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Returning to Work with Confidence

It’s now been six months since I’ve returned to work and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. I’ve never shied away from the fact that I found the transition getting back to work hard, but not for the reasons some people struggle with. We all have our own situation when it comes to being a working mum and for me, it has been about finding the right path for me. If I’m totally honest, I don’t think I’ve found it yet. Mumsnet contacted me to attend their inspiring evening on confidence when returning back to work and I was intrigued. I couldn’t imagine an event more up my street, particularly as I have recently made the decision to go freelance in May.

The talk was held in East London, right on the edge of Shoreditch and as I fled my day job to be there, it felt empowering to do something for me. The fact is that I don’t do this often enough, even though my ever-supportive other half encourages me to do so. Funnily enough this was one of the topics the panel discussed that night – I get so swept up in being a Mum, juggling the childcare and trying to do it all that I can’t even think of things I would like to do away from being Emma’s Mummy. I realise now that I’m only just starting to feel like me again and I’ve always been well aware that it’s because of how consuming my previous job was. I had lost a sense of who I was when I became a mum.


As I listened to the panel, it was such a relief to know that it’s not just me who feels this way. When I returned to work, for me it was an escape, just as Mother Pukka described. I could close the door and focus on a completely different side of me. But over time I’ve realised it’s not everything and I need to start re-defining what’s important to me. I find this daunting but exciting all at the same time. It was empoweing to be sat in a room with 50 other women who all feel the same way and are striving to find the path that works for their families.

On the panel, the founders of Step Up Club were talking about confidence and it really got me thinking. For as long as I remember, way before I was a Mum, I have felt under-confident. But whenever I mentioned it at work, my boss would tell me that she didn’t think I came across that way. After having a baby, my confidence has been knocked further and it was so encouraging to be reminded that confidence is all in the mind by Alice Olins and it takes time to take those baby steps to rebuild the confidence and belief in yourself.

The talk with the panel was brilliant and I especially enjoy the tips that were left with us to set your own boundaries at work. Being prescriptive with what you can and can’t do, so there are no surprises within your team – such great first-hand advice from Mother Pukka. The advice from Jade Parfitt that will definitely stay with me; to share the workload at home. This one really hit home as I remember being on maternity leave with both boys in the house willing to help however I need, but I would just take it all on and get overwhelmed so easily. Fantastic advice to accept help from the beginning – enjoy the amazing moments together and maybe leave the odd dirty nappy change to the boys from time to time!

After the talk, No7 were waiting for us to get #No7Ready and I had a wonderful makeover from Rachael. I’ve recently got in a bit of a rut of not wearing any make up and it was so lovely for a change. I may have also found my new favourite lipstick! After a few glasses of bubbly and a couple of yummy canapes with my blogging buddies Mumzilla, My Petit Canard and The Frenchie Mummy, it was time to go and we were given a lovely goodie bag when we left too. Huge thank you to Boots and Mumsnet for inviting me to your event, an evening that’s left me inspired and excited for the year ahead.



  1. March 30, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Good on you for making the decision to go freelance! Such a great move and exciting too! I love hearing about people’s adventures after having baby and making decisions over work changes. A close friend of mine has done this recently too. Good luck in your new adventure, looking forward to hearing about it! #dreamteam

  2. March 31, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    It sounds like a fantastic event! Right up my street too. Fab post lovely x

  3. April 4, 2017 / 6:02 am

    Looks like fun and adult goody bags are awesome!! #DreamTeam

  4. April 4, 2017 / 6:58 am

    It sounds like a great event – returning to work after a baby can be challenging for so many reasons. Good luck with your new freelance career – I think it’s a bold and exciting move! #DreamTeam

  5. April 4, 2017 / 7:11 am

    Sounds fab! I really miss my work but no it’s not feasible right now, I do still worry about being out of the habit of working though and wonder what I’ll end up doing next. You’re a fab writer and going freelance is really exciting! Good Luck! #DreamTeam

  6. April 4, 2017 / 7:21 am

    This sounds exactly the kind of thing I need! I too have been back 6 months and when i went back after my first it was fine, this time I feel unsatisfied with work and dont now what to do. Really interesting to read and shall be looking out for other mumsnet conferences! Good on you for deciding to go freelance! #DreamTeam

  7. April 4, 2017 / 8:47 am

    This is me after Easter, well going back to work that is! What a treat at the event. Wish I’d blagged me a ticket! I do love No7 for an affordable mascara 🙂 x #DreamTeam

  8. April 4, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Oh it looks like you had such a great evening, sometime we need that ‘inspire me’ time to really re-focus! Good on you for making the decision to go freelance too! X #dreamteam

  9. April 4, 2017 / 11:05 am

    This sounds fab and so inspirational. I’m sure you are going to do just great free lancing. I love that you got a make over, that lipstick looks great on you! I never wear make up on a daily basis, although given how rough I look, I probably should, haha! #dreamteam

  10. April 4, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    This sounds like a brilliant event. We need more things like this over here in Aus. I keep reading about confidence workshops and talks and events from all the UK bloggers. I think I need to organise something over here because I can see how helpful and inspirational they could be. Thank you for sharing your experience, you’ve inspired me 🙂 #DreamTeam

  11. Sounds like a great event. I need to go along to something like this I think! I think so many working mums must suffer from a bit of Imposter Syndrome when they come back after Mat Leave. Hopefully this has given you a real boost ahead of your new freelance challenge! #DreamTeam

  12. April 4, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    What a great event to be part of! Good luck in going freelance x

  13. April 4, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Wow how exciting that you’re going to go freelance! It sounds like you had a fab time at this event and the advice was really helpful – I liked the bit about confidence being a state of mind #dreamteam

  14. April 4, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    I have been out of work for over 6 months now because I was being abused by my boss and quit. I have yet to have found another job. I have been on two interviews and did not make the cut. I can only hope that being persistent will create an opening for me. I apply to jobs every single day. The last thing I want to do is go back to waiting tables. I am also a full time student so the entire process has just been so difficult for me. But I know I will get there. Good luck with everything girl! #DreamTeam

  15. April 4, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    Sounds like it was a fab event and who doesnt love a little makeover 🙂 #dreamteam

  16. April 4, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    Sounds like you had lots of fun. Glad it left you inspired. Sometimes it is just a bit of inspiration that is needed. #dreamteam

  17. Nige
    April 4, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Good luck with going freelance hope all goes well thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  18. April 4, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Oh, I didn’t make this – too far across London at a bit of an awkward time for me. It certainly looks like you had fun! And a bit of inspiration too!#dreamteam

  19. April 4, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Oooh what a fab opportunity! #DreamTeam

  20. April 4, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Oh I wanted to be there but I was working 🙁 looks like you had a great time

  21. April 4, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    This sounds like a great event and probably something lots of Mums who are returning to work should attend – I for one would have loved to have gone… The makeover bit also sounds great! #dreamteam

  22. April 4, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    This sounds great & some solid advice for all us mummies! I’d love to have my make-up done as I’m starting to forget how to make myself look less mumsy #DreamTeam

  23. April 5, 2017 / 12:02 am

    You’ve captured the event so well! It was a great event and I had lots of similar take aways from it too. I think its fantastic that you’re going to give freelancing a go, I would so love to do this too but havent quite been able to figure this out on maternity leave and time is really slipping away now. I am in total awe of anyone and everyone that manages to make this work for them, and so many have in our blogging community so I am sure you will too 🙂 So lovely to see/meet you finally! Emily #DreamTeam

  24. April 5, 2017 / 12:35 am

    It’s always so helpful to hear from folks who’ve walked in your shoes and know the challenges etc great that you also had the chance to catch up with blog mates too! #dreamteam

  25. April 5, 2017 / 8:14 am

    It sounds like you had a great time. A little bit of pampering and a goodie bag as well, perfect #dreamteam

  26. April 5, 2017 / 11:21 am

    Great event. Looks fun. Tiny baby steps is good advice. Only hope I can get back on the horse when I get to that point!

  27. April 5, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    That looks like such a great event. I have read your struggles with going back to work and I love the fact that you’re going to go freelance. I think it shows you have enough confidence in your ability to do it and in my humble opinion, having the confidence is half the battle won.

  28. April 5, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Sounds like the conference was wonderful and much needed. Glad you got to put your head together with some other awesome ladies!

  29. April 5, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Great to hear about your experience of going back to work, being a working mummy is such a challenge. It’s a great idea to think of ways to boost your confidence, and redefining your priorities. Because honestly, something has to give! For me it’s trying not to worry too much about everything being picture perfect, and just focussing on surviving when times are tough, enjoying family time, and a few escapes here and there with just hubby or a nice boozy lunch with girlfriends. It may not be frequent, but getting those dates in the diary has become a must thanks to my friend who set up our “book club”! And then it feels like there is something special to look forward to that’s completely separate from mummydom or working…

  30. April 5, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    Oh dear I did it again, forgot to add #dreamteam ! Sorry I am new to this 🙂

  31. April 5, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Looks like great fun. I struggled alot going back to work and confidence. I still don’t feel i’m back to my usual self #dreamteam

  32. April 5, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    This event sounded great. I hope you find the right path for you – I’m still yet to find a role where I am truly happy, confident and comfortable with the work/life balance but hopefully I will find it before the children leave home ;-)! #DreamTeam

  33. April 5, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    This looks so much fun and very relevant to me as I’ve just returned to work! Always great to find a new lippy #dreamteam

  34. April 6, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    You are such a babe for talking about our (too quick!) encounter! I loved this evening too. I agree with a lot you said in here and I am certain you made the right decision for your family! Have fun with the freelance work while I will keep on teaching French to (some, not all!) naughty students LOL xxx

  35. April 6, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    I too feel like I have lost myself and become just Peachy’s mom, but the truth it, I kind of like it. I’m a different person now but I’m a better person. A happier person. I don’t mind having my universe rotate around Peachy. Not sure what I’ll do when she doesn’t need me as much anymore. But I have a few years to figure that out. #DreamTeam

  36. April 6, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    This sounds like such an incredible event with some really empowering messages! It is so hard to keep up the same level of confidence when returning to work after having a family, and I know I find it really hard being part time sometimes. Almost as though I’m a not a proper colleague as I’m not there all the time like the rest of the team are. Lovely to read hon and good luck with the freelance step in May! #DreamTeam x

  37. April 6, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Ah, I really am excited for you to go freelance. This is something I would love to do eventually and there are so many other bloggers out there who inspire me every day – you being one of them. What a journey. #DreamTeam

  38. April 7, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    ahhh this event sounds amazinggggggggg! im so frustrated i couldnt get the time off of work for this as it looks like you all had amazing time and learned some valuable pointers and advice from the women who are successful in parenting and work at the same time!
    Its been three months since I went back and I’m slowly learning to adapt! #dreamteam

  39. April 8, 2017 / 9:59 am

    This sounds like a great event where women have come together to celebrate each other and support one another. #DreamTeam

  40. April 10, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Sounds like it was something you really needed. It’s great to hear that women out there have found something that works for them. I think I’m still trying to find my balance and courage, for some reason that took a hit when I became a Mum. Perhaps because the risks are greater when you have a little person to fend for? Who knows! Good luck on going freelance, that’s an exciting step! #DreamTeam

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