Who am I (work edition)?

Mental Health and Wellbeing's Laura Ward reflects on the experience of taking up her current role in IHW, finding a way to be herself, and enjoying the moments

Photo of Laura Ward 467x467Transitioning to my current role was challenging; I was 15 months on from becoming a first-time mum, seven months on from my PhD viva and handing over my toddler to a nursery for the very first time.

I had no idea how to navigate this journey and juggle my then wavering mental and physical health. How would I define myself in this new role? Luckily, my boss and the team were incredibly welcoming and friendly. I was (and am) in a safe environment where I have felt able to be myself and open up. This makes a huge impact, it seems this empowering of staff stems from management and, considering the IHW has an Athena Swan Gold Award, perhaps this is a reflection of the great work done by the great individuals here.

Working from home blurs many lines, some of which are good – most people have enjoyed the light relief as zoom meetings are interrupted by an adorable pet. Laughter is good for us, connecting us in moments together, perhaps this is why my mum (a celebrant) uses light jokes during personalised funeral services to break the tension and emotion!

I think that when we inject ourselves into our work and open up, we can learn more from each other

Our environments often dictate our behaviour, but I believe it’s important to enjoy the moments – big and small (now more than ever!). I think that when we inject ourselves into our work and open up, we can learn more from each other. Who am I? Well I’m no mummy-blogger, as this reflective blog may reveal, but I am Laura a postdoc researcher, I have my own voice and try to be kind as often as possible, as I try my hardest to teach my two children why they can’t eat their dropped food off the floor of the play park during a global pandemic.

Laura Ward 
Mental Health and Wellbeing

Laura Ward is a research assistant in the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.  

First published: 14 March 2018