Why I Can't Wait to Go Back To Work After Maternity Leave

In the UK we are incredibly lucky to be able to take up to a year off of work when we have our babies, however, this is not fully paid leave. The current entitlement will vary from employer to employer, but the legal minimum required is; 
(taken from the Gov.uk website which can be found here)
Statutory Maternity Pay or SMP - The first six weeks are paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax then the remaining 33 weeks at £184.03 or 90% of your AWE whichever is lower. The final 13 weeks should you choose to take it would then be unpaid.  - Figures accurate as of April 2024. You will also still have your annual leave entitlement

When I found out I was pregnant with our second baby in March of 2023 we knew she would be due late November so I decided to start my maternity leave on 23rd October - making me 36 weeks pregnant. I have chosen to end my maternity leave on 31st July 2024 and take 5 weeks of annual leave to cover August meaning my return to work date is 2nd September 2024 and I cannot wait. 

Please do not assume this means I do not love my children and want to spend as much time with them as possible. I love my children more than I could ever explain and relish every single extra moment I can spend with them, but I cannot wait to get back to work and these are my reasons why. 

1) Money - Maternity pay is rubbish. I'm in a position with my job that I am paid a decent wage and so the drop in pay when on maternity leave is definitely noticeable, especially with the cost of living rising drastically. We will be much better off financially once I return to work, even with the extra childcare cost. 

2) Socialising - Maternity leave is lonely, especially when all of your friends and family work a 9-5 job. I spend 90% of my time now alone with my baby and count down to the weekends when I have my husband home and friends are available. When I go back to work I will have lots of other adults to talk to. 

3) Sence of Self - When I had both of my babies I felt like I lost myself and became 'Mummy' Everything is about the children - which is as it should be - but when I go back to work I get to be myself again and have things outside of the children which is definitely needed.

4) Mental Health - all of the things above contribute towards issues with my mental health. After I had my first baby I had quite bad post-natal depression which I have never hidden and when I fell pregnant the second time it was something that played on my mind as I knew the likelihood was I would get it again. One of the things that helped last time was returning to work. While I thankfully do not appear to have post-natal depression this time round, I still know that returning to work will help to prevent this as you can get post-natal depression up to two years after the birth of your baby. 

While returning to work will mean that I will miss out on time with my children and will be one of the hardest things to do, I know it will make me a better mother in the long run. I do feel that it is frowned upon to say that in the 'mum community' but here I am. Saying it. 

I can't wait to go back to work!

Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...