Returning to work after having a baby

"Coming back to work, in the middle of a pandemic was so hard.. I think any new Mum going back to work after a year off on maternity leave is challenging anyway, but with my mental health taking a decline, being diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and anxiety, and feeling as though Covid 19 took away the majority of my maternity leave made it all that much more of a struggle. 

Having such a flexible employer has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have been able to ease myself back into work with the flexibility of Vodafone’s Reconnect programme which has allowed me to work 4 out of 5 days a week without it impacting my pay, giving me that extra day to spend with my now 14-month-old daughter.

The pandemic has caused so much disruption with childcare, meaning that 1 day a week I have had to juggle my work with taking care of my daughter not easy (she doesn’t always agree with my work schedule, unfortunately). I have had occasions where her nursery has had COVID-19 cases, so I have had to have her at home with me for long periods.

I know there are so many parents out there trying to juggle childcare, home schooling, work commitments, taking care of vulnerable relatives etc and I feel so fortunate to have an understanding employer who has gone above and beyond to support me and my wellbeing throughout. 

One of the things I love about Vodafone is how seriously they take their employee's mental wellbeing. My team in particular have regular team catch-ups, social events, check-ins, sometimes just an hour out of the day to catch up virtually with a cup of tea and talk about what great new show we recommend on Netflix!

My manager checks-in with me not to check up on my workload, but to make sure I am supported and ask how I am feeling. Having the flexibility to work from home and flex my hours during this crazy time has been a huge support. 

Some days are better than others, I can't always guarantee that I will be able to make it to that Teams meeting or have to move a call to another day but I think this is a new normal now, my daughter has made an appearance on a few calls and I have seen other colleagues (and candidates) in the same boat. I think one of the positives to come out of the pandemic is the realization that work doesn’t have to be 9 – 5, and having that work/life balance is so important and I am proud to work for a company that recognizes that."

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