Maternity leave & flexible working

General Details
Network:
Working mother
Profession:
Law
Type of leave:
Maternity
Number of years professional experience:
16-20 years
Length of leave:
2-3 months
Type of experience:
Negative
Work pattern on return:
Standard full-time
Message I had 12 weeks maternity leave from a senior Investment Banking client-facing career in 2007. Longer was unofficially unacceptable despite being legally (officially) available so felt pressure to return or risk redundancy. My FY bonus was not adjusted downwards for maternity leave - a pleasant surprise as previously this was common. Coming back to work early and having a baby with undiagnosed allergies and asthma at the time was a mistake - loss of precious baby time (since unable to have a 2nd, early menopause that my gyne says is surprisingly common in women with stressful jobs) but my daughter had 12 chest infections in my first year back (she was at full time nursery - most babies or children when they first attend nursery (or school if children have been at home before then) and meet new bugs have sickness as the immune system adjusts I since learned) and a repeated lack of sleep for me but not missing any work days meant that I got repeated throat infections so both baby and I had a dozen or so rounds of antibiotics in the first 15 months of baby's life. If I had my time again I would take full maternity leave and enjoy it but whenever you return to full-time work and have a baby/toddler it is tiring, especially if long days. My office day then and now is typically 10.5 hours in the office, 3.5 hours commuting and an hour with baby before bed. Still not much different and while I work in a firm now with all of the flex policies in theory, in practise it remains very difficult to secure flexible working. Men are heros if they do any childcare, Women lack job commitment
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