Why I’m Not Taking Maternity Leave

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I’ve had a few people ask me recently why I am working when I have got a 7 week old baby – did I not know that I could claim maternity allowance as I’m self employed? The actual fact is yes, I knew and it is something I weighed up for weeks but ultimately maternity allowance at £139 just wouldn’t be enough. A blogger recently contacted me and asked if I knew about it and completely understood when I mentioned why I wasn’t taking it – however I have received some judgement from some people I know in real life. However, it is my situation and my decision – what has it got to do with them?

As I’m working from home (there’s a fab guide here that you can read if its something you’ve ever considered), I have the flexibility of working when I want to. I do try to keep to typical ‘office’ hours but that doesn’t always work that way and I am often seen working weekends or late into the night. I worked out that with my bills and my debt repayments (I’ve talked more about my plan for a debt free 2018 here), £139 per week which equals £556 a month just wouldn’t be enough if I was to factor in any top up groceries we may need or anything that may crop up at Jack’s school. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to spend all the time in the world with my baby but I’m taking the time when she’s asleep or spending time with Steve to actually get some work done. I find it is better to be proactive and keep bringing an income in than not be able to pay my bills.

Another big reason I haven’t taken maternity leave is because I have actually taken on some freelance clients towards the end of 2016 and they wanted work to continue into 2017. They are my biggest client and I don’t want to lose them so I will continue working for them around my children. I’ve also had a really great January and February for income – I’ve even managed to pay off some debt – so if I had taken maternity leave, I wouldn’t have made that money and I would have probably lost a big client.

I’m lucky that I’m able to work from home around my children, I don’t deny that. But I’m not taking maternity leave this time around because it just isn’t worth it for me – and I’m well on my way to becoming debt free so why stop now? Whilst Olivia is asleep, I am going to work and keep the pennies rolling in. Is that so wrong?

9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Good on you girl- there’s so many pressures on new mums, I cant believe you’re being criticized for not taking maternity pay, you’re doing what you think is best for your family 🙂

  2. Your circumstances are different, you will still be at home with your baby while at work! This in my opinion is great 🙂 and any other parent who decides to go back to work you are doing whats right for yourself and your family!

  3. Don’t know why people need to get so involved. I think it’s nice that mums can afford maternity leave and longer, but not practical for most women. I have no children, but think i’d go crazy with all my time spent with a baby too! You need adult interaction and also can feel like you’re not doing everything right x

  4. Good for you and people should accept that rather than make judgements. After all you are a parent who is motivated to carry on working and make an income and that is something I very much admire x

  5. Definitely gives food for thought with the whole issue of maternity leave and how lucky some are to have it but in reality for others, it just doesnt work like that.

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