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  • i took the maximum amound and didnt want to go back to work!!!
  • I am the higher earner in our marriage so my maternity leave was just financially stressful! I was back at work by the time our baby was 16 weeks old and had begged for as many KIT days as possible. Our little boy is nearly two and we are still in debt from my time on maternity leave. It was also one of the loneliest experiences in the world and I longed for adult interaction. 
  • With our first baby this shared maternity wasn't available so when it came in and we had our third daughter we thought we would give it a chance. The main problem we found was that his boss was not as happy as mine, because the woman has 9 months to plan, my employers were happy to give my the maternity, but his bosses were not as happy, they felt it was inappropriate. Some jobs were hard also for my husband mainly with feeding two little ones at home and getting the other child to school. Especially with breast feeding becoming so easy, at one point I was having to express for two little ones, where as if i was still on maternity it would of worked easier. I needed to  recover with our four and last because I had a c-section so made more sense for myself to take the whole maternity, my husband felt the 2 weeks paternity was enough. 
  • I really loved my maternity leave, I had 6 months off on full pay and it was a beautiful bonding time with my baby boy. But I also looked forward to returning to work and getting into the real life family routine, and my baby boy thrived at nursery too!
  • My wife took the full year off work, and I ended up giving up work all together because of ill health, so were both at home for the first year of our baby's life. It was wonderful. We felt we were able to support each other very well, and we were able to build a strong bond with our baby. Finances were tough of course, but we will only have one baby and so we wanted to spend that precious time with her. 
  • I took 10 months off but was only entitled to SMP even though I’m a manager and had a 30k plus annual salary. I decided I would work from home for 8 months and received a top up of my SMP. However it was much harder than i thought trying to juggle being a first time mum and working, it caused me a lot of stress and I had postnatal depression. I wish I hadnt done it to be honest and I wouldn’t do it again. I feel let down that my employer wasn’t able to pay me a better salary and feel that having to work from home contributed to my PND
  • I'm taking 10 months and I'm currently on month 7 an loving it! Although it's going way too fast I'm already having back to work dread.  I'm not sure if it is how I imagined, probably not quite I suppose, I'm not going out for as many coffee/lunch date as I thought I would.
  • I was very lucky that I could take a year off and my employer was very supportive. Although I certainly wouldn't have been able to do the same without the security of my husband's job. 
  • I had a lovely relaxing time off, had plenty of time to get ready for my baby and spend good quality time with him when he was born 
  • My maternity pay was the legal minimum (before the change in legislation) and my husband is self-employed so got none.  I found it a very lonely experience and went back more quickly as I felt so isolated on my own with a new-born.  Money was also a big issue as we needed the certainty of money coming in each month to cover the bills.
  • I was a single parent so although I had a years leave it seemed to go by like a flash!
  • I managed to write my first book due to being able to take my maternity leave - I've now written 4 and although I haven't been successful in being published I have a massive sense of achievement :) My other half took paternity leave but only two weeks - he couldn't wait to get back to work!
  • Im still currently on maternity leave - though this is my second time. Im having a lovely time seeing my lovely daughter grow and develop each day. I think having time with your baby is so so important when it comes to bonding. My partner only got to have 2 weeks of which is a shame. I’d love it if paternity leave could be extended for a couple of weeks. I also think shared leave is fabulous! Although as I knew this time around I would be breastfeeding, it works for us for me to take my full maternity leave.
  • My contract ended during my maternity leave, so i took had 9 months payment even though contract ended at 5 months and took a year's maternity in the end.  My husband had 2 weeks at the start only.  I enjoyed the time mostly, although it was very lonely.  I went to every group i could but was unable to make real friends in the village, much more successful when i went to a city group.
  • I took the whole maternity period myself. I’m very lucky in that I work for a government body that offers 26 weeks full pay maternity leave, plus bank holidays on top and any accrued leave (and I get 7.5 weeks leave a year standard). By the time I went back to work I’d been off almost a year.
  • I went on maternity leave a month before my due date even though I planned to only take it after the arrival for health reasons.  Hubby only had a week off which was quite hard as I was depending on him quite a lot in the course of that week.  I did take the whole year off even though I never planned to.  I worked part-time and changed my working days to hubby's off days so we could save on childcare.
  • I took my first maternity leave and when I went back to work my husband left his job to become a stay at home dad. Less than 2 years later second baby arrived and we were both at home together for 6 months. Hubby kept up his usual routine with toddler and I got to relax with the baby. After that we switched roles, he went to work and I stayed at home to begin home educating. I set up my own business on a whim and out of nowhere it took off allowing hubby to leave work again to look after our 3 kids so I can work from home. I get a few days to work, a day to take the kids out myself and a few days where we are all together. 
  • I enjoyed maternity leave with my first.  With my others I wasn't working, so didn't get any (but also didn't earn any money during this time).  My partner had 2 weeks paternity leave then was deployed to Norway for 6 weeks ( his CO definitely hated him) .
  • Hubby self employed so he didn't qualify for any paid parental leave at the time. This made those first few weeks very, very difficult.
  • My husband used a combination of paternity leave and annual leave to be around for the first five weeks, it was lovely to have his help and to spend special time together as a new family!
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