What can prepare you for life as a working mum?

Dr Fran Longstaff
November 26, 2021
min read
child and mother

Earlier this week I spoke about the importance of building mental fitness before different career transitions. It was a timely reminder as I’m currently going through undoubtedly the biggest transition in my career to date.

Just under five weeks ago my wife and I welcomed our daughter to the world. Last week I returned to my role as Psychology Lead at Fika Mental Fitness following 3 weeks of parental leave.

I don't have any previous experiences to draw upon that could have possibly prepared me for life as a working mum. But what I do have is knowledge and a set of mental fitness tools and techniques that are helping me through.

  • Savouring. From the early hours of the morning to when I start work, I savour every moment I have with my daughter taking the time to get to know her. My phone and laptop are nowhere to be seen. Currently she’s fixated on curtains!
  • Exercise. I swim at least 3 times a week. Having a newborn can come with lots of new worries. And that’s not good for me or my baby so it’s important that I take time to notice my worries coming and going while moving my body.
  • Vulnerability and communication. When you return to work as a new parent you return a different version of yourself. To keep your relationships healthy both at home and work you have to share this evolution. I am lucky to be able to do this both at work and with my wife.

In any job you may not always see the real-world impact that your work is having. But over the past few weeks I’ve felt the impact of my work in mental fitness on a deeply personal level.

What career transition are you facing? And what tools and techniques are you using to get you through it?

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Dr Fran Longstaff
Head of Psychology

Dr Fran Longstaff is Head of Psychology at Fika Mental Fitness. With more than 15 years' academic and applied experience in sport and exercise psychology, Fran oversees Fika's Behavioural Science output, designing and implementing organisation-wide Mental Fitness training programmes for Fika's client-base of more than 80 businesses, education institutions and healthcare organisations. She is passionate about training leaders and managers in how to build their own and their team’s Mental Fitness in order to transform the culture, output, productivity and happiness of their workplaces. Fran worked as a lecturer in Higher Education for 13 years before joining Fika, and still works closely with Fika's board of academic experts.

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