Kathy & Talia discuss the challenges faced by Mums returning to the workforce after extended periods of absence due to Maternity leave.


Talia: Anyone who’s taking a break from the workplace knows how difficult it can be to get back to work. Women with the added restraints of having children have their own set of struggles when it comes to returning to work.

Stacey: Some moms just don’t cope at home for just being just a mom and that is okay. It’s okay if you do wanna be a stay home mom, that’s okay too but I’m certainly not one.

Talia: I am here with Kathy from Fire Up Coaching and Kathy, you see this all the time.

Kathy: I do Talia, and it’s a real challenge for women because depending on whether it’s their first baby or they’ve got a couple of kids, the challenges are different.

So the interesting thing is when it is a first baby. When it’s your first baby you don’t know what you don’t know. So someone who is having their first baby – and I remember here – it’s the plan that “I’ll be back at work in three months and I’ll be doing this” and then all of a sudden this beautiful bundle of joy arrives, and your values changed completely.

So it’s a really important thing to reassess where you are at, once you’ve had a baby.

Talia: And then once when they decide that they want to get back to work, what do you suggest?

Kathy: Look, I think it is really important to rethink where you’re at and to look at the role that you had before you had that – whether it’s your first or your second child – and think about whether that is still appropriate.

You know, your values do change and your responsibilities change as a mom and I think all too often, women try to be a superwoman and be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, and the superstar in the workplace.

And often – and I find this myself sometimes – you try and overcompensate and be everything to everyone and you really need to reassess and think about

“what is the most important thing at this moment in my life?”

and “what’s gonna give me the balance so that I can be the mom that I wanna be, that I can be the partner and still be able to contribute to the personal relationship?” which is so important, you know… “what is the purpose I want in my workplace and how do I balance the whole of those complexities?”

Talia: And sometimes women, we are our own worst enemy. I mean, I know me, I do not have a kid yet but I am already comparing myself to others. How do mothers handle that?

Kathy: Absolutely, it’s one of the big challenges is that you need compare self to self, because as you say, as women we look around and go “Oh my gosh, she’s got her figure back already” or, “Oh gosh, she is working full time” and “she’s doing up MBA.” You know, people compare to other people and it is not a realistic thing to do.

For each of us, we’ve got our own qualities that we need to think about, “what am I doing to actually assess where I am at” and “where I wanna go” and “how does that fit into my life?” rather than looking around and comparing myself to others.

Stacey: I still to this day don’t compare myself to anyone. If someone’s up there to me, it’s more like they’re my role model and I look to them for inspiration and I go, “wow, you know they’re doing something I love, I can actually do that too.” And I’ll find what they did, and I’ll take the steps that I’ll take and you know, that’s how I work. but I don’t compare myself anymore

Talia: It seems like it’s such a personal thing that each situation is different and you need to assess it for yourself as an individual, not just as a generic mother.

Kathy: Absolutely, and I think that’s where the support comes in. It’s talking to other people, not thinking that you need to actually work this all out by yourself.

That’s why mothers’ groups can be such a great support. When we get people in the courses, the moms are a little bit chatting and giving each other great tips on how to create that balance.

So it’s very personal but it’s also really important to get that support and to make sure that you’ve got a good support network around you. Because it can be very isolating being at home and as you know as you’ve been busy in this wonderful corporate role and then all of a sudden you are in a totally new role.

You gotta really, re-think about how you want your life to play out after that.

Talia: Some really great advice there Kathy not just for moms but really anyone trying to get back to work.

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