I used to work for a multinational media company in London. When I fell pregnant with my first child, I was half expecting to be made redundant whilst on maternity leave as I’d seen this happen to at least 3 other women on their maternity leave. So when It happened I wasn’t surprised. Two months before my mat leave was due to finish, I asked my manager for flexible working and was told that this wasn’t possible, and was gently forced into asking for ‘voluntary redundancy’. I was offered a generous leave settlement and had to sign a contract to confirm that I wouldn’t sue the company, or say anything negative about the company. At the time, I was happy to be able to spend more time with my baby and the money kept us going for a few months, but I underestimated how difficult it would be to get part-time work in my business, and with the cost of childcare (uk is the second most expensive country for childcare, after Switzerland) and with no family around to help, this has meant that I could not afford to work! I love my job, and feel very resentful that this country is so badly set up for mums who actually want to work (and need to work!), but are unable to do so. I’m educated, hardworking and ambitious, but feel trapped at home. I’ve been able to get some freelance work over the past few years, but our debts are ever increasing. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to work from home, but many employers are reluctant to do so (including my previous employer).