My job is everything to me. I get a real kick out of it. About two years ago when I found out I was pregnant, it sunk in that I would have to leave my job for a while and didn’t know what to do about that. I really struggled with who I would be if I wasn’t working, what would my identity be? At that time my job defined me, wrongly, but it did, and I didn’t know how I’d deal with just being ‘mum’. I went into my final days in absolute trepidation, really scared of handing over, letting go, all those things. I couldn’t find anyone that was talking about this. I went to NCT classes and no-one else seemed to feel like I did; I felt so embarrassed, like I was being a terrible mum already. So I started writing about it and it became like therapy to me.
When my baby was born, I was overjoyed that she was here, healthy and wonderful. I went to quite a few classes, but if I’m honest I did struggle. I’d been so used to going to networking events and meeting people and talking about my job, that it was hard. Now I was known as ‘Amelia’s mum’ and quite often people wouldn’t even ask me my name, but rather just say ‘oh what’s she called?’ So, I made an effort to say ‘tell me about you’ to the parents I met and that was important to me. When I finally went out with my NCT friends without our babies, it was so good to hear about the person behind the baby. I have realised that your job is only a small part of what defines you, actually your values and who you are, your motivations in life and working or not, babies or not, those values and motivations stay with you, they don’t change. I think that’s reassuring for women to know.