Before my current job, it was my experience that being a Mother was viewed as a negative by an employer.
In fact when I was interviewing for a new position I would mentally list the reasons why I should get the job (experience, skill, enthusiasm) and why I might not get the job. On this list would be the fact that I am Mum.
Yes I had allowed myself to believe that being a Mother made me less capable, less skilled and therefore less employable.
Now logically I knew that growing a tiny human being had not suddenly rendered me stupid. Everything I knew about my role had not swiftly dropped out of my head the moment I clapped eyes on my baby.
I knew that the way I was being treated, the way I had allowed myself to be treated was wrong. So why was I being such a push-over? Why was I suddenly such a little mouse?
I had come back to a role way below my pay grade. All those skills, all that experience, all that hard work and I’d been put back to where I had started.
My confidence was completely shattered and self doubt and self preservation crept in.
At my lowest I convinced myself I was lucky to have this job, I was lucky they had taken me back at all. I would catch myself deliberately dumbing myself down to compensate for other peoples inadequacies, feeling that my input was no longer required despite the near decade of experience behind me.
I started to become someone else, someone a bit wet behind the ears and I didn’t like it. Over time it became apparent that I was being treated as a flight risk for another baby and I knew that would never change.
So somehow I plucked up the courage, relocated my balls and sort other employment. Better employment. Not only the role I was used to but something more, a challenge, something that offered opportunities and advancement.
This is the second bravest and best thing I have ever done (first being Finley).
Where I am now, I am not being judged on the probability of my fertility but the quality of my work. My employer knows I’m a good egg, worth investing in and so I’m starting to remember that too. In fact since starting my current job I’ve realised that I’m actually a better employee than I was before I had a baby. I’m suddenly so much more organised, I can plan the shit out of anything. My ability to multi-task is seriously on point, I used to work very methodically, start a task complete it, move to the next one, complete it, move on to another. Now I’m able to jump from one to another and back again and juggle twenty things at once.
So if you’re heading back to work after maternity leave, don’t forget to take your balls with you.
Its going to be rough at first, you’ll miss your baby and you’ll feel out of touch with everything that you’ve missed in the workplace. But take your time and don’t forget how great you are, even greater now that you’re a Mum!