Helen Adams writes at Being Mum to Cami and tweets as @camismum , she has kindly agreed to share her experience of returning to work after maternity leave and the decisions she made along the way.
I had my daughter two and half years ago, I took maternity leave 6 weeks early due to poor health. After giving birth to Cami I took an entire year off work and loved every minute of it. In the last 6 months I started to look for a nursery place for my daughter and this is where everything started to fall apart.
I had no idea that you needed to start looking at nurseries much earlier than 6 months in advance; I struggled to find a place and had to contact my employers to ask for some extra unpaid leave as I had no childcare. I eventually found a place to go and my daughter settled, I arranged to return to work.
I went back into the same department but in a different division with different managers and it really threw me, and sadly my manager who I got on very well with had just been diagnosed with cancer so was not around to help me settle back in and advise me of my workload. I was left with a new guy who I had never met before and to put it politely he was a drunken Scotsman who had no respect for women let alone one who had just returned to work after having a baby. He made work very hard for me and I slowly got lower and lower.
I had a nightmare on my hands as for 4 months my daughter had been really ill, she would cough all night run massive temperatures and lost loads of weight. I would constantly get called out of work to collect her from nursery, and this delightful boss used to make comments after I had left the office like “is she ever bloody gonna be here” or “What’s the point of that girl in the office?”. I got to the stage where I was not coping well and was in a constant state of worry and panic so made the hard decision to hand my notice in. I really felt torn as I had been in my job for 5 years and really enjoyed it and the people I had come to think of as friends.
Turns out I made the right decision as a week after I left my daughter was rushed into hospital with a severe chest infection and it would take her a good 6 months to get back to full health.
I tried another office job which initially went well but 5 months in I was really unhappy and made the life changing decision to quit office work for good, it has not been easy but I am finally happy.
My daughter is still in nursery 3 days a week and I have started my own home baking cupcake company called Flour and Sprinkles, it is early days but picking up slowly. I am also Virtual Assistant for Social Media Mums, a small business that provides social media support for mumpreneurs. Michelle was a very good friend and one of my work colleagues in my old job and she approached me to work alongside her in her very up and coming venture and I felt honoured to asked and a part of so much excitement.
I am so pleased you found the right balance for you all Helen. Finding the right nursery is so important in helping get back to work and I agree it is something best done far in advance, as a nursery manager I have shown around women 3 months pregnant looking at place for their unborn child. All the best with your new ventures, all sounds very exciting! - Mumra.