I've created a 'Live from Lockdown' series to help professional new Mums - just like you - to feel a sense of solidarity, as well as the opportunity to hear practical hints and tips from other new Mums and experts across a variety of fields. When I asked my community who they would like me to interview, the overwhelming response was to hear from professional new Mums, who are in similar situations.

Remember to follow @thewomensvault on Instagram to see the next time and date of the interviews.

Confirmed guests include: Caoihme Burns, an Internal Audit Manager who has recently returned to work; Alana Barry, a Marketing Manager and founding member of The Women's Vault; Nicky Lowe at Wisdom for Working Mums; Jessica Lawes Co-Founder of The Mum Club; Joanna Fortune, Psychotherapist and Author of 15 Minute Parenting.

Below you can read a summary of the first interview with Katie Hynard, Director at Asset Manager firm and founding member of The Women's Vault. She is also a former client of mine. Katie recently returned to her corporate role from her first maternity leave.

Next Live From Lockdown…. Friday 20th November, Follow @womensvault for updates.

Boundaries & Confidence with Katie Hynard- Friday 13th November

Katie is a new Mum who's recently returned to her corporate job as a Director in Asset Management (Charter Surveyor). Her chief concerns prior to returning were managing her two roles (motherhood and career) and imposter syndrome- wondering what people would think of her. Her mat leave planning let her address her concerns, meaning she returned positive, confident and in control.

We discuss her recent return to work; confidence; boundary setting and juggling a career that you love with your family. Below is a short overview of what we discussed plus a link to the complete video. Why not take the interview on the road? Listen on your daily exercise and soak in our Live From Lockdown Tips!

For confidence boosters Katie suggests:

  • Exercise the confidence muscle! Take control and don’t allow yourself to ignore or put things on the back burner. [I coined the term 'Confidence muscle' which is the first lesson in my Return to Work with Confidence program]
  • Little acts give you the strength to face the bigger challenges. An achievement that may seem small such as visiting the supermarket can give you a real buzz. Action breeds confidence, fighting the fear of failure.
  • Adversity. The challenges you have gone through as a Mum were likely completely unexpected to you. Overcoming them can give clarity on what really matters to you and show how strong you are; boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Work personas. Think of the impression you want to give at work and use your actions to live up to it- even if it isn’t your out-of-work personality.
  • Attribute your lack of confidence. Confidence will always ebb and flow. By defining the reason why you can take back control and feel ok, whether its hormones, a bad night or too much coffee.

Boundaries. It’s easy to feel worried about keeping boundaries whilst still performing like you used to for the team but you should remember- your worth is not about presenteeism, its about your productivity. To keep strong boundaries Katie suggests:

  • Write out what you would and wouldn’t do. Getting clarity on your boundaries means you’re prepared if you need to be flexible for something big. Plus it will give you a physical reinforcement that you can refer to, recheck and reaffirm often. [Katie and I spent a lot of time thinking through the boundaries that she wanted to create in our one to one coaching - they are crucial for any professional new Mum.]
  • Lead with your boundaries. Don’t set a precedent that people can get you whenever with calls, emails or by coming to your desk. Use positive refusals and offer to postpone to a better time. Often you may find the urgency isn’t there- they won’t even need it anymore. Plus these tiny tweaks can really add up to extra time in the day.
  • Implement structures to make yourself accountable. Like Keep-Frees in your diary. Set up specific times that are never available- like before 09:30am, so you can have breakfast and do daycare drop-off worry-free.
  • Be authentic. By giving reasons why you need to set boundaries and sharing what’s going on with you, people will be able to understand and identify with what you’re going through.

Bonus- Transitioning back to work when WFH

  • Use remote technology as a new way to connect with people. Being able to see into their homes adds humanity, its an extra insight that you don’t get in the office. Don’t be afraid that they’re too busy, use your mat leave return as a positive reason to catch up.