We recently welcomed Laura back from her year of maternity leave, in which she’s been very busy not only looking after her baby, Elizabeth, but also getting married! Here’s a little insight into her time away and her feelings about returning to work.
How has your year of maternity leave been?
It’s quite hard to sum up a year in a few lines! I feel very fortunate to have had a year to spend with our daughter, Elizabeth, especially as I know that many parents the world over don’t have that luxury. However, I would be lying if I said that there weren’t many times when I was desperate for my old life back. Getting used to our ‘new normal’ has been a long journey!
How does it feel coming back to work after a year away?
Wonderful! Especially coming into the office having spent the year before that working from home because of Covid. I think that it does me the world of good to cycle to work each day, to have the stimulation of the city and to spend the working day in a different environment. Work itself is challenging – I seem to be unable to retain any recent information yet can still recall things from several years ago. It’s as though I’m stuck in a strange mental time-warp…useful occasionally (like when someone wants to know the ISBN of a book published in 2011!), but most of the time I am very reliant on my notepad!
What have you missed and what are you looking forward to most about being back at work?
I have missed my colleagues and the wider circle of work contacts enormously. It is nice to have conversations again that aren’t either with or about Elizabeth! I’m looking forward to getting stuck into using the new reporting systems we’ll be using for sales and being back in touch with all my old contacts. I’m returning under a new name, so it’s very handy to have a good cover-up when I’ve forgotten something I ought to know!
What will you miss about maternity leave?
My husband works shifts so it was fantastic to have a year of not working Mon-Fri, 9-5 (even if I was in fact working 24/7!) as it meant that when he was off on a random day, I was usually at home too. It was nice to be able to do things when most people were working. We’re going to have to get used to juggling all our commitments and making sure that there are at least a few days a year when we’re all at home together!