Friday, 10 June 2011

As one door closes

I have been lucky enough to have a years maternity leave from my job, it is something that is available to all new mothers here in England and I am truly grateful. I know that many women in the US don't have the option to be stay at home moms for financial reasons and most must return to work about 12 weeks after their child is born. I know personally I wouldn't have been ready, I would have been a nervous wreck. While I have not been earning my full salary while on maternity leave I did receive 90% for the first six weeks followed by £125 a week up until 9 months and the last three months are unpaid. It has been amazing to spend the first year with Madame as we are both finding our feet in the new world we belong to.

My maternity leave ends a month from today and after a lot of discussion and looking into child care options I have decided that returning to my role in London is not the best option for our family. Due to my commute and the long hours that Philip works as a chef Madame would spend 12 hours a day five days a week in child care of some sort and I would only bring home a few hundred pounds a month after train fares and child care. Not only am I not thrilled by the prospect of Madame spending 60 hours a week in child care but the monetary benefits don't seem to justify it.

In some ways it was a very easy decision to make as I knew I didn't want Madame in child care that long but in another sense I loved my job and loved being part of the working masses. It also kind of feels like the last door closing on my Pre-Madame life.

While I won't be returning to my role in London not working at all would leave our finances stretch just too tight and leave absolutely no money for any fun things like holidays, and activities for Madame. What started out as a weight loss journey with Weight Watchers has opened the door to me becoming a Leader in the Weight Watchers organization. A couple of months ago as I was getting closer to my healthy BMI and also struggling to make decisions about returning to work or taking a part time job closer to home I made enquiries into becoming a leader. I truly believe in the Weight Watchers program and have been so lucky to have an amazing leader who has helped me so much over the last 9 1/2 months and I thought it would be amazing to have the chance to help other reach their weight loss goals. I have now made it through the interview process and start the training to become a leader in a few weeks. I am so thankful that while I am leaving one job that I really loved that I am able to start another that I feel really passionate about.

I am nervous about learning to juggle motherhood and work at the same time but Weight Watches offers me a position that can grow and evolve as I am ready. For the moment once I finish training I will only take on 1-2 meetings a week but as both I and my manager feel ready for me to take on more and if it works with my role as a mother I can look into taking on more meetings. It exciting to think that as Madame grows and starts things like nursery and school that I have the option of taking on more hours.

Closing the door on my Pre-Madame work life does not seem so hard when there is such an exciting door for Post-Madame work life to open.


Jacqueline and Andy said...

Wow! Congratulations, that is really exciting! I'm having such a hard time getting motivated and sticking with the week on, one week off, losing and gaining the same 4 pounds...maybe you can become an e-leader for the blogging circuit :)

What a perfect setup, and what a rewarding next step. Great job on your own weight loss journey too. I look forward to pursuing my passions once my job formally ends at the end of September. I'll be thinking of you!

Linda said...

Wow that is brilliant news...... good luck with everything you want to do..... Will there be no other patter of tiny feet in the future?

Yankee in England said...

Jacqueline- I don't know how you do it with two you shouldn't be too hard on yourself. Were you able to finish your Bradley certification before Merritt was born?

Linda- It will be a long time if ever before any more tiny feet here. I love every moment with Madame but the expectations of motherhood have been a rude awakening. Plus I want to enjoy this body I have been working on for a while before I go thru pregnancy again.