I had just been expressing for my son - to give to his daycare when I was back in the office the following day. I frantically fired up my computer, hands shaking and breasts leaking to dial into a meeting to be the communications counsel on a big issue affecting our organisation (one of Australia’s top 4 banks).
It was my second week back at work, I was sleep deprived and my already demanding job was bigger when I returned.
Reflecting on this situation, it wasn’t that my boss rang me to work on my day off - we still today have a great relationship - it was that I lacked the confidence to say, “I don’t work today.”
I lacked confidence as my mind and body - like so many other women’s - wasn’t ready to be thrust into the workplace.
My role was in a fast-paced environment and the problem was, I loved my job.
I was not good at setting boundaries in my personal or professional life - it’s something I’ve had to learn since having a child. And also to adjust my tendency to want to please others.
As the months continued I saw that my experience and the constant feeling of being torn between family and career were far from unique.
For my colleagues, dear friends who had become parents and Mother’s Group, I could see an undercurrent of stress, anxiety, grit, exhaustion, frustration and a feeling of being taken for granted. Of having to look like a “happy perfect Mum”, but this wasn’t how we felt.
I found this research alarming and concerning. So we decided to create ‘The Women’s Vault’.
A place where working Mums can connect with others, whether that’s opening up about a deeply personal experience, or sharing light-hearted moments.
It’s a place to learn, help yourself and other women to “vault” or spring forward more positively.
It’s a place to be inspired and feel understood.
We know that women, including working Mums, want to make a big contribution in their lives. They want to be great role models for their children, be financially independent and gain valuable self-worth from having a career.
The Women’s Vault brings together experts from all over the world who are leaders in their fields, as well as my personal experiences in life and career and leadership lessons from the executives I’ve worked with over many years to improve “the wheel” of a woman’s life.
The wheel is holistic - family and home, career, health, financial, education, recreation, charity/service, adventure, travel, romance, relationships and spiritual.
To be able to do all of these things, working Mums need support. To be more confident, balanced and in control over all areas of their lives.
We provide courses, events, seminars, retreats, consults for women and workplaces. We have started by supporting working Mums with our 1:1 sessions - and then workplaces, encouraging flexible workplaces and educating managers on supporting working parents.
We want to help women to live better, happier, healthier and more successful lives; and help create more flexible workplaces.
And most importantly, I want my son, George, to know that his Mummy believed in something and decided to spring forth herself and do something about it.