'Employers see mums as a risk'

Last updated 08:00 13/03/2014

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I had done as I believed society expected. I got a university degree, secured a good wage, married, bought a house. And soon enough came the baby in the carriage.

What I never prepared for was the hardest job of my life.

Pennies had been saved for me to take 12 months' leave. I had lots of people say to me that I wouldn't return, that I'd have No 2.

The truth was I loved my job. I saw a great future with the company I worked for and didn't have the luxury of staying at home with my daughter forever.

The Government's maternity payments were very helpful.

Would I like the period of paid leave extended? You'd be a fool not to agree. I consider through my employment and taxes paid that I have contributed to society considerably and the support given to other parts of the community should be given to mothers.

I never considered just how important the role of a mother is. Before having kids I'd see women during working hours out and about with their children and think they have it sweet, and to a point they do.

But what many don't realise is that the job description of a mum is larger than that of a CEO: tireless dedication, no weekends and at times no sleep.

Having the knowledge that I had a job to return to was great peace of mind.

Unfortunately, while I was heavily pregnant I was advised my role was under review.

Despite the support from my colleagues when I was made redundant I felt utterly devastated that my plan had failed.

During this period I felt ashamed when people asked me what I did for a living and I said I stayed at home with my baby. Pathetic.

I was doing the most important job in the world and here I was mumbling my reply.

In my eyes the pressures to be a career woman outweighed the importance of being a mum.

I had to find employment which, as you can imagine, is challenging enough, let alone being in the position of being a new mum. Let's face it, employers see mums as a risk. It is sad that in this day and age being a mum is considered by some as a handicap to doing your job successfully.

When I interviewed I'm ashamed to say I tried not to mention that I had a young baby. Do you know how awful it feels to try to hide the thing you are most proud of and love more than anything?

Luckily my new employer is supportive of me being a new mother.

Knowing I have my child to come home to, to support, actually makes me want to work harder and be even more successful. 

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