Sample Letter for Resignation During or After Maternity Leave

Mother hugging baby
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Do you wish to resign rather than return to work after maternity leave? For many mothers (or aspiring stay-at-home fathers), the first few months after the birth of a child have a way of reorienting one’s priorities. A U.S. Census published in 2011 reported that one out of five mothers leaves the workforce either before or after giving birth.

There are several reasons why you might decide to quit your job during maternity leave or afterward. You may feel sleep-deprived and overwhelmed even as you’re over-the-moon joyous, wondering how you are ever going to balance the conflicting responsibilities of parenthood and your job. Your salary might not be enough to finance the childcare costs you’d incur should you return to work. Or, you may simply have realized that there’s nowhere you would rather be than at home with your child or children.

If, after evaluating the pros and cons of quitting your job, you’ve decided that’s the best path to take, you can customize this resignation letter example to announce your decision to your employer. If you prefer to use email, see what to include in an email message to resign while you are on maternity leave.

Resigning While You Are on Maternity Leave

Quitting during your maternity leave presents a logistical challenge. Since you are not in the office, an in-person conversation may not be possible, and you may need to resign over email or send a printed letter. Even if you tell your boss through a phone call that you plan to resign, you will still probably need to formalize your resignation with a written communication.

In general, resignation letters are best kept short. This holds true for resigning during maternity leave, too. The most important information to communicate is:

  • Your official last day with the company
  • Why you are resigning
  • Any help you want to offer during the transition
  • A thank-you to the manager and company

Resignation Do's and Don'ts: You've decided to resign, but what else do you have to do (or not do) that you might not have considered when you went on maternity leave? Did you remember to clean up your desk and computer? What about insurance and benefits?

Resignation Letter During / After Maternity Leave Example

City, State Zip Code


City, State Zip Code

Dear Ms. Manager,

Please accept my resignation effective September 30, 2018. As you know, I had my second child in August, and I have decided that I will not be returning to work after my maternity leave. I plan on staying home with my children for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your understanding. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transitional time. I am available over (phone, email) and would also be happy to come into the office for a day to pass off any contacts, emails, or information that you need.


Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Firstname Lastname

Sample Email for Resigning During Maternity Leave

Subject: Maternity Leave – Your Name

Dear Jane,

During these past two months on maternity leave, I've spent a lot of time thinking through my next steps. After much debate, I've decided to stay home with my children, and not return to full-time work. Please accept my resignation effective February 10, 2019.

It's been a pleasure working with you and being part of ABC Company. I have learned so much during my four years working here.

Please let me know if I can offer any help during this transitional time – I am available over email, and would also be happy to come into the office for a day to pass off any contacts, emails, or information that you need.


Firstname Lastname 

Sending an Email Message

You may be a pro or a novice at sending email to your employer from home. When sending an important communication such as a resignation letter, you will want to ensure it is received and acted upon. If you’re emailing your resignation letter, here's how to send your email message, including what information to include, proofing, and double-checking that you have all the information you need.