I have always been passionate about my career. When it came to parenting, I knew it was going to require some change on my part, but I could never have anticipated the journey that I have been on. Over the past four years, I have had two children, returned to work part-time twice and been promoted to Partner in Deloitte’s Customer Consulting practice. When I think of my parenting journey at Deloitte, there have been three key moments that have really defined my experience. Expecting and rejecting In 2012 I fell pregnant with my first child Owen. Unfortunately, I suffered from serious illness in my first trimester resulting in hospitalisation and an extended period of sick leave. I still remember my doctor telling me that this was the process of my body rejecting the foreign DNA, a lovely description for my unborn child. There was significant stress and uncertainty in our lives during this period. It was a huge relief that the Firm provided unwavering support with extended leave and reduced hours to support my return to work. The opportunity to fully recover and adjust when needed, provided stability for both myself and my husband amongst the ambiguity. Finding the balance Fast forward to 2015 and I started to navigate my second return to work. Given I had been through the experience before, I assumed that I would be able to transition seamlessly back into my role. However my children had a very different view and I entered one of the worst sleep periods I have ever had in my time as a parent. Fortunately, I had fantastic mentorship at Deloitte and we were able to change my project commitments and provide flexibility and balance to resolve my challenges at home. I was able to achieve sanity and control at a time where I desperately needed something outside of patting and shushing for hours on end. Over time, when life had settled down again, I was able to progressively return to my normal work routine. Onwards and upwards In June 2016, I was promoted to Partner at Deloitte which has been the single biggest achievement of my career. In my eyes, this wasn’t just about a promotion, it was the opportunity to continue to develop personally at the same time as navigating life with young children. For me, my career has provided an outlet and sense of independence that is a welcome relief from nappies, tantrums and pram pushing. It has been rewarding to work at a place where my whole self is embraced without having to compromise on my personal goals. I certainly couldn’t do it without the amazing support of my husband. We are both focused on creating a fabulous life for our family where we smile every day and continue on our adventure. We truly believe this is the right approach for our family. This blog piece makes up one in a series of three stories about flexible working at Deloitte in line with our Return to Work program.