Finding the perfect balance

Having left Markerstudy Group to go on maternity leave when her daughter was born 15 months ago, then rejoined in a flexible role a year later, Lizzy Crofts offers her experience of being a return-to-work mum.



I’ve worked in Markerstudy Group’s marketing and communications team since August 2011. With the strapline ‘putting the fun into insurance’ and having been placed in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list four years running, it’s a great organisation to be part of.

When pregnant with my daughter, Evie, now 15 months, I decided to take the full year’s maternity leave. Like many new mums, I worried about leaving a job I loved, to embark on the unknown – the full-time, full-on role of motherhood.

But I needn’t have worried. While on maternity leave I was kept abreast of all the news in our staff magazine, Messenger, which was sent to my home. I took advantage of three out of the 10 ‘keeping in touch days’ offered to me, which involved meetings with all managers in the team to update me about their business areas. I even took part in a team-building day at the group’s training venue, Salomons, which was a fun day out and enabled me to learn more about my colleagues.

Markerstudy was supportive and understanding, taking time to listen to what kind of position I wanted when I returned in January 2016. I’m now fortunate enough to work two days a week from home, on PR for diverse group brands including mobile phone insurer Supercover, motor insurer Geoffrey Insurance, horsebox specialist Equesure and Insurance Shop. Much of my activity is project-based copywriting, to make the best use of my time and experience.

My role fits perfectly around the nursery run and my life as a mum. Being able to only spend a limited amount of time in my office, I find I’m actually more focused than I was previously in a lot of ways. Juggling the demands of a small child has certainly also improved my multi-tasking skills.

Most people probably wouldn’t describe work as their ‘me-time’, but that’s how I see it. It gives me the opportunity to be someone other than Evie’s mum – I’m enjoying the challenge of working again, writing press releases and awards entries, having adult conversations and achieving as part of a very creative and innovative team. Similarly, Evie is benefiting from being with other children and learning new things at nursery – and we still get to spend three days in the week together. It’s the perfect balance for me.