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Not returning to work after maternity leave?

(6 Posts)
yummymummy1988 Fri 06-Oct-17 12:34:03

My maternity leave is soon coming to an end, I have already taken the 9 months paid and are on the last 3 unpaid months. I worked full time prior to having my baby and have never not been in employment since my late teens. I am considering being a stay at home mum for a couple of years until DS starts school. We don't really want to pay to put him in childcare and I'm not sure how relaxed I would feel with him with my parents as they have their own lives and routines and some personal issues. DH said we will get by if I don't go back to work from the sums he has done, just means cutting out treats here and there.
Have any of you not returned to work at all after maternity leave? Did you really feel the strain money wise, did you regret it or feel isolated? Or do you feel you made the right choice?
My boss has said if I don't come back he will understand which is good.

Cakescakescakes Fri 06-Oct-17 12:42:17

I did feel isolated and bores and frustrated - but equally I do feel it was the best move as it also allows me to really be with my kids and be totally in tune with the rhythms of their days and phases. I imagine most of not all SAHMs would say something similar.

Be aware you will possibly have to payback some of your maternity pay (not the statutory element but any enhanced pay you received) and that it probably will make it harder to get back into work further down the line.

However... my kids are both in school now and I work one day per week (have one DC with SN so working more isnt a possibility) andbeing at home means I never miss a harvest service, nativity, parents meeting etc. There is no hassle if one is sick as we can just nestle down at home.

What you do need to do is have a frank discussion with your OH about housework, mental load etc. Often the SAH parent does EVERYTHING child and home related even at weekends etc and that can get very heavy.

Cakescakescakes Fri 06-Oct-17 12:43:47

Sorry should add that being at home with them has frequently been incredibly joyful as well as often really quite boring! Didn’t mean to make it sound grim smile

It’s definitely a double edged sword though.

yummymummy1988 Fri 06-Oct-17 12:48:12

Thank you cakes. I only got SMP as my sister said the same thing so I don't have to pay anything back as they didn't give me anything over and above. In my job I'm in a place where as I'm qualified and in the area I live its fairly easy as they aren't an awful lot of people with the qualification so I should get a job again easy if I wanted to go back into it, although I was getting a bit fed up of it anyway and there was no way of going up the ladder without going back to uni etc.
OH does help me but I feel the fact that when he does I personally feel guilty as he works and I don't if that makes sense. He's basically just said its my choice and we will manage. Its such a hard choice!

CotswoldStrife Fri 06-Oct-17 12:53:17

I didn't return after maternity leave and it was a hard decision to make, but the right one for us. I have loved being at home with my DD. It was tougher once we relocated (I missed my family and my friends) but I don't regret it for a minute.

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 06-Oct-17 12:57:34

Yes stayed at home. Gave up a high paid/career role to be at home. Nearly 4 years (and another child later) am still glad I did. It's hard (in different ways to work) as you lose a chunk of identity and days when you don't chat to adults can be loong

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