Last Monday was the last day of my maternity leave and the day I attended a wonderful panel discussion held by Boots beauty brand, No.7 and Mumsnet.
Our panel consisted of working mums from different walks of life; a model, a vlogger, and two career columnists all brought together by one lady. Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet led the panel discussions and spoke about many issues women face in the workplace such as gender equality, flexible working (what it really means), work-life balance, and how to feel more confident returning to the workplace. It was an eye-opener – women have to still fight for basic gender equality rights, flexible working, and even job security.
I haven’t gone back to my old workplace – as much as I love it, it no longer fits well with my family of four. As LO is only in nursery 3hrs a day, it would be pointless for me to put him and Baby Girl in childcare for the whole day when Daddy P is at home and available. Daddy P is a stay at home dad which works for us. He is amazing and I really can’t ask for anyone better. PS he’s a much better parent than I am but that’s between you, me and this blog! 🙂
I feel like work gives me that ‘time away from the kids’ that constantly crave. I can actually think about something else other than what to put in the oven for lunch or why the dirty clothes pile for the kids never seems to cease. As much as I love my children, I don’t want to be just a mum, I want to be me – the old me before kids. Luckily I only work part-time so it’s not too much of a strain on us emotionally and physically (though financially is another thing). I have every weekend off and get a chance to take LO to nursery before I start work – two simple things I wouldn’t have been able to do working further away from home.
It was really interesting to hear all the stories the panel had. Vlogger Anna Whitehouse (@Mother_Pukka) spoke about being a working mum and self-employed. She talked about how great it can be but also spoke about the challenges it brings (no maternity leave, SMP). Anna also spoke about setting up a business and gave us a sensible piece of advice. Don’t do it for the sake of doing it. Do it because you genuinely believe in it and believe it can make you money because at the end of the day, it is about making money. You are a mum. You have kids and you have mouths to feed.
Phanella (@Step Up Club) spoke about how being pregnant in a male-dominant workplace changed her life whilst Jade Parfitt advised us to make sure we get our partners involved in sharing the workload from the get-go when it comes to parenting as it’ll help make it the transition back to work smoother for everyone. Sometimes when we’ve been away from work for too long, we may feel like our identity has been lost. Like it’s somehow merged between being a mother and everything in-between.
After the panel discussion was over, we were treated to delicious nibbles and No7 makeovers. It was time to get #No7Ready of course! 🙂 I took a look around the makeup counters and watched other mums have their makeup done. I chickened out from having mine done and just headed over to the canapés with my +1. We gorged on the truffled brie and roasted artichoke slices, had a few bites of the meat skewers and vegetarian options.
There was also a little fun station where we could take part in a No7 video. We had to write on paper signs (with lipstick!) what confidence means to us. Me and my +1 came up with self love and body confidence. When we were ready to call it a night we left the event with a lovely goody bag courtesy of No.7 each – fabulous!