I was a good teacher but being a mum has changed everyone’s perceptions of me.

My story is more about what happened after I had my baby. I’m a primary school teacher and my head only employed young nqt women who, for the most part, get married and have babies. When I started there I was one of four new members of staff to replace three who’d left on maternity leave. When I got pregnant 5 years later my boss was delighted for me. He drove me to hospital when, at 20 weeks pregnant, I suddenly lost the vision in my right eye (which remained fuzzy until I gave birth incidentally). During an informal chat he said despite the fact it would be a struggle to give me part time work (the other women had since come back PT after their maternity leave) and he refused to consider job shares he would ‘make it work for me’. My best friend there was also pregnant but he’d told her there was definitely no part time for her. I had been there longer and was a valued member of the team. I loved working there and was a passionate, dedicated teacher. When I came back to chat about my options he told me I needed to resign officially from my full time post in order for him to give me part time work. I trusted him completely. Then he reneged on his promise and I was left jobless with 2 mortgages while we were doing up our new home. A week after that he phoned to triumphantly announce he’d got me a part time job at a school nearby. It was a horrible school and the kids were awful- aggressive, rude and had no time for me: a part time teacher arriving in the last half of term. I resigned and got a job share in another school with an incredibly supportive head (a woman). I got pregnant again and returned part time once more but…I had fallen pregnant again. A very happy accident! I have decided not to return to work for a while and probably not back to teaching. What’s the point? Childcare would be more than I would earn even full time and I couldn’t dedicate the same amount of time to it as I did before. I’ve lost my confidence completely and feel I’m very much looked at as good for nothing more than supply. It’s a shame. I was a good teacher but being a mum has changed everyone’s perceptions of me.

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