I work as a science technician in a school and I’m a mom of 12-year-old twin daughters. I’m a passionate science communicator, and I run science outreach events in schools and an instagram page where I show fun science experiments.
“Only if you’ve had twins you can fully understand how demanding it is.”
I used to work as biomedical scientist in the Microbiology department of the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. I was totally in love with my job as it was what I wanted to do all my life. Never taken a day off (of course unless serious reasons) always there, volunteering for extra shifts, one of the first to come in and one of the last to leave. Then I got pregnant and I was expecting twins! I really wanted to carry on with my life as normal, to the point my colleagues sometimes had to remind me to slow down! My pregnancy went really well and I had my beautiful twin girls.
I decided to take a year of maternity leave so I could enjoy being a mum and have time to get organised, as raising twins when you don’t have much family around is quite hard. And it was really hard indeed. Only if you have had twins you can fully understand how demanding it is.
I was desperate for sleeping, I was incredibly tired and even though I was so happy about being a mom there were times that I really missed working! So I was happy to come back to work. I decided to work part time as I couldn’t bear to leave my baby girls. I was happy to go to work and I felt like finally I could have a bit of time for myself again, although I missed my daughters.
After a while working part time had an impact on my job. I felt like I was left out as I couldn’t be at work all the time. It felt like I was continuously interrupting my work and it was very frustrating. I would start something but never get to finish it and see the results. Maybe I should have discussed with my boss and colleagues to find a solution but in the NHS system not much time is left to discussion.
After almost a year I decided I really needed to take a break from work and I became a full-time mum. I was so busy with my girls that I didn’t have the time to miss working. It was only later on, when my daughters were more independent that I start wondering if I could ever get back to work. Going back to work in the hospital was out of discussion. I had been away so long that I should have started everything from scratch.
So I decided to change career and work in education. I could be a teacher but I really wanted to be in the lab, so I started working as a lab technician at a school 5 years ago and I enjoy every single moment. Being part of the kids’ education is fantastic and a privilege.
I enjoy showing them science and for this reason I have recently become a STEM ambassador as well. I also have an Instagram page, where I share science experiments and I hope that I can encourage the kids to consider science careers showing them that science is for everyone and it can be very fun and beautiful.
Sometimes people asked me if I feel frustrated as I gave up my career as microbiologist and in all honesty I’m actually a bit overqualified for this job. The answer is clearly a big no.