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Mat leave.. How long did you plan to have off and how long did you?

(37 Posts)
Sweetpea2304 Mon 14-Apr-14 13:59:10

Hello.. I had my little boy at the end of November and planned to have 13 months off so I'm due to go back at the beginning of January.. However as it's nearing the time where I will be on statutory mat pay then from September no pay I'm kind of thinking how the hell are we going to manage?! We have saved money last year and while I've been off but don't think it's enough to see us through.. Starting to get a bit panicky about it all...

weeblueberry Mon 14-Apr-14 14:16:09

I went back after 8 months because that happened to fall on January 1st which, considering the industry I'm in, made much more sense than waiting that extra month. We could probably have scraped by on DPs salary only but I was actually quite keen to go back to work before DD entered the 'clinging to mummy for dear life' stage. But I'm very very lucky in that my mum is watching her in the afternoons while I go back to work.

Have you guys actually say down and looked at your DPs salary and decided if that and your saved money will cover everything? What made you decide to opt for the 13 months?

Sweetpea2304 Mon 14-Apr-14 14:21:10

Thank you for your reply smile yeah we have sat down and his salary will cover everything bit that's just basics really and with it being my ds first birthday and Christmas I don't want to be worrying about money.. I'm lucky too as my mum will have the baby whilst I go back to work.. Think it's just the thought of thinking I'm missing out whilst I'm at work.. I'm well aware I'm being soft! Well I had 4 weeks holiday that I tagged onto the beginning of mat leave and everyone who I know has had 12 months off with their baby.. And because you can I think I just assumed I would too..

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 14:25:00

I had 6 months both times - because that was the max allowed then.

One comment - babies really don't need much - and you will be given loads so don't feel you have to splurge on first birthday and christmas. They are often more interested in the paper or climbing in big boxes smile

weeblueberry Mon 14-Apr-14 14:30:50

It's absolutely not soft to worry about what you're going to miss. I absolutely stressed about that too! But in reality we've noticed that when she's with us she's far more likely to do her 'first' things. I'm not sure if its because she's more comfortable then or we encourage her more but I've never missed a first anything. smile

MewlingQuim Mon 14-Apr-14 14:31:35

I thought I would have about 6 months off.

I took the full year.

We worked out that we could just about scrape by and we also knew we had to get used to a big drop in income anyway because nursery fees would take more than half my salary when I did return to work.

I'm glad I spent the extra time with DD, she is growing up sooo fast!

Sweetpea2304 Mon 14-Apr-14 14:37:54

Wee blueberry thank you.. I feel a bit better now smile

Sweetpea2304 Mon 14-Apr-14 14:41:17

I'm thinking it will be September when I go back now so I'll have had a long time off.. Just right now I don't feel ready.. But soon as I'm in a routine I'm sure I'll get used to it.

trilbydoll Mon 14-Apr-14 17:06:34

I had almost exactly a year off, all on smp. I used holiday for the last month though so only ended up with one month where I actually received nothing at all.

I was ready to go back probably a few weeks before I did, but I found it so tiring - DD is still waking up twice a night and I am definitely operating at my absolute limit. If I hadn't been looking forward to going back, and genuinely pleased to be there, I am not sure I could drag myself out of bed in the morning!

Agree re Christmas - everyone else will go crazy, you really don't need to buy much at all.

trilbydoll Mon 14-Apr-14 17:08:15

Oh, and I used all my KIT days, in 3 points throughout my leave. That helped financially.

sittingatmydeskagain Mon 14-Apr-14 17:08:37

I am self employed - I took 6 months the first time, and 7 months the second time. I was generally knackered, but it was okay.

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 17:10:36

A term with each (I was teaching then), as was the norm then.

Sweetpea2304 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:20:39

Didn't even think about the lack of sleep and working! sad everybody does it tho right?

neversleepagain Mon 14-Apr-14 19:53:10

Planned 6 months but 19 months later I am still at home with my babies smile

Shetlandstock Mon 14-Apr-14 19:59:10

Planned a year with my first and took 9 months - I was ready to go back and it was only 2 days a week.
Planned a year with my second and went back after 6 months due to redundancy and having to take a new job when offered even though the timing wasn't great. It was fine, although I was lucky to have a DP who could do the childcare. If I'd had to put her in nursery so soon it would have been a much harder decision.

FiveExclamations Mon 14-Apr-14 19:59:45

11 weeks after my DD's birth, it was 11 years ago and my DD was a bad sleeper for the first five months. Imo it was a fair while before I was fully effective at work but we were convinced we couldn't manage on one wage (we later found out that we could).

FiveExclamations Mon 14-Apr-14 20:01:47

Sorry, just to be clear should have said planned 11 weeks and took 11 weeks after DD's birth because that was it for mat pay.

TheABC Mon 14-Apr-14 20:05:15

Eight months (it would have been 9 but DS was late arriving). I could have had longer, but I did not want to be totally dependent on DH and I was ready for adult conversation! Now back at work 4 days a week. It's a killer with the sleepless nights, but it will (hopefully) get better.

kinkytoes Mon 14-Apr-14 20:05:57

Planned for 9 but took the full 12. We managed. I thought, stuff the finances the time is more precious. I realise how lucky I am to have had the choice.

VinoTime Mon 14-Apr-14 20:07:08

Planned 1 year, took 5 grin

lovelyredwine Mon 14-Apr-14 20:09:55

Planned 1 year and took 1 year.

Panzee Mon 14-Apr-14 20:10:26

I took one year both times. The first year was fine financially as like others have said we didn't need much and husband was working full time. The second time was a little harder as my husband had been made redundant and was earning less, but we did it and we are back to normal spending after only a few months.

I would do it if you can. You only need to give a month's notice to return if you feel things getting tight.

ceeveebee Mon 14-Apr-14 20:11:41

Planned to go back when my DTs were 12 months old, went back after 10 m

Nevercan Mon 14-Apr-14 20:12:05

I took one year both times grin

motherinferior Mon 14-Apr-14 20:12:47

Planned four months both times - am freelance. First time I was going off my head and couldn't wait to go back to work. Second time I'd have liked an extra couple of months but it really wasn't at all bad. Excellent childminder for both.

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