Words: Alice Emanuel
Returning to work puts to use all those years of experience. I had a year where I didn’t discuss the 48-sheet market with anyone and it was great. But all that OOH knowledge, creative ideas and client relationship experience was lying dormant, and what a waste it would be to not use that.
I would say kiddo is the toughest client I have – he is unclear in his briefs, he changes his mind constantly, everything he demands he wants right that second, he doesn’t always take my suggestions, he pays me nothing and the hours are long. I take my rewards in snotty cuddles and observing this little human develop into the most charming person I’ve ever met, but I enjoy being able to use my brain in a different way at work, and I get paid for it!
I love the confidence kiddo has got from being at nursery. He is curious, he has relationships with adults that aren’t family, and he gets to observe other children all day. The world is safe and open to him. Yes, childcare costs in the UK are amongst the highest there out there, but the benefits are invaluable.
It can feel like A LOT. Returning to work and dealing with high workloads, demanding clients, being up-to-date on new technology and developments, managing up and down, getting to work after drop-off or dashing home for pick-up – it can feel overwhelming when you’ve had time away, so know your limits and set achievable goals.
Remember how stressful those first few days looking after a newborn were, and then how good it felt when you got to have a hot cup of tea away from it all for just ten minutes for the first time in what felt like weeks? Breathe in, breathe out, take those ten minutes to get your head together and then face it. You’ll be fine.
There’s always opportunity to learn and to grow. There’s no getting away from the fact that I have limits on my time at work now. I’ve had to re-adjust some of my professional goals, but I still have them.
Progress is being made. Let’s not pretend that sexism doesn’t exist in our world, any news you read about the gender pay gap makes incredibly disheartening reading, and for many women, the world of work slams a door on their face when they dare to procreate, but times they are a’changing.
Anything an employer does to improve the lot of working parents that goes beyond the minimum requirement is progress, but we can always do more. If not for you, but for your kid. What better motivation is that?
Alice Emanuel is Senior Account Manager at Kinetic