Nicola Semple is the owner of Life After Maternity Leave, a service dedicated to supporting new or ‘new again’ parents as they make decisions about their life ‘after maternity leave’. Whether that be returning to work after maternity leave, becoming a stay at home mum or doing something different and setting up their own business. She is also the author of ‘How to be a stay at home mum: Stay sane, stay ‘you’ and enjoy your time at home with your child’
After the birth of her first child Nicola gave up a successful corporate career as a business change consultant working for large corporate organisations to become a stay at home mum. She is sharing her story with Parental Choice about being a stay at home mum, deciding to go back to work flexibly and finding a childcare solution that worked for her and her family.
Having been a stay at home mum for almost two years I decided that for my own sanity I needed to do something that was just for me. I was extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my daughter during the all important early years but as she was getting older and slightly more independent I thought the time was right for me to think about doing some kind of work, albeit on a very part time basis.
Shortly after her second birthday my daughter started at pre-school a couple of mornings a week and I had five glorious hours all to myself to start to hatch my plans for world domination!
Over the past couple of years I had had many, many different ideas for small businesses that I could start from home, ranging from baby food production to coaching and training programmes for graduate entry management consultants….. but the idea that kept niggling at the back of my mind was supporting women during their decision making process about whether or not to return to work after their maternity leave.
It was a topic that had been the subject of much conversation among my ‘mummy circle of friends’ and I knew what a heart wrenching and difficult decision it was for many women.
The idea bubbled away and in the week when I finally distilled all of my thoughts into a plan for Life After Maternity Leave I discovered I was pregnant again with my son. Over the next few months it was as if two babies were being grown in our house.
I was able to use the time that my daughter was at pre-school to start to put together the content for the website and slowly but surely taught myself the basics of web design to get the site up and running. I am no techie so there were some bumps and challenges along the way! But shortly before my son was born the first version of Life After Maternity Leave went live.
Even with a newborn in the house I was still able to devote some time each week to Life After Maternity Leave. The advantage/disadvantage of having a second child is that you know exactly what is coming! I knew that fitting in some work around the schedule of a sleeping/feeding baby is infinitely easier than fitting it in around a mobile, active toddler.
My son is now almost nine months old, a proper boy, crawling, climbing, cruising and into absolutely EVERYTHING. My days of balancing a laptop on my knee while he plays at my feet are over!!!! So for this reason I decided that it was time to find him some childcare while my daughter is at pre-school to let me take Life After Maternity Leave to the next level.
Next week Nicola shares her experience of finding a childcare solution that suited her and her family.
- Just a Mum…… (parentalchoiceuk.com)
- Parental leave to become flexible under plans set out by Nick Clegg (guardian.co.uk)
- Making the Most of Maternity Leave (vagendamag.blogspot.com)
- Fathers to be granted full maternity leave under new government scheme (scotsman.com)