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My maternity leave adventures: remember the little things

At Family Friendly Working Scotland, we often talk to employers about how little things can make a big difference to people’s lives: small adjustments to working patterns, having open conversations, leaving work a little early here, starting later there. All these things can help people have a better balance between work and home life which has a ripple effect to improved mental health, stronger family relationships and a happier, more productive workforce.

Likewise, while I’ve been off on Shared Parental Leave, I’ve been reminded of how the very smallest of things can add up to make a whole lot of difference, and transform what has been at times a challenging period into something really very special.

As I return to work at the beginning of July, my final blog is a tribute to all these wonderful people and magical moments we have been lucky enough to experience during our Shared Parental Leave. On their own, perhaps nothing out of the ordinary, but to me and our new family of five, they have made the world of difference.

My hope is that it may serve as the tiniest of reminders that we all have the capacity to make a difference to others, even by doing something small.

You're all bloody marvelous! Thank you to…

The relaxed picnic under a shady tree with a good friend, sharing breast feeding advice and parenting tips

A home cooked meal dropped at the door

Taking the toddler swimming to give us time and space with our newborns

Setting up an hour of weekly exercise to get a break, stay fit and clear our minds

Babysitting to let us get out together- family, friends…

Grandparents, Grannies. Thank you, wonderful grannies.

Friends; endless support, advice and conversation at ALL times of the day and night.

An Amazon grocery delivery from the US at a perfect moment; dinner, healthy snacks and a dash of moral support and a ‘you can do this’

Popping in and helping with bath time

Going to get chicken pox medicine on a Sunday and bringing it round. Sitting with us. Helping us.

Enjoying the most sedate Hogmanay ever with us and not complaining that it was dull

Organising play dates and fun times for Alfie

Coming on day trips. Being an extra pair of hands.

Advice. Texts. Phone calls. Cards. Keeping morale up.

Helping us to move house; putting up shelves; hanging pictures; unpacking boxes; helping to organise and de-clutter.

Helping us overnight when the sleep deprivation got unbearable.

Cleaning up. Ironing. Putting clothes away. Washing Dishes. Making Food.

Taking beautiful photographs of the children

Getting the kids to bed on a wee group break and having 90 minutes before our own bedtime, laughing so hard with pals over our choice of music

Hugging us and reminding us it’ll be ok.

Having children can be wonderful. Having children can be tough. Thank you, guys, for being with us this year. We hope we are there for you, and that we never forget that even the very small things make a big difference to people every single day.

Onwards to making our new phase of work life balance work for us. And it goes without saying we hope the same for you.

Cheers!

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