This year marks 20 years since I left school.

At our leavers’ assembly a wonderful teacher, Mrs Broom played a song which I first replayed on tape, then CD, then an iPod playlist and now Spotify.

This song has become like the soundtrack to my life, in a way.

I must have listened to it thousands of times…

Each time, a different line resonated with me depending on what was happening in my world at that moment.

But listening to it this year, as 20 years have somehow passed since the message it sends was gifted to us as we headed out into the world, I heard it differently.

I truly heard the words. I understand them all now in ways I couldn’t possibly have done when I was 16.

These words are everything I have learned about life, about the kind of person I want to become, and about what truly matters.

So, I thought I would share them with you (with a few very minor edits) so that you may look back and read them again or listen to this song and have the profound experience I have had this year in truly hearing what it says. That song is Sunscreen, by Baz Luhrmann.

I’ve changed a few things, as I believe that while sunscreen is up there among the most important things, there’s something that trumps it for me – especially in these uncertain and unsettling times. ❤️

To the class of 2019…


If I could offer you only one tip for the future, kindness would be it.

And by kindness, I don’t just mean looking for the odd opportunity to help an old lady across the street – although you should definitely do that…

By kindness, I mean be kind to yourself first, last and every moment in between. (We’re not taught to be good at that, so you have to learn how.)

Be kind to our beautiful planet, to people who are the same as you and to people who are different from you.

Be kind to animals, and to everything in nature.

Be kind in situations you don’t understand or agree with.

Above all things. Always be kind.

The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now…

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.

Oh, never mind; You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

And however you look, know that it does not define you or dictate your worth…you are beautiful, and you are enough. No caveats.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind…the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss. (Both your teeth and learn the floss dance with a child…)

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults. (If you succeed in doing this, tell me how!)

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives and some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much (or berate yourself either). Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. IT’S THE GREATEST INSTRUMENT YOU WILL EVER OWN.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.


Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.


Accept certain inalienable truths; prices will rise…politicians will philander. You too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasise that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders (well, actually – respect EVERYONE. Elders, youngers – we’re all people and everyone deserves your respect. We are all different, but not one of us is better or worse than anyone else.)

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund; maybe you have a wealthy spouse…but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it…advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the kindness.

Facebook Comments

I was recently privileged to be invited to help shape a new strategy the government’s Gender Equality and Economic Empowerment office is launching soon.

They asked everyone involved to invite our networks to share our perspectives on what achieving gender equality and economic empowerment means for women and I was inundated with contributions from incredible people of different ages, backgrounds and stages of life.

Whilst many of the views and experiences they have trusted me with make for saddening and maddening reading, everyone is of the same opinion: it’s a good thing that we’ve been invited to participate in – what feels to me, anyway – one of the most significant conversations of our generation.

This stuff matters so much, for us and for our children – and for their children too. We can’t expect change to happen if we aren’t part of it, can we?

I sent the team this summary report of the feedback I gathered earlier this week and felt it was important to share it here too as it makes for fascinating reading.

If you have any questions or feedback about the report or would like to know more about the strategy, I’d love to hear from you!

Question 1: What is the single most important contributing factor to achieving women’s economic empowerment? Why?

Equal pay.

“I had a horrific experience on maternity leave when I discovered the guy covering my position was being paid 60% more than me, with less experience; he subsequently took over my role when I left at the same inflated salary. Apparently there’s no equal pay case here, based on legal advice. The bigger impact, however, is the clear difference the company places in terms of value of employee. Women who don’t feel equally valued will not stay.”

Workplace culture.

“There are too many boys’ clubs socially and in the workplace. These mindsets needs to be integrated with a diverse range of “non-similar…look/background” people.”

“Family policies and equal pay / job policies need to provide women with more protection. The number of times women leave work to have children and some are scared to talk about having children as it may impact their chances of getting a job and paid competitively is open for abuse. This needs to be an issue that should be discussed in a company’s equality policies and job descriptions.”

Equality in the workplace.

“The government has some great policies that do not discriminate against gender/race/background. However, there are still companies that require people to declare these demographics as part of their application process and this is an automatic promotion that there should be inequality. I am put off applying for a role where I have to declare this information because it completely contradicts the company’s need for equality and more importantly it tells me that this is something that the company will consider as part of their hiring / progression processes.”

Flexible working practices.

“Many companies have a negative view of truly flexible working and working mums. Until more dads and people without families also start asking for flexible working patterns this will continue.”

“A lack of men asking for flexible working is another major part of this issue, as it adds to the stigma of ‘choosing your children over your career’.  If more men worked flexibly, the reasons for why you do so would not be an issue.”

In the majority of cases if you want to become flexible, you have to leave your job and take up another (lower level) position elsewhere.  I work in construction – I have had one position offered to me as a part time role in 7 years of looking.  The industry is considerably male biased and outdated in this regard, and this is reflected in the gender pay gap statistics, which are shameful.  Since I have become part time I have not been offered any promotion, in fact been passed over by my full time colleagues. There is no female empowerment within construction currently.”

Gender roles in the home.

“Many women assume the traditional role of taking on the bulk of the household management and primary caregiver responsibility as well as working. Society must catch up urgently and men and women should be able to easily divide the labour at home in the same ways as they are both able to contribute to the household. Men should be able to work in ways that support their involvement with the family and enable them to assume more of the caring responsibility. Until we have equality in the home AND at work, we won’t have any equality at all.”

Childcare costs.

Female employment is hampered by exorbitant childcare fees and inflexible and traditional working practice. If the government were to totally fund nursery places as in the Scandinavian countries it would allow a vast swathe of women to return to work after having their children. This in combination with a much greater uptake in shared maternity/paternity leave would mean that no one was jeopardising their career to do what is natural – having a baby!”

How women are perceived by wider society

“Women worry so much about how they are perceived, whether they are allowed to do or say certain things, whether they are too xxxx (whatever) or not enough xxxx (whatever). So much about our society undermines girls and women in subtle ways. Insecurity leads to young girls not seeing each other as allies but as threats. The pressure to conform is huge. This continues throughout life. If we can get young girls to value their individuality and feel good about themselves and learn how to trust and respect other girls that would result in women not holding themselves back later in life.”

Question 2. What are some immediate, practical changes that would make the biggest difference? Why? 

  1.  Require companies to offer flexible working for every role at all levels, as a day one right.
    “We must change how we work so that work and family life are compatible.”“This requires complete culture change so it becomes the norm for everyone – irrespective of gender – to work flexibly. This single change would enable more women to return so they can contribute to their households and the economy and be financially independent without being forced into self-employment or low paid flexible roles as so many currently are. Implementing an enforceable requirement for companies to advertise all jobs as flexible from day one of employment would help greatly with this.”

    “This is about skilled jobs being available in formats other than full time.  Jobs need to be created that could realistically be done over, say, 10 hours a week, 20 hours a week, 25 hours a week etc.  This too is likely to involve funding an education initiative to change the way employers think about how they create job roles.”

    Hopefully in a few years, my husband can drop a day or maybe even two so we could even up the scales a bit. He’s too scared now that cutting his working hours would mean he would never be in the running for promotions. Until then, 99% of domestic duties will stay on my shoulders whilst I try to keep my business up and the family thriving too.”

  2. Greater accountability for business in respect of equality.
    “Publication of equality ratio by gender/race/age, etc similar to Gender Pay Gap reporting. Why? To ensure companies work harder to ensure equality is not a tick box exercise but something critical for all individuals within a company.”

  3. Support with the exorbitant costs of childcare from age 6 months.
    “By extending the early years funding scheme and incentivising companies to provide subsidised or free on-site childcare facilities, for example. This would make it more financially viable for many thousands more females to return to work after having a child.”

  4. Encourage greater take-up of shared parental leave.
    “How many households can realistically drop immediately to the statutory level of pay if their employer doesn’t enhance the pay when taking SPL? Very few.”

    “How can the government expect any progress on equality if it doesn’t fund maternity and shared parental leave in the same way? Until it is properly funded (i.e. equally) take up will continue to be pitiful.”

    The more women & men share leave, the less of a ‘female’ issue it becomes.”

  5. Provide personalised programmes of support to people returning to work.
    “Companies must acknowledge that the parent is a different person when they return. They should provide support, compassion and understanding that the transition is hard, and that there is a life outside of work that needs managing too.”

  6. Implement actions that show the role women play as mothers is valued….
    Too often women are disadvantaged because they are or have become mothers.  Mindsets need to change to VALUE and RESPECT this key difference between men and women, and not see it as a reason that women can’t progress. Funding {is needed} to educate senior leaders in how women who are mothers can be VALUED in the workplace – because all too often women are pushed out of the workplace because they are mothers.”

  7. …and also understand that parenting isn’t the only barrier to success.
    “Just as women hit the prime of their career they start suffering the symptoms of peri-menopause and start being taken less seriously because of their age. Women who let their hair go grey, who change body shape or who suffer hot flushes all find these are career limiting at exactly the time they are approaching being Board material. We have to give more focus to the needs of mid-life women, not just young women with kids.”

  8. Make leaders driving change more visible.
    “We need more visible female leaders, within businesses and in the media. Leadership isn’t just about those at the top, it’s about those driving powerful and positive change at all levels – we need to embrace that concept to increase the perception of value.”

  9. Make parenting facilities and activities inclusive for dads and partners.
    “If mother-baby groups became parent-baby groups, or if dads were more welcome at toddler clubs or the school gate and if men were entitled to the same paternity leave as women there would be far less stigma or discomfort to men playing more of a role in parenting (as I think many want to).”

Question 3: What do we need to change for future generations? 

  1. Promote equality in relation to gender roles: Managing workloads at home and at work needs to be equal.
    Our parents prepared a generation of us girls for a world of work where we could do anything we wanted, but they forgot to prepare our generation of guys to share the workload at home. Schools need to give lessons to boys and girls about cooking, running a household, DIY, budgeting (including when your pay might drop dramatically!) time management, allowing plenty of time for rest and play and balance in relationships.”“Local communities, groups, schools and families need support so they can strongly embed equality learning. Government sponsored TV shows should promote more equality.”
  2. Eradicate the male/female bias over flexible working.
    “If it became the norm across both sexes, both men and women would have a better work/life balance without a cost to their careers.”

  3. Engineer a culture shift on how caring is perceived by wider society.
    “In many countries the family is seen as the most important fundamental part of society, and families receive proper financial support and childcare help.”Yes, they may pay higher taxes, but this enables better child development, better employee development, with a view to creating a better economic foundation. Parenting is viewed as an equal task between parents.”

  4. Provide education for females to help them recognise signs of financial abuse.
    “We need to reduce vulnerability to controlling and coercive behaviours in partners.”

  5. Stop calculating the value of a woman working based on her salary minus childcare.
    “Childcare is a household cost, not a burden to be placed solely on the mother to justify.”

  6. Focus on mentoring and role models for young females.
    Work on girls’ relationships with each other. Provide lots of options in terms of mentors, role models, different ways to live and work beyond the traditional model, let them know they don’t need to “have it all” – that was never possible – but to think about what they do want and work towards that.”

    “Role models in the working world need to be celebrated more and included in the school learning curriculum. For instance; all I remember in the History classes were just men and war…I have learnt inspirational facts about women and people of colour in their contribution to History which I never learnt/gained from school. I respect what I learnt but I always found it limiting.”
  7. Give girls the skills to form strong, healthy relationships with other girls.
    “Given that more bullying in the workplace is women bullying women versus men bullying women this would transform workplace dynamics in the future.”
(Photo from when baby Neo and I went to Whitehall to
meet with members of the government’s Flexible Working taskforce)
Facebook Comments

January was a slog.

Google threw up the list of symptoms of Australian flu and I ticked all the boxes, on top of the joys of debilitating morning (relentless all day) sickness and exhaustion of those early knocked-up days.

Those weeks were lonely and frustrating. I was scared about a million things – as every newly expectant parent is, I guess – but for our own reasons. After Tim’s kidney transplant in 2015 more curveballs came his way and his recovery wasn’t straightforward. He ended up needing to take a drug that can cause birth defects, so we were advised it wasn’t safe for us to consider expanding our family for the foreseeable future.

Until that first scan, out of instinctive self-protection I just couldn’t find a way to allow myself to get too attached to the idea that this pregnancy might become a person. I tried to prepare (not that that’s possible) myself that whilst we’d been told it was safe, this might not have a positive outcome. The relief we felt when the sonographer showed us a healthy-looking 13 week baby was indescribable. It’s an important milestone. We’re hopeful and I’m trying to do everything possible to have a healthy and happy pregnancy. I feel VERY lucky.

I also had big plans for Mumbelievable in the New Year, but my ability to be productive over a toilet wasn’t too hot and January was a bit of a write off.

I decided to be honest with clients and when I had to cancel meetings from the get-go, because I felt like it would fly in the face of what Mumbelievable stands for if I didn’t tell the truth about why I wasn’t able to turn up to things I’d committed to.

It got me thinking about the many reasons why we might choose not to share news of pregnancy until 12 weeks or later. I started thinking about our society’s attitudes towards baby loss, miscarriage and grief.

I thought of all the millions of women who have and will experience that lonely time of wondering whether this pregnancy will make it. Whether everything will work out as you so desperately hope it will. How you’ll face the world if it doesn’t. How you’ll suppress the urge to dream about the life that could be. Trying to control the hope that, in our case, three might become four when for a long time you’ve wondered whether that will ever happen.

I thought about what it means to conceal a pregnancy in those early days and endure day after day of relentless sickness while looking after other children or at work, with no-one else knowing.

This is a deeply personal, complex and emotive subject. But I want to talk about it here because to me, like everything else we’ve begun to talk about in recent years, this is a part of becoming a family that doesn’t really get enough airtime.

Early pregnancy for me was complicated. It’s exciting and it’s miraculous. It was also lonely, terrifying and overwhelming. And yet even though we’re going through such a complex range of emotions (often in the same few minutes) so many of us do it alone, save for a few people. It’s such a personal decision to make to let more people in.

But to me it also says so much about our cultural expectation that if the worst happens, we will not only deal with it practically alone but we may face a future grieving alone for a baby that no-one knew existed as well.

Many more people are now thankfully and courageously talking about miscarriage and baby loss. But to me, the conversation should be pushed a little even earlier because there can’t be any shame. Should the possibility of loss silence us? Should it mean that we withhold our news from the rest of the world?

If we started routinely talking about pregnancy right from when we find out, would our collective attitude towards grief, loss and the other complex emotional situations we all find ourselves in change?

I’d like to start a conversation about this.

I’d really love to hear your views, if you feel able to share them. I know this is such a sensitive, personal and often painful topic. Did you go public with the news early? Have you felt lonely in those early days? Did you decide to keep the news private? What made you decide to? Would you do things differently?


Facebook Comments

Predictably shocking stats were released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today about employers’ attitudes when recruiting and employing mums or women who might dare to consider pro creating.

1,106 ‘decision makers’ were surveyed and the findings leave no room for doubt: UK businesses are decades behind the law in how they recruit and treat employees before they have children, while pregnant and when they return to work.

Some of the saddest numbers to me were:

  • Around a third believe women are ‘generally less interested’ in career progression once they have children.
  • 40% claimed they’ve seen an employee ‘take advantage’ of their pregnancy.
  • 44% feel that women who have more than one pregnancy are a burden on the workplace.

It was an honour for me to be invited to comment on the findings and contribute to the media release that the EHRC have sent out today on such an important topic that I feel so strongly about and have dedicated my life’s work to changing.

Here’s what I think

My comment is this: Reverting to archaic stereotypes of lazy, uncommitted mothers paints an inaccurate picture. But I also see why this happens and understand why employers’ attitudes remain this way.

99% of what I see is the opposite of mothers being less interested in their careers after kids, or taking advantage of their pregnancies. And the dozens of messages, comments and emails I’ve received today alone from women who’ve been made ‘redundant’ after announcing they were pregnant, been bullied and fired – sometimes by other women who are also mothers or had their position made untenable because of a lack of flexibility and compassion continue to show me that the opposite is true.

I see mothers who are – like me – more committed than ever to their work because it supports their dreams, provides opportunities and experiences for their families and enables them to be role models for their children.

I see people who make every working moment count and increase their productivity relentlessly so they can make the most of their family time.

I see parents return loyalty and commitment in spades to companies who take a more human, inclusive approach.

There are 11m working parents in the UK. That’s a third of our workforce. This isn’t a group of people we can afford as an economy to continue losing. Our workforce is haemorrhaging 54,000 women every year because of discrimination and disadvantage, and the short-sighted view that it’s perfectly ok to lose these brilliant, talented and capable professionals because they have a uterus.

Having also worked with a large number of businesses over the past two years, I also see and truly understand their perspective. I’ve spoken to many who have been burned by the tiny minority of people who do take the mick, or who have been crippled by the cost of recruiting multiple maternity replacements.  This doesn’t justify flying in the face of the laws that are put in place to protect the rights of people how simply want to work to support their families.

The current system does not work. And that’s why I’m throwing my full support behind the EHRC’s work to change it.

So is there something we can all do?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is encouraging every business to sign up to their brilliant Working Forward initiative, which offers FREE membership and access to tonnes of amazing resources, case studies and training to any UK company.

No matter what your position in the company you work for, you could take this to your HR team and pitch the idea for your firm – no matter its size or type – to sign up to take the Working Forward pledge for free to eradicate these archaic attitudes and behaviours.

You can also request the FREE cheat sheet I’ve put together for businesses that offers 40+ simple and low-cost strategies to improve support, inclusion, flexibility and communication for working parents. Download it here:

These attitudes are so commonplace that the default assumption is that your marriage and family situation will automatically put you at a disadvantage as a candidate. We all know people who’ve taken their engagement or wedding rings off at interviews, right?

Far too much talent is being missed out on. 1.4m parents could be contributing to their households and our economy but aren’t. Whilst the uprising of parent-owned businesses and self-employment is fantastic, not everyone is in a position to or wants to work for themselves – nor should they be forced to feel as if that’s their only option.

Joining Working Forward, like brands such as John Lewis, Transport for London, Mitie, Royal Mail, Barclays and hundreds of others, is something every single one of us can encourage businesses to do today to help stop these headlines and make sure that by the time our kids head out into the world of work, things are radically different.

Head to to find out more and get your workplace involved.


Facebook Comments

It’s a real pleasure to interview Sophie Segal for the Mumbelievables series. Sophie and I got to know each other when she invited me to contribute to her upcoming Mindset Shift Summit at the end of January, a virtual event with an incredible line up of speakers to inspire and provide practical tools to help mums regain confidence and find flexible, fulfilling work.  What Sophie is doing to support working mums is inspirational, strong and sisterly so go get your free ticket now! Find out more and sign up for free here:

In 2017 Sophie co-founded WhooshPop science classes to encourage children to explore their natural curiosity and inspire families to discover science together in a fun and innovative way. She also helps fast-growing companies to develop a sustainable commercial strategy and curates Mum.Career.Life., a supportive community for working mums that gives  members a platform to explore and discuss the juggle,  flexible working options and making positive changes.

There’s some serious inspiration in this interview. I LOVE Sophie’s thoughts on confidence and our identity before and after we have children, particularly her idea that becoming a mum gives us the chance to understand who we really are and what really matters to us. Enjoy!


Who are you? What’s your story?

I’m a practical dreamer and I think my favourite quote illustrates this quite well. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. I tend to see the best in people and love socialising. I believe we all have some beautiful natural talents – our “sens de vie” as we say in French – things we do without even realising that make us unique. We just need to allow ourselves to let those talents shine and use them in our lives, whatever they are and whatever social norms say.

Inspiring others to truly be who they are deep down is what makes me feel alive. I’m a wife, mum and an entrepreneur. I enjoy life.

I am French. I studied in France and in the UK, lived and worked in Spain and in the UK and love travelling the world, meeting amazing people, discovering new cultures and new ways of doing things. I’m curious and love being surrounded by happy people, people who inspire me and people who I can inspire in return. Definitely a glass half full person!

I’ve spent the last 10 years working for a global organisation in the UK (I never worked in France in reality!). I started in a call centre in Barcelona as an agent taking reservations, moved to the HQ in the UK, working in a variety of roles across the commercial function – from sales, partnership, brand & online marketing, commercial lead for the franchise markets across the world, led strategic projects for the board and headed the international loyalty programme. I loved what I was doing and the impact I could have on the international teams and customers.

In 2012, I felt pregnant for the first time and loved it. I felt totally alive. I was ‘smashing it’ at work, enjoyed feeling those little movements in my tummy; I just couldn’t wait to meet my little one. I so enjoyed my year ‘off’ on maternity leave and my return to work was hard but fairly smooth the first time around. I managed to get a new job within the company I worked for, a new position, got promoted and felt pregnant pretty quickly again. The second pregnancy was as magical but my mindset at work was very different. I wanted something different but also knew that flexibility was key so I stuck with a job I wasn’t enjoying that much in the end. There was nothing wrong with it; it was just time for a change for me.

I now have two daughters, aged 5 and 3 and I love being a mummy, even though I felt very lost for a few years… trying to work out who I wanted to be at work and how I could manage to still pursue my career and spend the time I wanted to with the girls.

In January 2017, I co-founded some science classes for little ones ( as Hannah (my co-founder) and I had experienced first-hand with our children how curious and inquisitive they were and we wanted to nurture that and pass that love of science to kids from an early age.

Now, my latest project is an online event for mums looking to regain confidence in themselves and use it to find flexible work they love – The Mindset Shift Summit. It’s a 4-day event starting on 30th January, all done online to make sure our busy mummy schedules don’t stop us joining the amazing 30+ experts inspiring us. I am SO excited about it. I’ve already met so many amazing people through organising it and can’t wait to meet, inspire and help all the mums that will join this event to kick-start their journey.

If someone else was to sum you up in five words, what do you think those words would be?

Smiling, inspiring person who loves change (that’s 6 words!!! Oops!)

How do you feel about yourself now compared to before you became a mum?

That’s a very interesting question. I’m amazed at what we are able to do as human beings. We can create life and give birth to these amazing little ones. I feel happier in the sense that I always wanted to have kids and I love the innocence that kids have. They are curious, keen to discover the world, determined, smiling… I wouldn’t change anything in the world. On another hand, I feel very confused with who I am. I felt like I was two people for so long. The mummy at home and the professional me, who I used to love so much. I couldn’t get the two to be in harmony.

Writing that makes me smile and realise something… I was already two people before having kids. My husband used to laugh that there was the ‘Sophie at work’, super organised, structured, driven, making decisions super quickly and the ‘Sophie at home’, totally laid back, who hates planning and organising things, loves spontaneity and going with the flow.

Which makes me wonder why I felt so unsettled and unsure of myself post-kids?! One to reflect on for sure.

In short, after an uncomfortable and unsettling time trying to redefine who I was, I have now realised I am the same person, just with slightly different interests and purpose in life and that makes me happier as a starting point.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

Go with the flow. There is no right or wrong path, just a direction you take at some point. There is not a ‘you’ before and after kids, the ‘you’ deep down inside you is the same and pregnancy only gives you a chance to really understand who you are – a great trigger point where you can do what you want, not what others are expecting from you.

I would also not stop myself looking for another job because I was starting to think about having kids and I would change job if I wasn’t happy anymore. The only barriers are my mental ones… everything can be done if you put your mind to it.

Don’t be afraid to tell your story, even if it’s different. It’s yours and that’s what makes you unique and beautiful.

What does confidence mean to you?

Confidence is a very abstract concept. It’s something that can come and go in a second. Which somehow is wonderful as once you understand what drives you, and what makes it leave, you can influence it quickly and become more confident again. It’s that intangible thing which makes the difference between feeling scared and feeling powerful. Confidence is a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

What advice would you give to someone who doubts herself?

Don’t think too much (easier said than done I know!!!), get inspired, make a plan and take actions. The little wins you will get from that will make you feel so much more worth it and rebuild that confidence without you even realising it.

Be curious. Confidence is a very personal thing and what will resonate with you might be very different to what resonates with me or someone else. After all, it all comes from your life and what’s in it, is simply yours!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life so far?

That change is the only constant. Physically, we constantly change as we go through life. We live in a world where technology makes things go even faster, we travel, we discover new things. Change is good and can be a beautiful thing if we look at it with the right lens and the right mindset. With hindsight, I would say the biggest changes in my life are the ones that led to the biggest opportunities and great fun – and change doesn’t have to be bad.

And finally, where is your happy place?

Home – not just in the UK but in France. More specifically, my grandparents’ house. I grew up there. It’s where we all meet up now that we live in different places. I feel safe and relaxed there. It’s a beautiful place in the south of France.

I also have my own little escape place, which has changed depending on where I live. One constant is that it is always near water. At the seafront, looking at the sea whatever the season and now by a little lake near where I live. I love going there. The water is always beautiful and relaxing and it helps me to “pause”, recharge my batteries or empty the negative thoughts in my head and leave them there.

You can find out more about the incredible Mindset Shift Summit and sign up for your free ticket here:



Facebook Comments

News & Fashion

Once upon a time, I’d have a daily hot date with the vending machine on the second floor. The Twirl and the Twix were my nemeses. I held a genuine belief that in some significant way they helped me get through the afternoons at work. I’d read yet another idealistic

We’re Ursula and Tim Tavender. AKA Mummy and Daddy to a truly beautiful little soul – Xavier, our two year old boy. Parenthood so far has been full of extremes. Extreme joy, love and pride…and also extreme life adjustment, guilt and worry. Becoming a parent has been – without question

For many of us, our only hope of getting some time to ourselves to exercise is in the evenings when the bedtime battle has been won. By this time of day though, you’ve probably already put in a 12 hour day (or 14 hours if you live with the 5am


Sample Home 3