Confessions of a Curious Mind

January 5, 2010

Returning To The Rat Race

Filed under: Mothering,Work — Ms Curious @ 4:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been back at work since mid-December from maternity leave.

I worked for The Company, a large multi-national organisation which will remain unnamed. It is in a very demanding industry and staff usually work long hours, but are rewarded well, at least monetarily.

I took 12-month maternity leave to look after The Little Guy, and I was happy to forget everything about the corporate world for a while and enjoy motherhood. As the end of my leave drew near I had to think about my return to work. My preference was to work part time which The Company is likely to accommodate, but I also want to work “family friendly hours”, which is not typical around here. There are several mums working part time in The Department but they work long hours on the days that they are in the office, and they are often on call during their days off anyway. That wasn’t what I want.

I didn’t like my chances and I told Mr Curious that my requirements were not realistic, but he told me to ask for it anyway. “What do you have to lose?” he said.

So I did. I met up with our HR manager around August the told her my thoughts. She said she would speak to the head of The Department and see what could be done.

I didn’t hear from her for a while. When I got in touch with her eventually, she said that they could only think of one area in The Department where I might be able to work, and even then they were not sure if that team wants a part time person.

I was expecting the worst at that point, but I wasn’t necessarily unhappy. The reality is that I wasn’t happy with the role in the first place. Whilst HR and management have been very supportive, I find the actual work of The Department depressing. I never connected with the work, it was a stressful role with lots of deadlines, and it was dragging me down.

I half-hoped they would offer me redundancy, so I get a nice payout and can look for work in the new year.

A month before my maternity leave finishes, I was asked to come into the office. I had a meeting with the head of The Department, the HR manager and another manager. They have found a home for me. I would work on projects to improve team efficiencies and effectiveness, and since these are internal projects there are no demanding deadlines. I would be working for a manager who works part time herself (she has a 15 month old girl).

I was very grateful – I can tell that they tried very hard to accommodate my needs. So I said yes to the role. There will be a review in 3 months’ time to see how things are working for both parties, which I am happy with.

As the start date drew near, a part of me was looking forward to spending time with adults only and not being a mum only 24/7. Thankfully The Little Guy is not too clingy so it was relatively easy to leave him. My mum and MIL are taking turns looking after him until childcare starts next week.

It was good to go back to work around the Christmas period because it is quieter and it gave me a chance to ease back into work. Also my manager is on leave until the end of the month so I don’t have a lot on my plate (I’m writing this at work right now).

Yesterday, as I was reading some work documents, I was reminded of how much I dislike the nature of the work. I feel immense loyalty to management, but I think working in The Company is not healthy for me in the long run. So whilst I’ll do my best whilst I’m here, I will start looking elsewhere soon. As to what I will be looking for – that’s another topic completely!



  1. had been wondering how this had worked out for you. glad to hear you’re easing back into it and doing it on your terms. xx

    Comment by Christine — January 13, 2010 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks Christine. Work is going well so far, I will write about it in more detail soon.

    Comment by Ms Curious — January 18, 2010 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

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