Becoming a mother should never, ever be a hindrance to your own aspirations, professional or otherwise. Of course, the journey of motherhood is a start of a new chapter in your life, one where you must become less selfish and make sacrifices at the expense of yourself for your child. But providing your child is loved, brought up with morals, well cared for and given the best of everything within your means, there is absolutely no reason why your personal dreams and goals should end just because you've now got a little bundle of joy in the mix, too.
Some people make the perfectly valid choice of becoming a stay at home mother. For others, this just isn't an option either due to financial reasons or simply because their career is super important to them. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and, contrary to the opinion of people in the 1950's, you really can have it all, if that’s what you want. There’s a lot to think about, and each choice is personal.
There’s no denying that there are obstacles, though. Although this shouldn't be the case, one of the major women’s issues in this country is discrimination faced either in pregnancy or in early years of a child’s life as a working mother. The UK law is supposed to protect women, but sometimes, employers can make this transition into this incredibly important stage very difficult indeed. It’s important to know your rights. Don’t back down too easily – at the end of the day, it may seem like a cliché, but you’re a strong, independent woman! If need be, there is plenty of help out there if you feel you’re a victim whilst you’re expecting or in the precious time after. According to the solicitors Taylor Rose, 50% of mothers are not taking their full maternity leave, because they’re afraid they will be dismissed if they do. It's shocking, but you can seek help from the solicitors yourself, if you want to get the justice you deserve.
As a new mum, however, you can sometimes find your whole perspectives have changed. Perhaps you have a new set of priorities, and you don’t want to go back to the same place of work. Alternatively, it might be that you weren’t working before having a baby, but new money pressures are dictating that you really ought to get a job. If you’re stuck, there are plenty of ideas for careers out there. Some mothers decide to double up their own childcare with caring for other people’s babies, by becoming child-minders. This is a great way of making sure you never miss a step in your baby’s development, whilst still earning money. You'll pick up tips and tricks along the way, too! You could also think about freelance endeavours – if you're qualified in something creative, like writing or design, these skills can soon see you rolling in it. If you’re a bit of a stickler for (modern) tradition though, you can always hit the job sites. You can find something to suit your needs – full-time, part-time or temporary on a range of online job sites such as Monster, Hales Group and Indeed.
Remember, you’ll never get your child’s early years back, so do the right thing by them. If for you, as an individual this means working all day to give the baby a head start? Great. If it means being physically there every step of the way? Also fine. Just make sure nobody is forcing you to make these decisions against your will.