The dilemma I have a nine-month-old daughter and have begun to return to work. Before I gave birth I was sure this wouldn’t be a difficult decision; I’ve never been maternal and my career has always been a priority, so a pay decrease and inevitably getting overlooked for projects and progression wasn’t on the cards. However, watching her grow has been the most rewarding and enjoyable period of my life and I feel guilty. She loves nursery, but the thought of her interacting with her care workers more than me makes me very upset. I feel as if I’d be throwing these early years away. My partner would happily drop some of his hours, but his work won’t allow it, whereas I am offered much more flexibility. It seems like a privilege to even have this option, but I feel my whole identity has changed and everything I thought was important is being challenged. Every mum I’ve spoken to says I’m more likely to regret the time I didn’t spend with her, and I think they’re right. It feels as if I’m taking a gamble whichever decision I make.
If only we’d ever had a society which recognised this.