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.