I recently delivered my eldest child to university and have
experienced my first taste of the empty nest.
During the long drive there and back, I was thinking over my child’s 18
years and the many transitions we have both gone through. Two of those are relevant here: becoming a mother
for the first time and returning to work after an eight year break. I noticed how differently I prepared for and
experienced these two events.
child was born were filled with hours of preparation and planning for both me
and sometimes my husband. We read books
and magazines, joined ante-natal classes and the NCT, attended yoga sessions and engaged a team of
experts to support us: GP, midwife and even a water-birth guru! And we were lucky enough to have grandparents
and friends to advise and guide us. Is
any of this sounding familiar?
phase of our lives.
greater. My husband was barely available
because of the demands of his career (and, to be fair, I probably didn’t ask
for enough). There were few books,
classes, workshops or experts to consult.
The grandparents were gone and friends had either not stopped working or weren’t ready to think about returning.
It is not really surprising that I found my return to work so lonely and
at times felt it was all too difficult.
about your own return. I think that the
lessons are clear. Returning to work
after a career break requires preparation, all-round support and
guidance in the same way as becoming a mother did. You need both practical and emotional support through the transition and any ambivalence you are feeling. We are
making it really hard on ourselves if we think we can (or should) do it alone.
to turn to, (including this blog). We’ve listed all that we’ve found on our website and would love to hear where else
you have found inspiration and support.