How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives

  • Sep 22nd 2023
  • Est. 6 minutes read
Helena and Darren: Partners in Life and Success
Helena and Darren: Partners in Life and Success

Annie Dillard’s quote is a powerful reminder that our daily activities shape our life experience. Most of us will spend an average of 90,000 hours working over a lifetime. Needless to say, our work experience forms a significant part of who we are. So, when we take a break from our employment, it can feel unexpectedly disorienting.

Greetings, everyone! I’m Helena Georgiou, Co-Founder and a Director at MentalHealth.com. Allow me to introduce myself: I am of Greek Cypriot descent, raised in London, and currently reside in Cornwall. Approximately a year ago, I welcomed my first child into the world, a beautiful girl named Lanah. When I first learned of my pregnancy, I experienced a mix of emotions, ranging from gratitude and happiness to feelings of apprehension about what the future held in store for me. This emotional rollercoaster is something many expectant mothers undergo during this transformative period.

Frequently, I found myself contemplating one central theme: work.

With thoughts swirling in my head about ‘work’ and how I would approach my job in the years ahead as a mother, it’s worth mentioning the incredible support I received from the team at MentalHealth.com. During my pregnancy, I was encouraged to take the time I needed away from work to focus on the confusing, yet amazing, transition to motherhood. However, despite the support from my team, my time away brought its own set of difficulties and unsettling emotions including anxiety, fear and sadness.

I grappled with a profound sense of losing a significant part of my identity, and I harbored concerns about being forgotten or replaced in my professional role.

Mental health problems are difficult experiences that make it harder for us to get on with our lives and include the painful feelings and thoughts that we can all have at times – including periods of sadness, hopelessness and fear. So in this sense, I definitely felt like my mental health was affected greatly. I remember completing my final conference call before my break from work and thinking “what now?” It marked a pivotal moment in my journey navigating the complexities of balancing motherhood with my professional life.

MentalHealth.com Team Photo 2024
MentalHealth.com Team Photo: Ben Wittams-Smith, Sean McPhee, Dan Rivette, Julia Goodman, Panki Sood, Kevin Berk, Marisa Crane, Pamela de Orantes, Angelo Llumba, Brian Trisler, Claire Beutel, Jesse Hanson, Chris Kihneman, Stacey Bartlett, Claire Bennett, Helena Georgiou, Fred Joyal, Davis Brown, Ottoline Hart, Patrick Nagle, James Wittams-Smith, Gary Saint-Denis, Jenni Jacobsen, Colby Braun, Ryan Hampton, Ross Mckenzie, Simone Paget, Brandon Mimms, Joseph Antoniatio, Sandip Singh, Jeff Smith, Jill Sensenig, James Fannon, Rychel Johnson, Brittany Ferri, Andrew O’Connor

The transition to parenthood is undeniably magical, but it also comes with its fair share of exhaustion. Amidst the sleepless nights, messy diapers, weaning, and persistent brain fog, the idea of reentering the workforce can be a daunting one. However, by taking diligent steps to prepare for my return, I once again felt empowered and genuinely excited.

As mentioned, I am remarkably fortunate to have a wonderful supportive team at MentalHealth.com that not only embraced my new situation but also ensured I was aware of their availability, support and care. They even took it upon themselves to send me a sincere heartfelt congratulations gift from across the globe. While I am eternally grateful to be in such a fortunate position, unfortunately not everyone has the same experience.

Motivated by my experience, I would like to seize this moment to share some personal recommendations based on my firsthand experience. If you happen to be in a similar situation, where the responsibilities of parenthood and work need to be balanced and understood, these suggestions may prove to be valuable.

Be open, honest and transparent

Have a candid conversation with your manager and team to define what workload you are able to commit to. Discuss what you need and want for your new work/life balance and communicate it openly. Hear the requirements and needs of your team and define a plan which works for everyone.

Prepare for the unexpected

Even after you get back to work full-time, you may need flexibility if your child gets sick or your childcare arrangements fall through. Create a back up plan for emergencies and talk it through with your team.

Practice self-love

It is okay to be a mum, and also want to do well at work. Do not feel guilty for wanting to do your best and give your all at your job, but also be there for your child. You CAN do both. Since returning to work, my team and I successfully navigated a business exit from our previous project, acquired the highly coveted MentalHealth.com domain name, and achieved our first major milestone with the launch of the MentalHealth.com BETA website!

Lean on your loved ones

There are new mums in a variety of situations; working mums, unemployed mums and single mums. Whatever your situation, if you have family, friends or a partner available to you; lean on them. To quote one of our Co-Founders, Patrick Nagle, who asked, “What is the most needed thing in the world right now?” He responded, “The answer is community”. This is especially true for new mothers.

Helena Proudly Showcasing Her Pushchair Gift from the MentalHealth.com Team

New mothers need community, compassion and support – wherever they may be on their parenthood journey.

For this reason, I was delighted to discover and learn about the impactful mission and work carried out by the Maryland Chapter of The TEARS Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to bereaved families in need of final arrangements for their babies and offers ongoing support to help them rebuild their lives. Millions of people experience miscarriage every year, and early pregnancy loss is a profoundly shocking and traumatic event that often leads to an intense period of emotional distress. With this context in mind, I recently introduced the organization to the MentalHealth.com team, and we unanimously agreed to pledge a portion of our revenue to support their meaningful activities.

Finally, I’d like to share that, as a Co-Founder of MentalHealth.com, I am honored to be part of the team and proud to contribute to our important mission, which involves educating, supporting, and empowering people in their pursuit of well-being – whether parents or not.

We’re just getting started – let’s do this! 🚀

 a baby with a white hat
Adorable Lanah: The Heartwarming Mascot of MentalHealth.com
About MentalHealth.com

MentalHealth.com is a health technology company guiding people towards self-understanding and connection. The platform offers reliable resources, accessible services, and nurturing communities. Its mission involves educating, supporting, and empowering people in their pursuit of well-being.

Helena Georgiou
Author Helena Georgiou Co-Founder, Director

Helena Georgiou is a distinguished project manager with a proven track record of successfully implementing large-scale operations and driving tangible growth.

Published: Sep 22nd 2023, Last edited: Mar 24th 2024