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Maternity Leave and Ladies who are back in work FULL TIME!

Hi all,

Gate crashing from Pregnancy, but wanted your thoughts and experiences on maternity leave and going back to work full time.

Looking at my maternity policy with my job, I'm only going to be able to afford to take about 18 weeks maternity (plus 3 weeks annual leave). I'm really lucky really as for those 18 weeks I pretty much get the same amount of pay as I would if I was working. But after those 18 weeks, the pay drops to just SMP, which we cannot afford for me to take.

When I go back to work, I'm HOPING (boss has okayed this, just need to chat to personel now) that I can have every other Friday off (and hubby will do similar for the other friday) but not actually drop hours, just extend my hours for the other 9 working days in a fortnight (if that makes sense?!). My mum has then offered to have baby for two days a week, and we'll use a child minder in the area that I work (as I can easily leave work if there's a problem, hubby can't. Typical really as he works about 5/10 minutes from home, and I work about 40 mins, but hey, can't be helped.) for the other 2 days.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit worried that 18 (21 with annual leave) weeks is really short. Whats going to happen with LO going onto finger foods and things. I'm sure the child minder we choose will have plenty of experience with that type of thing, but I still wonder. Plus, with baby's evening meal and bed times and things (reading you ladies on here to look at normal bedtimes and evening meal times etc) and that I won't be finishing work until gone 5, then having to pick LO up and drive home...I just can't see how timings and things will work! I feel like I'll hardly do anything with baby during the week! :\(

Can you please share your experiences and how you work your week?


C xxx


  • Hi I can't offer advice but I am in a similar boat, My boss has suggested I can work flexible hours and partly work from home but as I am only 12 weeks I haven't ironed all these things.

    However I only get SMP, so that is just six weeks at 90%, can't afford to live after that point, hoping to roll two weeks over from this year, plus use a couple of weeks from next year but I am still at only 10 weeks. Most nurseries I am looking at are from 1 year onwards so really not sure what I am going to do.

    I have no family locally who can help with childcare so I will have to pay for it all, can't really afford an inhouse childminder, so need to find a nursery that will take from a few months old image

    Really stressed about it and don't know what to do. On paper hubbie and I earn too much money to get any help but we live to our means and have our mortgage to pay.

    How are we supposed to afford kids??? x x x
  • Hiya sorry to hear your not goin to get long off. I went back to work part time when my lo was 4months old it took sum gettin used to but once we'd got used to the routine it was jst normal.

    I then started full time when lo was bout 9 months old, I work 9-5 at the moment my work won't let me change my hours which is annoyin, but at least i've got a job. I drop my lo at the childminders at 8.30 and in the morning its a bit of a rush but we manage, i try to organise stuff in the eve, but it doesn't always happen. I then pick my lo up and 5.30 we go home and she generally goes to bed bout 6.15 6.30ish so we don't really get a lot of time together during the week, but unfortunately we have no choice. My childminder gives lo her evening meal as well as it's b too late if i did when we got home. The childminder should take your wihses on board within reason, mine sticks to my lo's routine pretty much altho my lo doesn't always sleep alot there cos she's too nosey, and as you said hopefully the childminder will have lots of experience.

    Good luck with the rest of ur pg xx
  • I'm self-employed so couldn't afford to take any time off as it would be detrimental for the business. I was back to work running around to meetings and chasing clients just after 3 weeks (I had c-section). I've got a childminder in the house since week 1, have changed a few since the beginning - my DS is 4 months old now. Of course I miss him if I'm out and about all day, same as my partner when he comes back home. We just try to make the most of it when we are home - take him for walks, take him to playgroups, go swiming at weekends, play and read books before he falls asleep around 10-1030pm. We've got routine in place and have just started weaning, I'm also breast-feeding twice a day. He's always really happy to see us, but he likes to just play in the gym and see other people. As long as the childcare you arrange is good - whether Ofsted registered or not - you will be fine. Children are a lot more adaptable than us and I think it's mostly us moms worrying about it all and struggling to let go and not be around LO's all the time. Good luck!
  • Hi

    I'm new to this forum, but have been in Baby for a while!

    Lyla was 6 months old when I went back to work full time. Like you, we have a mortgage to pay and I'm the main wage earner, so there was no way we could afford for either of us to drop our hours.

    Lyla has been going to nursery full time since I went back to work. We have no family of friends close by to help with childcare.

    We drop her off at 7.45-8am, and collect her just after 4.30pm. She has a bottle at home first thing, then she has all her other meals at nursery during the week. We just give her a bedtime bottle at home. When she started nursery, we wrote down what her routine was, what food she was eating etc etc. Any changes to that original routine have been discussed with nursery as we've gone along, including weaning etc. They have tried as much as posible to keep to what we want in terms of her trying different foods and so on.

    The way I look at it is that we're paying them (a lot of money) to look after our daughter, so they should do things as we want.

    By the time we get home, it's usually about 5.30pm. We have playtime and cuddles for about an hour, then she has her bath at 6.30, bottle and then she's in bed for about 7pm. We then have our evening meal once she's in bed, so we have some "grown-up time" as well.

    The hardest thing I've found is trying to fit all the housework in as well as full-time work, bearing in mind that we leave home at 7.15am every day. I've had to write myself a rota to make sure I do one job a night (e.g. ironing one night, dusting another, clean the bathroom another), because otherwise I found my weekends were completely taken up with housework and I had no family time or time to relax. We've been doing this a while now, and it seems to be working ok.

    Hope that helps.
  • HI
    My lo is 12 weeks old and i am taking 21 weeks maternity leave. I only get the basic package and as I am the main wage earner this was the maximum I could take. It worked out okay for me as my waters broke 6 weeks early and he arrived 6 days later so I didn't "waste" much of my leave waiting for him to arrive! He'll be 20+ 3 when I go back to work full time. I have arranged to work slightily compressed hours so I finish at 2 on a Friday. I'll be home for 5.30pm Mon- Thur and 2.20pm on a Friday which will give me a wee bit of time with him myself.
    We have a famil friend who is going to nanny for us in our own home. It's a massive relief and whilst I would have loved longer at home with him I am okay about going back to work.
    Hubby's job changes in 16 months and his salary should jump significantly. Iwe can afford it I think I'll try and go 3 days a week but it will depend on how settled and happy lo is.
  • Hi all,

    I am only going to get 6 weeks 90% pay and then 33 weeks SMP ??117pw. I earn approx ??1500pm salery. My Mortgage and bills come to ??1100pm. How am I ment to live?
  • Hi worried22.
    I'm afraid you and your partner need to start saving. You will get ??20 child benefit a week and you may be eligble for tax credits which would help. It's worth looking into. You may also have holidays which will accumulate. As my maternity fell over two holiday years I took one weeks holiday before lo was born and am taking 4 at the end of my maternity which has helped a lot.
    I panicked when I realised what statutory mat pay was especially as i am a high earner (and the breadwinner in our house). It worked out we were short ??2000 a month. We managed to save a bit but 16 weeks on stat minimum was the most we could do. I started buying nappies, wipes etc when they were on offer and stockpiling which has been really helpful. People are very generous with new babies and our big outlays were met by grandparents which we were very grateful for. He was gifted so many clothes and vouchers i pretty much have no need to buy him clothes until he is a year old. Again this was very unexpected but gratefully received!
    We have managed and i never thought we would. You have time to save a bit and its amazing how much you minimise your outgoings when you have to.
    good luck xx
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