I'm after some advice on finishing work.
I need to make a decision this week about when I want to finish. My mat policy is rubbish so I don't want to actually start my mat leave too early. I have 4 weeks annual leave to use before I go off. I'm not sure whether to take it as a block, and have 4 and half weeks at home before baby due (starting mat leave on baby's due week) Or take 2 or 3 weeks AL before mat leave, and use the other 5 or 10 days sporadically to give myself some days off in the next 15 weeks. So the odd Friday, Wednesday etc.
what did you do or wish you had done last time? What are your plans this time? One of my colleagues is pregnant with her 2nd and she regrets not finishing earlier last time. My job is very active, with lots of pressure, and lots of driving involved.
So far pretty fit and healthy, had some time off in first trimester for hg, now generally ok. Very tired (who isn't) and achy but can't see any significant reason to finish ASAP other than being at home to get organised for lo arrival

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 17-Feb-13 09:17:52

I left 6 weeks before as a private nuchal dating scan put me 2 weeks earlier than the NHS. So wanted a month off.

In retrospect it was far too long. I was bored. I went over due by 4 days (the NHS date was correct) and it felt like an age.

This time I am planning to stop 2 weeks before. This time I am self-employed.

My job was desk based though, so you might feel the need to finish earlier.

Your idea of taking a few days of holiday dotted about sounds good, although you might find (as I did) that the last few months were so manic that it could be difficult to manage the time off.

Not sure if that helps. Good luck with deciding. Oh and the birth of course!

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sun 17-Feb-13 09:18:03

I'm doing your option a. I've booked 4 weeks leave before the baby is due and officially go on mat leave 2 days before the baby is due (unless it pops out earlier!). I can only take 6 months mat leave so I want as much of my mat leave as possible with the baby.
I did have a week's leave at 28 weeks which was bliss and has kept me going til I officially finish. 4 weeks on Friday! smile

racheld33 Sun 17-Feb-13 09:21:21

Hello and congratulations!
No one knows how they will feel closer to the time, but with my last pregnancy I finished 4 weeks before my due date (work long hours/stressful busy job full time till then). I was definately ready to leave then, and it was lovely to have 4 weeks off to relax/get things ready.
I'm planning to do exactly the same this time! smile

Mrs Margo that's what I'm worried about using them sporadically, could they cause me more stress than relaxation?
I have Easter weekend off and a spa day booked for a few weeks time so know I'm getting some rest soon.
I know the next 15 weeks will go so quickly but I just don't know how I'm going to feel closer to the time and work need to know now!

Rockchick1984 Sun 17-Feb-13 09:23:00

Option c - see if you can tag some holiday onto the end of mat leave instead, so that you will have a few weeks fully paid before returning to work. Very useful if you are using paid childcare, as you will be able to allow your baby to settle in more before you go back to work without stressing about how you will pay for it!

Rock chick I will have 2014s entitlement for AL so not worrying too much about that just yet.
Thanks everyone keep them coming!

patchesmcp Sun 17-Feb-13 09:49:29

I think last time I had about 7 weeks off before the baby was born - a combination of AL, ML and Xmas holidays. First few weeks were fab, had loads to do etc but after about 4 weeks, I think I was starting to get bored. Luckily baby was only 1 day late.

This time, I'm finishing 4 weeks before due date, and taking 2 weeks AL and 2 weeks ML.

I guess you need to decide how you'd feel if the baby came early and you only had a short time off before baby arrived and also how you'd feel if it was 2 weeks late. Which would you prefer?

If I was you I'd probably have 3 weeks off before the baby was due and use the other week to give yourself a few short weeks. I've still got a weeks AL to use up in the next 9 weeks before I go off.

Yeah 3 weeks AL then 1 week mat leave may be the way to go.
Decisions decisions....

TwitchyTail Sun 17-Feb-13 10:05:44

Do you have the sort of job where if you're not at work, someone else does it instead of you, or does it just pile up until you return? I had the latter, which swayed my decision to save up my leave and just go off once and for all, rather than having odd days here and there - I would have just had twice as much work to do the day after my leave if not. So take this into account when making your decision.

I went off quite early with a combination of annual and maternity and it has definitely been good for my health - my job was also active/pressurised/lots of travelling. I am getting a bit bored grin but am having a lot longer than your four weeks, which I think would be just about right.

Also, check your employer's policy about carrying over annual leave in the event your baby comes early. I could only carry over a maximum of 5 days so wanted to leave myself a bit more of a margin.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 17-Feb-13 10:09:32

OP - think it depend what is happening re your cover. I had a cover, but felt the need to finish things off.

I was also anxious about the fact that I'd be gone for 9 months, so didn't want to appear like I'd gone part time already/was winding down etc.

It was more a reflection on my workplace/how I felt about things. In retrospect it didn't really matter etc.

I think anything under 4 weeks is good. It also depends how busy you can keep yourself during those weeks. I had a number of friends with small babies who were about, plus my parents live locally.

You also need to think what you are like, do you find it easy to relax etc? If so, those weeks will hopefully be an enjoyable break before the baby arrives.

If you aren't good at relaxing (like me) I'd maybe go for 3 or less weeks.

HTH

owlface Sun 17-Feb-13 10:41:21

I'm taking 2 weeks annual leave then starting mat leave on my due date. Am 35 weeks now and still glad I made this choice, I think if I had any more time at home I would just worry, or get bored or depressed. Plus I'm planning to have 6 months off so wanted to maximise my time with the baby. Its a hard decision, do you know why your colleague regrets not taking more time?

sundaesundae Sun 17-Feb-13 10:57:54

I am finishing in two weeks at 37 weeks, MW would like me to finish now. I have ketones off the scale and quite a stressful busy job, but the next two weeks I have deliberately kept light. I am tagging all my AL on to the end of mat leave so I'll get paid over Christmas, which will be a godsend. I am quite uncomfortable some days, but I WFH a lot so coping.

The thing I didn't realise was that how I would feel would change from day to day and the end is quite hard going.

I know I'd rather bubba just popped out next week whilst still working than spending weeks and weeks at home waiting. I also am on my first so know realistically 40 weeks is an average and I may go to 42.

I'm currently 36 weeks pregnant and I will be finishing work when I'm 38 weeks (unless baba comes early) I'm using my last 4 days annual leave so my ML starts the week of my due date.

I have a desk job though so I can cope with being knackered as I can just sit there, and we already have everything just about ready for our new arrival.

CityDweller Sun 17-Feb-13 12:40:11

I'm taking nearly 3 weeks annual leave then starting my mat leave on my due date - so finishing work at 37 wks. I wish I could finish earlier - but only because my commute is a total bitch and at 34 weeks (and I'm lucky in that I work from home a couple of days a week and when I do go into work it's relatively low-stress and I manage my own time, etc). I also have no worry about being 'bored' at home - I plan to carry on working on my own stuff anyway until as close as due date as possible. At the moment I feel I could be more productive on stuff that's more useful to me if I was at home than by actually trekking into work.

I think it entirely depends on a) what sort of pregnancy you're having and b) what sort of work you do

Argh I'm still none the wiser.
My colleague said she just felt tired and like her head wasn't in it. I'm feeling like that already tbh.
I'm sure I won't get bored, as I have a huge list of things that need done and can't get started till I finish. It's so difficult!

MrsAmaretto Sun 17-Feb-13 15:21:08

I took 2 weeks annual leave & 2 weeks maternity before due date last time. Baby ended up breech, so had section a week before due date, plus lots of extra appointments, scan & ECV, which were not in the plan! I also had builders in & ate too much cake meeting friends!

This time I'm taking exactly the same, planning to go swimming, walking etc. & if this one ends up breech will only have 3 weeks off.

I wouldn't take any longer off, but did get to the stage at work wondering what the point was. No point taking on any new projects etc. I got a bit bored at work.

BraveLilBear Mon 18-Feb-13 10:31:02

I'm planning to take 3 weeks AL which will take me a week over EDD (if I'm allowed to do so - not sure about the ML laws until I see HR later in the week).

There is a long history of overdue babies in my family, my mum and dad were both overdue, my sisters and I were all 10-12 days over (the 10 one was induced due to reduced movements so would have cooked longer).

Plus, the scan date EDD brought me forward by a week to an impossible date of conception, so, I am fully expecting to go over.

As I will probably only be able to take 6 months ML and then have to go back full-time, I'm desperate to spend as much ML as possible with baby and don't want to 'waste' it waiting around for it to pop out!

My job is very-much desk-based, but the week I plan to finish is the week before a very major event which would be extremely difficult with a megabump.

Msbluesky32 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:02:28

Im 33 weeks today and its my last week in work and Im feeling very very tired now. Im taking a weeks annual leave and then my maternity leave starts first week of March (baby is due 8 April, so Ill have 5 weeks off before baby is born).

How have you been feeling and what is your commute and working day like? I think it depends a lot on what sort of work you do and how your health pans out during your pregnancy - you cant really predict it.

If you kept a week spare and booked three weeks prior and felt then that you could keep going you could cancel it - at least then you would have something scheduled if you needed it.

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