Over time I learned that being made redundant after having a baby was a bit like a rite of passage – it had happened to most of my mummy friends too at some point.

I’d been with the same employer for 6 years and moved through the ranks. After my
first child I took 6 months maternity leave, and was back full time. (Quite unusual
for them – most people took the full year off) The support they gave me was great
and I managed to work flexible hours so I could spend enough time with my daughter.
A brief pregnancy and very painful miscarriage of twins followed two years later –
at which point I worked on an urgent bid from my bed the day after – but I felt
supported and valued. I soon fell pregnant with my son, and as we were short staffed
I postponed my maternity leave as much as possible (to be honest I should have left
at least two weeks earlier than I did as I felt it affected my health, and my son
was born within a week of leaving). It wasn’t always easy being a working mum (and
I didn’t get a usual high score on my performance review as I was ‘only there for 4
months of they year so they couldn’t justify it’!) but all in all I felt my employer
was good to me and we were both compromising to find ways to make it work, meeting
the company’s needs and my desire to spend time with my kids and be a good mum.
However, 3 days before my second maternity leave started I was called in and
informed redundancies were going to be made as soon as I leave – but I was reassured
by the HR Director that I was valued and would not be affected (I had even won a
prestigious award for my work while pregnant so felt quite safe) I remember thinking
what a kind thing it was telling me in advance so I didn’t have to worry. Imagine
my surprise when I was called up on the day my son was two weeks old and was told
I’ve been put at risk of redundancy! Only three weeks after my meeting to reassure
me! And suddenly no one knew anything about the one on one meeting I had, as the
Director was abroad and couldn’t be contacted. In complete shock, recovering from a
c-section and struggling with post natal depression I was left to negotiate a
redundancy package and discarded like an old sock. It took me a year to recover and
I’ll never forgive them for ruining what was supposed to be the happiest time
relaxing with my newborn son. Over time I learned that being made redundant after
having a baby was a bit like a rite of passage – it had happened to most of my mummy
friends too at some point.

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