• Simone Penn

Changing the Narrative Changes Everything.

This is a guest post from a woman I’ve known for many years. She wishes to remain anonymous but has a powerful message we can all benefit from hearing. Today.


In an age where people share freely; I am still getting used to the idea of exposing my most inner thoughts. There is something truly beautiful about reading a person's first hand experiences and making them your own, however it feels a little too vulnerable to have those experiences shared, be mine.

Brené Brown would undoubtedly say: “lean into the vulnerability, as when you own it you find strength", however I’m not there yet and thus hiding behind someone else much braver than I.

In fact, ‘Why even share this?’ I hear you asking? Because, changing the narrative changes everything...

I was lucky enough to be on maternity leave during this pandemic which allowed me to stay home, stay safe, and stay with my baby and 3yr old. I have played, created, and bonded with my kids more than I ever thought possible.

There have been hard days and really hard days and great days and okay days; but they have all been mine.

Lately I have had this dread of going back to work, not wanting to be away from my kids, not wanting to give my time to someone else, worried that with my daughter not back at school she will regress emotionally (without her ever ready playmate). I’ve found myself wishing I didn't have to work and wishing we had more money.

But then, today, I changed the narrative and remembered how much I am grateful for.

It’s easy to forget gratitude when the feelings of dread are so high, I have been feeling that I should have done more of “this” with my time; or, I'm going to miss “that”. I'm also still so tired. The list goes on...

But with gratitude in mind here is my list:

I am grateful to have a job.

I am grateful to have a job where I am respected.

I am grateful to work with people I like (I know this is not the case for everyone).

I am grateful my job allows me to contribute to my family, and give us the oppertunity to live in a safe area, in a nice home.

I am grateful that my daughter will notice my absence. It shows we are connected.

I am grateful my job will be from home; keeping me safe.

I am grateful I will still be at home to see my kids (this is a hard one for me as I am nervous about the balance but coffee break cuddles sound like fun).

I am grateful my husband supports me emotionally and engages with our children.


I am grateful to have full time help, from a person my kids love, a person who loves them equally in return, and a person that I trust completely.

I am grateful...

Changing the narrative does not negate the loss or fear that starting work again brings, it just brings balance to my paradigm. The gratitude list is also longer, and more powerful, than the loss list and for that, too, am I grateful!

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