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



  • edited Apr 4, 2019 10:07PM
    We were extremely lucky that my husband's work does an amazing Shared Parental Leave Package. We were able to share some of the leave together after she was born then once i went back to work after 7 months (due to money) he took over the reins for 3 months.

    This was an amazing opportunity for us, he was able to bond more with her. It obviously was hard for me as i missed out on some things but knowing she was with her dad helped. Doing shared parental leave also helped us out financially as we saved 3 months' worth of childcare. 
  • I took 9 months. I took my son to groups and swimming lessons, however, I was bored a lot of the time. On the other hand I didn't want to go back to work either.
  • It was an awfully long time ago, but I remember it as being bliss. No issues throughout and plenty of good quality support around me.
  • I was only allowed 18 weeks including the time post birth , so I had to go back fulltime  at 12 weeks my husband was given a week off, and as I had a 3 day delivery and ended up with a section I was in hospital most of his time off was when I was giving birth and in hospital, it was fairly dreadful  really I still hadn't recovered from the major abdominal surgery and constant sleepless nights as my baby was in constant pain and only slept for short bursts (even now as a teenager  he only sleeps for 6 hours)  really took a toll on my mental health, and now I just resent my employer 
  • Sorry, no experience of this.
  • I’m currently on mat leave with my second baby and we’re not taking shared parental leave, mainly because my OH is self employed and can’t really afford to. I’m not resentful though and things balance back out when I’m working as we’ve both adjusted our hours so that we each have a weekday with the children. This equity in parenting is very important to me, and as an exMple to my 2 boys - looking after children is something for both parents to do equally.
  • edited Apr 5, 2019 9:19AM
    Due to my husband being a contractor and me being on (essentially) zero hour contracts, neither of us was entitled to maternity/paternity leave/pay. I fortunately had a problem free pregnancy and finished work 9 days before my c section so had some wages coming in that I could save. My husband had saved some money up so took a few days off during our c section week and then took a full week off once we were home. I was hoping to have 3 months off work but ended up easing myself back into work after my 6 week check, both for financial reasons but also because I felt I wanted to do something too as I love my jobs. I think my husband was sad not to get 2 weeks off, however as I work in hospitality my main work is at the weekends so I get most of the week with Ted
  • I took the full 13 months off with both of mine and wouldn't have wanted to share it with my partner! I loved being off when they were babies, establishing breastfeeding and meeting other mums.
  • I took the maximum maternity leave, my husband only got two weeks off. The hardest part was after he went back to work! 
  • My wife gave birth to our little girl Holly and I got to spend 4 weeks off with her and it was absolutely amazing !
  • My year long maternity leave turned into a career break as we had twins and my salary would not cover two sets of nursery fees. It's completely crazy that we are better off financially without me earning a penny than having gone back to work.  I found the early days of my maternity leave very difficult as I lost a lot of blood and had pre eclampsia too, plus the twins weren't very good at sleeping and definitely not at the same time as each other.  I had constant help for the first 6 weeks from my husband and our families and I don't know how I'd have managed otherwise as I could barely get out of bed for the first 2 weeks.
  • It was great. We both were able to spend quality time with our little one without worrying about things that didn't matter.
  • We both found it hard with less money and had to budget hard. It’s like being penalised for having a child which seems unfair.
  • After my maternity leave I made the decision to stay at home full time as I wanted to spend as much quality time with my kids while they were small, my husband took paternity leave so helped a lot too
  • Me and my husband are both self employed so although money was really tight, we both took time off to get to know our new baby and get over the shock of sleepless nights! My husband went back to work first then I started again after about 6 months. The highlights were the trips to the park together, going shopping for her first dolly,being able to go and stay with Grandma whenever we was really nice to have that support there from my husband too. If it happened now, I think my husband would need to keep working as our general costs have gone up a lot since then and our eldest is starting university this year.

    Here's a picture of our little girl. Look at those eyes! :smile: 


  • Luckily my employer was fairly generous so I was able to have 10 months off both times, with only a few months on statutory pay.  I wouldn't have wanted to share it with my ex-husband.
  • I loved my maternity leave with my first baby. I had to leave work earlier than I first thought I would as I was too exhausted. So I had 8 weeks at home before she was born. After the birth my husband had his 2 weeks paternity leave and luckily for us he got another 2 weeks leave tagged on as pre deployment leave. When my baby was 4 weeks old he flew to Afghanistan for a 7 month tour. I wouldn’t have been able to get through that time without my beautiful baby. I was so busy with her by myself that the time flew by. I went back to work when she was 6 months old due to money. Before then I loved going to baby groups and meeting other mums, keeping busy with picnics and park trips etc that time with my baby was precious and I loved every minute. 
  • Unfortunately I didn't get any but I suspect it's a lot like redundancy with lots to do!
  • I was going to take six months off but ended up having a year off.  I was only paid for 6 months though. We lived off savings for the next 6 months.  My son was breastfed and although we tried to wean him it was more difficult than we expected and neither of us felt ready for me to go back after just 6 months.  It was probably the best year of my life.  It was nice not to have to worry about going to work and get into a proper routine.  I hated having to go back to work and didn't go back to the job I was doing before. 
  • I took full maternity leave. My company was great. I went in to visit after I had my son. Keeping in touch was important to me, as without that, it would've been hard to return. I had a lot of Braxton Hicks during my pregnancy and my son was a big boy, so not the easiest in the last couple of months to carry. After his birth I had a lot of support from family which was great as it took me 7 weeks just to be able to sit without being in pain. I enjoyed my time at home with my son. It was hard work, but routine was key. Mother and baby groups were great, but I didn't discover these until my son was older. It's good to get out and talk to other parents. I didn't have a clue what to expect, but from experience, the only thing I would change would be getting out a bit more and cooking fresh foods and freezing them in ice cube trays, it's always handy.  

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