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  • it wasn't possible for us both to be off for long by my other half did use a lot of his annual holiday entitlement to extend the period. It was helpful but I know going back to work was hard for him
  • I took the maximum amount of time (1 yr ) when I had my first baby in 2002. My second baby,in 2004, I had only 9 months as my husband gave up his job, to continue as a house-husband.This he has never regretted. Yes, back then, the mat pay was not as generous,and we had to sacrifice holidays and use old runabouts, but we did it. There is one thing worse than failure ...and that is regret.
  • i enjoyed my Mat leave but to be fair i was ready to go back to work by the end of it, ready for a bit of independence again lol x
  • I took the full maternity leave and my husband took 2 weeks off 
    it was lovely to spent some quality time together but also it was tough and challenging at Times ! 

  • I had the maximum allowed in the NHS and my manager was great after my return. My best advice is to know the Carer's Policy where you work.
  • Before our son was born everyone always said "Time will fly" and that is so true. I am now coming to the end of my planned leave (10 months) and I don't feel like I've had long enough. Our son came 5 weeks early and we moved house and city when he was 6 weeks old (definitely would not recommend!), so it has been a whirlwind! Luckily my husband's employer allowed him to postpone his paternity leave to once we had moved house, so he took his 4 weeks at full pay plus 2 weeks of holiday at a time that suited us better. In the early day's I didn't feel like I needed an extra pair of hands as much as after 6 months, so it would've been great to delay my husband's paternity leave until then. I think he agrees too, as he says that he was able to connect more with our son once he wanted something other than boob and sleep!
  • I took 9 months off with my son and my partner had 5 weeks once he was born. I couldn't have coped without him, those first few weeks were so hard with my son having reflux. We couldn't afford for him or me to be off longer, I do wish we'd have had other options but I do feel privileged to have been able to spend 9 months off with my son.
  • I felt very lucky to have 6 months maternity leave from my job.  Towards the end I was quite big and had a few little health problems so decided to take the maternity a little early and returned to work when he was 4 months old - at that time I was ready to return but decided to go part time as I was lucky that we were able to afford to take the cut in pay and luckily my employer had policies etc all in place so I was able to do this without anyone being upset or annoyed about it.  I really enjoyed going back part time as I felt isolated a little, just baby and me during the maternity as I was used to working full time in a busy office that was non-stop, so I felt it was a great balance of work and home life as I still wanted to work but also wanted to be with my baby! I only wish everyone had the opportunity like I did to decide what they wanted as I feel a lot of parents have to return when they dont want to, or some simply have to give up work as the child care costs outstrip their wages. At the time (approx 17 years ago)  if I had gone back to work full-time the child care costs would have been more than what I actually earned before deductions!
  • I took a year off with my first child and it was amazing to be there with her for the first steps but 5 years later and a good job I had my second daughter and I couldn’t afford to take that sort of time off I had 3 months and financially that was a struggle I felt really guilty and was emotionally stressed but I needed to provide for my family as my husband worked abroad so he couldn’t help look after them luckily I had my parents after 6 months of being back at work I had a large pay rise and was given the opportunity to work from home which worked out perfectly so when I had my 3rd child I could be there for everything 
  • I had 6 months maternity leave. I really enjoyed getting to spend that time with my daughter and bonding with her. It was nice to go back to work though as it can get a bit stuck in a rut when home all the time.
  • I took a full year off after giving birth. It was hard financially but we had saved up beforehand. About 3 months after giving birth, we moved from a 3rd floor flat to a 'doer-upper' so I spent most of my maternity leave on a building site trying to find various necessary baby items from cardboard boxes around the house. It probably wasn't as relaxing as I imagined that it was going to be. My husband didn't take any time off and did all the work on the house himself so we were mostly knackered! Still, we have lots of 'baby on a building site photos' to look back at and chuckle at. I think it made us all a bit more resilient and thankful for everyday routine and things like carpets! 
  • My first was when paternity leave was about as easy as winning the lottery 5 weeks in a row, my second was self employed so it didn't happen for either
  • I took 11 months maternity leave and I was very pleased to be able to have that time with my dc.
    I had to stop paying my workplace pension and I had to sell my car as I had no income which were the downsides.
    The upsides were plentiful, lots of time and memories made, lots of photos and time to recuperate after the birth which wasn’t at all straight forward.
  • I loved my Maternity leave. I was off work for 9 months. I loved having the time with my baby boy! My partner took 2 weeks paternity leave which helped at the start as i had an emergency c section so i needed looking after too! 
  • A struggle money wise, but lovely.
  • Non-existent
  • For my 1st maternity week I took the whole 52 weeks off, for my 2nd maternity leave I took the 39 weeks off and for my last one I took 39 weeks off then realised the cost of childcare was too much and it wasn't worth going back to work so I gave my notice in and am a full time mum now.
  • My partner had 5 weeks off at the same time as me. I was glad when he went back to work as a daily routine is easier when its just me and the baby working it out :) It was lovely that he got to spend so much time with the baby though!
  • My maternity leave was very short, thankfully things are a lot better for Moms and Dads now 
  • I suffered from HG so took maternity leave as soon as I could. I then spent a lot of time recovering. My husband had 2 weeks holiday (had started a new job so wasn’t entitled to paternity leave). Luckily I had my mum or I wouldn’t have been able to do it! Stayed enjoying it about 4 months after birth, but it was hard going.
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