Sarah Horne was made redundant while she was on maternity leave. She had taken nine months’ maternity leave from her job dealing with mortgage applications and was looking forward to going back part time.
In the end, because she was working out her redundancy notice, she returned for one month full time in order to earn more money. That meant she had to get the nursery she had booked to allow her daughter to do a longer day for the three days a week and ask her mum to cover the other two days. “It was a stressful time,” she says. “I had my hours all sorted out and had a nursery ready to take the baby for three days a week 9-3.15pm.”
She managed to find a part-time job share fairly quickly. She had been working in mortgage applications for eight years, but her new job was an administrative one in an estate agents. She says she is pleased to be in work and not just for financial reasons. Sarah is just one of a series of working mums which Workingmums.co.uk is highlighting this week as we look at what motivates mums to work, apart from the obvious financial reasons.
“I always wanted to go back to work,” she says. “But I wanted to work part time. I didn’t want to go back full time and only see the kids at bedtime, but I did want to get out of the house and bring some money in. I wanted the feeling that I was doing something worthwhile. I also thought it would be good for my daughter Sophie being at nursery because she would socialise with children her own age and make friends. I think working gives women something for you. You’re not just constantly looking after children.”
Sarah from Steeple View, Essex, says that when she was pregnant she wasn’t sure about going back to work, but once she had had the baby she realised she needed to get out of the house, have an adult conversation and “keep my brain ticking over”.
Her husband is a full-time teacher and she says his job is pretty full on with him often not being back till 6.30pm. That made her feel quite isolated when she was on maternity leave. It also made her think she didn’t want to work full time and for neither of Sophie’s parents to be around except for bedtime and weekends.
Although she is happy in her job, there are some things that make life a bit more difficult. For instance, despite working part time she has to pay for a full day at nursery for her daughter because she needs to be at work at 9am when the school day at the nursery starts. But she’s pleased to be working, both for the financial benefits and to give her children a positive role model.