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#64 Supporting Working Mothers in The Workplace with Laura Guckian
The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 64, 15 March 2023 by Lucy Gernon
The juggle is real as a working mother, right?
In this episode of the Powerhouse Revolution Podcast, host Lucy Gernon is joined by Laura Guckian aka ‘Mind Mommy Coaching’ where they dive into the difficulties working mothers face in their daily lives and how employers can step up and offer better support.
Laura has a background in corporate marketing, but after experiencing the realities of motherhood, she decided to pivot and become a life coach specifically for mothers. Her mission is to normalise the struggles of balancing a career and motherhood, and to help boost the mental well-being of these superwomen.
Being a female leader and a working mother can be a real challenge, with so much pressure and expectations placed on these women. On one hand, as a female leader, you’re expected to be confident, assertive, and fully committed to your career. On the other hand, as a mother, you’re in charge of the upbringing and well-being of your little ones. It’s no wonder working mothers often feel like they’re constantly juggling and prioritising conflicting demands, leading to stress, exhaustion, and an overwhelming feeling.
Society and cultural norms also add to the challenges faced by working mothers, as women are still often considered the primary caretakers for their kids. But, let’s not forget, the modern workforce is made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and unique needs.
To retain employees and help them reach their full potential, companies need to recognise and support the special challenges faced by working mothers. Here are 3 tips on how to do that:
One important step for companies is to shift their focus from equality in support to equity. This means acknowledging that each employee has different struggles and tailoring the support to meet those specific needs. Companies need to understand that working mothers face exclusive challenges and require tailored support to manage their workload, family life, and career.
A second way companies can provide support is through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that offer counselling and coaching. While therapy can be beneficial for some, coaching is more action-oriented and solution-focused, helping employees find practical ways to overcome their challenges. But it’s important for companies to make sure the coaching is tailored to the challenges faced by their working mothers, rather than just being a generic life-coaching session.
Additionally, companies should have policies in place that address the smaller anxieties faced by working mothers, like worrying about taking calls from their kids’ school or needing a flexible schedule. These small steps go a long way in making working mothers feel supported and empowered to reach their full potential in both their personal and professional lives.
Companies play a crucial role in supporting working mothers and helping them balance their careers and family life. By offering tailored support, such as well-being programs, coaching, and flexible policies, companies can retain valuable employees, improve productivity, and create a positive work environment for all.
Listen to the podcast to hear all the juicy details including how Laura’s experience in a psychiatric hospital lead her to become a life coach for Mum’s.
Here’s the episode at a glance:
[04:30] Discover the Top 3 Challenges Women Face Balancing Corporate Careers and Motherhood
[13:58] Learn the Secret to Successfully Asking for Support as a Working Mom in the Corporate World
[18:41] Uncover Life-Changing Solutions Companies Can Adopt to Support Working Mothers
[25:30] Get the Ultimate Guide: Checklist for Your Business to Support Mothers Before, During, and After Childbirth.
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Lucy Gernon 0:01
Welcome back to this week’s episode of the powerhouse Revolution Podcast. I’m delighted today to be joined by a gorgeous, gorgeous coach that I connected with on Instagram. Her name is Laura Guckian. And I think I said that right from mind money coaching. So this week, obviously, it’s it’s Mother’s Day. And I know it can be, it can be a tough time for some people, obviously, who’ve lost a mother. So sending you lots of love, and, you know, thinking of you and all of that. And then for the moms out there who are trying to lead teams and trying to do all the things with your children, I see you too, and sold as Laura. So I wanted to talk to Laura today, all about how I suppose employers can support you more to support working mothers. So I know a lot of you who listen to my podcast lead teams as well. And so not only do you have your children at home, you also have your work children, ie your team who you’re trying to support and do all of the things to support them. So hopefully, Laura and I today can give you some support. So Laura, you’re very right. Welcome to the podcast. How are you?
I’m good. Thanks, Lucy. I’m so glad to be here talking about this today.
Lucy Gernon 1:09
I know, I know, you genuinely mean that. So we’re just going to jump into this because Laura, tell us a little bit about your story, how you kind of came to be mind mommy coaching and what you do?
Yeah, so my background isn’t life coaching, I actually worked in corporate marketing for about 13 years. So very familiar with the corporate space. And I suppose mind, mommy coaching was born out of my experience of motherhood. So I became a mom, over six and a half years ago, at the time I was at the peak of my marketing career, like everything was going good. And basically what happened is, I really, really struggled with motherhood, my reality of motherhood did not match that false perception of what’s out there. And it led me to become very, very unwell mentally. And at the time, I thought I was the only one, I thought I was the only person finding motherhood hard. And I remember at the time feeling like if I ever figure out what’s going on here. And if I ever get through this, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to support moments so that nobody ever feels like that again. So fast forward, probably it took me maybe three years to recover, had to leave my marketing career, my whole world fell apart, basically, because my mental health was so impacted by what I now know to be retracements. And all of that stuff we can talk about later, I decided I would become a life coach. And at the time, everyone was like, Yeah, you have to get into the corporate space and be like, you know, a performance life coach. And I thought, No, I’m going to be a life coach for moms, I am going to specialize in helping women navigate motherhood and normalizing all of the challenges we experience and give them the tools they need to navigate that. And one of the main challenges my clients have, which is quite apt for today. It’s how do they balance that career at motherhood? How do they do that, given the background of challenges that they’re experiencing because of motherhood. So really, that’s where it was born, it was born from my experience and my passion, of normalizing these challenges of supporting the mental well being of moms. And I suppose I do that by openly sharing my mental health challenges, but also now giving women the tools they need. So I am fortunate to finally say, like, I hate I used to hate people that said this. I absolutely love my job. Like I love it. It doesn’t feel like work.
Lucy Gernon 3:35
Yeah. Oh, I can really, really resonate with that. Absolutely. I think when you find your passion, and you can see it, you can see it when you talk about your work as well. Okay, so like, I suppose, you have obviously got have gone through the struggles, which is why you are doing what you’re doing with moms. So maybe we’ll just kick off with, like, what challenges do you see with your clients? When it comes to balancing, say, a corporate career and motherhood?
Yeah. And I think before we get into that, it’s really key to clearly get the science behind why they’re finding it challenging. Because this is the challenge I come up against when I talk to corporate clients, I suppose they will say, Oh, but we already provide wellbeing support. No, you don’t not for this. So if you think about the moms in your workplace, even if their moms have teenage kids, I can tell you, every single one of them are going through these three things. And this is why they need specific support. The first is retracements. Okay, for people who are not aware of what retracements is retracements is adolescence, but for moms, so when a woman becomes a mom, we go through this process and it can last up to 10 years and it happens every single time you have a child. And what that means for the woman is like adolescents, we are at our most vulnerable from a psychological perspective. Okay. It’s a really, really challenging time of our life. And it doesn’t just go through, you know, the maternity leave it goes beyond. So that’s the first thing. Second thing is postnatal depression. So that is essentially, there’s a lot of research Dr. Oscar sir, like has done a lot in this. That is proving for up to two years or beyond a woman is recovering physically and emotionally from growing a baby and delivering it. That causes exhaustion overwhelmed lots of stuff. The third is baby brain. Okay, now let’s hear me out. Baby Brain is now a scientifically backed up term research was carried out in 2016. That proves if you scan a woman’s brain, if she’s carried a baby to full term, her brain changes, why changes, the gray matter is reduced. Why does that matter? The gray matter can be responsible for things like movement, memory, emotional regulation. So women are actually experiencing like physiological like psychological changes in their brain that’s causing things to feel harder. So that’s the backdrop. So the women, the moms in your workplace are experiencing that. So as a result, that transition back to work, even if they’ve been back at work five years is hard. Yeah, right. And the challenges I hear from my moms, in terms of their career is honestly, the fear. What if my phone rings? What if my child is sick? How am I going to manage that? Or you don’t know how to do this? And I see time and time again, mom’s being forced out of the workforce, because that flexibility isn’t there? And you might say, Why are you talking about flexibility or when you’re actually just been talking about all of these scientific things, it manifests as flexibility. But actually what the woman needs is time, and she needs specific support so that she can reach her full potential in her career, because not only has she the challenges that everyone else is experiencing the workplace, she’s also navigating those three things. So I’m not sure if that answers your question, Lucy, but I thought it was really important, particularly for the decision makers that are listening to grasp the concept that there is actually something going on. That makes mums incredibly vulnerable in the workplace. And it’s okay to say that Ash,
Lucy Gernon 7:13
yeah, no, absolutely. I love those three points that you said. So I just want to understand firstly, like, like, I have three children, right, my dean, I’m like, I raising kids for 15 years. Somebody get me out. Yeah. And I don’t really mean that. But I’m kind of coming through now. My, my youngest is almost seven. So I’m common through all of that. And as I reflect on, like, my time in the corporate world, raising children, it definitely you feel the sense of, oh, God, like, I can’t say gonna go collect my kids, like you said, and you feel pity. So this, you know, I know this mom guilt comes up all the time. How? Like, what can we do about mom guilt?
Yeah, and I, again, I work with a lot of my clients on this. And again, don’t underestimate the impact that has on your mental well being. So it always comes back to remind yourself as a woman while you’re working, okay, I always get them to list the reasons why you have a career. And this is not just about financial reward. What do you get personally, from your career? Because I think there’s this false narrative, and I talk about this a lot. I think we need to ditch the term working moms and stay at home mom, I hate them, right? Because you’re pegging one against the other as if one option is the better option. It’s not about that every single woman, whether she is having a career, or staying at home with her kids is doing the option that’s right for her. So I think in order to start navigating that you have to as a woman, remind yourself, why do you have a career? What do you get from it from a personal perspective, from a professional perspective, and really own that truth, and get to a place where you can go, actually, my career is a really key part of my life, I am doing this so I can be a better mom. My career adds to me as a person. It’s not just about getting money. And once you know that, then it’s about challenging that perception, that false narrative that exists that a good mom should not work. Because subconsciously, a lot of women feel this to be a good mom, I stay at home. And there is this low level inner critic that’s there every day when you’re at work. When you’re at work. I hear this from my clients a lot when I’m at work, I can’t be fully present because I’m thinking I should be at home. When I’m at home, I can’t be fully present with my kids, because I’m thinking about all of the stresses of work. So I try to get my clients to a place where they recognize the value of their career, and they own it and they’re happy to go. And then it’s about giving them tools so that they can reach the full potential in their career and their full potential in their role as mom, you can do both. But it’s about understanding what both mean to you.
Lucy Gernon 9:54
Absolutely. I was just gonna ask you that. So like that’s, that’s what I’m all about as well. My whole motto was success, balanced and happy. Is it possible for every woman? You can have it? All right. But I think it goes back to exactly what you said about defining what does it all mean to you? So if we look at even say, Jacinta Ardern write her resignation, like that just made my blood boil right, obviously. And that’s why the BBC did us write that article was to get the conversation. But I’m wondering like, you know, Jacinta, Ardern, as an example, like people said, oh, you know, she couldn’t handle it, she had to step down. But actually, she she did have it all. She just didn’t have it all at the same time, in my opinion, to know what I mean. Yeah. To talk a little bit about what having an all looks like, do you think?
I think for me, and it’s a very personal thing, again, I think the perception out there of having it all, I mean, through this high performing career woman, you are this moment home baking, like organic meals, you have a lot of friendships you. I think that’s rubbish, right? I think the term having it all is even misleading, because it suggests you have to be doing everything. We can do anything, Lucy, but we cannot do everything. It’s about timing. So for me, it comes down to this elusive word that we hear all the time, which is balanced. And it’s about what balance means to you. So you know, you imagine you’re on a chair, right? For a lot of moments, when they become moms, they start leaning on the four legs, they get consumed by motherhood and their role as mom, okay. And then they might have the career added in, they’re actually balancing on two legs. Right? Very often, moms, when they have that sense of overwhelm, and exhaustion, it’s like, I need to do less, no, you need to do more. And here’s what I mean by more. Imagine the other two legs that aren’t on the floor, we need to figure out what they are, and how we get them back on the floor. Because when you’re balancing on two legs, yeah, you can do it short term, right? But when you’re balancing like that, your your concentration is going on, how do I not fall off the chair, your energy is being depleted, if somebody threw a ball at you, you’d probably fall over. So my role with moms, particularly when they’re going through mature essence, is their values and their belief system changes, we need to figure out what is it that gives you as I call it mental energy, what gives you mental energy, so you can offset the physical exhaustion. And how do we do more of it, that could literally mean, you know, I need to at night, curl up in my bed and watch my favorite show for an hour. This is not about going for bubble baths, and walks and all of that stuff that we’re told about wellbeing, this is about really getting to know yourself and figuring out what are the things you need, so that your chair is firmly on the ground, so that your energy is knock on on trying to balance it. So that whatever the challenges of motherhood or your career present, you’re able to navigate it. And that’s the key. We can’t control the external things. We can’t I can’t make the demands of motherhood goal or the demands of your career goal. But I can get you to the strongest possible position so that you can navigate it. And that for me is what we want to call it a doing it all means it’s about doing more of the stuff you need and want and getting rid of the stuff you’re only doing because you feel you should do it.
Lucy Gernon 13:13
I love that I love that analogy of the chair rice, I love that I think it’s so powerful. And under on the support piece, like you mentioned, you know, getting those two legs of the chair to be balanced. So I’d love to know, like I hear a lot. And I’m like that myself at times. Sometimes as women, we don’t like to ask for that support. So say to that chair, it might actually be well, I need to delegate more in work, or TV, I need to ask my husband to step up and help out with the cooking. And a lot of women, sometimes we just find I think it’s easier to just do it ourselves. That’s what I’m up to. So we’ll just do it ourselves. So what would you say to that?
I think the first step to asking support is you need to be clear on what you need support with and I see this a lot with my clients, they’ve come to me and say, Laura, I need help navigating my career. And I’d say Okay, great. Let’s park that for a second. Because we don’t know if that’s the challenge. Like the main thing I would hear time and time again from my clients is I want to leave my career and become self employed. Okay, but do we know what the actual challenge is? Right? Because very often, as humans, when something feels like it’s not quite right, we go to the solution, we straightaway go to solution mode, it must be this must be that. I want to try that and it doesn’t work. And the reason it’s not working is you haven’t had the opportunity to step out of it and go, what is actually going on here? What exactly is the challenge? Why is that feeling challenging? Then you find a solution. The solution is the easy part. But you can’t find a solution till you know what you’re trying to fix. So that’s that’s what I do with moms. What is your life made up? Or what are the elements are happy with a not happy wish, and what’s the gap? How do we fill that gap? Then you look at how do I feel it? What part of that is within my control? If I can’t control it, can I influence it? And if I can’t control it or influence it, do I need support with it? Who is that person that’s going to support me? How do I ask for it? So it’s not as simple as asking for support, we have to so many steps before it by the time you get to asking for support, it should feel really easy. Because you understand the context of how that fits into your life.
Lucy Gernon 15:28
Okay, so tell me then, like, what, what would what would be some steps that my listeners could take? If they are feeling overwhelmed? And they are feeling like, Look, I just can’t balance this whole motherhood? Yeah. I just need to get out of my career, which is obviously worst case, what would you say to them? What would be like three things that they could do now? Yeah.
So I would say, first of all, forget about the career for a minute, look at your life as your life you are a woman with lots of needs, your career is one of them. And I do this exercise, you probably know this, as a coach Lucy, like, you know, we call it the wheel of life, the first step would be literally get a pen and paper and draw the biggest wheel, you can and split that wheel into eight slices. And the challenge here, this might sound so simple, but my clients can only ever list four, I want you to fill that wheel with every single area of your life, your career being one. So that’s the first step. The second step then is to score that wheel. Okay, so ask yourself the honest question for each area of my life. How happy Am I with that right now? On a scale of one to 10. And then the third step is for your, let’s say, three lowest ones, ask yourself, What score would you like it to be? And then imagine if it were that score, what will be happening? What will be different? What will be going on in my life? That’s not know. And you might say, that’s nothing to do with the question or it was about career it is to do with the career. Because what that usually shows is, it’s not the career, that’s the challenge. It’s something else, it’s that their mental well being isn’t where it needs to be. Their physical Well, being isn’t where they’re not having enough social and bone in their life. They have lost connections with their friends. Yeah. And for me, and this is what I talk to corporate clients about. It’s not always about fixing the challenges in the career, it’s about fixing the woman making sure she is at her best. And then she will be able to navigate those challenges. It’s about starting from yourself, and working out. So that would be my biggest tip before you make any decision about a career, you need to be sure that the career is the challenge. And it’s not something else, because otherwise you’re going into the solution mode, and you’re gonna go after the wrong solution, you’re going to change your career. And in two years time, you’re gonna go I still feel the same. Because it wasn’t the challenge.
Lucy Gernon 17:42
I upset that’s all powerful. I think you’re I think you’re a soul. So right in that pathway to life is just so powerful to do it. And yeah, though, I don’t know what you think about it. But like, sometimes when I have clients do that, they’ll they’ll score or two in friendships or phone. But that’s normal. Like, guys, if you do this, I want you to know, like, you’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up if Yep, they nobody’s attending all areas ever because it’s a balance. It’s it’s usually if you’re, if you’re attending one has to kind of take him somewhere, nobody can be a 10 and one, so just don’t beat yourself up on that. So you mentioned there, then that the corporates need to really just support the woman I think you said, despite the career so what can companies do? Like what would be your top three tips for companies like my listeners who are listening now who lead teams? What can they do to really give their teams or their their employees the support they need? Who have kids?
Yeah, I think this starts with this piece. And you know, I suppose if anyone is in a decision decision making role, I would really ask you to challenge yourself to this. Are you providing wellbeing support, to provide equality or equity? Right? And here’s the difference. Quality is about assuming everyone, the same support will meet everyone’s challenge, right. And for the majority of the corporates right now, that’s what their well being packages, they’re talking about equality, you’re giving the same wellbeing support to everyone. But if you’re doing that, you’re assuming everyone has the same challenge. And what we just spoke about there, nobody has the same challenge. So the challenge I have with corporates is how do we shift them from equality, wellbeing, to equity, and equity? Well, being is acknowledging that everyone has different challenges, and you’re tailoring that wellbeing support. And in the case of moments, I’ve clearly highly highlighted, they are vulnerable. They have unique challenges. Therefore, they need specific support the support I offer so that you’re not diluting your well being you’re actually being very specific, and you’re helping them navigate that because for corporates, moments are probably half of your workforce, you need to retain them, you need to ensure that they’re there and that they’re reaching their full potential. So that’s the first thing.
Lucy Gernon 19:59
So can I just pause Um, that one was coming into my head there is like most big corporates will have their EAP programs for employees. And, you know, there’s some fabulous ones with VHi. And they offer counseling, we offer coaching, like, you know, is the biggest, the coach is so different to a therapist, right?
So and this is this is across the board, and I’m having this ping in our even like, even if you look at health insurance in general, why isn’t coaching offered, you can claim back to see a therapist, and I see clients and they literally come to me and I asked someone who has been in therapy as well, therapy can be very useful for certain things. But I was always left with the sense of but what do I do with that rage? I understand why I’m feeling this way and how to manage it. But what can I do with that, and I have clients come to me that are like, I got more from that hour coaching session than I did in two years of therapy. Why because as you know, it’s forward facing, it’s action orientated. So I think there’s not enough coaching in the corporate world. But as well as that, you know, it like it’s saturated, the life coaching market is saturated, there’s life coaches, everywhere. So it’s not about offering coaching. It’s about offering the coaching support that is tailored to the challenges within your organization. And what I see time and time again, for those EAP programs, they will get in this really well known celebrity to do a talk great, I get why they’re doing that they have KPIs to meet, we need to show people attended. But did it help you. And I find that with the work I do with corporates, I do a lot of like workshops like pen to paper, we are working through these guys. And generally during a trip like this is really hard. I’m like it is yeah, you have two options, you could sit here and I could give you a wonderful talk for an hour and it would feel good. But you would not make any change in your life, you are going to leave here with actions today. So I think that’s the second thing is ensuring that if you are having coaching, it is tailored to the challenges that your employees are actually navigating. And it’s not just some shiny person, which you know, I think we all know that exists. And then I think the third is as a corporate, right, you might provide the wellbeing support. So imagine you’re doing that take, but what are the policies you need to have in place? The number one challenge I hear from my clients is around, what if my phone rings? What if the crash rings? Like that’s a low level anxiety they have all the time at work that is holding them back? And again, that’s a whole other conversation. Why is this a woman’s problem? That should be a parent’s problem. But the reality is, it is a woman’s problem, you know, the crash brings the woman. So if that’s the number one challenge, I’m telling you that my clients experienced, what can you do to support that? It’s all about flexible working, it’s all about having those conversations that yes, your child may be sick, grind, go home, log back on at eight o’clock, it’s about delivering the project. It’s not about nine to five anymore. And I think they’re really the three key things that if any corporate can do that you’re going to retain your moms. And I’ve always said this as my business grows. I want it to be moms in the business, you will not get someone who is more efficient and more productive than a mom because what do we not have Lucy time, not have time, we do not have time. So we are hyper focused, we are hyper productive, and we are an absolute assets to any corporation. But yet we’re being let down because their well being programs and our policies are not aligned with our challenges.
Lucy Gernon 23:29
Yeah, I think like I think this is the thing I think corporates you know, they do their best they take a blanket approach and I think 100% I hear everything you’re saying. But I do think that like even something as simple you just said their law about the phone ringing and what to do. I think even if some simple something as simple as calling an agency, if your phone rings, hands, you need to go that’s all pain, not this blanket approach have we allow flexible workers? Yeah. What does that mean? What is flexible working mean? And what actually really is Okay, and what’s not okay, I think that’s something that’s so simple that my listeners, you can do this today, guys, you can Yeah. What’s your next team meeting and tell your mothers? Listen, I want just want you to know that if your phone rings and your kid is sick, I want you to know you have my permission to leave. Like why exactly for a woman like,
and actually Lucy, you’re right. It’s not even as complicated as a policy. It’s just clarity. It’s not even a boundary. It’s having that conversation of look, this will happen. Let’s not pretend this won’t happen. If it does. How about doing this? And equally, if you’re not someone in a decision making role now when you are that woman in a career, it’s within your control to sit down with your manager and have that conversation if this happens. This is how I would like to manage it does that work for you? And it’s reducing that anxiety, that low level anxiety all the time. And you know that the fact that that’s the main challenge that my moms are experiencing the workplace is so sad, because that’s a societal problem. And it’s just again Just showing the lack of childcare and the pressure that’s put on a mole, that that’s the main challenge. It’s not I don’t have motivation. It’s not I don’t have the skills I need in my career. It’s not I don’t know how to do my job. It’s what if my phone rings, and I have to pick up my sick children?
Lucy Gernon 25:16
Yeah, it’s like, how am I going to be viewed? If this happens, right? I’m just yeah, you’re talking Have you ever seen and this would be a great idea. If if you haven’t seen this to do some work in corporates, like when a mother returns from maternity leave, like there should be like a checklist of or a survey she filled out before she called?
What Just wait till I get started on this Lucy that needs to start in pregnancy, right? So if you think back up, and I’ll just share my personal experience that we probably haven’t touched on, right. So when I became a mom, I was in the corporate space, I was at a very senior marketing role with an amazing organization. And I became so mentally unwell, I didn’t have the option of returning after Matt leave when everyone else was going back. I was checking myself into and I suppose this is probably gonna sound Whoa, in the middle of an hour, I was checking myself into a psychiatric hospital for two months. Okay, because I was so mentally unwell. And my company at the time could not have done more for me. They were amazing. They supported me through that. Okay. And eventually, you know, I had to make the decision of I can’t actually go back to work, it got to a point. Why am I telling you this? If we’re looking at this purely from an investment perspective, how do they have had a program in place for me when I was pregnant, right?
Lucy Gernon 26:36
Are you for pregnancy? Yeah,
I was not diagnosed with postnatal depression. And that’s key. What was going on with me as I was navigating retracements. Remember, I said, when you’re going through a try, since you’re at your most vulnerable from a psychological perspective, my whole narrative about motherhood was wrong. Okay. Wrong in terms of mine, what’s actually the reality for most women versus what we’re told it is, if we could have support in place for our moms, when they become pregnant, in terms of education, this is what’s going to happen, you know, this isn’t attractive, this is what you’re going to experience. This is the support that you could lean into when that happens, and then check in with them throughout their maternity leave, in the view of returning them, not with the view of returning them to work, but ensuring they’re okay. When they return to work, they are going to be able to return to work. So that’s the first goal. How can you ensure that that mom is going to be well enough to return to work after that leave? And then when she is how do we help her with that transition? So it’s more than a checklist, Lucy, it starts from pregnancy. And that starts with recognizing that moms are actually vulnerable in the workplace, like any other vulnerable group, they are vulnerable. And there I explained the signs that the start to back that up. So we have to look at it from that frame, and work back and start early and educate women on what’s going to happen. And explain to them this is what’s going to happen so that they have the option to return to work the option I didn’t have Lucy.
Lucy Gernon 28:04
And that just sounds like something that makes so much sense. Yes. And again, something so simple, but it’s not not in place. So it’s not
in place. And I faced the challenge I faced for corporates, and it’s hard when you have a business, right? I’m offered opportunities to come in and do generic talks. So we love what you do. Will you come in and do a talk and do it for everyone? And I have to say no, because I’m standing firm here. I’m about supporting moms. Sometimes I’d be a bit lenient when they go we have a parent and caregiver group. Okay, because, you know, on the whole, there’s some overlapping challenges. And of course, dads have challenges and of course caregivers do, but none of them are going to retrace it’s postnatal depletion and baby brain. So the challenge I have is you have organizations that say they’ve been diversity and inclusion that say they’re supporting moms in the workplace, but when it comes to it, they will not invest in it. And that’s the challenge I think it’s not making the decision to support those moments.
Lucy Gernon 29:06
I think it’s that they think they are and I think your your words today hopefully will give my listeners some food for thought anyway for sure. And so Laura, like, this has just been mind blowing like just the way you’re talking can see your passion is just so evident when it comes to moms like and I just think the work you’re doing is really, really incredible. And I’m sure you’re impacting so many women and so honestly, fairplay to so what I do love to kind of finish up with is I always asked my listeners two questions. The first one is telling me the best piece of advice you have ever
received, ever received? Well I think well, this applies to motherhood, but I think it can be applied to life in general. So I would say it in the sense of there are no shoulds in motherhood, but I also think there are no shoulds in life. Okay, so what does that mean? Always ask yourself, Why am I doing this? If you’re feeling guilt for something, if you’re feeling pressure for something, why am I feeling that? Is it because I feel pressure to do it? In other words, it’s a should? Or is it because I genuinely need and want to do it? If it’s a show that needs to go? So that’s the first thing was that what was the question? Your one piece of advice one
Lucy Gernon 30:20
is, so the piece of our the best piece of advice you ever got was there was no shorts and anything Who told you that? Do you remember? No.
I don’t know. Did someone tell me? Or did I figure it out to my challenges? Maybe it might be love advice. My
Lucy Gernon 30:34
next question. So lots of a piece of advice that you love to give to people is there anything else
it has to be based on, I just had a breakthrough moment with a client there, your best will look different every day. Ah, right. Your best will feel different every day. Because if you can accept that you will always feel like you’re achieving. I think the challenge is, and you’ll probably hear this in your work as well. I just don’t feel like I’m doing enough. I feel like I could be doing more to find more to find enough, right? And that might be okay. But you also have to recognize that your ability to deliver that will vary every day. Because your energy levels will differ. The challenges in your life will differ. It’s like levers, there are days that all the levers will be up it will be high stress, your best will look different on that day versus a day when all the levers are down. And do you ever get to a day where you’re almost congratulating yourself Lucy where you’re like, Oh, I’m owning this, I’m amazing, right? I love that sun, the sun screen sign don’t congratulate yourself too much braid yourself either, because half of your your life is chance. And it’s so true. We’re not that important. A lot of what happens to us in life, our environment is responsible for to the people around us. So we need to recognize our best will look different every day.
Lucy Gernon 31:53
I really I really love that. I think that that’s like, honestly, I just love that. Because I do see that all the time. So do you and we do it ourselves, right? Where we beat ourselves all by heart. Who was it? Somebody said recently, this analogy. It’s all true about goalpost that we set ourselves like a goal, right? Yeah, as soon as we reached that goal of achieving it, we just moved the goalposts. So it’s like you’re constantly moving the goalposts and it’s never enough. So I think just tying in what you just said there about, your better look different every day. I think it’s like give yourself permission to see how bloody amazing we are as well. Right?
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. It’s really powerful. It’s all simple, but it’s it allows ourselves to give compassion. Yeah,
Lucy Gernon 32:36
absolutely. So Laura, listen, where can people find you?
Yeah, so I have a very active Instagram account mind mommy coaching. So that is where I regularly share advice and tips for moms. Yeah, online mind, Mommy. coaching.com. So yeah, it’s all. It’s all about the moms for me.
Lucy Gernon 32:55
Yeah, absolutely. Well, listen, guys, I will link Laura’s website on the show notes. And I’ll link her Instagram as well. And Laura, listen, thank you so so much for your time today. And honestly, I really just want I get emotional listen to you and my listeners my way Christ. But I just think the work you’re doing is incredible. I think your story is incredible. I think you’re so brave or openly sharing. And I know that there’s somebody listens to my podcast today who is going to take on board what you said and you’re going to make a difference in women’s lives that you don’t even know about.
I really hope so I’m the final point. I know you’re finishing up but if you are that woman listening, who is in the process, or you’re right in the middle of that maternal mental health challenge, I just hope that you’ve heard my story to realize I was I was at the lowest you could be. And this is my life now. So whatever you’re experiencing, this is temporary. Keep thinking long term. And you can turn this into something you really can. Yeah,
Lucy Gernon 33:52
this too shall pass. This is a pass. Thank you so much. You’ve been fabulous.
Thank you Lucy.