The law recently changed in the UK to enable both parents to take time off to look after their newborn. The introduction of Shared Parental Leave will make a big difference to a wide range of families and I think its a very good thing.
When I had my children this would have been impossible to even think of and in fact, my husband went back to work a week after my children were born because we couldn’t afford for him to take the statutory payments as we would not have been able to pay the mortgage. It was a challenging time for me and I don’t think the situation would be changed now.
However, 6 months down the line I think that we may have had a little re-think. After 6 months of motherhood, if you had been working full time this is the time when you think that its actually quite nice to get back into the sane world or work. This can also make a difference to your career as a woman because it demonstrates the value that you place on your career. I know that quite simply to go back to work and leave the baby with my husband would have done me the world of good mentally. I think it would also have been a memorable and important time for the husband!
If you’re confused about all this then Citrix GotoMeetings have produced this fantastic interactive and written a very clear set of guidelines which you can find here