I came to parenthood after a successful career in public service for ten years working my way up to a strategic management position. I had no idea what having my twins would do to my career and can safely say I found motherhood hugely empowering, it was what happened at work afterwards that massively impacted my confidence. I couldn’t afford for childcare more than two days a week and was honest that on my return I would give notice as we needed to move closer to family for support. Perhaps that was my mistake. Effectively, I was made redundant the cheap way. I went in supposedly to perform my same management role two days a week but soon realised it was no longer actually a job. I was asked not to participate in project or planning and even to stop supervising my staff at which point I broke down in tears. I had it formally recorded on my supervision that I had nothing to do but apparently that was ok. It was just awful. My self esteem plummeted. I was totally deskilled and embarrassed to be begging for data cleansing tasks off my collleagues for something to do. I thought once we moved I would find something better and get my career back on track before my brain atrophied. I was mostly mistaken. I went for another local authority management post, operational not strategic. ‘We don’t do part time and we don’t do job share’ Was the response to my enquiry. I went for an interview for a post I had moved on from 8 years previously and got it. It’s been a year of incredibly hard juggling as … we don’t do flexi. However the light at the end of the tunnel is a freelance role that’s shown me I can be around for my kids and enjoy work so that’s the direction I am headed in. I earn £20,000 less now than before kids. It’s not easy and I was naive but it’s 2017 was I wrong to expect better?