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Tell Shared Parental Leave what your maternity/paternity leave was like: win a voucher!



  • I had about a month of paternity leave for both of my children. This was mainly due to a considerate employer, and working a 12 hour shift pattern, 4 days on and 4 days off.
  • It was fantastic! I took mine a month before my due date, it was lovely to enjoy it without children. Get used to being at home and get everything ready for the baby. I took a full 12 months off work using full maternity pay and I enjoyed every second of it!
  • It was the best!! Spent lots of time together.
  • I was lucky enough to not have the return to work hanging over me as I had decided to be a stay at home parent. The leave was therefore just perfect.
  • It was hard! I fractured my back during labour and have been in a lot of pain ever since. I was initially sent home from hospital unable to lift my baby. Maternity leave gave me lots of nice opportunities to spend time with baby and with other new Mum friends but it was also lonely and hard work.
  • I had 3 weeks and it was wonderful. Our daughter was premature and so was in hospital for the first 10 days with my wife. It was great that I was able to spend 12 hours a day with them, and was able to pop out and do errands. The whole 3 weeks were magical getting to know our new family member. 
  • Maternity leave turned into full time but paternity leave, boosted by holiday leave flew past (2 weeks) 
  • I had a year of maternity leave, which I dearly loved. It's so tough being a new mum so I really appreciated this special time. The first 6 months was full pay, with a further 3 months at half and then just the SMP. Not to have to worry about money for the first 6 months was a god send, but it did get tougher after that. My employer did allow upto 10 KIT days which were fully paid and the accrual of fully paid annual leave, so them helped to top up my funds towards the end. Although it was tough to return to work, the time away with my baby allowed me to be the confident mum a needed to be.
  • I was off from 29 weeks due to pre eclampsia. Luckily I received 6 months leave at full pay and 6 months leave at half pay. My partner worked for the same company and only got a measly two weeks off with us, one of which was spent at the hospital!
  • My children are grown up now, but at the time, I was happy with my maternity leave.  There was no paternity leave or shared parental leave at that time, so hubby took a couple of weeks holiday.
  • I loved my maternity leave and took full advantage of the whole time off, and luckily I went back part time when it finished so my husband and I could share childcare, not that I wanted to go back at all.
  • I found it went so fast! Partner only took 2 weeks off as his job's commission based, but he spent time with us all as a family at weekends.
  • We were very lucky to have had enough savings to allow me to take the maximum maternity leave.
  • I ended up having 2 years maternity for my youngest two (as had them close together) my husband had 4 weeks paternity. I returned to work part time - 2 days a week. xx
  • very difficult pregnancy so did not enjoy the frequent trips and stays in hospital
  • I had 6 weeks off before the birth of both and went back to work 10 weeks after both were born. I had no choice as I was the only wage earner, so actually my student husband looked after them in the main whilst I worked.It worked out well and our kids have avery close relationship with us both. 
  • I was able to take the full amount of maternity leave which was brilliant but my husband is self employed so wasn’t able to take any time off at all which was hard for both of us.  Money was tight and it was very hard adjusting to having so little to live on but the time spent with my child those first nine months was very special. 
  • I did needed to take full maternity leave because my partner could not take any due to nature of his work. So I had a quite stressful time on my own, always tired and I needed to cope what is came along. The first three months was the hardest due to my baby having reflux and after that gradually got easier. I was able to leave the house with my baby, have a little walk and generally have a few simple pleasures. All these times are precious and special for our family bonding. 
  • Maternity leave was a wonderful experience for me, but I was elated to return to work when my now 3 yr old was 7 mths. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter to the moon and back but I needed balance - mummy, wife, friends, work time. It was healthier for me to have it this way than to be rocking backwards and forwards in the corner at home. My husband took two weeks off but we are lucky that he can work from hone.

    Now my third and final baby is now 6 months old..... I now work from home.... No option for me to leave my little ones and return to the world of outside work (Nanny no longer around to watch my babies), so rocking back and forth in the corner is a regular weekly activity. 😂
  • Just about to take maternity leave, but work for myself so will need help from my partner during his paternity break to keep the business running. Not sure how that will pan out in reality!
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