It has been 8 years since I joined Lindsell Marketing (now ThoughtSpark) and amongst all the companywide changes that have ensued, my personal career path has changed the most. In 2019 I was a newly appointed Account Director getting to grips with the key tasks required of me to ensure the best results for our clients. I had a team of junior employees to manage as well as important client relationships to nurture; and let me say, I loved it. No day was the same and new challenges kept me and the team learning every day.
In 2019 I fell pregnant with twin boys, and once I had picked myself up off the floor, I had to start to come to terms with how much my life was going to change. My work quickly morphed into planning for who was going to take my clients on, liaising about maternity leave and maternity pay and trying to envisage exactly what was about to happen. Without much time to think about it the twins arrived in April 2020 and I found myself in a whole new world.
Fast-forward 12 months and my maternity leave (albeit mostly spent in Lockdown – thank you Covid-19) was drawing to an end. The mixed emotion and feelings that started to build were more than I ever imagined. It very quickly dawned on me that as much as my babies needed me, I needed my babies; meaning it was quite apparent that returning to my previous role in the identical capacity was no longer an option.
During the global pandemic, ThoughtSpark went under a re-structure which (luckily for me) meant that with the support of my fellow directors an enormous shift happened – I handed over my clients and assumed a new role as Head of Operations & Finance. Instead of writing content and liaising with the media, I was thrown into P&Ls, VAT returns, staff payroll and pensions.
When I decided to return to work it was emotional – I felt instant guilt that I would be leaving my babies to be cared for by someone else, but simultaneously I craved the time to ‘return to my old life’. I was emotionally being pulled in two directions, I was navigating a new role all while watching my old team progress without me and I was asking myself – why? What is this all for?
This post is by no means meant to be ‘oh woe is me’. It is merely to show that a new mother who comes back to work will be trying to make sense of her new normal and most likely will not want to spend her first few days back in the office telling you about her new baby, nor will she want to hear about all the amazing things that have happened while being off – tread lightly.
Maternity leave is no holiday, and there is no time to really decipher what is best for yourself and your family before you are thrown back into the working world, navigating the constant juggle of workload, childcare and poorly infants. A year in, would I change a thing? Absolutely not.
I have found my feet, I have proved to colleagues that I can juggle my commitments whilst running a successful business, and most importantly, I have the capacity and freedom to be there physically and emotionally for my children.
ThoughtSpark is a female-led company, and we pride ourselves on the fact that our company allows every individual to balance their professional and personal lives – a mix that brings out the best in all people.
To find out more about the rest of our team, click here: https://www.thoughtsparkagency.com/about-us/