Please don't stop at dreaming. Do something about it. There really are loads of opportunities out there which will help you to change your life for the better. I've distilled some of these ideas into a handy list for you. This is your 'what I could do after maternity leave' list. Read it, pick out a few, and develop them into your own ideas.
Ellie's piece resonated with me on a lot of levels, and I am so proud of her for advocating for something that ALL women and babies, of all socio-economic levels, everywhere, need and deserve. But it also got me thinking that something continues to be missing from this conversation. (I can say this, knowing that Ellie will have my back!)
Pumping breast milk is a part-time job on top of the full-time job, not to mention that other little thing about going home and raising a baby. So it's no wonder that working, breastfeeding women are vertiable magicians when it comes to hacking their jobs, their breast pumps, and their surroundings to make it all work.
Within weeks of joining the bank, I became aware of barriers to my progress that were simply not there for my male equivalents. Women weren't given a chance to prove themselves, men bonded in strip clubs, women were paid less than their male counterparts, sexist 'banter' ruled - and that was before I even noticed what was happening to the one other female executive in my department, who had just had a baby.
I have been doing quite a bit of work recently on issues regarding 'stay at home mums' or SAHM's as they endearingly like to be called, versus working mums, who like to be called productive. I am struck that no matter what the issue, no matter how inert or economically sound in its presentation, SAHMs and working mums will fight about it.
Last week was Adult Learners Week, a time to encourage adults from all walks of life to keep on learning - even busy working mums like me! When I left school, I thought all that was behind me, but my apprenticeship has taught me all kinds of new skills and made a big difference to myself and my family.
Coming from a family where my mum has always the breadwinner, it is perhaps not surprising that I automatically see the role of women in the workplace as critical. I cringe in horror that she was once told she couldn't make a purchase without my Dad's authority and yet, in living my own life (including a stint in Corporate!) I really did think things had changed.