Parents do not get enough credit for having children. Becoming a parent is the hardest job in the world, however companies and employers do not appreciate the skills parents have gained. Especially woman returning from maternity leave or from being a Stay-at-Home Mum - they are considered a done and dusted vegetable head.
I always imagined I'd love being a stay-at-home-mum. Although I've always enjoyed working, and I'm pretty good at it, I've never been what you'd describe as a career girl. I assumed once I became a mum I would find my forte in life and never look back. I figured I would eventually go back to work part time but it would be because we needed the money, not because I actually wanted to return.
My time was up, 365 long, exhausting and beautiful days had passed, it was time to resume duty, resurrect the old me. I decided that returning part-time would give me the best balance possible. Four days with baby, three days with normal people, no more time with the NCT massive! But which three days should I work? Well here's my science...
My husband told me the other day that's it's not my personality to get down on the floor and play with her but it suits him (so she wont be so deprived after all!). I think I'm more of a "teacher" than a "player", I really look forward to her reading, painting, cooking with me etc over the coming years.
Politicians and business leaders talk a lot about boardroom quotas, pay equality and diversity. But the issue of helping women return to work is not yet on our agenda and it needs to be. We need more women returning to the workplace to increase the pool at the top, achieve true gender equality and inspire younger generations.
There has been a lot of fanfare this week around the reaching of the 25% target for women on boards. Lord Davies set this voluntary target for FTSE 100 companies back in 2011. It's clearly a good thing that boardrooms are getting more diverse and having a target has meant the whole issue has been in the news for the last few years.
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.