Sarah Purvey

Children: 2

Industry: Psychology

How would you best describe yourself?

Curious and passionately interested in learning about why others think, feel and behave the way they do (including myself). My work as a psychologist is part of my identity and connects very well into my life as a parent and partner. I love being a parent and am deeply invested in personal growth, as a Mum, partner, and for myself. I like to have fun with my family and friends, exercise, and be outdoors as much as I can, but can take life too seriously sometimes, with work overflowing into family life, if I don't watch it.

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

It's surprising how much I need to work to feel whole as a parent. And how much more career focussed I have become, as a result of being a parent. However, it is very important to me to create an environment for work that is flexible and enjoyable. Also, I feel much more confident and empowered at work, due to being a parent. I feel that being a Mum is a superpower – if you can do parenthood, then well, you can do anything! So, I take more risks than I used to, career-wise and am very motivated to continue expanding my business, in a way that doesn't interfere with my family time.

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

Trust yourself and your child. Tune out to advice that doesn’t feel right for you and your child. Be open to learning about yourself and don’t stop doing the things you love (even though you might need to be more flexible with them!)

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

Sleep deprivation - 2 years of waking 4-6 times a night. My eldest was quite a good sleeper, then our second one came along and 4 years later, she generally sleeps through the night. Sleep deprivation (while running a business) has affected my health, put pressure on my marriage, and made me see parts of my personality, which I never knew existed. However, this challenge has also given me a huge capacity for personal growth, improving my relationship, and becoming a much more patient parent. This challenge has put me in a good position to support other struggling mothers and to help parents see that they can work through challenges and come out on the other side.

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

Reaching out for support from friends, when I feel overwhelmed. Therapy and business mentoring, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the juggle. Setting myself weekly self-care goals that are non-negotiable, in order to connect properly with my family and also being more organised. If I don’t’ forget myself, then I am a better parent and I feel less overwhelmed at work and with my family.

What do you do for self-care?

Walks on the beach a couple of times a week, usually daily meditation (even if it’s 3 minutes), x2 Barre classes a week, catch-ups with friends, and prioritising date nights. Exercise is non-negotiable. And learning to say no to things I don’t want to do!