Working for a professional not-for-profit law firm whilst completing her Master's in Law, on the surface, it seemed like the 39-year-old mother of three, Sarah, didn't need the support of our ParentsNext Program.
Sarah was sceptical about kind of support we could provide her when she first contacted our Marion office, however, her feelings towards Asuria warmed after a phone call with our ParentsNext Program Manager, Mara.
Mara started the call by asking Sarah, 'How can I support your learning and work?'.
Although a simple question, Sarah says that phone call changed her life.
"It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. People always tell you what they are going to do for you, without knowing what you need. But here was someone really interested in making my dreams of studying and building my professional career possible."
Returning to work after having children, Sarah lost some of her confidence in the workplace as she felt like she'd fallen behind, as skills and systems had changed. It’s not uncommon for parents to experience situations like this after a career break, and Sarah's self-doubt began to affect her concentration and how she interacted with her colleagues.
As many mothers do, she also found it challenging to balance the competing priorities in her life. Thankfully, Mara was familiar with these kinds of pressures often experienced by new parents.
Once a single mum herself, Mara juggled raising three daughters with getting her degree, and working. Having been in a similar situation, Mara knew there would be no quick fix for restoring Sarah's sense of identity.
The pair frequently discussed their experiences as mothers, and hearing that Mara was able to reach her study and employment goals while raising a family, gave Sarah some much-needed inspiration.
Mara worked on helping Sarah rediscover her spark, which included organising a new and on-trend work wardrobe for Sarah and setting her up with a new laptop to assist with her studies.
"I felt dull until the first day that I wore one of the clothes that I purchased with the support of Asuria. I was motivated to just wake up and go to work, and I felt good, like I had woken up from 100 years of depression."
While new clothes and accessories were a great start, Mara wanted Sarah to also trust in her skills and abilities, as addressing her appearance would only be a short-term solution.
Mara challenged Sarah to focus on being a role model for her kids, and in asking Sarah to imagine the type of mother she wanted to be, it became her driving force in improving her mental health.
"The continued support from Mara and my case manager has been essential to my growth, hope and confidence."
Sarah's self-esteem and resilience have only continued to grow since joining Asuria, with her newfound confidence also manifesting in her personal life.
"Asuria's support and the program has the great ability to transform parents' lives. I'm happier at home, and my kids are happy, and I definitely have a great outlook on every day."
At Asuria, we're so proud of Sarah for rediscovering the unique qualities and skills that make her such a fantastic worker and mother. Seeing her blossom has been truly inspiring, and we can't wait to see where the future takes her.
If you'd like to learn more about how ParentsNext could help you, click here.