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Feeling seen heard and understood as a working parent

By Louise Scodie

As a working parent (my daughter is nearly four), I jumped at the chance to have a conversation with Sharon Charlton-Thomson, executive coach for working parents and herself a mum of two adopted children. 

Sharon is also an ex-adlander and psychotherapist. She’s grounded in the realities of raising children while also working and building a career. That brings its pressures at the best of times, but during the pandemic many working parents were pushed past the brink. 

That’s why we wanted to have this talk as safe space, where we’d talk honestly about what parents have been through over the past year, and how we might think about recuperating. We were both very clear that we wanted to avoid the kind of top tips you might see in a magazine article, which are often unhelpful. What we aimed for instead was a truthful and empathetic conversationI’m so pleased to say that that is what you can expect when you watch this:

Reflecting on my conversation with Sharon, I can feel again the sense of being supported and heard and that’s something that many of our live audience members said too. Non-working parents in the audience said that they also took away guidance for themselves as well as a greater understanding of how to support working parents in their teams. 

Here are just a few of my personal takeaways from the talk: 

  • Top tips are rubbish. There is no  magic wand, one-size-fits all solution to supporting yourself as a working parent.
  • Working parents were asked to do the impossible during the pandemic. You cannot work and home-school a child at the same time. If you had a hard time trying to do this, it’s because it’s not achievable.
  • Your inner critic can show up in many ways. Get to know it so that you can manage it.
  • Asking for support means having courageous conversations. And once you dial up the courage for that first conversation, who knows where else you’ll be able to take this to get the support you need?
  • As we emerge from lockdown, we need to listen to each other to support each other. The trauma we’ve faced may have effects for a long time to come.

And my favourite:

  • Boundaries are no good if you don’t communicate them.

Enjoy the talk; I hope you find it to be illuminating and nourishing.

NABS offer a range of support to working parents in the advertising industry – we believe that being brilliant at work and at home shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.  Watch our Little Voices film, share it with your teams and take a look at the Working Parents Portal on our website to access our array of advice, information, coaching and support.

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