Life after maternity

Dani Knowles talks open and honestly about returning to MySort after being on maternity for almost a year.


Returning From Maternity

I chose to come back to work after 10 months on maternity leave; the optional year wasn’t for me; something I knew early into my ‘new mum’ journey. I have always tried to be as honest as possible when it comes to being a parent; solo parenting Monday to Friday and the lack of help and adult conversation was getting me down. More often than not, I felt like I was in somebody else’s body, living somebody else’s life. The months leading up to coming back to work were filled with positivity. I thought I was going to feel like myself again and get my confidence back…How wrong I was!

The week before coming back from maternity was the quickest week of my life. I was more nervous about coming back than when I first started the job! What if I don’t hit the ground running? What if I can’t pick up where I left off? There are new team members; what if they don’t like me and I can’t adjust to the changes that have been made,? Or if there isn’t a desk for me? The desk was a massive thing for me because if I didn’t have a place to call my own, how I would feel comfortable? Despite these ‘what if’s’ there were no two ways about it, I was going back.

There was a desk, I did adjust to the changes. And if the new people on the team don’t like me, they’ve hidden it well! I didn’t pick up where I left off, I didn’t hit the ground running and I didn’t get my confidence back. Recruitment and technology move quickly, I knew I had to move with the times and keep my mind as open as possible (and baby brain is a real thing). I felt like I had forgotten everything I’d learnt about both recruitment and the tech market since returning from maternity.

Feeling Lost

Two weeks in, I felt lost. I had no hires, no new clients and felt like I’d brought nothing to the team. I thought I wasn’t moving fast enough, so I asked to have a sit down with my Director, Sasha. Sasha showed me an immense amount of support and understanding. Considering she doesn’t have children, I was overwhelmed with how much she seemed to understand what I was going through. She had told me countless times to take the pressure off myself, ease myself back in, learn as much as I could about the current market of recruitment and how “techies” were being recruited at the moment. But I had been putting myself under pressure and leaving your baby at nursery four days a week to tackle this own unknown comes with its own difficulties.

So Sasha told me to take a week, a full week. Time to re-discover who I am without being a mum and wife. What my purpose is? Why did I want to come back to work? What makes me, me? And that’s exactly what I did; I worked on finding out who I am. I shadowed colleagues to see how they were working in the current market, to see how I wanted to work and I took my time.

Enjoying Life After Maternity

It took me nine months to grow a baby; things take time and I now know that’s okay. I’ve been back with MySort for two months now and I am loving it. Since taking the pressure off myself, the knowledge has come back; I’ve remembered those magic ingredients for how to find a good candidate, how to shape the journey they take and how to approach a potential client to demonstrate how we make all the difference to their team.

For anyone worrying about returning to work, after maternity or otherwise, I urge you to take the time to get to know yourself and take the pressure off. Being a new parent is especially challenging and taking time out for you can seem like a luxury, but it is invaluable. Remember, that we’re all evolving and learning as we go. I am not at the top of my game just yet, but it is coming and I will get there. With MySort.