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.
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!
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…