As with many mothers, the thought of staying home to look after L crossed my mind many times. This was especially when I think about whether I’m spending my time meaningfully. But the sheer idea of not being financially independent makes the thought extremely daunting. However, when I thought about how unpredictable life is and if I were to leave this place tomorrow, would I regret not spending enough time with L or not earning enough dosh? The answer was clear to me. So, after weighing the pros and cons, and also consulting some of my girlfriends who have taken the plunge, I’ve decided to be a full-time mum. As I planned what to do with my time, I realized that there’s just so much on my to-do list. I feel that I’m even busier now.
Just as I was basking in bliss, I was informed after I returned to work from last installment of maternity leave that my “still considered new” job had been “restructured away” after business integration and I needed to look for another role internally. The first thing that came to my mind was the fact I might not be able to provide for Baby L anymore. This thought actually surprised me as it was a departure from how I would think in the past which would be all about me, about whether I can still afford to shop like there’s no tomorrow. Much that this news triggered much anxiety; I was pleased that parenthood brought out the selflessness in me.
After more than 4 months of uncertainty, disappointment and anguish, the wait was finally over. I was given another internal role, which I decided to take on for the time being. I knew at least I did not have to worry about providing for Baby L, well, at least for now. More importantly, the entire episode was a wake up call for me as I realized that the possibility of losing a senior level job when one reaches 40s or 50s was very real. I would need to create an additional stream of income so that it would not become as daunting, should it happen again.
I started looking out for a change of role way before I was pregnant, as I had accomplished what I was recruited for. I went for several interviews but nothing really materialized. It was either the job scope was not what I wanted for my next career move or the remuneration was not what I anticipated. I am someone who enjoys constant challenges as they bring out the best in me.
During one of the fetal scans, it revealed a grouchy-looking baby and I knew that I had to do something about it. I can either (1) quit and focus on my pregnancy since I went through quite a lot to conceive my little precious one or (2) get another job but that would not be fair to my future employer.
Just when I was deliberating about this, a potential employer whom I was pursuing for a while offered me the role. I came clean with them, informing them that as the interview process took longer than expected, and I was already 5 months pregnant. I would totally respect their decision should they retract the offer. Being a multi-national organization known for their family-centricity, they offered me the job anyway.
Call me brave, I tendered my resignation and moved on despite being in my third trimester. I still wonder how I did it since I did not have any prior relevant experience for the new role and that it was a much bigger role than what I had. I knew it would be tough since I was heavily pregnant but I went ahead with full zest, looking forward to the new challenge!