A couple of months ago, I was sent a book to review, Maternity Leavers by Soozi Baggs. I don’t often find the time to sit down and read, now that Autumn is on the move, so it’s taken me a little longer than first anticipated to get round to this. However, I’m glad that I found some time to read this. I think it’s difficult for many women on maternity leave to make a decision about work. Some can’t wait to get back, while others dread it and either try to be a full time stay at home mum or work from home/become self-employed.
Background and history
The book begins with the history of how society has changed over the last few decades. Women have gone from being expected to stay at home bringing up children and looking after the home, to ‘having it all‘. This was the phrase termed for having a job and a family. Soozi then goes on to talk about her working life and children, as well as a brief explanation of what the rest of the book will be about. It’s easy to find similarities with her and such, you feel as though she is a knowledgeable friend speaking to you.
The chapters of the book are as follows:
- Making the most of maternity leave
- Returning to work full-time
- Flexible working
- Being a full-time mum
- Doing something else
- Money and practicalities
- Mental and emotional headspace
It covers probably every angle you could think about regarding work when you’re on maternity leave and contains several case studies. Early on, on page 5, Soozi writes the following:
Take a step back, relax and look for the positives in your situation. Try to objectively identify what options you have without getting bogged down by any negatives or feelings of despair. This book will help with ideas and by shining the light on the realities of what certain choices mean.
Those are probably three of my favourite sentences in the book. It’s too easy, especially when we’re tired and postpartum hormones haven’t completely settled down, to just get stressed about it all. However, taking a step back and reading this book makes you realise that you had perhaps more options than you thought. It’s very confidence boosting, too.
I’m now eight and a half months into my maternity leave. I’m only too aware that the time has, and still is, moving too quickly. Sometimes my job of being a Software QA Specialist seems a whole world away and I worry about all sorts of things regarding my return to work.
Even if you’re sure of what you want, I think that this book would be useful for you to read. It’s well written and very thought-provoking. In the next few weeks, I have guest posts coming up from a couple of mums who have set up their own businesses. Hopefully those will also provide some inspiration to you!
Disclosure: I received this book in return for a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.