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To only take two months off work?

(150 Posts)
mollifly Tue 26-Sep-17 07:19:06

I am currently 11 weeks pregnant and I am starting to think about maternity leave.

My maternity leave package is not great, 4 weeks full pay, 2 weeks half then down to statutory.

mollifly Tue 26-Sep-17 07:20:12

Ooops clicked post to early!!! I am interested to hear how long others took for maternity leave? Is two months no time at all? Would o regret it?

Thanks in advance!

monkeysox Tue 26-Sep-17 07:21:39

You will probably regret it. Start saving.
You can't buy the time back and they grow so fast flowers

RedBlu Tue 26-Sep-17 07:23:19

Two months is nothing, it will fly by and you will only then be starting to really enjoy your baby and see them start to change. The first few weeks are tough so two months doesn’t give you much time to enjoy.

I had DD in May and I go back to work in January. We couldn’t afford the entire year and this is pretty much what we could manage. My pay ended last month and I am now on SMP so I saved up beforehand to bridge the difference as much as possible

koalab Tue 26-Sep-17 07:23:37

You wouldn't BU if that's what you want to do. Personally it wouldn't have been enough for me, but I was anaemic and healed slowly. I didn't feel like doing much for 6 weeks and I don't think my brain would have functioned at work for at least 3 months. But I know plenty of people do it.

NapQueen Tue 26-Sep-17 07:23:47

How much income would you have when going back and taking out of it childcare? Would it be much more than stat?

Agree with above though. Start saving now. Take out what childcare will cost you and put it aside.

Oh and dont tell work you will return after 2 months. If you are uk you can inform them 8 weeks before, so once baby is born.

Penfold007 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:24:25

Are you somewhere other than th UK?

ProseccoPoppy Tue 26-Sep-17 07:25:46

I took 6 months but did KIT days regularly from 3 months onwards, then back full time as soon as I was back iyswim. That worked well for me. For me personally I would have found 2 months too soon (messy EMCS so wasn't able to drive for 6 weeks and was still recovering at the 2 month mark so would not have been physically ready). I could probably have managed going back PT at 3 months I think, if I'd needed to. I really don't think I could have managed FT at 3 months. Are you planning to go back ft or pt? I think that will make a big difference. Also is yours a full on tons of hours type role, a 9-5 or somewhere in between?

DorotheaHomeAlone Tue 26-Sep-17 07:26:17

Two months is nothing. The baby will be tiny still and you'll almost certainly be pretty sleep deprived.

Are you in the U.K.? If so I think you need to look at the package again. Statutory mat pay is 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks. You'll get at least that.

If you can't make a longer leave work I would look at using savings to boost your mat pay then some leave (which you continue to acquire while off). I wouldn't plan to be back before 4 months.

MiraiDevant Tue 26-Sep-17 07:27:33

I took nearly five months and my partner was able to do some of the childcare . It was horrible going back to work as I found it very difficult sorting out childcare and was panicking trying to interview nannies , (most were too expensive or just awful), visit childminders and nurseries all up against a deadline.

I wish I had taken a year.

My second child was easier as I had already gone part time/freelance by then so although I was doing work at six weeks post birth some of it was from home and most of it was flexible. I also already had a good childminder who did two days a week with my baby once he reached six months. That worked well and I was pleased not be away from the workforce for too long.

Ginfernal Tue 26-Sep-17 07:27:48

I had 3 months. I don't regret it as it worked for us at the time and it was necessary due to no maternity pay at all.
(Saving wasn't an option - surprise pregnancy 10 years after complete infertility diagnosis)

coddiwomple Tue 26-Sep-17 07:28:37

2 months sound a bit short. In some countries, the norm is 3 months, but the working week and childcare facilities are different.

Plan for a much longer leave. You don't know yet how early you will need to start your maternity leave. Hopefully you will feel wonderful and be off the week baby arrives, but you might need a lot more even before the birth.
Hopefully your baby's birth will be straightforward, but you might need induction, have a long labour so in a worst case scenario that's 4 or 5 days in hospital.
Then you might be bouncing back within a week, or you might need a long time to rest.

There's absolutely no way of knowing, so it's important to plan for a few months just in case. Being fit and healthy has nothing to do with anything, you can't prepare in advance unfortunately (I mean, it helps to be super fit, but it's no guarantee it will make the whole process quick and painless)

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 26-Sep-17 07:28:54

Most babies at 8 weeks are still waking multiple times a night and you are still finding your feet. Can you save like mad now to give you an extra month or two?

HughLauriesStubble Tue 26-Sep-17 07:32:05

Are you full time? If you do really need to go go back for financial reasons, could you scale back hours etc? Who would mind your baby?

Two months is very little, especially if it is your first baby. I think it took four months for me to simply adjust to the huge lifestyle change after dc1.

Having said that, if you have no other choice then what can you do. People in the US return soon after having babies. It's shit but unfortunately that's the way it is.

SaltySeaBird Tue 26-Sep-17 07:33:27

I'm in the UK and had 3 months (or just under) with both and it was fine. I like my job and wanted to go back, my husband took SPL. I breastfed both children a year and had no issues bonding.

Do what is right for you, a lot of people frowned on me going back "early" saying they are only little once and you'll be sleep deprived but I don't feel I missed out.

WindyScales Tue 26-Sep-17 07:35:39

You'll have to look into childcare. I'm not sure if a nursery will take a baby under 3 months. So you may need a nanny which could be expensive in itself.
Are you in the U.K.? A lot of companies just assume you are taking at least 6 months regardless of what you tell them before you start mat leave. You could try and go on mat leave as late as possible to give yourself a bit more time once the baby is here.
At 2 months you could still be recovering from the birth and having very sleepless nights.
Also don't underestimate the hormonal feelings of needing to be with your child, especially one so young.

Silly35 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:36:39

Are you not in the UK? SMP is 6 weeks at 90% pay at least.

Also if your planning to go back full time, have you factored in childcare costs?

2 months will fly by, you might not be wanting to do this once your baby arrives. Also it might inhibit your ability to breastfeed if you go back Sunday early. I didn't leave the newborn 'fog' until 12 weeks!

Believeitornot Tue 26-Sep-17 07:37:22

What about your partners income? Just checking you're not in a ludicrous situation where you're expected to "fund" your own maternity for his your child...

But to be honest, 2 months is not enough. No way.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 26-Sep-17 07:38:47

That's a very short amount of time to take off work. You don't know if you'll have recovered from the birth by then. I'd start saving and check maternity pay if you're in the uk, that doesn't sound much.

Bubblebubblepop Tue 26-Sep-17 07:38:48

I took 6 months. As a warning (although not common) I had a complicated birth and was only really recovered physicallly at 6/7 weeks.

But it's one of those things- if you have no choice financially you'll have to go back won't you? If not essential I would stretch it as long as you can.

A have a friend who loved to America and just gone back after 3.5 months. She had to fight to get that long, and she works for a very progressive company. They cope!

AfunaMbatata Tue 26-Sep-17 07:39:08

You'll be paying a fortune in childcare for such a young baby.

ethelfleda Tue 26-Sep-17 07:41:02

It is your decision but it doesn't sound long enough to me.
I'm due mid November and I don't actually have a maternity package (Just SMP)
Originally planned on working until end of October. I have had a very straight forward low risk pregnancy but I still have decided to finish 2 weeks earlier as I'm starting to get very uncomfortable and tired and need to have the time to wind down and prepare. It was fairly easy to make this decision as I'm taking the full 52 weeks off.
As a PP said, you have no idea how your pregnancy will go and you may need to finish much earlier that you had planned so ýou won't get much time with your baby.

qumquat Tue 26-Sep-17 07:41:23

I wish I had taken a shorter maternity leave as I was so lonely and miserable. Having said that, I mean 6 months rather than 10. If you are planning to breast feed you will still be on near constant feeding duty at 2 months. Also most nurseries don't take babies below 3 months.

mollifly Tue 26-Sep-17 07:42:21

Thank you ladies this is really helpful to hear everyone else's experiences. I am in the U.K. Working full time and I've been told by HR it's 4 months full pay 2 months half pay, is this incorrect?

Have any of you had experiences with your work colleagues treating you differently from finding out your pregnant? I had to tell HR early due to a number of appointments that were causing suspicion. They insisted on telling my line manager who has since not been rude as such but small changes have made me feel uncomfortable such as not giving me projects I would normally get, making comments about length of appointments (booking appointment end took 1.5 hours) the first thing they said when I made them aware was a comment on finding maternity cover. Has anyone else experienced this? How did you handle it?

KoolKoala07 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:43:11

Following with interest. Unfortunately I'm only able to take 3 months off which worries me greatly.

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