Whether you are a mother yourself, contemplating the possibility of one day becoming one, or a friend to someone who is a Mum, chances are this won't be news to you: Motherhood is hard.

Sure, it's beautiful, magical and all those other great things too. But it’s really hard. Since my first day on the job in my brand-new role as ‘Mum’ (a little over a year ago now), I've often been struck by the parallels to the professional world I left behind. As I near the end of maternity leave and soon commence the struggle juggle of wearing two hats, I wanted to share five principles I pinched from my professional tool-kit that held me in good stead to survive that first gruelling year (and occasionally even thrive!).

1. Work smarter, not harder. Unfortunately, when it comes to both work and motherhood, maximum effort does not always equal the best results.

Time and energy are scarce commodities during those early days (okay, years) as parents, so be sure to invest your time and energy wisely. Not everything will be possible to achieve in a day, so prioritising what matters most is a must – and learning to let go of the rest