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Penny Davis, HR Manager & Mum to Beautiful Little Poppy

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penny and poppy

Lets start at the beginning, what was the first day back at work like?
It wasn’t as bad as I had expected!  I started settling Poppy into the childminders about 8 weeks before I was due back because Poppy was very clingy, so by my first day back she was happy and settled.  I am lucky I have a lot of control in my job and I work at 4 different offices so I chose a quiet location for my first day, so that I could settle back in gently, and get my head around everything that had happened in my year away!


What’s a typical work day like for you? From waking up to getting Poppy in bed at night.
I get up at about 6.30am and Poppy usually wakes up shortly afterwards, I bring her into my bed for a bottle of milk and a cuddle, we then both get dressed and go downstairs.  I tidy up and have breakfast while Poppy plays and then we leave the house at 7:45am we get to the childminders for 8am, we have a chat, a final cuddle with Poppy and then I am on the train at 8:20am.  I then make my way to one of 4 offices around London, I sometimes visit 2 offices in one day.  My job is very busy, and I do a variety of tasks, lots of meetings and interviewing.  I finish work at 6pm, get home at about 7:15pm.  My husband picks poppy up from the childminders at 5:30pm and she has already had her dinner. So when I get in we bath her and put her to bed for 8pm.


Any tips on how to get to work on time, without yogurt on your top and cereal in your top?

My tip for getting to work on time is to be prepared, and get as much ready the night before as possible. So both our bags are packed and ready and I choose what we are going to wear the night before, so I don’t have to think about it in the morning.

Poppy also has breakfast at the childminders so that helps. This wasn’t the original plan but when I went back to work I found we were so rushed in the morning that Poppy wouldn’t eat well so our childminder suggested she give her breakfast and that works well. It also means I don’t get covered in food!


This is contentious I know, but there’s been a lot of talk in the media recently about mums focusing on their careers, and how much many enjoy their work which is great.

Do you enjoy working? Or if you could, would you stay at home? And what’s your take on the assumption that all working mums suffer from guilt?

Yes I really enjoy working. Before I had Poppy I really enjoyed my job and thought I would return to work 4 or 5 days a week. When I had Poppy though I couldn’t imagine leaving her with anyone and I really didn’t want to go back to work. Financially I knew I had to go back but I felt that I wanted to be with her more days than I worked so I applied to return to 3 days which I was granted. If I had had the choice I don’t think I would have gone back, because whilst I was away I built up in my head that returning to work would be really stressful. When I returned to work I found that I actually enjoyed it and  it wasn’t as stressful as I had thought. I love achieving things and problem solving and I like having some time for myself, and to be me again rather than just Poppy’s mum! For me working part-time is the perfect solution.


I can’t speak for anyone else about guilt and I certainly have friends who have said they feel guilty, but I don’t feel it.

Poppy enjoys going to the childminders, enjoys the interaction with other children and the range of activities. She does things there that I wouldn’t think of. She eats better now, sleeps better and is much less clingy so I know that me working part-time is best for us both.

What’s your favourite activity to do with Poppy on your days off together?
Oh definitely catching up with our best friends in hersham!

Thank you Penny and Poppy!

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