coping with the unexpected

General Details
Working mother
Asset Management
Type of leave:
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
19 months - 23 months
Type of experience:
Work pattern on return:
Message As MD of a small (25 person) company I thought I'd take 6 weeks maternity leave. Ha! It didn't work out like that...
First of all my baby was diagnosed with a rare condition at 4 wks old which required two major surgeries. (Lesson #1: get your baby signed onto the company health insurance the day it is born - do not put it off) Having extended my maternity leave to deal with all that, I was made redundant on the morning of his second operation, 2 weeks before we were due to move home. The redundancy wasn't massively generous but it bought me a bit of time to see to my son and get his OT, physio, portage etc set up as well as get repair work done to our home. During all this time - in fact from 6 months into pregnancy when it became apparent I'd be doing this alone - I was also trying to get child support sorted out with my former partner. (Lesson #2: get a legal mediator both of you like and trust).
When my son turned one, I started doing some part time consulting work, which turned into a temporary cover role. Just 2 days pw - it helped pay the bills although things did get quite tight. [Lesson #3: nobody tells you about Child Tax Credits and you can't claim them retrospectively]
And then, just before my son turned 2, I landed my current job. It took a while to find, but it's great. My employer (an asset manager) believes in work/life balance. I do 4 days pw, no weekends, no late nights, no travel. Surprisingly decent pay. My son is doing well now. So lesson #4: Things will be very dark at times, but there IS light at the end of the tunnel.


Anonymous Posted On 15th Nov 2017 at 18:16
After two misscarriages I got my life back and my dream job in the city and was loving life to the full with work stress but nothing I couldn’t handle ! I then got pregnant again and suffered from HG sickness and bleeding and loss of fluid and was constantly being sick on the tube in stations and work trying to resume a normal life ! It was far from normal my pregnancy I was nearly arrested after throwing up all over people on the tube as I could smell like a police sniffer dog and after three people and three different smells projectile vomited all over the carriage then got off the train and was dragged to the office accused of being drunk only to tell them I was 16 weeks pregnant and needed an ambulance not the police I got help and was in hospital a lot being rehydrated and pumped full of antisickness and vitamins but then came the bleeding and fluid !
Lesson learned at week 25 my consultant signed me off and called my boss to tell him I was not to come to work and that i was on bed rest 4 weeks later I was allowed home and after begging them through the hottest summer ever it was brutal I got back to my own bed and began 12 more weeks of laying down and doing just about nothing !
My mental health suffered I was depressed without knowing but I just didn’t want to be pregnant I could not acknowledge the fact I was and was in and out of hospital so my bed I never believed it would actually happen ! It did and I gave birth at 37 weeks and she didn’t wanna come and put me through a whole world of pain and stitches to get here see my story at
Alexandra Ranson Posted On 14th Jun 2017 at 16:32
The main thing I've learned is that we worry far too much about whether we are right for an employer. We ought to worry more about whether an employer is right for us. There ARE employers out there who can offer the work/life balance we want.
Lydia Merry Posted On 26th Apr 2017 at 14:45
Great to hear. And I'm pleased things seemed to have got better on all fronts for you.
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