Only you can answer that. I did go back to work early, but only by a few weeks (so baby was 10 months old). For me it was a good move professionally and I hated my old job. But I did make it clear that I wouldn’t be available before X date. They had to wait for me and the compromise was ok for both. On my first mat leave I was very close to being offered a job when my baby was 6 months old. In the end I was relieved to have come ‘a close second’ as I wasn’t ready to come back
I don't know. I'm just had so many good opportunities come to me while on ML for higher salaries that I keep thinking that maybe I'm selling myself short. My career has always been very important to me, but being made redundant a couple of years ago made my confidence go below ground.
It might be relevant that the one I went back early for wasn’t actually more money on the salary scale but it was greater flexibilIty around nursery equating to more at the end of the month. The one I didn’t want to go back for was more money, more responsibility, more travel. With small kids sometimes it’s about what makes life easier than what pays the most