Back to school, back to work!

Holly with her daughter Lola as a new born
Image from Adam Slama
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 16 September 2019

It's been a busy few weeks for our family as my maternity leave draws to a close and as Etta and Artie started 'big school'. While I’m excited to return to the office, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous.

Holly Bransons baby Lola
Image from Adam Slama

When I returned from maternity leave after having Etta and Artie, I became quite anxious. I had been out of the office environment for a while, I was constantly sleep deprived and my confidence really suffered. It wasn’t until I opened up about what I was going through, and realised I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, that I began to feel better.

As a new mum, you often feel an unrealistic expectation to achieve it all – to be the perfect parent, a confident woman at work and an attentive partner! But becoming a parent for the first time is chaotic and humbling to say the least. In hindsight, it’s all part of the wonderful experience!

Holly Branson with her children, Etta and Artie, looking out of a window from a high rise building
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I love this quote from Dr. Benjamin Spock’s famous baby book:

“You want to be the best parent you can be, but it is not always clear what is best. Everywhere you look there are experts telling you what to do. The problem is, they don’t often agree with each other. The world is different from how it was twenty years ago, and the old answers may not work anymore.”

In a nutshell, trust your instincts and base your decisions on what will make you and your family happy. We all have moments where we doubt that we are ‘enough’ but it's important to remember that no one is ever perfect. Returning to work three years ago after I had Etta and Artie was definitely a trigger for me. 

Holly Branson with Freddie Andrewes and their children Etta, Artie and Lola
Image from Adam Slama

After having Lola, I took a really different approach to returning to work. I’ve tried to take time out for myself and made a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends and colleagues – even if it was for a quick coffee and catch up.

Holly Branson sits speaking to female founders, She wears a dark blue dress with her blonde hair over her shoulders
David Watts

I come from a very active family, but with three kids my routine has fallen by the wayside so I’m also making a concerted effort to get fit again! I recently read a beautiful post on Instagram from Michelle Obama that said:

“In order for me to be at my best for others around me, I needed to find some time for myself. That’s easier said than done, and it can feel impossible when our kids, jobs, and lives rely on us for so much. But it couldn’t be more important for our wellbeing.”

I couldn’t agree with Michelle more and I've realised how crucial being active is for my mental health and wellbeing.

Holly taking a selfie during the Virgin Active club crawl
Image by Virgin Active

How do you prioritise your wellbeing and strike a healthy work-life-home balance? I’d love to hear your stories.