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Returning to work as a new parent can be hard – Let’s talk about it

Meet our new Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Amy Holt. Here’s a woman who has overcome one hurdle after the next, and has only become stronger for it. Having experienced initial anxiety when returning to work as a new mum, Amy says she’s found her niche at Feros Care. She also says that for the first time in a long time, she’s truly thriving. Amy shares her advice for new parents facing separation anxiety when returning to work.

As we get started, Amy reminds us that we may need to repeat a question sometimes. “I have a cochlear implant in my right ear. I was born deaf… but there are advantages to that. I don’t hear my husband snoring!” Amy sits back, ready to share her story and how she came to join us, at Feros Care. 

Growing up, Amy’s deafness was never something she allowed to hold her back. “Being deaf is just part of who I am. As a kid, I was embarrassed about it, but I got on with things. I loved training my horses and had a passion for animals. I dreamed of becoming a veterinary nurse.”

Yet a sickness in her early twenties saw her career aspirations take a blow. “I became very sick with glandular fever. I struggled to get out of bed, and I fell into a spiral of anxiety and depression. It was like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, I met my husband, who became my biggest support and gave me stability again.”

Finding her feet, Amy decided to become a support worker in aged care, before moving into disability as a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) with another organisation. While on maternity leave in 2019, she learned her office was closing its doors. “At that time, I noticed a similar position open at Feros Care. It seemed Feros Care had a lot more room for growth, and I connected with their values. I could also see that Feros Care is passionate about employee wellbeing, which is so important to me.”

Returning from maternity leave this year, Amy has been with us as a LAC for three months, based in Canberra. She considers herself an ‘information gatherer,’ pulling together key documentation for NDIS participants to access key services. “It’s incredibly rewarding. We can see people’s lives change over time because of the services we’ve connected them to.”

A teething period

As many parents know, returning to work after having a baby is no small feat. “It’s been a transition for my family. Feros Care has been incredibly supportive all the way. Family is a real priority here.”

Woman with baby in paddock with cows
Amy first experienced this emphasis on family at Feros Care during her interview; she wasn’t able to organise a babysitter on the day, so her five-month-old daughter tagged along. “When I left the interview, I thought that would be a mark against my name – you don’t take a kid to an interview! But they said I presented really well, and they offered me the position. Feros Care embraces me in a holistic sense. Now I joke and say to people that my five-month old got me my job!”

When she first joined the team, Amy shared with us the anxiety she felt when dropping her daughter off at daycare to come to work. “I felt immensely guilty for leaving her, but Feros Care understood. During my two weeks training in Coolangatta, Feros Care allowed my husband and daughter to join me and covered their accommodation. I don’t hear of many organisations that are understanding and flexible like that. This was a huge thing for me. I just thought, ‘Wow. Thank you for valuing me and accepting my anxiety challenges.’”

Amy says it’s the first time in years that she’s truly thriving. “I’ve found my niche and my team. Everyone is so supportive. We joke around but we work hard, and we’re there for each other. What really strikes me though, is the inclusivity. I feel supported as a new mum. My mental health is great – I’m happy, healthy and I go home stress-free. It’s nice to be treated as a person, not a number.”

Amy offers three tips for parents returning to work

  1. Be open

    Your employer and your family can’t help you if they don’t know what you’re going through! Take a moment to think about what will help you, and let others know where you’re struggling.”

  2. Believe in yourself

    “There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Things get better with time – just back yourself and know you can do it.”

  3. Be courageous

    Parenthood is a new challenge; and you can conquer it. I was terrified but I stepped up to the plate. Do your best to have work-life balance and approach every day with a positive outlook.”

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