Annie Ridout - motherhood - working mum - theearlyhour - the Guardian

Motherhood Led to my Dream Career

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‘I thought motherhood would make me weak and passive but it has filled me with fury and passion instead’ 

I wrote an article for the Guardian’s Women in Leadership about going into motherhood with no career prospects. But how it was the best thing that could have happened, because after giving birth, I launched online culture and lifestyle magazine The Early Hour and am now living out my dream.

Freelancing and Motherhood

There is a lack of support for freelance women who want both a career and children, and this became apparent when I fell pregnant and my contract was terminated. In the article, I suggest that new legislation protecting women during pregnancy and new motherhood – ensuring contracts are kept open, or that support and guidance is offered postnatally – would be helpful.

The so-called ‘gig economy‘ that so many of us are a part of – taking on contracted or freelance work, or a selection of part time jobs to make ends meet – is no good for women. For some it’s a lifestyle choice, as they enjoy the freedom but for others it’s necessity, because it’s the only work on offer. And for the latter, it can be a source of anxiety and continual panic.

In fact, some women are wondering if they can have children at all when there they have no financial security. With no maternity leave and pay on offer, they are asking themselves how they will manage financially after the birth of their baby. Relying on a partner isn’t always viable.

But I also explain that women enjoying their careers who feel concerned that taking time out to have a baby will mean not finding work, shouldn’t be deterred. Because if you want to have a baby and to continue working; there’s always a way.

You can read it here.