MOTHER'S DRIVE: 'Leaving my job is something I could not do'
HAVING two children brought a new kind of joy to Rebecca Lancaster's life, but it didn't dull her drive to be a leading figure in law.
When it came time for Ms Lancaster to have her second child, she did not consider taking more than three weeks off from her job as principal of a leading Warwick law firm.
"Leaving my job for a long period of time is just something I could not do,” she said.
Young, driven and committed to the career she invested so much in, Ms Lancaster is one of an increasing number of women who return to their professional positions shortly after pregnancy.
"By the time I had my daughter I was working full time as a lawyer and I felt like the importance of my role and the commitment I had made to this local business was really crucial to me,” she said.
"I didn't want to let my team down and didn't want to miss that stimulation I get from my work.”
New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a 6 per cent increase in the number of Australian women who returned to their pre-baby jobs shortly after pregnancy.
Last year, 77 per cent of new mothers did not leave work permanently to have children and went back to their former positions.
Ms Lancaster said the decision to keep working was one that kept her satisfied and made her a better mother.
"I feel like I would be missing out on a part of myself or not acting to my full potential if I was not working in an area that I am passionate about,” she said.
"I think it is really important that my kids see me working and to show kids that women can have interests and careers outside the family.”
Ms Lancaster said the decision to move back to Warwick, where she was born and raised, was driven by her desire to strike a balance between work and family.
"When we lived in Brisbane and had our son, the commute to work took so much longer and childcare options were more limited,” she said.
With the help of a supportive partner, Justin Fraser, Ms Lancaster runs a successful law firm Maxwell Lancaster Solicitors.