Laura Collins

What industry do you work in: Tertiary education

How many children do you have: 1

How would you best describe yourself?

I’m an extroverted introvert. I am a bit of a perfectionist and a worrywart but I also consider myself to be kind, thoughtful, and giving by nature.

How has becoming a parent changed your perception of work and career and what surprised you the most?

It has made me realise that having it all may not necessarily make you happy. I’ve had to sacrifice my career progression since becoming a mum but rather than resent this fact, I’m grateful to be able to enjoy work-life balance. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed working again when I returned from maternity leave. I was dreading going back after being in my bubble for 12 months but it has been so rewarding.

What advice would you give your younger self about starting a family?

Nothing can prepare you for the huge life change it will bring, but rather than trying to have everything perfectly set up and organised, just go with the flow and enjoy the journey.

What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood to date? How have you overcome this?

Breastfeeding! I struggled to establish a good supply in those early weeks but with amazing and non-judgmental professional support, as well as the support of my husband and family, I was able to persevere with it and ended up breastfeeding for 12 months. I firmly believe in “fed is best” and not to put too much pressure on new mothers to breastfeed. If you can great if you can’t or don’t want to then that is also perfectly ok.

What are your strategies to manage the juggle of career and family?

Communication with my husband is key. We let each other know our schedules well in advance so we can plan to care for our toddler around our work demands. We also share the load with the housework and don’t sweat the small stuff. If the toy room looks like a tip by Friday it’s okay!

What do you do for self-care?

Admittedly I need to do more self-care. Reading a good book, doing online crosswords and Zoom catch-ups with the girls are my tonics.