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You’ve returned to work, or are about to, after being on maternity leave and you want to combine your professional, personal and family lives for a rewarding career and a happy and fulfilling life.
You love your work and always knew that once you were established in your career you wanted a family. You just assumed it would all fall naturally into place. But this isn’t what’s happening. Returning to work after your maternity leave has been the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do – and the workplace culture isn’t helping any. In the past you willingly worked long hours when necessary but that is no longer always an option – you have other responsibilities now. You’re still committed to your work, but you have a family to think about too. It seems no matter how little sleep you get there’s never enough time and filling your many roles is proving overwhelming. You want a life outside of your career and don’t want to sacrifice everything for the sake of your work. What’s so wrong with wanting to combine everything you love – and you wonder why everybody making it so hard for you?
Guilt Ridden Gwen
You’ve reached the mid-point in your career and have worked hard at juggling the many roles you fill, yet still fret over choosing between work, family and personal commitments. It seems no matter which you choose you feel guilty, lying awake at night worrying that you made a wrong decision.
Yet you still love your work and feel you really are making a positive difference in the world. But you’re beginning to fear that the cost may be too high – your personal life is practically non-existent and you never seem to have any time for yourself. It seems you’re constantly having to choose between your career, your personal life and your home-life and the results aren’t living up to expectations. It looks like the only way you’ll ever succeed in your career is to sacrifice everything and everybody else you love. You’re starting to second guess every decision you make. No matter what you choose it seems you get flack about it and it’s getting harder and harder to dodge the hits to your dwindling self-confidence. You wonder why you can’t seem to crack the code to living the life you truly want?
You love the work you do and by many standards you’ve achieved a modicum of success – people see that you’ve advanced in your chosen profession and have the freedom to manage your own agenda – on most days. Yet there always seems to be another role you have to fill and no matter how hard you try, by the end of the day you’re exhausted.
You’ve always worked hard and shone in all you’ve done. You’ve received recognition for your work and numerous awards, have a stable and happy family life (on the surface) and a busy and active social life. So why do you feel like a tidal wave is about to wash over you at any moment? Why are so many depending on you to make sure nothing falls between the cracks? Why are you losing control of your time and freedom to do what you want? You thought that by this stage of your career you’d be able to relax a bit and really enjoy life. So why are you always feeling so stressed out, weary, exhausted and discouraged?
Why do you spend so many nights lying awake wondering – ‘is this all there is?’.