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A Life Update – The End of Maternity Leave + Redundancy

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a personal post, and now seems as good a time as any as we quickly approach Christmas and the New Year.

Felix turns a year old this week, so obviously my maternity leave has come to an end. I planned on returning to my old job at the end of this maternity leave, just as I did at the end of my time off with Dexter. I have worked in my old job for over eleven years and to be honest, had no intention of switching to something new at this point in my life. I had plans to continue progressing within the business, now that I had completed my family and was looking forward to getting back to work and the daily challenges it brings. Alas – it was not to be.

Back in September, I was offered the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy. It was not a decision I took lightly, by any stretch of the imagination. There were many, many tears, feeling of anxiety and dread but also a little glimmer of hope and excitement at the opportunity this could bring. The choice was wholly mine to take and there was no pressure from anyone to accept it – I had to do what was right for me and my family. I took advice from those around me who I trust and decided to take the leap and I officially left my job this month, feeling relieved, worried and excited – all at once!

Returning to work after an extended period of time off is daunting – even more so when you are not returning to your old job. For the first time in eleven years, I’ve thrown myself into updating my CV, crafting cover letters, applying for pretty much anything and everything that would suit my skill set and dolling myself up for interviews – absolutely petrified and yet always with that little bubble of excitement within me at what could be possible.

Nicola stood in garden wearing Warehouse parrot midi dress

Some say this was the perfect time to be made redundant – I’ve got time on my hands to make a decision on what step to take next and the buffer of a payment to keep me going while I sort myself out. I often feel like it was at the worst possible time. I’ve felt very isolated and not really had anyone to talk to about it – whereas if I had been in work, I would have had daily support from the colleagues around me. I will freely admit, the whole process put a dampener on the last few precious months of maternity leave as I’ve spent time worrying and crying instead of being present with my two boys. I’ve also been snappy with them with a serious lack of patience as I’ve had to field call after call with all the people who are involved in this process and this I truly regret. It’s been harder to think of work place examples for my interviews – not only do I have baby brain, but it feels like it’s been ten years since I was last in the workplace. I’ve had to work even harder to remember my skills and what experience I can bring – so in a way it’s fortunate that I’ve had plenty of time to keep updating my CV as I suddenly remember- ooh I am pretty good at such and such too!

Dexter kissing his mummy in the stone doorway at speke hall

I’ve had the most amazing year off work during this maternity leave. It’s been an absolute privilege to be at home with my boys and watch them grow. I cannot explain how much this year at home has meant to me and how incredible it has been to spend time with Dexter as he turned from a toddler into a proper little boy. I’ve also found it a lot more relaxing this time around as a second time Mum – sort of knowing what to expect and enjoying my baby as opposed to worrying about every little thing. Dexter has also been a huge help in keeping my mind from worrying too much thanks to him keeping me busy with playing and going out enjoying ourselves in the woods, park and local soft plays.

So, what is next for me? Well, as much as I’ve loved the year at home, I don’t plan to become a stay at home Mum and I certainly plan on returning to work full time. I enjoy my career and the skills and fulfillment that it brings me and I plan to find another job as soon as possible. So wish me luck on my job hunt and let me know in the comments if you’ve been through something similar. I’d love to hear that there is light at the end of this scary tunnel…

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Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Wow going through this right now... maternity ended in March then furloughed and now offered voluntary redundancy, been undecided for days ... got to make the decision tomorrow... after reading your blog i’m pretty sure i’m going to take the leap (been at the company nearly 12yrs) scary as the future is unknown..... hoping that with the universe’s help i get a good part time job somewhere... in the meantime going to enjoy the time with my son Louis (nearly 17mths) thank you for your help x : )

Nicola | Mummy to Dex

Thursday 27th of August 2020

Hi Gemma,

Thanks for your lovely comment. So Sorry to hear you're going through this right now. It definitely is a scary time but I know you will definitely get through it! I am glad my blog could help you a little bit :) Do let me know how you get on and enjoy all that time with your lovely boy! xx


Friday 27th of December 2019

Completely their loss! It’s extremely frustrating how companies do not sometimes give a second thought to mothers returning to the workplace - or, value their new skills! Upwards and onwards Nic! So many exciting opportunities ahead!


Friday 13th of December 2019

So proud of you, Nic! Job interviews are daunting at any time of your life and you've gone into the ones you've had and obviously made a fantastic impression and showed them the fantastic person that we all know you are.

Sorry about the past few months, I know how that guilt feels. They won't think any less of you for it though!

I hope you can go into Christmas break and just have a bit of time off with your family and enjoy xx