1 year of maternity leave that was like a sabbatical too !

General Details
Network:
Working mother
Profession:
Asset Management
Type of leave:
Maternity
Number of years professional experience:
16-20 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Positive
Work pattern on return:
Standard full-time
Message I made the deliberate and daring decision to take the full year of maternity leave for my 2nd child, having only taken 5 months with my 1st born. Ready to leave my desk after over 7 years of service, I decided not to not only use this time as maternity leave, time for me with baby, and time with my two boys, but also time for me - almost like a sabbatical. The key to achieve this was that for some of the time I had an Au Pair..(we have no family or support network system around us). Apart from the precious time with the boys, the time out achieved many things for me personally : the discovery of what it is to be a Mum at the school gates, so now I understand what I am and am not missing ! It gave me time out to think about my next career steps, where I wanted to work and what was important to me. It gave me time to make new friendships & cultivate existing friendships - with working Mums, friends who are not Mums, and with - Stay at Home Mums ! And yes, I got to travel to see family overseas, and have the odd indulgent shopping & lunch day which I really enjoyed. With maternity pay not being great, I relearned the value of money and became a pretty good negotiator ! So if you can - think and plan out your maternity leave, and what you want to get out of it, save for it if needed (I had to self-finance the majority of the time off), have confidence in your decisions and most of all - enjoy it, it's still hard work, and now that I am back at work, I do not miss emptying the dishwasher but I do miss my boys.
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