Thursday, 19 April 2012
Hi Ho Hi Ho...it's back to work I go...
I went into the office last week to meet with my HR Manager and Head of Operations to discuss the options available to me regarding returning to work. I was provided with the 'Maternity Policy', 'Flexible Working Policy' and the 'Keeping in Touch with Work Days Policy'. A lot of reading, then.
I only started with my current (Law) Firm early 2011 and unfortunately I'd only been working there a few days when I discovered I was pregnant. Had I have found out a few weeks earlier then I'd have been still under the employ of my old Firm and therefore entitled to 'Enhanced Maternity Pay', given that I'd been there over five years. But I wasn't. So I wasn't entitled to any maternity pay. Bugger.
As I'm receiving Maternity Allowance from the government, this runs out on 1st June 2011 and I therefore need to consider going back to work by then. We discussed the options of me working part-time; four days per week. We also discussed me doing flexible hours to fit in with my childcare needs. I'm not exactly sure what will happen yet. My mum will have my bubs on a Wednesday, my Aunt one other day, she'll go to Nursery another and possibly MIL will have her one day too. Hopefully I'll get at least one day per week that I'll get to be off work and spend some quality time with my scrummy girl. This all needs some serious planning and discussing. My hours will also depend on times I will have to drop her off, collect her etc from family and possibly nursery.
I'd had my return to work planned out in my head beautifully. We'd be staying with mum for a few months rather than weeks (we had the option of staying in the BF's parents city apartment overlooking the river, but I politely declined, favouring being cramped into a small bedroom back home where I had a network of family and other friends on maternity leave around me) and then as it was leading up to Christmas, present buying would keep me busy (as well as this newborn baby I had too, obvs) and we would be quite happy there until around mid January when we would start getting fed up and be ready to move into a house of our own. We would then spend a couple of months doing it up and then I would enjoy the last month or two of my maternity leave in my new house exploring our new area, just me and my little sidekick, before I'd have to go back to reality.
Well the beginning part went to plan, only when Christmas came and went, we seen a house we instantly loved, agreed an offer on it and it was accepted. The Vendor however seemed dodgy and things didn't seem quite right. We ended up pulling out of the sale. We continued on our search for our first family home and found another lovely little place. Again, offer accepted, a week later, husband of Vendor decides he longer wants to sell, after the place being on the market for three years. Pah. At the end of February we found our little palace to be....which you will be able to read more about here. The sale is still going through and once we get the keys the house needs ripping to pieces.
You don't have to be no genius to work out that by the 1st June (approximately six weeks time) I will definitely not have been in my lovely home which has been completely renovated to my taste for a month or two. In fact, the reality of it is, we may not even have the keys, or we will be in the process of knocking walls down. Not good.
I am quite lucky in the sense that I had already worked with my current Head of Operations in a previous job, so she knows me well. As I mentioned before, as soon as I started my new role I fell immediately pregnant. Although this was a happy time for me, it was very hard too. I was looking forward to starting a fresh new page in my career book. I was hoping to work hard, stand out, get noticed, be promoted, you know, the usual. However, this was all, shot to shit, basically, when I was struck down with the awful Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe vomiting) and was hospitalised a good few times; resulting in a lot of time off work. Then once I was past the first 18 weeks and waved HG a happy goodbye, I had about 4 weeks of normal pregnancy before I started having heart problems and became anaemic where I was constantly on 24 hour heart monitors and having scans and the likes. Resulting in more time off work and my caseload being taken off me to reduce the stress. More time off work also ensued. Not ideal. At all.
When I do return to work there is naturally going to be a huge pressure on me to show my Employers exactly what I can do, when I am actually in work! So the last thing I'm going to need is having builders, plasterers, plumbers etc calling me up and presenting me with problems (which is all expected with this shithole, ahem, house). But what do we women do about that? We get on with it. Because there is nothing else we can do!!
Maybe there will be a period of time where I am going to be running around like a headless chicken each morning and being constantly harassed throughout the day. But it won't last forever, I'm sure I'll handle it.
Then there is the other side of returning to work; leaving my precious little princess each day with someone else than me. But of course that is a whole other post.
I have no idea how things are going to pan out as yet, but one thing is for certain, things will work themselves out, they always do.