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When to start maternity leave

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by EulersTheorem, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Please help me!
    I am very stuck on when to take maternity leave. I'm a secondary school teacher. I am due the 9th July, but we break up on the 6th July. This is my first baby, so obviously have no idea what i will feel like come July!
    My dilemma is that towards the end of term, teaching starts to dwindle and we do more investigations which is less teacher led, hence i can rest. I will also lose three exam classes, so my timetable will significantly reduce. I feel that i would rather be busy at school feeling fat at hot, than to be at home, worrying about the birth, being a mum, and being fat and hot. There is also the case, that I am planning on only taking 5 months maternity leave (the last month being a tight squeeze on money) and would rather all that time be spent with my baby, than before hand with me resting - I'm not very good at resting.
    I will also say good bye to my form, who i have had for 2 years (we do a two year rota).
    Do you think staying until the end of time will be ok? there are so many things keeping me at school.
    I welcome any true and honest advice please
    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  2. Please help me!
    I am very stuck on when to take maternity leave. I'm a secondary school teacher. I am due the 9th July, but we break up on the 6th July. This is my first baby, so obviously have no idea what i will feel like come July!
    My dilemma is that towards the end of term, teaching starts to dwindle and we do more investigations which is less teacher led, hence i can rest. I will also lose three exam classes, so my timetable will significantly reduce. I feel that i would rather be busy at school feeling fat at hot, than to be at home, worrying about the birth, being a mum, and being fat and hot. There is also the case, that I am planning on only taking 5 months maternity leave (the last month being a tight squeeze on money) and would rather all that time be spent with my baby, than before hand with me resting - I'm not very good at resting.
    I will also say good bye to my form, who i have had for 2 years (we do a two year rota).
    Do you think staying until the end of time will be ok? there are so many things keeping me at school.
    I welcome any true and honest advice please
    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  3. I am in the same boat, we break up the 21st july and am due 23rd, I want to stay working right til the end, it is my 1st one too so am not sure how I will feel but I am certainly going to try my best!!!
    I think that I will give it a go and if I desperately feel I can't cope then I will go off then.
    I also have the problem that I mark GCSE papers every year, it is only a seasonal contract so am very worried that If I turn it down this year then I may not get one next year, plus the money would be very useful! the marking starts 28th june, so not only will I be working full time but also coming home and marking about 800 GCSE papers!!!
    I just think I will try my best, have told the husband he will need to be super supportive and he has agreed that he will do all the household stuff in July for me!!!
    I would say give it a go, the worst thats going to happen is that you have to phone in and say you are not well and need to start your maternity a couple of weeks early, I am sure you will manage!!!
     
  4. GemLP

    GemLP New commenter

    Its up to you when you take it, you can put down your leaving date as the last day of term and see how it goes, you can always go early. There is a policy that any illness (even if it is not related to your pregnancy) that leads you to taking time off in the 4 weeks prior to your due date will automatically start your maternity leave.
    With my first I put down the week before my due date, fully intending to work up to it, but I felt that I couldnt stay at school any longer, so ended up going 2 weeks earlier than I expected - after having a couple of days off I felt a million times better - but bored out of my mind!!!
    BUT the thing to think about is that labour is long and hard, it puts a massive amount of stress on your body and you really do need time to rest and prepare for it - if you think 3 days is enough and you will actually rest then play it by ear and go for it - but from experience it is better to have a bit of time off and sacrifice that week or two at the end of your maternity than it is to be tired going into labour!!
    Good luck ladies! x
     
  5. I stopped work at 37 weeks (work in R/Y1, SEN, with behaviours) and really regretted it. I felt like sh**e until week 32 ish and then felt great. Was 16 days late, so was 5 weeks twiddling my thumbs. If there's another one I'll give my ML start date as my due date.
     
  6. I'm leaving at 29 weeks! I'm 26 weeks now, constantly exhausted, feeling dizzy and struggling to make the hour drive to work. I also have lots to do to prepare for the baby - we need work doing to our house and I will be arranging and supervising that while on mat leave.

    You don't know how you are going to feel... I would leave it to confirm a date as late as you reasonably can. Even then if you are struggling you can always change your mind.
     
  7. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    With my first I originally planned to leave at 38 weeks, but I work in a very tough secondary school and it was getting really difficult so I changed to 36 weeks and left then. My son was 10 days late, but I didn't regret my decision one bit. I had a lovely time meeting friends, going for walks etc. I kept busy, but it was more relaxing than being at work! I was glad to have the opportunity to have lie-ins, read, relax etc.
    With my second i'm starting ML at the Easter hols when i'll be 37 weeks, but because of the holidays I won't officially start my leave until i'm 39 weeks, so it works out better with the pay!
     
  8. obviously its entirely up to you - I decided to take maternity leave at just over 36 weeks. I went into labour and had LO the day before my maternity leave started! (quite a shock) but I echo what you have said about spending the whole of your maternity time with LO (its not how I planned it but it has been amazing)
    x
     
  9. As much as I think that spending time with your baby is just as important, something a friend said to me was interesting. You need to have that 'you' time to prepare yourself. As someone else on here said, they went for walks, met with friends, had lie-ins, all the sort of things that aren't as easy/managable when baby is here. Just a thought.
    I am lucky enough to have my due date mid-late August so I think i'll be about 36ish weeks when term ends and I stop working (although I can put my ML date as the due date - again, very lucky) however, even if my EDD was mid term, I still think I'd give myself at least a couple of weeks to prepare/relax and have 'me' time before baby. So maybe about 37 weeks?? I haven't experienced this before, so I can only say what I would do ideally.
    Every person and their bodies are different, so perhaps put your ML as your due date and then see how you go.
     
  10. Wow!

    My last baby was due 29th Sept and I went back for a week after the summer hoidays. Fitness wise I was fine because I was nicely rested up, but my pregnancy was very much 'in everyone's face' by that time. I think that may be less of an issue at primary but it certainly was an issue at secondary level - especially since you see so many different children that the novelty of this doesn't wear off. Many children have never seen a lady so pregnant.
    It's a difficult one. It may be worth chatting to your pastoral deputy or whoever is responsible for planning this. Because of the time of year they may be quite happy for you to give a late date but just change if you change your mind in a way that wouldn't be possible at other times of the year.
    You might find that they and some of the other staff will give you some extra support to get you through to the end of the year because they agree with you that it will be good for you to see it through with your class if you can.
    Personally I needed a bit of time off. I wouldn't have wanted to be working right up to the end. But I would have wanted to see my tutor group off! Perhaps you could come back in for that?
     
  11. I also wouldn't start ML two days before due date- I enjoyed the time to myself and yes you do need it. Slowly but surely (with aching hips and a massive belly to lug around) i cleaned and sorted my house thoroughly to prepare it for the baby and I cooked loads of meals for the freezer. I enjoyed relaxing and meeting friends. I did finish when i was 35 weeks due to the fact that I had the Christmas hols- ML didn't start til 37 weeks. I was really ready to finish working, and felt a million times better at home. Labour and having a newborn is bloody hard work and I think you need to be prepared physically. A friend of mine worked up until 38 weeks and her son came early so she had no time off before he came. She felt frazzled, unprepared, and got post natal depression!
     
  12. Thank you all for your advise. I have handed in my letter and am working up until the end of term, giving me three days off. However, if I cannot cope, then I'll ask to start it earlier. Plus, apparently if you take a day off sick due to the pregnancy, your maternity leave starts then!
    I will lose 3 exam classes then, and my other classes will be more relaxed and "fun" full of investigations, so that I can just sit at my desk and chill.
    I still think though, that for my own mentality, I will be better off at school than at home where I would just worry and fret about the labour and about my ne wlife to come!
    Thank you again
    [​IMG]
     

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