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



  • I was made redundant whilst pregnant, my company agreed to pay my SMP but they were closing down so I had to start my maternity leave early as they didn't need me anymore. Therefore I spent three months off work before my baby was born. It was quite nice because I had time to relax and get my home ready for the arrival of my newborn. However it meant I had to look for a new job and go back to work when he was 6 months old. I still felt I had quality time with him though and I will always treasure that time.
  • My daughter is 18 months old and took a full years maternity leave with her, currently on maternity leave with my son and will take a full year off with him too. It's hard, but worth it
  • was very tired :(
  • I took the maximum maternity leave - fantastic x
  • I took the full amount and loved every minute of it. I only returned to work part time. I did have twins and would have appreciated my partner having double paternity leave!
  • Like many mums on here I took 12 months using maternity and annual leave and my partner took 2 weeks. Financially we couldn’t afford for my partner to take more although I’m currently pregnant with my second child and would love him to take more this time round. 

    The biggest thing for me was the mental support he offered in the early days when I was suffering with anxiety and exhaustion. He was my rock and when he had to go back to work I was riddled with anxiety and worry. He also found that his paternity was early in and mostly about supporting me, whereas it would have been wonderful for him to be able to have taken some time later on once baby was a bit older and he could have enjoyed her rather than worrying about me. 

    In theory the the idea of shared maternity/paternity is great but as a mum who breast fed, couple with the financial constraints I didn’t feel like we could fully utilise it. 

    I’m all for the scandanavian approach where dads are given several weeks paternity as a standard and can spread it out over 6 months. 
  • I didn't enjoy it really because my husband is in the Royal Navy and sometimes he would be away for days or weeks at a time. And I lived away from family. He was able to get weeks off here and there, but I became the main carer so felt the pressure of it even when he was at home.
  • I'm 16 weeks and still being sick! When will it end!!! I was hoping the second trimester would be easier and to be fair I'm not as sick as I was but not 'blooming' as I was hoping. Great competition thanks for the chance to win. 
  • With my first child, it was hard, so hard, as I had no idea that a baby would change my life so much and that I'd have no time to do anything for myself. With my second, I was expecting it to be terrible, again, but they just slotted in with family life and were much easier to care for. Both my children had reflux and were sick A LOT, this definitely made my ML worse!
  • First maternity leave was too short and over too soon. With my second I took extended leave, returning after 12 months, much better for all of us.
  • I was made redundant from my employment 2 months after I found out I was expecting, to top it all my last working day was Christmas Eve. Trying to find another job after that was impossible so my maternity started at 4 months. My husband was not keen on me returning to work after our son was born so I was off work for about 18 months in total. I started to feel like I was losing my identity, frustrated with being labelled just a mum/wife by my husband and financially we were seriously struggling. I made the decision to go back to work when my son was a year old without the support of my husband (we are now divorced) and found I could be a better parent as a working mum than a stay at home. 
  • My boys were all born before shared leave. My twins were in neo-natal care for 3 weeks and my husband was at work while I got taxis to the hospital every day. I really could have done with him being at home with me during that time. I was recovering from a C-Section, trying to express milk and travelling to and from my babies. When they came home, I struggled on my own, with no family or friends to help out - quite frankly looking back I don't know how I coped - I really could have done with some help.
  • I had to go back to work when my daughter was 6 months old.I did resent having to stop breast feeding as she would have carried on for much longer. 
  • I went back to work 6 months after I had my 2 boys. I regretted it both times and found it really hard in the first few months, but had no choice due to finances.
  • We found having two parents to take the load and share the adventure was invauable. (Though tbh you have to assess the 'value' in terms of what it can cost even with supposed shared rights)
  • I was able to take the full 12 months off. My paid leave was quite good and we saved up money before having a baby so I could take the whole time off. 
    I really enjoyed maternity leave and the relaxed days and the one-on-one time with my baby. Although it can be a bit boring and you do end up watching a lot of box sets on tv whilst feeding the baby and through the sleepy cuddles! 
  • I took the full 12 months of maternity leave but then when I returned to work my partner took a year out to stay at home with our daughter. I think it was a great decision and gave him the opportunity to spend quality time with her that he would have missed out on. With our next child I will be looking into shared leave as I think this would give us the best options.
  • Ive loved my maternity leave. We didn't do shared leave from a financial point of view, plus hubby gets 3 days a week with us as it is.

    Im dreading going back to work, but have just discovered I'm pregnant again so will only be back for 6 or 7 months. I've always wanted my babies close and looking forward to having bonding time with them both 😍
  • I loved my paternity leave. Such an important time and I’m so grateful that my company supported m. 
  • I plan to take the full maternity leave but it will depend on our financial situation unfortunately
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