2 maternity leaves in 2 years

General Details
Working mother
Alternative Investments
Type of leave:
Number of years professional experience:
16-20 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Work pattern on return:
Flexible full-time
Message I took 2 maternity leaves with my current employer, in early 2010 and in early 2012. I took 7 months of maternity leave after both children. With my first child, born in the US in 2005, I was only able to take 3 1/2 months. This was a huge challenge and made returning to work in my Investment Banking role very difficult. The ability to easily take 6 months or more with my other two was fantastic. It made the adjustment to having a new baby much easier and when I went back to work 7 months later, I felt more ready and my family was more prepared also. The attitude to parential leave in this part of the world a welcome change from the US approach!

My employer made my return to work generally a positve one - although both times I returned I was given a new line manager which was unsettling at first. The key for me was that I was able to use various flexible work schedules afterwards - a 4 day week, a compressed week of 5 days in 4, and then 5 days in 4 1/2 days. I found the compressed work week a bit stressful and was glad when that arrangement ended. I am now back to work 5 days a week full-time and I am very appreciative of the approach my employer takes to flexible working for parents. It allowed me to get my work life balance sorted out after both maternity leaves and has been a crucial reason for me remaining with my employer.

Although I wouldn't change a thing, between maternity leave and the adjustment period when I returned (3 months), I missed about 20 months of career advancement. Over a long career, I hope that will be inconsequential.
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