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Why I gave up corporate life

1
After a career in HR, I gave it up when my contract came to an end. Going back to HR after having two children was challenging, exhausting and demotivating. So, with the support of my husband, I retrained as a writer and, although I love my new career, it’s been a hard slog, heavily sprinkled with self-doubt, worry, insecurity and panic. The daily grind, as so many working parents will understand, consisted of wake up extra early, get myself ready (although my ‘work presentation’ standards definitely lowered when I had children), get the boys
SelfishMother.com
2
ready, wave husband out the door (yeah right, as if I ever did that), pack everyone in the car and drop off at nursery. Then drive like a loon to a local job in a firm I didn’t respect, in a role I disliked.

The cost of childcare

That’s without even mentioning the cost of childcare. My part-time return to work pay just about covered the nursery fees. The average cost of a day nursery in the UK for an under two-year-old is over £230 per week full-time or just over £120 per week for part-time childcare. It’s not just the cost that can be

SelfishMother.com
3
eye-watering, the waiting lists can be a hidden hindrance. When our eldest was three months old, we visited a nursery , but little did we know that although they were open to visitors, there was no space for him until at least another year.

Parent Guilt

Then there was the job of trying to keep the parent guilt in check. There was the desperate sinking feeling in the depth of my stomach when I rushed them through the nursery doors. The aggressive pull on the heartstrings as their little faces crumpled at the reality that I was about to leave them.

SelfishMother.com
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My brain overflowed with worry that I was leaving them a whole, ENTIRE day. My youngest couldn’t even walk, and I was skipping off to work.

The big smoke

Yet I wasn’t skipping. I was doing what I thought I should be doing for my career and our family. The first time my last HR job required me to visit the London office (actual London), I was so excited. It would be just like the old days. I could get on a train, read the paper and BE. IN. LONDON. Cue overexcited child who had forgotten that commuting to London every day is hard work. I

SelfishMother.com
5
completely overdressed in some old power suit that looked like it had been dug up from the eighties. I bought a smug coffee on the train which I had forgotten is hard to juggle with a handbag and laptop. Somehow my laptop and suit gave me a distorted sense of reality because in my head it was:

‘Yes, everyone I work, AND I have children too. I’m a career woman AND child juggler. Get me.’

Reality hit

Just as I perched in the Liverpool Street office, hot desking like all the cool kids do, the call came. My youngest had been sick, and I needed

SelfishMother.com
6
to collect him immediately. The walk back to London Bridge did not involve a skip or spring in my step. The rain came hard, because it had to rain, had to, and the laptop bag was frankly just heavy and annoying. So was London. London and all its promise and potential and there I was on the first train home. Failure and disappointment the dominant emotions. All nursery drop-offs and pickups and sickness episodes were my responsibility and the weight on my shoulders trying to combine corporate life and children was intense, constant and extremely
SelfishMother.com
7
heavy.

It’s a challenge for parents to return to their old job or career after having children. Perhaps I’m lucky that I had the support from my husband and that I found another profession I can do and one that works around my children. Without a doubt, having children has been the biggest change to my career, and I’m not sure that I am alone in saying that. I have worked extremely hard to start again and I’m still building my writing business. I haven’t completed my novel, but I am making steps towards it every day.

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Corporate to Kids

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- 28 Feb 19

After a career in HR, I gave it up when my contract came to an end. Going back to HR after having two children was challenging, exhausting and demotivating. So, with the support of my husband, I retrained as a writer and, although I love my new career, it’s been a hard slog, heavily sprinkled with self-doubt, worry, insecurity and panic. The daily grind, as so many working parents will understand, consisted of wake up extra early, get myself ready (although my ‘work presentation’ standards definitely lowered when I had children), get the boys ready, wave husband out the door (yeah right, as if I ever did that), pack everyone in the car and drop off at nursery. Then drive like a loon to a local job in a firm I didn’t respect, in a role I disliked.

The cost of childcare

That’s without even mentioning the cost of childcare. My part-time return to work pay just about covered the nursery fees. The average cost of a day nursery in the UK for an under two-year-old is over £230 per week full-time or just over £120 per week for part-time childcare. It’s not just the cost that can be eye-watering, the waiting lists can be a hidden hindrance. When our eldest was three months old, we visited a nursery , but little did we know that although they were open to visitors, there was no space for him until at least another year.

Parent Guilt

Then there was the job of trying to keep the parent guilt in check. There was the desperate sinking feeling in the depth of my stomach when I rushed them through the nursery doors. The aggressive pull on the heartstrings as their little faces crumpled at the reality that I was about to leave them. My brain overflowed with worry that I was leaving them a whole, ENTIRE day. My youngest couldn’t even walk, and I was skipping off to work.

The big smoke

Yet I wasn’t skipping. I was doing what I thought I should be doing for my career and our family. The first time my last HR job required me to visit the London office (actual London), I was so excited. It would be just like the old days. I could get on a train, read the paper and BE. IN. LONDON. Cue overexcited child who had forgotten that commuting to London every day is hard work. I completely overdressed in some old power suit that looked like it had been dug up from the eighties. I bought a smug coffee on the train which I had forgotten is hard to juggle with a handbag and laptop. Somehow my laptop and suit gave me a distorted sense of reality because in my head it was:

‘Yes, everyone I work, AND I have children too. I’m a career woman AND child juggler. Get me.’

Reality hit

Just as I perched in the Liverpool Street office, hot desking like all the cool kids do, the call came. My youngest had been sick, and I needed to collect him immediately. The walk back to London Bridge did not involve a skip or spring in my step. The rain came hard, because it had to rain, had to, and the laptop bag was frankly just heavy and annoying. So was London. London and all its promise and potential and there I was on the first train home. Failure and disappointment the dominant emotions. All nursery drop-offs and pickups and sickness episodes were my responsibility and the weight on my shoulders trying to combine corporate life and children was intense, constant and extremely heavy.

It’s a challenge for parents to return to their old job or career after having children. Perhaps I’m lucky that I had the support from my husband and that I found another profession I can do and one that works around my children. Without a doubt, having children has been the biggest change to my career, and I’m not sure that I am alone in saying that. I have worked extremely hard to start again and I’m still building my writing business. I haven’t completed my novel, but I am making steps towards it every day.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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