Me? I’m making up a story that I’ll not be able to cope.

Is the ‘new normal’ about feeling anxious and still unable to get a good nights sleep?

Returning to work after this global shenanigans or being furloughed is going to be a challenge for a lot of people.  You maybe be having cold feet about your path back into work, worrying about interacting with colleagues who you’ve not seen in over 8 weeks and undoubtedly it may cause feelings of anxiety. But today, it was all about my soon-to-be 11-year old daughter, Harriet, returning to school in Year 6.  But really, the experience of returning to school or work after some ‘time out’ for anyone, whatever their age, is a challenge.

The experience of being stuck in the house during the lockdown period will be have been varied for everyone.  For some, they may have felt safe and enjoyed their time.  For others, it may have been challenging, exhausting or traumatic.  Now we are all returning to a ‘new normal’ and the experiences of going back to work and school may amplify those feelings of excitement, joy, anxiety and worry many times over.

It’s alot for us to think about and we might create scenarios in our minds about what it might be like.  This unexpected unknown can make us feel uncertain about what the future holds.  For us.  For our kids.  For our partners.

Everyone is unique and despite maybe bottling up feelings of confusion, anxiety and apprehensiveness, our employers, the HR professionals, the head teachers and teachers have been busy implementing a range of adjustments to create a smooth transition back and you know what, I bet THEY are feeling that same apprehension too, but sometimes we all get good at hiding it behind a smile…or a glass of gin.

This experience rings true with mothers and fathers everywhere who return to work after having children.  However, you have to add a few extra ingredients into the mix to be on parr with these parents.  Throw in a complete lack of sleep, a pinch of guilt, a few spoonfuls of low self-esteem, at least a full cup of no confidence and a layer of feeling like a failure.

This was my experience as a mother too, so I feel like I may know a little bit about how you might be feeling about returning and what my kids are experiencing too.

My one-off one to one coaching or my 3-month mentoring programme supports women who are or have already returned to their workplace after having children.  My one to one coaching sessions are designed to support these amazing women, who all have different challenges, but they want to be able to navigate a clear and confident pathway back into their workplace.

If you work with someone who you know might be struggling, inwardly or outwardly, with returning to work, whether they are a parent or not, get them a coffee and ask them how they are and let them talk.  ‘Active listening’ can help raise issues at a much deeper level and may reveal underlying beliefs and what they’re thinking about.

I get really excited about supporting mothers return to work with a new-found confidence by unlocking their real potential and identifying any roadblocks or challenges they might be experiencing and finding ways around them.  I love seeing them grow with personal empowerment so they can walk back through those doors punching the air saying ‘I’ve Got This!’ and not giving too hoots about who is watching them.  If you know someone that might need help with finding their key to unlock their potential, message me and we can have chat and you never know…we may get on like a house on fire.

For Harriet?  Well…she skipped into Year 6 this morning and couldn’t wait to catch up with her friends and meet her new teacher.  Good work Harriet.