Baby-Free Bants

Mentor Mums
2 min readSep 27, 2022

Decide who you want your work persona to be and direct office chit-chat accordingly.

Group of women drinking in a bar

‘It’s just like that episode of Hey Duggee where the squirrels break Duggee’s glasses…’

No, it really isn’t. Unless you are lucky enough to work in kids’ TV or publishing, or another niche creative role, it’s unlikely that the best workplace analogy you can find for the topic of your meeting is Hey Duggee. Believe me, I’ve tried and tested that one.

I found going back to work, that people asked me about my child all the time. What he was like, what he liked doing, whether he slept through the night etc. It never occurred to me that they were just being polite, that they were building rapport by tapping into what I was passionate about. Don’t get me wrong — if they had never asked I’d have been offended. BUT because they did, I spent a lot of time profiling myself as a mother, rather than as a friend, reader, partner, daughter, or micro-adventure enthusiast. More importantly, I spent a lot less time discussing societal issues that were relevant to my day job. Which meant I demonstrated a lot less peripheral knowledge than I actually had to volunteer.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s cathartic to be able to recite all the kids’ TV theme tunes you know with a colleague because you’ve had to sit through them so many times they haunt your dreams. Or to compete over how few hours’ sleep you got.

But it’s worth paying attention to your personal brand. Your energy and focus will have changed since you became a parent. Many people’s last memory of you will be waddling around the building as an exhausted, heavily pregnant woman. Now is your time to rock out the (office appropriate) adult chat, to make time for occasional work drinks if you’re able, and to hold your own in the boardroom, sometimes leaving your parenting identity at the door.

Post written by Annie Abelman, Charity Communications Consultant & Founder of Mentor Mums. Follow @annieabelman

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