(Closed) Cant afford to take much maternity leave. Feeling sad.

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 31
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I’m really sorry that you’re not getting all the time you were hoping/planning to get.  Even if its more than what the average US mom gets, it still sucks to find out you’re not getting what you originally expected.

I’m self-employed so unfortunately, I just have to put my business on hiatus until I feel like I can handle it again.  Luckily, we don’t rely on my pay at all, just DH’s.  I’m more upset b/c his firm is giving him litterally nothing.  Not a single day off.  He’s been billing as many extra hours as he can this month so he can at least not go into the office the day I’m scheduled for my c-section, and the day after.  But he’ll be back to work before I’m out of the hospital, most likely, because he has no choice.

Post # 32
11 posts

I’m in the UK too, and also hitting 20 weeks into my pregnancy this week.  My situation is a bit different from yours in that I haven’t been working up to now, but am waiting to start a new job (won’t get any maternity pay just unpaid leave when I go on maternity as I won’t have been at the job long enough). 

Would it be possible for you to live more frugally and save up as much money as possible in the 20 weeks you have left in your pregnancy? If there’s any extras you can possibly cut out that would allow you to save up enough money to stay home for longer with your baby it might be worth it.  You still have half your pregnancy left to look at some options and budgeting differently to plan for baby’s arrival and leave options, if your boss isn’t able to accomodate further maternity pay options for you.


Post # 33
1633 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

That sucks- to think you will have an awesome mat leave and to find out you won’t.

I’m in my second tri and I can take 12 weeks off with half unpaid. The unpaid portion is really because I won’t have enough vacation time accrued to cover pay for those days. My husband and I both contributed equally to the household and always have money leftover to save and invest. If we need to we will use some of our savings to cover expenses for those three months. That’s why we saved for a period when we would need it.

Downside- I won’t bring home 3 paychecks during mat leave. That’s three missed opportunities to contribute to 401k

Upside- I will have all those extra PTO days to use in my baby”s first year. 

Post # 34
940 posts
Busy bee

I’m in the US and will be able to take 12 weeks, 2 weeks will be my vacation time and the other 10 will be unpaid. Thankfully my husbands business has taken off so it won’t be too much of a stretch. My last job I had 3 days off and went back to work because we were so poor and couldn’t afford diapers. Me and my sister’s have started a small side business where we will start selling on Etsy soon (building up some product) so I’m hoping to generate so cash with that. I’m not saying any of it to make you feel bad or diminish your time. I wish the US took it more seriously and actually cared. 

Hopefully it’ll all work out for you bee. It stinks thinking about having to go back to work after you have a new baby. 

Post # 35
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I’m also UK and in a similar boat. My previous contract was a stipendiary contract, and I did get the right to SMP with it. However, stipendiary contracts do not require your employer to deduct NI, and voluntary NI payments do not count towards accruing maternity benefits. This meant that, when my last contract ended and I found I was pregnant, I was entitled to… absolutely nothing. No SMP, as my new contract had just started. No MA, because my previous contract excluded me from NI payments, so I was classified as having been unemployed for the purpose of claiming benefits. No low income/unemployment payouts either, because I was literally just over the income threshold for low income payments, and I had never actually been unemployed. What a f-ing mess!

Luckily I’ve been able to work for 26 weeks whilst pregnant in order to earn the right to MA, so I will get something now. However, you’re right, OP… it’s not much money. It is hard too, because everyone around me seems to take so much time off, and they’re saying things like “I can’t believe you’re still working a physically demanding job only a few weeks before you’re due!”, “is carrying that/doing that SAFE?”, “you should be putting your feet up right now!” and “at least you get a whole year off after the baby comes!”. Er… no, guys. I need to get a new job, one which isn’t minimum wage like my current main job (I have more than one job right now), IMMEDIATELY. I’ve been interviewing like crazy, but (surprise surprise) nobody seems to want a heavily pregnant employee for an immediate start.

There is certainly absolutely no way that I can take a year off, and I probably won’t be taking the full 39 weeks of paid maternity, either (although I would like to, in an ideal world, because I want to breastfeed for as long as possible). So whilst you’re probably not going to get much sympathy from the US ladies, it is hard when you’re doing something which is against the social norm within your own country. You do feel judged for it, as well, as if you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Post # 36
514 posts
Busy bee

Are you able to work from home easily? as I am also a UK bee, however since I am a lone female in a 3 person team when I got engaged my manager and my country head sat down with me to discuss maternaty as I was just about to accept a big promotion which will mean I can’t really be not working for too long (and they wanted me to take into account that when accepting the promotion) so we agreed although I am not TTC for a few years that when the time comes I will take 2 months proper maternaty (my Fiance will also take the full 2 months paternaty) then I will work from home 2 days a week with 1 day in the office for the first 12 months, then after that I will work 4 days a week, 2 in the office 2 at home (but keep my full pay as long as my work still gets done) 

Maybe you could work out a similar plan (that obviously only applies if you can work from home) 

Post # 37
1341 posts
Bumble bee

Although I am lucky and get 1 year off where my job has to be held, my company doesn’t pay any leave so I just get the 18 weeks govt at minimum wage (my job isn’t minimum wage so that’s already going to be hard) and I just found out that they probably won’t accommodate me going back to work PT. It absolutely sucks and is quite stressful to think that although they will HOLD it, they aren’t willing to compromise so essentially I’ll have to look for a new job. I feel your pain OP, when you have a plan and it goes downhill, it’s not easy. 

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