It feels like it’s time to give you a bit of an update on me. The eagle eyed of you may have seen a few of my recent blogs have alluded to the fact that I’m starting to prepare to go back to work after my maternity leave and doing my KIT days. Well the time has come and I’m literally counting down the days till I return to work now.
Originally I had intended to take the whole year off and also absorb my holidays into this time, which would mean I would go back in late September, however everything has changed in the last few months. Perhaps if you know me at all by now, you might guess what’s coming…
Since going back for my KIT days (and may I add enjoying them enormously) I have toyed with the idea of returning to work earlier than first agreed.
Unfortunately, due to reasons out of our control, my maternity cover left the business not long after he joined which left us with a massive gap. Being pretty senior within the firm, it would have proved hard to recruit another cover, not least because most associate directors come with quite a long notice period and prefer more permanent roles. So the decision was made to wait for me to come back.
Over the last few months, it has become clear that, it would be the right thing for me to go back early.
It was completely my decision, and of course the business would have been fine without me, but I took the call that if I returned early it would enhance both the business and me professionally. So basically after much discussion with my husband, quite a few calls with my boss (who really impressed on me to deeply consider the decision for fear of regrets later on) and a few sleepless nights, I decided I would return to my role two months early. My return would be on a staggered basis and would involve me doing two days a week in the office (Thursdays and Fridays) until my actual agreed ‘original’ return date at the end of September.
I’ll tell you now that it was a hard call and every time we spoke about it I felt very incredibly guilty. For example, was I putting my needs, or my role above the needs of my daughter? I was also very aware that many people don’t get the luxury of a whole year off and I was about to throw it away and head back early. Many people may well therefore read this and think I’m mad! Well maybe I am a little…
So once again, I look around me, and much like when I started this blog, I wonder if I am the only one feeling like this and making this call to cut my maternity leave short?
Am I crazy to consider going back to work earlier than I had first planned? Why limit my time with my daughter when I can take the full 12 months off? Will I regret this? What milestones might I miss? And given the choice was never really about the money (because I had budgeted for a whole year off) would people judge me for making this decision?
Whilst I agonised over all these new concerns and fears, I knew one thing to be true. It does NOT make me a bad mummy for feeling like this. If there is one thing I have learnt this year (and through writing my blog) it’s that it’s ok to love both my baby and my career. All too often if seems that career focused mums are frowned upon as if they are putting their children second and their jobs first. But I can tell you now that this is so far from the truth. It’s fine (in fact it’s much more than fine) to be passionate about work and love your career if you are a mum. Working mums should celebrate this.
I always knew I would be a working mum and I’m personally excited to delve into this next chapter. Sure it’s going to be flipping hard, balancing all of this (and continuing with the blog) but I have always been of the belief that I can make being a career mum work.
And yes I do sometimes feel guilty about my decision. It was never going to be easy making this call whatever I decided. However I know if I don’t go back early I wouldn’t feel true to myself. This is the right thing to do for me and I hope it will allow me to have a better work life balance in the longer team.
I will have spent 10 magical months with Amelia, and even though at times it has been so hard, what with her reflux mainly, I have learnt so much. There are things about motherhood which have made me into the person I am today and will no doubt make me a better person all round including in the workplace.
As such I know I go back to my job as a far more rounded individual, having learnt so much and most importantly ready to get stuck in and prove to my daughter that she too can do it all….And what an example to set her.