Body · london · Mind · Preparation

Week 31 – the maternity leave quandary

Sound the alarm, ring the bell – LESS THAN 10 WEEKS TO GO! Well. That’s if you assume that Squish is going to make a timely appearance, which she’s highly unlikely to. Due dates give you the false appearance of having any control over when your little one is going to appear…in fact, Squish is the most likely to be fully cooked around 2 weeks either side of September 13th. That’s a 4 week window! Which means I could have just five weeks left. Erk.  It also means that I could potentially go into labour at work. LOL. Maybe I should cover my chair in some sort of tarpaulin just in case?

The uncertainty around when your baby will actually arrive makes it super tricky to figure out when to start maternity leave to get the most out of it. It would be ideal if the UK followed Sweden’s lead (they get a whopping 480 days paid at 80%) but unfortunately, for the majority of UK mums, the time allocated tends to be relatively limited – and subject to the company you work for. I’m lucky with the package I was offered (12 weeks full pay, then statutory), but even then I felt I had to pick a window that avoided both having too short a time at home to prepare, and wasting my precious weeks twiddling my thumbs on the sofa when I could have been squirreling away more pay.

I’ve opted to start mat leave 2 weeks before my due date – I have a desk-based job that’s near enough to my house, with a comfortable commute and the option to work from home if I need to. Let’s just hope I get a little time off to enjoy all the sleep I can get before Squish arrives! Must. Finish. All. The. Boxsets.

baby is coming.jpg

It’s going to be SO weird not being at work. I know I’ll probably be too distracted to really notice it once Squish is here, but I’ve invested so much time in my job, growing and developing my role, that it feels like I have a baby already! My company has been so supportive of me starting a family and there are a lot of parents on the staff already, which is really encouraging, but I have a slight worry about falling out of the loop through being out of the business for so long, plus a little pang at abandoning my hard work for an indefinite period of time.

Behold, my large mechanical child.

It can’t be helped though, and there’s lots of ways to keep in touch with work if I want to. Maybe my husband will fulfil his dream of being a house husband while I head back to work! Or there’s lots of childcare/flexible working options we could explore. It’s impossible to know what the right option will be, and so hard to fight the urge to plan (especially if you’re a bit of a control freak like me). Oh well. I suppose we will just have to see what happens post baby!

Right. Back to binge watching The Night Of from the vantage point of my birthing ball. Multi tasking! And it’s surprisingly comfortable. Win.

Love me some Riz..

Nat xxx





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