I started my career in PR just over 10 years ago and it has been a whirlwind from start to finish. I progressed quickly and I worked incredibly hard. Early on in my career, when I worked in London, I could end up doing 12 hour days, staying later in the office well after everyone had gone home for the day, and even then the last thing I would do before sleep was check my emails.
I never really did it to impress my boss or please anyone, or even to get to the next promotion – rather I did it because I just loved it. Personally I believe that there is never a dull day in PR and even less chance of there being a dull day if you throw yourself head first into everything. So that’s just what I did. And I relished every day, even the shitty ones.
OK admission time… I’m sad to say I am a slave to my phone and my emails. I’m always checking in, even when on holiday or unwell. But it just makes me feel better if I do. I am a massive control freak, and for me, dealing with the email/ issue/ client then and there gives me back that sense of control I strive for.
My clients and my team are my babies and mean the world to me. And even though I work for someone else (i.e. part of an agency), I always put the same amount of love into the business as I would do my own business.
So you can imagine what was going through my mind when, after I had got over the initial shock and delight of finding out that I was pregnant, I realised that I was going to have to take some time off and hand those babies over, probably to someone I didn’t know.
Telling my boss was the easy part, she has always supported me and was delighted for me. I knew it wasn’t going to be tricky trying to impress her over the next few months, but rather it was about how I stepped up to the challenge of letting go and dealing with my own personal demons.
Letting go… wow, well that’s seriously tough for someone like me. I know millions of women go off on maternity leave daily and they all seem to do it with ease, so why was I finding things so hard? Am I the only one feeling like this!?
I knew this was a battle in my own mind and something I was going to have to conquer all by myself. I tried reading up about it, but aside from the usual information from HR around mat leave and a few articles about women making sure they didn’t work too hard in the last trimester, I just couldn’t find anyone else talking about this issue. Was I all alone? So being in comms, and being a control freak, I decided to take matters into my own hands and write about it myself. And that’s why we are here really and why my blog started. So I hope you enjoy the posts to come. Why not share your story with me too and let’s make this more of a mainstream issue.