Hi my name is Linda, I’m 26 and I have a 7 (soon-to-be 8) year-old son; I got pregnant when I was 17 and had my son when I was 18. Here are my top tips on going back to work, college or university after you’ve had a baby.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked because it wasn’t planned. I was in college when I was pregnant – I was in my final year and I didn’t say anything to anybody. It was only 2 of my closest friends that knew I was pregnant; I didn’t tell my tutors or any of my lecturers, and as sad as it may sound that was because this overwhelming feeling of embarrassment because of the stigmas that were attached to teenage pregnancy. And I know a lot of my friends that had their babies quiet young felt like they couldn’t say anything to anybody as well, because they didn’t want to be bombarded with negative comments that ultimately made you feel like your life was over, and I felt the same.
I was young, scared I didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t want to feel worse than what I already felt already so I didn’t say anything to anybody. But despite how I felt and despite the negative comments that did come, I was still very adamant to pursue further education.
So when my son was almost a year old, I enrolled to university to study creative writing at Greenwich, which was tough. I had a great support system behind me who were there on standby but it was still very, very difficult trying to juggle being a full-time student and being a mum.
But as I adjusted to the routine and got used to it, I picked up tips and advice from other parents who were full-time working parents and full-time students and a parent as well and from my own experience finding way to make juggling being a student being a mother a lot easier. That kind of made it easy when it came to the working world.
When I graduated I did partake in a few internships and luckily I came across a great organisation called Women Like Us who specialise in finding part-time roles and flexible roles for working mothers/single mothers. I secured a flexible role via women like us which made it so much easier for me to be a mother to my son but also a dedicated employee as well.
More advice on juggling work and parenthood
- Read the advice in our Working as a young parent group, or add a question of your own.
- Read Richelle’s tips for studying and doing exams while pregnant.
- Find out more about Women Like Us, which Linda mentioned in her video.
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