Supermum, role model or a mite misguided? The headteacher who returned to work SEVEN HOURS after giving birth

Year Published: 2010

Article taken from the Daily Mail Online:

“What sort of woman goes back to work seven hours after having a baby?

The sort of woman, it seems, who also gets up at 4.30am because she enjoys it. Most working mothers will be familiar with pre-dawn starts on the days when there are important meetings to be prepared for, Rice Krispies to be hurled into bowls and washing machines to be loaded.

Then it emerges that Dr Helen Wright’s is a different sort of early start. The mother of three and headteacher of one of Britain’s highest-achieving private schools gets up at this time EVERY DAY – to check her emails and have a ‘head-clearing walk in the garden’.

Astonishingly, she was doing this sort of thing long before she became a mother. ‘I’ve always been an early riser,’ she tells me. ‘When I was at school, I remember getting up at that sort of time, probably to work on my Girl Guide badges.’

Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that Dr Wright should hit the headlines for doing something remarkable.

The last time, it was for becoming the youngest public school head in Britain, something she achieved at the age of just 30.

This week she was in the news again when it emerged that she had been back at work just hours after walking out of the delivery suite with her latest baby.

She ‘popped back’ ostensibly to show off baby Jessica to colleagues, ended up talking to parents and answering a few queries and – in a matter of hours – was back running the show, with her baby in tow, telling the world that it was a great thing for her pupils to see that motherhood and work could be combined from the earliest stages.

Please see the full article here.

This lady is either very lucky or completely bonkers. Although it would be wonderful to be able to bring your child to work with you every day there are clearly industries and roles where this is not at all practical. I am not sure how many Tribunal Judges would appreciate a lawyer arguing an unfair dismissal claim with a baby strapped to their chest. However, there are clearly jobs where this can work. Is this the way forward to allow working mothers to return after maternity leave? Or is the answer that we all now live at work? If an employer considers allowing this to take place they have to be sensible and practical in their approach considering the welfare of the mother, child and co workers.

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