Article in brief: the author talks about the dilemma of a being a stay at home mum or work in an inflexible job towards maternity needs.
In a previous article that was published back in March, I talked about how you can manage yourself at work when you learn that you’re expecting a baby. What questions do you ask yourself in order to maintain a healthy home-work balance?
In this month’s article I will discuss your baby’s arrival and work. Before my baby arrived, I had read everything I could get my hands on. Everything from pregnancy books, blogs, forums, etc. However, once the baby came, I was in awe as it wasn’t what I had expected. One should know that each baby is different; from their sleeping patterns, what each cry means, eating habits and many more. My daughter refused to sleep from day one, and until this day her sleeping patterns hasn’t changed.
As the months progressed and my baby grew, I was starting to worry because she still wasn’t sleeping through the night and my work resumption date was getting closer. One of the topics I talked about was maternity leave and sixty days is just not enough, especially for new moms or moms who don’t have a support network.
With sleepless nights, short leaves, and work looming ahead, I had a series of questions I began asking myself like, “Should I quit my job? Should I become a stay-home mom? Should I be looking for another job as the one I was on was not that interesting anymore?”
I have to admit I was also nervous about handling separation-anxiety from my daughter, as she was my first child.
Towards the end of my maternity leave, I extended it and took additional days from my annual leave. A lot of people told me not to because I might need those days later, but in reality, I wasn’t thinking of later. The only thing on my mind was that I wanted to spend more time with my daughter now. After that, I added another month of unpaid leave which was really the maximum number of leaves I could take. Before I knew it, I had to go back to work.
Before joining work, something totally unexpected came along. I was headhunted by a recruiter for a new position. The role seemed exciting, but I hesitated because the situation had changed for me. I had to think of my daughter as my priority before a new job. I was weighing everything from work timings, responsibilities, and flexibility.
In the current job, I was entitled to two hours of maternity, which means I could leave at 12:30 when I used to leave at 2:30. At the new job, my working hours was from 7:30 until 3:30 that meant an hour longer without any maternity time. However, I also knew that in my current job I was not going to get any promotion or increments anytime soon as I was away for six months, but the new job offered a senior role. After weighing my options I decided to go to the interview, and after a couple of months I was offered the job. I simply relied upon Allah (tawakkul) and decided to accept it.
Always prioritize your family when weighing your options. No job or role is going to fulfill that for you. When making decisions, make sure that you’ve done your homework, and that you have the support that you need to achieve it.
Fatma (Fay), Emirati girl, with an experience in Corporate Communications and CSR. She is passionate about anything that is traditional and Emirati. In her free time she loves to watch Japanese anime, read manga, and play videogames. Spas are not the only thing that relaxes her, but cooking as well.
Fay’s columns observe work-life experiences and balance. A lot of her articles are based on first-hand personal experiences and issues she has seen or been part of. She loves to observe her surroundings, and watch how people handle different situations they’ve been put in.Also, she is trying to balance the art of staying positive at work and helping her peers understand that not everything should be a problem. With her writings she hopes to make a difference and make people more observant of the little problems in life, or work that hasn’t escalated to a catastrophe. It’s the little things that matters.