Having something that stimulates you as a mother – whether that is a job, a project, an interest or a hobby is one of the main ingredients to enjoying parenthood and raising well-adjusted children. But that said, new mothers need some time to work out what works for them. While a career is crucial, I’m always advising the antenale groups I run – The Bump Class – not to make a decision about returning to work until they have to. Legally in this country your employer has to assume you will take the full 52 weeks allowed, unless they are told otherwise. This is not policy devised to annoy employers, but to protect women in the throes of new motherhood, who cannot begin to make the right decsion about returning to work until their child is a few months old at least.