Last year we made the decision that I would not return to work at the end of my maternity leave. It made practical sense with childcare for 2 children virtually equaling my salary plus I have a nightmare commute, but it was a huge decision for me.
I have worked at the same company for over ten years. I finished university on Friday and started there on Monday. I got my degree results, went on my first date with Husband, moves into our first flat, got engaged, did my professional qualifications, got married, moved to a our house, worked while both my bumps grew bigger and bigger and brought my new babies into the office to meet everyone.
And that's just the personal stuff. I have a ton of memorable work moments which punctuate my career but there is one very precious thing I will treasure about working. Yes, it have me independence. It also gave me confidence. I learnt new skills and developed a career for myself. But the best thing about my job was the people I met along the way. I was very lucky to work for most of my career in a team which clicked. Often we didn't need to speak. One look (sometimes not even a look was needed!) and we knew what the other was thinking. In short I made true friends and they will be part of my life always regardless of where we all work.
Friday was my leaving do. Despite leaving whilst on maternity leave I was tricked into the office for a leaving speech. The whole thing felt very unreal, like I was listening to one of the hundred other leaving speeches I have heard over the years (although much funnier). I kept expecting to turn around and clap someone else.
So I still have to work somewhere doing something but plans are on hold until Little E starts school in September which reduces the childcare costs. Until then I'm winging it and focusing on the girls. They are only this small for a moment.