unpaid maternity leave from a very small workplace

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Momma2b Posts: 281
Hi ladies, I am just curious as to how many of you are thinking of taking the additional 16 weeks (or some of it) unpaid maternity leave from work? I would love to avail of the full 16 weeks, if I go back after 26 weeks i will be going back right at the start of the summer - at the beginning of June and would love to have some of the summer months off. I'm very conscious of working in a small workplace tho where my absence will be felt as the work is very specialised - aside from me there is only my boss and another person. I get on very well with my boss who also has small kids and is very family oriented and will be discussing my plans with him of course - but i can't help feeling under some pressure to come back after the 26 weeks, or fairly close to it. anyone got any hints on how to broach the issue of unpaid leave with the employer or is this something you plan leaving until you are on paid maternity leave?? any advice or similar stories would be much appreciated :)
Mammy101 Posts: 446
I can't give you any advice regarding approaching your boss....but someone did remind me the other day, to take advantage of the moments you get to share with your LO. Don't let work influence your decision... it's YOUR life... and the decision should be solely based on what YOU want to do & can afford. :)
kizzie Posts: 218
Totally agree with the other poster - you must make your decisions based on what you want and whats best for your LO. Believe me, the first year goes so fast its unbelievable so spend as much time as possible with your LO. You said your boss is a family man himself - I'm sure he'll understand. If you're really feeling guilty (which you shouldn't) perhaps going back part time after the 26 weeks would be a compromise.... Best of luck & hope it all goes well for you :compress
mtv Posts: 935
would love to take un paid but i am not able to.
Bright Flower Posts: 483
I am taking most of my unpaid leave. I also work in a small team and at first felt a bit guilty about taking it and leaving the others. However, in the long run you will feel resentful about having to "come back early" and in a few months time they will have forgotten whether you took 6 months or 8 months and will think you had as much time as you wanted. I would mention to your boss before you leave that you may/ do want to take some unpaid leave so that at least its not a big shock if you decide later to take it.
honeymoonbaby Posts: 896
I will be off for the guts of 12 months as I really want to take advantage of the one and only time that I get a chance to be at home with my ds and new babs. I know what you are saying about the guilt but once you discuss it with your boss you will feel better. You don't legally have to tell him you are availing of additional time until week 22 of your leave however to be fair to the team and so that it is not playing on your mind during your leave I would tell him before I went and have it all sorted. I know with ds I was really only feeling myself again after 6 months so I used the remaining 4 months I was off to lose the baby weight and really enjoy ds as we were all getting a full nights sleep at that stage and I really enjoyed those last few months. It is such a special time for you all and you never get it back. I am sure your boss will fully understand as his wife was probably the same. I
Momma2b Posts: 281
Thanks guys for all the advice, great to hear some similar stories I will be speaking to my boss when he's back from holidays in a couple of weeks so will be good to have a proper chat about it. As I said, my boss is very good to me so it may not be the major issue I am making out of it - at least I hope not!! I'll definitely mention that I'm thinking of taking the unpaid leave so he's forewarned at least. I work hard so he knows I am committed to my work and all of that :) Like the rest of you, I really want to take as much time as I can with LO and this will probably be the only time financially I'd be able to manage it so I am going to take the opportunity if I can at all :compress thanks for all advice :)