I spoke to my headteacher today and asked if I could leave at the end of this week instead of next and she said yes. She actually said she had already written in the diary this week as she didn't think I'd make it another week. Now the reason I have moved it forward is simply that I have been getting bad heartburn if I hadn't I'd be fine to go another week so am a bit annoyed she just assumed I'd be going earlier - even more annoyed she was right. Then she asked when I was coming back and I told her I was planning on taking 26 weeks and would be back a week before the xmas holidays. Then she said from the schools point of view it would be better for me to start after the holidays. Of course it would because then I'd only get SMP for the holidays instead of full pay. I also said I'd like to come back before the holidays so I can find out what I'm doing after so in january I can just get back into work without the first few days being wasted sorting timetables etc (I'm a special needs support teacher so have to spend a lot of time at the beginning of each term negotiating my timetable with class teachers). She then said I could have up to a year off. I said yes but I wouldn't be paid for all of it. To which she said well baby comes first. It's ok for her as when she had her children her husband earned enough to support her and the cost of living was much lower so she could afford the full year off. Now I need to go back to work as , although baby needs his mum, he also needs food, a place to live, nappies etc. She actually made me feel guilty for wanting to work.