Now that I’m in the third trimester (whaaat), one of the questions I’m getting the most is what my maternity leave plans are. To be honest, this wasn’t something I really thought about at all during the first part of my pregnancy. Now that there’s only a few short months left until our babe is earth-side though, it’s been on my mind more and more.
My maternity leave plans:
So will I be taking time off work? You betcha. I’m well aware that caring for and loving this little bundle will be a full-time (or rather, 24-hour) job in itself. I know I’ll need time and space to adjust to life as a mum without the pressures of work and deadlines hanging over me.
I’ve already started scaling back on work to match my energy levels and mammoth pre-baby to-do list. I’m so grateful to have the flexible work situation that I do, giving me complete control over how much or how little I want to work. Already I’ve started accepting fewer media commissions from the publications I freelance for and my blogging e-course, Blog Boost, will be wrapping up in a few weeks’ time.
But what about money? Since I don’t work for a company, I’m obviously not entitled to employee maternity pay benefits. Being self-employed though means that I’m able to access the government-funded maternity leave scheme. This gives me 18 weeks pay at minimum wage, currently about $720 a week. Ben’s also entitled to two weeks of partner pay at the same rate. It’s definitely not huge but it’s something at least. We’ve been saving pretty hard over the past little while too so that we won’t feel financially strained or pressured to get back to work too soon.
Having said that though, I know that Ben is definitely keen to keep working, just at a slower pace. I’m so lucky he also works from home and so will be on-hand to help while the milk monster is attached (cooking and cleaning duties are on him!). We’re under no illusions though that having a newborn will affect his productivity and ability to work so he’ll be reducing the number of clients he works with to something more manageable.
So then there leaves this blog. I know that it will be hard for me to publish content on here once I’ve got someone else demanding my full attention. But I don’t want it to sit completely idle either. I plan to pre-write some posts and have them scheduled in advance and I’ve also got my team of global contributors on-hand too.
Besides that, I just really don’t know how I’ll be feeling. Maybe I’ll feel like I NEED to write and you’ll get to read more posts from me than you think! You know that this blog has become somewhat of a journal for me and a means for me to process my complex emotions. It might be very likely that I’ll have a whole lot I need to say on here! Or maybe I’ll be too tired to even open up my laptop at all – an equally likely possibility! Who the heck knows? I’ll just be playing it day-by-day.
So as you can tell, it’s far from a rock-solid plan. But I’m grateful to have the flexibility and freedom to just see how things go and do what feels right at the time. I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I just plan to listen to my body and my baby and figure it all out as we go along.
And when I do feel ready to dip back into work, the fab thing is that I’ll be able to do it from home, next to a peacefully sleeping baby (wishful thinking?). I won’t be bound by the 9-5 or have to leave my baby in childcare to go work. My family won’t have to fit in around my working life, rather, work can slot in between snuggles instead.
So that’s the plan. Or lack thereof?
Interested in reading more of my musings about pregnancy? You might like these:
- Pregnancy After Loss: 6 Things That Change
- 5 Things I Did to Prepare for Pregnancy
- The Things That Helped Me Heal After Miscarriage
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What were your maternity leave plans? I’m curious! Tell me in the comments.