Take maternity leave you do not realize how important and amazing it is until you don’t take it and then do.
When I fell pregnant with Loghan I was in my first year of college so I went back when he was 6 weeks old, when Gabriel was born I was working and couldn’t afford to take maternity leave so I went back to work after 4 weeks.
So I had little to no time with either of them and when it came to being pregnant with Jesse I was determined to not let that happen again.
I worked for as long as possible going off at 38 weeks and giving birth a week later ( I also saved some leave) and I took off the full 4 months plus an extra week and a bit, I claimed uif so we budgeted and paid off what we could during my pregnancy to account for that, I even stocked up on as many toiletries etc as I could so that I wouldn’t have to buy any of that when Jesse was born, this included disposable nappies which I accumulated enough of that I didn’t have to buy any until I returned to work and had an income once again.
I spent every day of those 4 months with Jesse and they were wonderful, the first month we basically hid away indoors, my hubby took off 3 weeks, and post that it was just so wonderful to be a stay at home mom to all my kids for that period, I got to experience every milestone, breastfeeding was much less stressful and if I stayed up all night feeding it didn’t matter because I didn’t have to go to work and could dose with Jesse while my older two were at school if I needed to (not that Jesse slept through before a year but anyway), I could get into a routine as well, it truly was an incredible blessing and made me feel such grief for the time I had missed with Loghan and Gabriel after they were born, if I could turn back the clock I would have taken that time with them no matter what I would have made a plan, it makes me so sad to think of all the woman who are unable to take maternity leave, 4 months as it is in my opinion is far too little I wish they would give moms a year but unfortunately as things stand in SA 4 months is the best we can get.
I urge all moms to take this time trust me I didn’t know how much I had missed until I got to experience it after not having it.