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Advice on maternity leave

(27 Posts)
Pandabear123 Mon 26-Sep-16 16:10:53

Hi all - I am just after some advice about when to start maternity leave. I am due 11th February with my 2nd baby and I am a teacher. I am trying to decide whether I go back after the Christmas hols or not. If I don't go back it will mean I am off 5 weeks early, which could be more if i am overdue again. But if i do go back I will probably manage 2 weeks. I only work part time but i work in a big school with lots of stairs and moving around classrooms.
I don't know if I will return after mat leave, but if I do I expect I will need to go back the beginning of the following January, and if I don't then I wonder if it really matters if I take off early. My husband would ideally like me to work as long as I can (money for the baby!) but I wonder of I should allow myself time to rest before hand (whilst also looking after my 3 year old!). I know I am not off for ages but my work has asked if I can give them indication of when I want to go, if I go at Christmas they will need to hire by replacement by this half term! Anyone else leave this early? Anyone in a similar dilema? Appreciate any thoughts

NapQueen Mon 26-Sep-16 16:13:48

I'd do it! Pregnancy with a child already was the most exhausting thing I ever did and I had a sit down admin job (shifts but still, hardly physical).

Will your eldest dcs be at school/childcare?

panad317 Mon 26-Sep-16 16:32:43

I don't think you have to tell your employer until you're 26 weeks so don't let them rush you into a decision just yet!
I worked until the end this time with a 2.5 year old (now 8days overdue) but I had the summer holidays to spend with her. If I was due in February I think I'd maybe go back for a week after the Christmas holidays just so you get the full pay over Christmas.

Oysterbabe Mon 26-Sep-16 18:11:11

Was your first on time or late?

Pandabear123 Mon 26-Sep-16 19:05:57

My first was 2 weeks late but I am really hoping to be a bit quicker this time. I did read somewhere that docs have said working late can push back labour as your adrenalin keeps going but not ever heard that before. I will get full pay if I put my date as first day back but still, would mean missing out on about £600 really (how much I would get paid for 2 extra weeks). My toddler is in day care 3 days a week which we pay full for as he is not quite 3 yet. We hope to cut it down to 3 mornings once I am off which will be covered by funding once it kicks in.

Minispringroll Mon 26-Sep-16 19:30:27

I'm going off at the end of this term. It means that I'll start mat leave at about 33 weeks (although the first of those weeks is half term, so 34 weeks officially). A colleague of mine eventually went at 38 weeks. No way would I last that long. I'm already finding it hard (not sleeping well and commute tends to take a while) and I'm beyond the point where I can be bothered to shout at Year 6 and be the strict teacher I have been in previous years. I'm also not a great fan of all the stairs and I've decided to stay out of assemblies (the hall is at the other end of the school...and nobody's willing to carry me).
It is, however, my first and it's taken us about 4 years (and two mcs) to get to this point. Work isn't my priority at the moment and I know they'll cope fine without me.

Thenorr Mon 26-Sep-16 19:46:27

I worked right until the due date with my first and expected number 2 to be the same and I WAS WRONG!!!

I think it's having a toddler at home that adds to it, but I've also been way more uncomfortable this time . I'm currently 37 weeks and finish on Thursday, and if I could have finished earlier I totally would have. By 32 weeks I was ready to start taking it easy and somewhat regret having to push on through.

I used to be a teacher and if I was still in the classroom I think I could have worked until 38 weeks with number 1, but wouldn't have been able to manage a day at the chalk face after about week 32 this time around!

Don't know if that helps smile

Shadowboy Mon 26-Sep-16 19:49:23

I'm 33 weeks and a teacher. I need the cash so am keeping going until 37 weeks. My last one was 2 weeks early. It's tough but I really, really need the money!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 26-Sep-16 19:49:57

It depends how long you are having off really and if you can afford to lose it the other side. DD1 and 2 I worked til 39 weeks, they were both 2 weeks late so still got a bit of a breather.

Expecting DC3 now, due 13th December so finishing on 30th Nov.

Scarydinosaurs Mon 26-Sep-16 19:53:40

I'm due on the 12th of Feb, also a teacher! I'm going to do a week after Christmas and then going off. I won't last longer than that! I have two other children and will be too tired to carry on any longer than that!

Star8181 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:08:39

Hi, teacher here too, due 15th Feb. I'm doing a week after Christmas, I don't think I could manage any longer, but I thought I can manage a week after the rest of the Christmas holidays. I can also help my replacement settle in, who will start the first week back.

Pandabear123 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:17:32

Hi guys. Loads of great advice, thank you very much. I am either planning on taking a whole year (although regardless when I finish I would be expected back at the start of Jan term) or not going back if we can find a way to survive without my pay. Perhaps a compromise - 1 week back afterwards- is a good plan. I can do a handover and know that I can collapse again at the end if it. Will also mean a bit more cash to save towards baby costs (although everything is going to be second hand this time around!!). Thank you all for your input

Gmbk Mon 26-Sep-16 20:19:45

Teacher here too. Due mid Jan and I'm going back for the first day so I get paid over Xmas. Too much to lose otherwise.

PotteringAlong Mon 26-Sep-16 20:23:44

I'm a teacher, due the 29th January and I'm working until January 20th. My last 2 children were born at 42 weeks so I'm assuming I'll have some time after finishing before they're born.
I'd be wary of stopping too early - if you're due Feb 11th then potentially for baby will not be here until the week after half term. That's a lot of time waiting around at home.

Pandabear123 Mon 26-Sep-16 21:08:44

Gmbk surely you will get paid for Christmas if you put a January start date down for your leave? That's what I did with my 1st who was due 3rd January. There is a good chance this one will be late like the last, so might not come until half term...but I don't feel I would be waiting around this time as I have my other little one who would be home with me most of the time. Just suggested to hubby that I only go back for a week. Was met with a rather slow "okay..." response hmm

I'm a teacher and due #2 13th Nov. Hoping to get to half term. I've put my mat leave start date as 31st Oct - the day we go back, so I'll still be paid over the holiday. Last time my return to work date was the first day of the summer holidays so got paid for them without actually going back. Tbh at 33 weeks I have lost all drive and desire to work. Having a 17mo makes it sooooo much more tiring!

Artandco Tue 27-Sep-16 08:04:25

I would probably say leave at Christmas.
That way you can give the nursery notice you will be dropping time down to 3 mornings instead of full days and they usually need a terms notice so I would check now. The savings from the nursery fees will reduce the amount lost from working extra 2 weeks.

Pandabear123 Tue 27-Sep-16 13:39:48

And I forgot to say a massive congratulations to minispringroll!! A baby after 4 years waiting is fantastic - you should definitely take it as easy as possible smile

Pandabear123 Mon 03-Oct-16 08:59:30

Thanks for all advice. I have been back and forth over this. I was planning on going back for 1 week like some suggested, but my son is absolutely hating nursery atm so I think I might just leave at Christmas and take him out of nursery. Will save me £135 a week so really my £300 pay would only be £165.... I can almost make myself believe I can justify taking off 5 weeks early...

DetailedConfusion Mon 03-Oct-16 12:10:45

I'm not a teacher but are you thinking about the other side and returning to work? Going off 5 weeks early means going back 5 weeks sooner.

With dc1 I was in hospital from 37 weeks with pre-eclampsia so had no choice but to start my leave. With dc2, he was due on the third of April and my first day of maternity leave was the first of April. I'm hoping to do the same with this one - EDD is 16th of May so i'm going to try and start my leave on Monday 15th May.

I remember how knackered I was with dc2 at the end but I want to be going back when baby is as old as possible so it's worth it for me.

Pandabear123 Mon 03-Oct-16 12:39:10

I am not sure if I going back. If I don't go back, I guess it doesn't matter. If I do go back, I think I will be asked to go back at the start of term anyway - so I would lose those 5 weeks (well 2 weeks as i dont think i would manage more than that) anyway. I think it is more about "losing" those weeks wages and what people will think of me. Many mums seem to troop through to 37/38 weeks... sounds silly but I think people will think I am lazy and it is not like we are really in a position to be blasé about money. sigh I don't know why I am stressing so much about it!!

Pandabear123 Mon 03-Oct-16 12:40:05

P's awful about you being in hospital for so long! Hope number 2 is more smooth!

DetailedConfusion Mon 03-Oct-16 12:53:02

I really don't think people will think you are lazy at all but we always feel judged in these situations.

With ds2 (and working until 2 days before his due date), I didn't have one positive comment about it...I always felt like it was a decision I had to defend and that people were judging me as selfish and putting the baby at risk by working so late.

I don't think we can win tbh so just do what you think is best and try not to worry or second guess.

Pandabear123 Mon 03-Oct-16 17:04:54

God really? I would admire any woman who can work that late! Funny isn't it, people always manage to criticise! My mum has just offered to take my boy 3 days a week until the baby comes so that is some financial pressure off at least!

Trifleorbust Mon 03-Oct-16 18:43:51

Teacher and HOD here, finishing at 34 weeks (right after half-term). I just don't feel I will be doing a good job after that, and this is an unforgiving profession. Parents, kids, management - all expect the same standard as before, so I am going early. My blood pressure will thank me.

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