A LEEDS MP says she enjoyed her “daunting” first week back in Parliament after giving birth to her first child earlier this year.
Rachel Reeves, the Labour MP for Leeds West, was back at the dispatch box this week following six months’ maternity leave.
“It was a bit daunting,” she said.
“I was on the (Radio Four) Today programme too, and I just thought ‘God, I’ve not done this for six months’.
“It did feel a little bit like I’ve got a bit of re-learning to do. But I hope I did my constituents proud in the Chamber, and raised the issues they are raising – that’s my job.”
Ms Reeves, 34, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, gave birth to her daughter Anna at the end of March.
In the preceding weeks she drew widespread praise for continuing in her active front bench role while heavily pregnant, giving assured performances in the Commons and on current affairs shows on television.
“Certainly when I was growing up, you’d never see someone on the front bench, or actually in any type of public life, who was pregnant,” she said.
“It’s what you saw in the supermarket, or at the school gates.
“I think things are changing, and that’s very positive.”
She said she is now having to juggle her work and family lives – just like any working mother.
“They’re obviously very different types of challenge,” she said. But it’s a wonderful challenge.
“I’m like most new parents – just incredibly excited and full of wonderment about it all.
“It is a challenge, but like other working parents I’ll have to learn to be a juggler.”