real life

'Every day at work I felt unseen and unheard. Then something happened that changed everything.'

Every day, for nearly two decades, I stepped into the fast-paced world of corporate environments. 

From management roles to climbing the ladder of success, I was known as the girl committed to work, always putting the job and the companies I worked with first.

I achieved great success becoming a senior leader with roles as varied as heading a regional quality assurance team to the daily fresh operations industry that required me to be on call 24/7.

Typically, as I earned more, the desire for more consumed me.

Watch: Ask Mia Anything | Work-Life Balance. Story continues after video.

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Money and status became my measure of worth in my own head, propelling me forward while leaving other areas of my life lacking.

It was in early 2019 that a crisis at work pushed me to my breaking point. For three gruelling months, I worked endless hours, sacrificing my well-being. Sleep became elusive, and when it did come, I would jolt awake, heart racing, sweating profusely.

Panic consumed me, leaving me feeling out of control and disconnected from myself. It was the beginning of a journey that had shaped the path I’m on today.

My partner and I made a bold decision. We escaped the rat race, seeking solace on the Central Coast. It’s a sleepy town, and in complete contrast to the city life I had known my entire life. 


The sea breeze caresses our home, and it offers a tranquillity that’s not possible in urban sprawl. 

Despite the counterintuitive nature of the long commute, I followed my gut, trusting that we would figure it out later. And with every passing day, I fell more in love with the sense of nature that embraced us.

Then, in February 2020, as the world grappled with the pandemic, I received the news I had longed for. My dreams of becoming a mother were coming true. But COVID-19 had other plans. 

The restrictions meant I couldn't share the joy in person.

Instead, I found myself announcing the news over a Friday night Zoom session with my closest friends. It wasn't the grand announcement I had envisioned, but it was a moment of shared excitement, even through the digital screen.

My journey to motherhood also wasn't a smooth one. 

Hyperemesis, a condition causing severe nausea, plagued me throughout the pregnancy. Vomiting became a constant companion, and I carried a bucket everywhere I went. 

Business Zoom calls became a delicate balancing act, as I would have to quickly turn off the camera to tend to my bouts of sickness. It became a running joke at work and with my family, yet it was a stark reminder of the challenges I faced.

The pandemic just seemed to cruelly heighten the sense of disappointment, as work and my nausea piled on. My colleagues couldn't see my growing bump for over four months, and my partner missed out on attending crucial ultrasounds and obstetrician appointments. 


The baby shower became a small, intimate gathering with a limit of 10 people. It felt like one disappointment after another, but amidst it all, the anticipation of welcoming my little angel kept me going.

And in October 2020, at the age of 37, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. The moment I held her in my arms, everything changed. Matrescence, the journey into motherhood, forced me to reflect on my life, my decisions, and whether they aligned with my values.

Sometimes life kicks you in the butt, and it’s not until you are lying face down on the ground, in those moments of pause that feel like a lifetime, that you realise what has actually happened. 

Throughout almost two decades working in a landscape akin to the set of “The Hunger Games”, I had several moments where I found myself on the floor, questioning how I got there.

Sometimes other people knocked me over; other times, it was a crisis situation. 

Sometimes it was my previous people-pleasing traits that made me willing to do whatever it took to get the job done and exceed all expectations, which is the perfect formula for burnout.

Regardless of the cause, when I questioned what I was doing in those types of environments and workplace cultures, I did a pretty good job of making up excuses for people and situations so that I could swallow my decision to remain in the corporate world, earning a high income.

The corporate world, where I had spent countless years feeling unseen and unheard, had taken a toll on my mental health. Motherhood became a catalyst for change, a realisation that material possessions and career success didn't equate to happiness.


Kindness, compassion, and community emerged as the pillars of my newfound perspective. It’s with those new leanings and life-affirming realisations that I endeavoured to return to the corporate world post maternity leave in 2021, understanding for many reasons that it was the end of the road with that lifestyle. I wasn’t that person anymore, and some vital misgivings sharpened for me.

I had held onto the hope of finding better accommodations for working mothers like myself. 

However, there was no easing back gently; it was a plunge right back into the intensity. 

Through my exploration, unlike returning to work post-injury absence, I uncovered a glaring disparity in the support provided to parents and caregivers upon their return to the workplace.

My own experiences and struggles had opened my eyes, not only to my reality, but to the challenges faced by mothers everywhere. 

I made a commitment to support them, especially those who faced adversity and financial hardship. It was time to make a difference, to use my voice for myself and for other families across Australia.

Listen to No Filter with Mia Freedman, On this epiosde Virginia Tapscott describes herself as university-educated, career-oriented and ambitious. She also has four children under the age of six and she doesn’t want a career. Post continues below.

With this vision in mind, I established Mumma Life is Now, a business with a strong charitable arm. I am aspiring to create a social enterprise that will give back a significant portion of profits to empower and bring about positive change in the community.


Supporting mums and partnering with charities has become my mission, an embodiment of the new values I now live. 

I’ve also created Little Paws, Big Roars to help families embark on a transformative journey towards raising independent, resilient children who embody kindness, empathy, and inclusivity.

To help defy societal norms by offering invaluable programs, resources, and merchandise that support mental wellness, and nurture self-confidence.

Motherhood has transformed me. It has taught me to never underestimate the power of kindness, to value human connection, and to prioritise what truly matters. 

Through the struggles, disappointments, and challenges, I have discovered my strength and resilience. It’s been a testing and challenging journey of self-discovery, research and enlightenment, to a place where I now stand with a renewed purpose, ready to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others.

Every day I had felt unseen and unheard, but through motherhood and determination, I found my voice. It’s a voice that hopes to uplift, support, and advocate for all parents and carers, and importantly their families. 

The path may have been arduous, but the reward is immeasurable–a newfound understanding of what truly matters and the power of love, compassion, and community in shaping our lives.

Feature Image: Supplied

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