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Start of maternity leave

(35 Posts)
Pinkbell123 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:38:04

Hi ladies

I need to hand in my notification to work really soon but I can't decide when to go on leave. Baby due mid feb was planning to go at 37 weeks but people keep suggesting I shouldn't go back after Xmas. Is 5 or 6 weeks too long to be off before the birth.

I'm worried il be bored but husband pointed out I'm already bored at work! Planning a career change after the baby so returning to work not a massive concern.

Will I have enough to fill my time if I leave at Xmas? I commute for 90mins each way and the idea of not having to do that in the freezing rain is appealing grin


Lj8893 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:44:13

I took my maternity leave at the earliest date I could, so in total so far I have been off for 10 weeks and I'm 39 weeks now.

I took mine because we moved back to our hometown at the same point and I couldn't face the commute and I was really struggling with exhaustion at work.

I'm bored now!! But I have had lots to do to take my time up, sorting out babies stuff, hospital bag, and my house has never been so clean and tidy grin

And I have had lots of lazy days!

PuddingAndHotMilk Thu 17-Oct-13 15:48:08

I started mat leave at 34 weeks, I got a little bored but was well rested when DD arrived and I'm really glad for that. If you can, take the leave!!

Chocolateteabag Thu 17-Oct-13 16:04:09

With DS1 I carried on to 38 weeks - he came a week early and I felt quite miffed I had missed out.

With this one I am stopping at 34 weeks as finding it far harder. I have a 60 min commute 3 days a week (work at home the other 2 days)

I would really recommend stopping earlier if you have the flexibility about when you go back to work on the other side. You will maybe get a little bored on some days - but you'll never again have so much time to yourself grin

JoJoManon Thu 17-Oct-13 16:18:54

I'm 34 weeks and planning on continuing on til 38 weeks but it is getting harder and harder. I'm only doing it to have as much time off with the baby afterwards but if you're in a position to go at Christmas and it's not a big issue financially then why not.

PinkWitch803 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:46:26

I was going to start mat leave at 37 weeks but I have had a couple of bleeds and the doctors didn't think it was a good idea to commute 2-3 hours a day and put in a full day in the office. So I have been signed off at 29 weeks and I have to be honest that I am really pleased. If I had been trundling along without any issues I would have found it really hard to make it to the end. Pregnancy is exhausting and if you are a "hard" worker, it can be easy to lose perspective.

I have been off one week (almost) and I have noticed my sleep has improved, my priorities are straighter, and I am trying to make the most of this opportunity to do nothing! The next time I will get a chance to just do what I want will be when the kid (s) have flown the nest and I have retired!

Even if subsequent pregnancies mean time off work, I will have a toddler to look after!

I am not worried about finding things to do. The house need to be "nested" and I want to do my crafts before I run out of free time ;)

By my ramblings, I mean don't worry about being bored, you will have more than enough to keep you occupied and less energy to do it. Making human beings is quite demanding on the body ;p

Also, you can submit your dates and then change your mind, but I would agree with your freinds about not going back after christmas.


SpoonfulOfJam Thu 17-Oct-13 16:46:26

I finished at 37+3, wanted to stay another week because of finances, but work had made no concessions for me and I was still running round like a headless chicken and I was exhausted. I am bored already, 38+2.

I have no money to spend and no one to talk to (ok, I can go visit family, but all my friends are working!). I am really missing the social aspect of work (not the actual work). I'm sure things will be different when baby is here and I can start going to baby groups and meet new moms.

If you can afford it, take as long as you can. If you have a social circle involving people who are around in the day, even better.

SpoonfulOfJam Thu 17-Oct-13 16:51:32

Aaargh, I sound so negative! Ignore me, listen to PinkWitch.

hettienne Thu 17-Oct-13 16:55:45

I am also due in Feb and am going to start Mat Leave at Christmas (32 weeks). I went off at 32 weeks last time too.

I have quite a physical job, on my feet all day with bending and lifting, and I commute an hour each way which I hate. I love having some time before the baby to sleep, relax and just do what I want - you won't have time like that again for a while!

EeyoreIsh Thu 17-Oct-13 17:00:25

I'm due the start of Feb. I'll officially be starting maternity leave at 38 weeks, but I'll be on leave the week before. I have left it open with my boss as to whether I finish before Xmas, as it would only require an extra eight days leave and I have lots saved.

ch1134 Thu 17-Oct-13 17:02:49

It depends on your job and how long you intend to have off. I'm leaving 5 weeks before DD but have some holiday to take over those 5 weeks... will go back 6 months later, but have holiday the other side so works out as almost 9 months off... My job is demanding and I think it's for the best

upanddown83 Thu 17-Oct-13 17:13:59

I went on maternity leave at 33weeks ds born at 41weeks I had a lovely time off work.
I have friends who already have dc and were either off on maternity or worked part-time so I was able to meet up with them regularly.
But I never found I was bored I relaxed I read I watched tv sometimes I even made dinner for dp coming home! I felt I was better prepared for the birth as I was organised and had plenty of time to myself before ds came.

Excited2meetmyprincess Thu 17-Oct-13 17:26:06

I finished at 30 weeks because my contract ended and I didn't want to start looking for another job. Plus I had SPD and had been taking time off sick a lot because I was really struggling. I was quite bored at first but now that I have gotten used to being off I honestly wonder how I worked full time as my days always seem to be full. Lol.
I now have 3 weeks until my c section and I am just enjoying catching up with pals and getting some rest and me time before baby arrives. It does seem like a long time but honestly it goes so quickly and u will spend so much time getting stuff ready for the baby xx

Excited85 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:23:38

I finished at 37 weeks mainly because the long commute was getting too much. Am now just at 40 weeks and getting fixated on the baby arriving as feel like I'm wasting time off. The first week off was fab and the second helped me get everything sorted but now I just feel like I'm sitting around waiting for baby to turn up! Health wise though I've felt absolutely fine until this last week.
If your job is demanding or you think you might struggle with any complications etc then finish earlier but I'm definitely glad I held out until 37 weeks.

NewBlueShoesToo Thu 17-Oct-13 20:25:59

I stopped with DS1 at 35 weeks. I planned to do lots of nice things and sort the house out. He was born at 36 weeks!

puddleduck16 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:31:40

I'm also due middle of feb. I plan to leave middle of jan. with 2 weeks hols first the mat leave officially starting in feb. I wanted as long as poss afterwards with baby. Plus I was also worried about being bored!

PinkParsnips Thu 17-Oct-13 20:32:47

I finished at 35 weeks (but with 4 weeks leave to use up). I'm 2 weeks in now and some days I've felt a bit bored and missed the social side of work but this week has flown by so I think I'm getting in to it now!

I probably wouldn't have finished quite so early without the leave, but its nice to just sleep, chill and please yourself while you can!!

PastaBeeandCheese Thu 17-Oct-13 21:06:39

I worked to 38 weeks last time and DD born at 40+3. I would have been bored if I'd had any longer.

I'm going at 36 weeks this time as it's physically harder with a toddler to look after. I'll have the same number of 'rest' days overall as DD will be in nursery 3 days and with me 2 days.

terilou87 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:20:29

Mine started on 28th Sept ( had holidays to use) not due till Jan 10th grin so far I havnt been bored iv had loads to do! Been catching up with friends, decorating shopping shopping and more shopping, plus my other dc keep me busy, infact I think I did far less when I was working smile

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 17-Oct-13 21:27:10

When does your holiday year run?

If it runs from 1 January check your company policy as you may be required to use holiday in the same holiday year if at all possible. This was the case in my company.

So with a mid-Feb due date, it would make sense to take 5 weeks of holiday before your due date and then start maternity leave on the actual due date?

Pinkbell123 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:30:29

Hi everyone. Thanks for all the replies. Think I'm going to bite the bullet and leave at Xmas and enjoy a few weeks of chilling out before the baby. smile

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 17-Oct-13 21:35:51

Do check the holiday rules. You may not even have to start leave, just a lovely long block of holiday.

Then promise me you'll spend lots of lovely time sitting on your bum, taking afternoon naps and reading (magazines, books, whatever). I am on no. 3 but I can live vicariously grin

scissy Thu 17-Oct-13 21:48:41

What Penguins said - my employer has a "use it or lose it" policy on leave - so I'd either have had to take it at the end or the start. I was due with DD beginning of Feb, so I finished at Christmas, used my leave and started my mat. leave at the end of Jan. It was great, esp. as it was the year we had that awful snow - I was so glad I didn't have to commute in it! DD was born the end of Jan in the end, on day 2 of my official mat. leave.

Pinkbell123 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:55:36

Ok penguin will check leave tomorrow. I guess if I'm taking a year it makes sense to put it up front. If I ever go back there at all mwahaha

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 17-Oct-13 22:00:51

Yes, especially if you aren't allowed to carry the holiday forward to 2015. We were required to take holiday in its proper holiday year unless that wasn't possible for some reason (like the baby coming early). So if I hadn't taken 5 weeks before my due date, I'd have lost the holiday.

Best case you might get 5 weeks of holiday, then year of mat leave all after the birth (or a bit less if baby is late) and then go back to a new year with a full year of holiday to take over that year. .. if you go back.

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