From first finding out she was pregnant with twins to managing the transition back into playing AFLW, Daisy shares what she’s learned and her tips for returning to work after babies.
One of the things that impressed us most about our brand ambassador Daisy Pearce is her ability to be so many things; mum, midwife, AFLW player, commentator and more. But chatting with this multi-talented lady it’s immediately clear that for Daisy and her family, balance is an ever-evolving work in progress.
Having recently returned to AFLW after a year off with the birth of her twins Sylvie and Roy in February last year, Daisy shares how she navigated pregnancy and taking time off work with her various roles, her biggest learnings from returning to work and her advice for other women wondering how to manage these complicated emotions.
What were some of your initial concerns in navigating time off work and how has the experience been in reality?
Daisy: My initial thoughts were (maybe unsurprisingly) all around football; how would the news be received by my coaches and teammates when I had signed up and been accounted for in all their planning? I also wondered how I’d feel physically and emotionally returning to work after having a baby and whether I’d get back to where I was before getting pregnant.
My work in football commentary was also tricky. Because there are so few female commentators in AFL, there was no clear process for pregnancy and returning to work. While the experience ended up being really positive, I learned to identify what I needed and ask for those things.
A big barrier is within yourself. People are generally understanding and flexible, but you often don’t want to ask for special treatment because you’re trying to prove to yourself you can just carry on as normal. A big lesson for me was to let go and understand most people aren’t going to look at you poorly for asking, whatever it is.
What preparation went into your return to AFLW and your other work?
Daisy: A huge amount! I set my goal of returning to AFLW before the babies were born, which was motivating in those first weeks when it can be a challenge to go outside and exercise.
I started ramping up slowly with specialists and targeted women’s health therapists to build a strong foundation before AFLW training started in November. Because AFLW hasn’t been around for very long there weren’t many cases of people returning to work after having a baby, so I was also constantly in touch with the club to work together on a pathway for best navigating this time.
I haven’t returned to midwifery yet, but I started commentating again a few months after the twins were born, which was really daunting because while I’d kept watching footy, there’s a big difference between studying it for work and watching it with newborns! I had to let go of my ego and not be so hard on myself.
What does your daily schedule look like now you’re back playing AFLW?
Daisy: Every day is different, but while AFLW is on everything shifts in and around that. We train for footy three times a week and then play a weekend game.
The rest of my work is quite flexible, as it’s generally related to my commentary, speaking engagements or partnerships work. My partner, Ben, has just gone back to work as a firefighter but his roster varies so I can plan things in and around that – generally, the only given is my ‘weekend’ will fall sometime in the week.
Any advice for new or expecting mothers who are coping with returning to work after baby?
Daisy: Being a mum has forced me to be more efficient and not overthink things. In the last few months, I’ve realised how much useless energy I used to spend ruminating over footy, whereas now I’m so consumed by the babies I don’t spend that energy thinking about it.
I’ve also learned to be more realistic with my time. I originally thought I’d get heaps done at home with the babies but instead, I now carve out time and space to do what I need outside of being home rather than trying to do both at once. Trying to be really mentally in and out of ‘work mode’ means I get better quality work done when I’m working, and I’m more present at home.
Daisy Pearce is our tooshies by TOM brand ambassador.
There’s so much more to Daisy than being a star AFLW player and captain, have a read of our previous piece on
Daisy Pearce Joins the tooshies Family