Many new mums are opting to use their maternity leave to rethink their careers and start their own businesses, a new study has shown.
A survey of 2,319 British mothers revealed one in six planned to become a “mumpreneur” while off from work and focus on their own venture.
And half of those who planned to start a business saw it through and became their own boss, rather than going back to work.
“It’s fantastic to see that so many women are using their maternity leave to do something positive,” said George Charles, a spokesperson for VoucherCodesPro, who conducted the study.
“Obviously they’re already doing something incredible, raising a child, but it’s important that they take the time to do something for themselves at the same time.”
The survey also revealed women intended to start new hobbies (18%) and learn a new language (12%) while on maternity leave.
Just 9% of mums said they wanted to travel during this time.
“I had grand plans to learn German in preparation for an imminent new market launch on my return,” mum Fiona Chow, a spokesperson from Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation fighting maternity discrimination, told The Huffington Post UK.
“I wanted to sharpen up my business skills with an online course – all things I thought would help me progress in my job when I went back to work.
“Then I was made redundant while on maternity leave and all my physical and mental energy was being taken up with battling the consultation process and caring for a new baby.
“I am now a ‘mumprenuer’ through necessity rather than design, having found it impossible to get a new role that was both senior and flexible.
“The only way to have both was to set up my own company. It’s worked out well for me in the end, but was certainly not what I was planning when I was about to go on leave.”
The study also looked at how soon women returned to work after having a baby.
It found 55% of mums used their full entitlement of maternity leave, while 33% went back to work early and 12% chose not to return at all.
Those who returned to work early cited financial reasons (81%) as being the reason they went back.
Other reasons as to why new mums returned early included being worried about job security (52%) and needing adult company (70%).