Student Story: Heather Haddow
Heather Haddow

My daughter was 6 months old when I went to the Bishop’s Advisory Panel and my maternity leave ended when I began training. By this time Winter was 8 months old. All of the people involved in the discernment process were welcoming of the fact that Winter needed to come with me to appointments with them. Equally, it was feasible for me to care for her in the breaks during the 3 day panel whilst she was looked after in the main by my husband. I ‘stretched’ the discernment process as much as possible without missing a 2018 training start so that my hopes and preparations to train did not cut too much into my maternity leave. I am glad that I did this.

On commencing training, although my maternity leave had ended, the college were supportive of the need for me to bring Winter to residential weekends/the residential week for which I am grateful. Additionally, with careful planning, I have found that it is definitely possible (even within the full time route) to organise your week in such a way that you can still enjoy midweek time with your child.

I have found that it is definitely possible to organise your week in such a way that you can still enjoy midweek time with your child.

I tried to hit the ground running in many ways when I started training and looking back this wasn’t necessary (particularly given that it this not the same job that I was doing before). So I would advise that you allow yourself space to adjust, given the early difficulties of for example, leaving your child. This might mean thinking carefully with your supervisor about placement responsibilities, having a mentor with experience of where you are or recognising that areas for you to develop can be worked on over time.

Allow yourself space to adjust.

Having realised this, I find that God is graciously able to work backwards and is helping me to bring my motherhood much more to him and into my spirituality. In this way, I am now beginning to experience that this somewhat unique way of training can be formational for us.