About to go back to my city law firm where in my team of 30 fee earners no woman has had a child.

General Details
Network:
Cityprofessionals
Profession:
Law
Type of leave:
Maternity
Number of years professional experience:
6-10 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Neutral
Work pattern on return:
Still on leave
Message Feeling apprehensive about my return to work in 2 weeks after 11 months off work. No woman has ever had a child in my team of 30 fee earners. We have female partners who have chosen to have a career and no children and we have male partners with children but all of their wives stay at home. It is a very busy banking practice which entails long hours. Naturally I am feeling very apprehensive, however they have been very willing to agree to 4 days a week and working from home in the evening two nights a week so that I can pick up my child from nursery twice a week. If anyone has any useful advice this would be appreciated as I feel a sense of pressure to get it right, both for my family and to set a precedent for the junior female members of the team.

Replies

Anonymous Posted On 14th Nov 2016 at 12:37
I am afraid that I cannot offer you advice as I am in the same position as you. I can, however, offer you solidarity!
I am returning to work next week after 10 months off and also apprehensive. I work for a small firm of circa 50. As regards female fee earners with young children, we have three (including myself). I agree with you as regards male partners in general, although there is the odd exception to this.
I am the breadwinner in my family, so part time is not an option in the long term. I feel very strongly that I want to maintain my career, find a balance with being a mother, and like you, set a good precedent for those women following in my footsteps. I am still breastfeeding and will be working a 4 day week until that stops. I will not have much give in terms of flexible hours. I am particularly nervous about attending networking events and coming across as "less dedicated" than my colleagues if I do not attend. I also feel the pressure of presenteeism, which troubles me.
My plan is to take each day as it comes, be positive, maximise productivity in the office and prioritise my work effectively (e.g. draft in the office, deal with non urgent emails on the commute), work hard, and remember that "all you can do, is all you can do, and all you can do is enough".
Please correct the errors and try again.
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