"I am mummy to my beautiful 18 week old baby girl. I live in my family home alongside my boyfriend. Being pregnant at 19 wasn’t something I had planned but 10 months later and I can honestly say I have never been happier. It has made me reconsider my goals and aspirations, but I am so motivated and determined to succeed in every way I can, to give her the best future possible."
1. Prior to becoming a mother what were you doing?
"I was working 3 jobs, teaching drama, assisting to run a boutique and also working in insurance. Alongside that I was studying to become a counsellor which I am still doing now, part time."
2. What have you enjoyed most about your maternity leave?
"I absolutely love maternity leave! It gives me unlimited time with my daughter, which is priceless to me. It has also given me the opportunity to launch my blog, ‘All Things Pink’; which I probably wouldn’t have started otherwise."
3. Is there anything that you have not enjoyed about your maternity leave?
"I love maternity leave! I have really good friends at my main place of work so I do miss seeing them regularly, but they do come and visit me. I also think that because I do a part time uni course I still get some time to myself. Otherwise I would miss going to work to be productive and have some time to be me."
4. Have you decided when you are going to return to work and will you be going back to work on a full-time or part-time basis? (please explain why)
"I’ll be going back to my part-time job in insurance in the beginning on the year. I have decided to leave my other to jobs as I will be looking after my baby girl during the day. I would rather be looking after her then put her in a nursery- which would be too expensive anyway."
5. What do you think about the standard statutory maternity leave entitlement of one year?
"I think maternity leave is long enough, however I only work part-time so I don’t feel as though I can make a full judgement on this. I would definitely not want to leave my baby girl all day, and so I can imagine that other mums would hate the idea of going back to a full time job. In terms of the pay, I am being forced to go back to work earlier because I can’t afford it now that my pay has dropped. Bonding with your baby should be number 1 priority, but unfortunately not everyone can afford to make that decision to take a full year off even if they want to."
6. When you return to work have you thought about who will look after Ayana?
"My boyfriend works during the day and I work evening so it works out perfectly for us. We will take it in turns to look after her when the other one is at work."
7. What is your opinion on childcare costs?
"The cost of childcare is one of the reasons I have decided to stay in my part-time job. The extra money I would earn being full time would mostly be spent on nursery fees so there is no point. I definitely feel the cost of childcare is too dear. There should be more affordable options available-especially because the demand is so high."
8. With the different working options that are now available, have you considered putting in a request for flexible working? (please explain why)
"I am actually going to be changing my shifts when I go back to work because it is going to clash with my uni course. I will be doing set days but when I first go back, I will be doing a phased return, which means working fewer hours at the beginning, so I can get used to my job role again."
9. What are your thoughts on flexible working?
"I am a strong believer that quality of life is the most important thing. Therefore if I don’t enjoy a job I won’t do it and if I feel work is taking over my personal life I will slow down. Money is not as important to me as spending time with family and enjoying doing the things I like. Flexible working is a good way to get a balance between work and personal life so I’m all for it."
10. Once you return to work, how will you balance family life and your career?
"Returning to work is not a negative or scary thing for me. I always miss being away from my baby girl but I enjoy my job role and what I do. I am lucky to have such supportive family who are able to help out whenever I need them."
11. What does a typical day in your shoes look like? After a long day how do you unwind?
"No two days are the same with me and my baby girl. I try and make sure we get out the house as much as possible so the morning will usually be spent inside watching TV and chilling and then the afternoon I will take her out on a walk or go into town. My boyfriend gets home around 4 and then at 5 we go to the gym while my mum babysits. When I get home I give her a bath and then feed her. All being well she usually falls asleep but if not I play with her until she gets tired! Once she’s asleep I’ll do some blogging prep, which involves writing posts, replying to emails ect before chilling out with my boyfriend watching the Love and Hip Hop series!"
12. What advice would you give to mothers who will be going on maternity leave soon?
"I would say enjoy it as time to spend with your new baba, but also make use of the extra time you have. A lot of the time baby will be sleeping so in that time you can do something for yourself, take up a new hobbie or just enjoy some you time. I started blogging when I was on maternity leave and I found it a great way to wind down and share some of my experiences as a new mother."
13. After you have finished your counselling degree what are your plans for the future?
"Once I become a qualified counsellor I hope to pursue it as a career, alongside my blogging and YouTube channel. In terms of family goals, we are saving to get a house so that we have more space. I can’t wait to have a place to call our own, I’m so excited to decorate and go all out on making it a cosy home!"
14. Please tell us more about 'All Things Pink'?
"All Things Pink was created after I gave birth to my daughter. The name came from the first post I ever wrote for the blog which begins ‘All things pink, pretty and perfect is what people expect when you tell them you’re having a baby girl. Whether we should or not people generally associate pink with a new baby girl and so I decided to embrace this as the title for my blog. I created it as a place where I could share my experiences as a new mum with family and friends. It quickly became a passion of mine and I decided to start taking it seriously so I bought my own website and domain. It has now become a platform where I can share advice and my opinions on topics I feel passionately about like the judgement of young mums. I have recently launched my YouTube Channel, which shows daily life as a young Mum, I absolutely love making videos and sharing them so that is definitely something I want to continue and build."
15. Finally, please tell us where we can find you on the internet?
You can find me at the following places:
Instagram: (@Mayadupre) https://www.instagram.com/mayadupre
Twitter: (@Allthingspinkuk) https://twitter.com/allthingspinkuk
YouTube: (All Things Pink UK) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPmwha_6s93R7bxPO6tqf_Q
Facebook: (Allthingspinkuk) https://www.facebook.com/allthingspinkuk/
Thank you Maya! You are a very inspiring young lady and I have enjoyed interviewing you! I find it really incredible that you were once working 3 jobs, it shows your dedication and motivation in wanting to create a great life for yourself. Now as a mother, your ambition and drive has continued to open up new door ways and passions for you. I hope and pray that you will continue to lead a very successful and fruitful life. All the best with your degree and your future plans, I believe that all that you desire is within your reach and you definitely have a great mindset, so I have no worries in believing that you will attain this and much more!
I love to read everyone’s comments and stories about their own first-hand experiences with motherhood. I feel that as mothers we have so much to share to help others because you would be so surprised at how your story could help to inspire or encourage mothers. I am excited to see how the different topics planned shall unfold and of course to meet so many remarkable and diverse mothers. If you would like to be a part of my series please feel free to contact me at;
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