You’ve just had a baby. You’re starting to get used to the hectic world of motherhood. Now you’re faced with going back to work, but every time you think about it you get a churning feeling in your tummy.
Sound familiar? For many of us it does.
Some of us don’t want to return to work, and we have decided we never will. Others of us don’t have that option, but wish we did.
A large portion of us realise that our jobs suck and don’t want to leave the love-of-our-lives to travel over an hour on sweaty public transport, where a lady named Cheryl didn’t wriggle her hand free from the human sardine tin quick enough to catch her sneeze, and now you’re transporting flecks of Cheryl’s DNA (visible on your glasses) to your office.
At least when our babies sneeze on us it’s funny.
Yet despite situations harrowingly similar to the one I have described, so many of us decide it’s too risky to begin a new career when we have such a tiny vulnerable human to grow and care for.
So, what is it we are really worried about? Here I’m going to delve into some of those uncomfortable exaggerated thoughts, and why they aren’t really barriers to our future success or happiness as working mums.
- Not having money: Realistically, training for a new career isn’t going to break you financially. With most providers offering interest-free payment plans for courses and having expert career advisors to give you a rough idea of salary expectations, the only thing you may have to account for is a slight decrease in income for the first year. Pruning back living expenses may be necessary but it’s only temporary. Creating a long (2-year) goal will help see you through this and reaching out to Citizens Advice to find out what help you might be eligible for if you accept a lower initial income to open the door to a higher eventual income.
- Losing your home: An example of a worst-case scenario worry, losing your home is very rare – and isn’t a side effect of changing careers. If this is something you would be worried about, getting in touch with your local Citizens Advice for reassurance is always a good start. While your starting salary may be low, employers should be paying you a living wage. Be realistic about how much you need to live and express this to any employers who offer you a job that is under your living costs. Alternatively, if you haven’t already, consider if you need to go over your living expenses and cut costs. Money Saving Expert is a well-known UK-based savings website and can help you to budget and cut costs. Losing your home is an over-inflated concern when it comes to reasons to not change career.
- Not having food: Not having food because of career change is unlikely once more. For crisis scenarios, charities provide local food banks where you can go to pick up food that has been donated and sourced from the local vicinity. The government also give ‘Healthy Start’ food vouchers to those eligible, and if you are worried you cannot afford food you can speak to your local GP who will help you to source food and vitamins for you and your baby.
While the above are all scary thoughts, they are all worst-case scenarios. Worst-case scenario thoughts don’t stop you boarding a plane on your trip to Zante, so why should they stop you from changing your life?
The fact is: You are the only thing stopping you. It might be hard at first, but as with everything, you’ll find a way to manage and then you’ll begin to thrive. Don’t let fear dictate your future.