Helen’s story – A lawyer’s dilemma as a working parent

We often find ourselves travelling along a given path, dealing with life’s up and downs, not really thinking too much about where we are headed or what we’ve collected along the way!

Maybe you started out as an open-minded twenty-something with no attachments or significant responsibilities. Time has passed and now your life looks very different. Maybe you’re married, maybe you have children, maybe a mortgage to pay, maybe you’ve started training for a marathon, maybe you’ve joined a new book club, maybe you’ve just taken on a voluntary role because you feel it’s important to give back. Your life is ‘full’, but you wake up one morning and wonder how on earth you’re going to get through the day and why you have no time or energy anymore. Then the penny drops! You’ve been adding more and more into your life without taking any time to consider your priorities and what’s really important to you now. Much has changed since you first started out and you haven’t given yourself a chance to consider the impact of those changes on you, your family or your friends. Sound familiar?

I worked with a lovely lady called Helen, a professional woman who decided she needed some “time out” to take stock and re-focus. Here’s her story.

Helen is a successful lawyer employed in a large corporate business with a long daily commute. As a mother of two young children she was finding the pressure of managing work and home life difficult. Helen was looking for a better work life balance, to feel proud & confident about being a working parent and to feel happy with her chosen direction.

As Helen’s self-awareness increased, it didn’t take long to uncover what was really going on and how Helen felt about being a working mum. Helen’s priorities had shifted and, having accepted that her original direction was no longer suiting her needs and desires, I saw Helen grow into a strong, confident and very able working parent, who had extreme clarity of what she wanted to achieve. With that came the eye-opening revelation that Helen could consciously choose her own destiny.

I helped Helen to see things from different perspectives and take the action required to make a change. Helen now openly, confidently and proudly talks about being a working parent at work without guilt or anxiety, knowing what added value she can bring to the team as a result and can clearly articulate what she needs from her role moving forward to enable the work-life balance she desires.

It is often difficult for working mums who want a fulfilling career, but also want to be at home for the children, to strike the right kind of balance. There can be much guilt and emotion involved, contradictions, assumptions, moral dilemmas, supportive or not so supportive systems at play, but it is possible to work through these and come to some conscious choices about how you want it to be. Here’s how Helen describes how I helped her…

I started my journey with Sarah at Stride not really knowing what to expect. I knew that something had to change in my life and I just wasn’t yet sure what that would be. Sarah helped me to focus in on what really mattered to me and enabled me to see that it was okay to be a working parent, who enjoyed her career but also to not be afraid of seeking out a balance that worked better for me and my family. The tools that Sarah used empowered me to have the confidence to make clearer decisions and move forward knowing my decisions were the right ones for me.

I would highly recommend that anyone who feels conflicted or just needs a bit of head space to sort through their thoughts, get in touch with STRIDE. Sarah’s pragmatic and caring approach to the whole process immediately put me at ease and I am proud of what we have achieved.”  

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