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A New year, the end of maternity leave and becoming a SAHM

Happy New Year all. This year brings a few changes for me and my little family. My maternity leave officially finished at the end of December. Now it’s holiday entitlement and then once that’s up my career break starts.

To those of you who don’t know, I’m a midwife. I spent 3 years in intensive training that led me to gain my BSc (Hons) Midwifery in 2006. I held down a part time job in a bar, whilst studying at home, studying 2 days a week at uni and working 3 days a week doing my student placements in a maternity unit. It was tough and I worked blumin hard. Our placements included all the shifts that were expected of qualified staff including nights.

Midwifery for me wasn’t a job I had always envisaged myself doing. I stumbled across the vocation whilst studying for a degree in biomedical science. The more I read about midwifery, the more I wanted to do it. I left the course in Preston after the end of the second year once I had a place on a midwifery course confirmed.

I started my training and I began to see how truly amazing pregnancy and childbirth really is. I’d made the right move. What a privilege I had being a part of something so special for each family. I’ll never forget those precious moments of handing a newly born baby over to mummy and sometimes daddy. The look on their faces as they embrace their baby for the first time. Or seeing a new family leave the unit for home to start their journey, clearly doting on their new addition but completely clueless to what lies ahead.

I worked hard at gaining experience in various aspects of the job. I regularly rotated around the unit for the first few years of my career. I did a stint in midwifery research. I then gained specialist experience in our Fetal Medicine Unit. This was an eyeopener to the hardships some families go through. Pregnancy is amazing but nature can be so damned cruel sometimes.

On returning to work in 2013 after my first baby, I began my time in the antenatal clinic. I missed the action of delivery unit but I had a family now and I was lucky enough to have regular days and normal hours. No night shifts and weekends off! Bliss. I spent the next 3 years here and then in 2016 left on maternity leave to have my second little pudding.

Here is where the big change lies. Whilst being off I began to think about going back to work. As you do, especially second time round you know how quick mat leave goes. With my eldest now at school I wondered how we would manage childcare. For Pud, it was easy, he could go to the same onsite nursery Pops went too whilst I was a work. The problem was before and after school. Working so far away from home none of the usual options would work. As the reality of returning to work slipped away I began to quite like the idea of not going back. I surprised myself with this as I’d always thought I needed to work. I applied for a career break for 5 years and I got it.

Now I faced the prospect of being a stay at home mum. I have always worked since being 17. I’ve always had my own money. My work gave me a sense of being. I took pride in my work. It was my identity for so long. After having Pops I felt I added ‘mum’ to my CV and now I feel like I’ve dropped a 10 year career and lost a part of my identity. Can I actually call myself a midwife now I wonder? Technically yes, as I have to undergo something all UK midwives do called revalidation, which means we keep up to date. I have to do 450 hours over 3 years. So I will have to go in to work for these hours in order to pick up my career again after the break.

It feels a little strange that for the next 5 years I’ll be a SAHM, I’m actually looking forward to it. When I talk to others about it though I feel a little embarrassed. You would think that after being on mat leave for a year it’s not that big a change. Physically it’s not but mentally it’s a biggie.

I do feel so lucky that I’ll be able to stay at home with Pud without paying for childcare and that I can drop off and pick up Pops from school. I can be the one who makes their tea and listens to Pops about her day at school instead of getting home and rushing them through bathtime and bedtime. I know this is an opportunity that most do not get and I will never grow complacent of this.

So as 2017 starts, so does my career break. I intend to make the most of it. Here’s to being a SAHM and enjoying it.

A Mum Track Mind

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41 COMMENTS

  1. What an exciting start to the year! I can totally see how it would fly by with two, it’s gone fast enough with just the one. I hope the next five years are amazing for you. And thank you for doing the job that you do, midwives are amazing!

    • Aww thank you Devon Mama, it is a fab job (without the politics/short staffing etc) I think I will miss it but very much looking forward to spending time with my family too x

  2. You are so lucky to get the next five years at home with your babes! Super jealous. I think is great that you can keep training and go back to work when you’re ready. You have an amazing job but an even better one now!

  3. Firstly I’m a dad.
    Secondly I so relate to this.
    I worked all my life (since 17) in all kinds of jobs but for the last 10 years I was a letting agent. 3 years ago I started my auctioneering qualification and only finished and became qualified within the last year. We have a 6 year old in school and had the same dilemma as regards crèches etc at the end of my wife’s maternity leave in number 2 (not her real name lol ?).

    So I decided to ‘give up my identity’ and become a stay st home dad. Been doing it since September. Best decision ever.

    Best of luck to you in your new role.

    • Fab to see dad’s being SAH too. It’s such a strange feeling to think I’m not working but really looking forward it. Never thought I would have the chance to do this but so happy I can. Thank you.

  4. Oh what an amazing start to the year, you are so so lucky! I’m wanting to do my childrens nurse training but not sure whether it would be easy with a 10 month old haha! I seriously applaud you though lovely and you really do deserve a break. Enjoy it while you can sweet! xx

    • Thank you, I intend to make the most of it. There were mums on our course, one had 4 kids! I really don’t know how they did it to be honest. I guess if it’s something you really want to do you make it work somehow x

  5. I take my hat off to you. Being a midwife must be amazing and I have so much respect for all midwives. I have just written a similar post today. My maternity leave ends today and on Monday I am back to work! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this and wish I could be a SAHM, maybe if I win the lottery x #tribalchat

    • Thank you:) I remember when mat leave came to end first time round. I found it heartbreaking leaving Pops in nursery but after a few weeks it just became the norm and wasn’t too bad. Hope it all goes well for you x

    • Good to hear from another SAHM. I guess there is a feeling of inadequacy when explain to people what I’m doing – ‘just’ a SAHM, it’s not really ‘just’ at all, it’s important. Good to hear that you’re proud of it x

  6. Cobngrats on taking the plunge to become a SAHM. I’m due back at work in April after my second mat leave and the cost of childcare means it’s not really worth it. I”m currently racking my brains on how to make a bit of income while also staying home. #sharingthebloglove

  7. Amazing! I always wonder what it would be like to be at home full time after maternity leave (I start my mat leave in May this year!), what an exciting change for you and the family. Your career will keep and you will be proud of the time you spent being with your kids full time. Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about your journey xx #fortheloveblog

  8. Congratulations on taking such a big step. I’m sure you will all get so much out of it. Great that you can take it as. Career break and go back afterwards if that’s what you want to do. I’m back at work after my 3rd mat leave and I so wish I could be a sahm or even work part time. My working hours are pretty inflexible so I feel like I miss out on a lot – like school plays, open afternoons,etc. Enjoy every minute xx #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Thank you Emma. It’s so sad that’s there isn’t much out there for mums – a flexible job that fits in with school. It was one of the main reasons for doing it and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

  9. Congratulations. First for been able to take the opportunity and second for having the balls to do it!

    I’m just starting my maternity leave for my second. She’s due any day now!!!

    I’m hoping to get my blog going whilst I’m off and hopefully just got back to work part time or not at all 🙂

    Enjoy xxx

  10. Congratulations!

    First on having the opportunity and second for having the guts to do it!

    I have a little boy and I am due to have a little girl any day now.

    I’m hoping to use my maternity leave to get my blog going and hopefully just return to work part time or not at all!!

    Enjoy xxx

  11. I am a little jealous reading this as I wish that I was still on maternity leave or having a career break. I’m back at work, and have been for the last 6 months. It’s tough, and the juggling act is real. It sounds like you have a very focused head on your shoulders and very driven. Enjoy every minute of your career break and who knows where it might take you. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  12. Good luck! I always wanted to be a SAHM but financially I couldn’t after returning to work though I really enjoyed it, if we were to have another however I’d be in your situation and I can imagine I’d feel the same! I’m sure you’ll adjust and grow to love it x

  13. I really enjoyed this post. So much of it I can relate to! You should never feel embarrassed for being a SAHM- you should be damn proud that you are able to prioritise your family during these very short years. I hope to be able to do the same one day. Good luck and stay proud!! 💙

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