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I read (and listen) to a lot of amazing advice and research. It’s a tremendous source of learning and support on my journey. I was that little girl who would leave the library with a stack of books so high I could barely carry them.
I hope you enjoy my list of recent reads (or podcasts) that stood out. At some point I will make time to create a comprehensive list of favorites.
Do you have recommendations? Do tell! Leave a comment or send a note and let me know.
Updated February 10, 2019
Mental Load (aka Emotional Labor) Gender Equality and Work/Life Integration
- This NY Times piece beautifully links the lack of US caregiving infrastructure to Mom-guilt and stress on working parents. “The Real Mommy War is Against the State.”
- Wonderful piece from the NY Times about why so many Moms are surprised by the challenges of working motherhood. ‘The Costs of Motherhood Are Rising, And Catching Women Off Guard.’
- Spot on article from Slate’s Better Life Lab about why the wealth gap (versus the income gap) is what really holds women back from achieving financial equality: Building Women’s Wealth is Key to Economic Security.’
- From a Mom on the other side, reflecting on lessons learned from juggling work and life, now that her children are grown ups. Great read from Harvard Business Review, ‘What I Learned About Working Parenthood After My Kids Grew Up.’
- ‘The 10 Year Baby Window That is The Key to The Women’s Pay Gap.’ The title says it all really. Wonderfully written, thoroughly researched insight about where the pay gap for women gets wider.
- I enjoyed this mental load piece from Slate’s Better Life Lab by Jennifer Owens, ‘Women Are Overburdened With Their Families’ Mental Loads.’ This topic is huge and I’m actually in the midst of writing a deeper dive on getting your spouse to share the mental load.
- More from the talented Brigid Schulte, she wrote a compelling, provocative piece for Slate, ‘The Corporate Case for Child Care’ explaining how the crushing costs of quality care affect women’s participation in the workforce and that employers, as the primary beneficiary of childcare, should subsidize the costs.
- A few readers suggested I read ‘Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time’ by Brigid Schulte. There’s a lot about this book I loved — the mental load is referred to as “contaminated time” (nails it) and she surfaces the ‘why’s’ behind the myth of the “ideal worker” and “ideal mother”. It’s fascinating and complementary to the other books I’ve read focused on liberating Moms from chronic overload and stress. I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the author!
- ‘Women Aren’t Nags, We’re Just Fed Up’ great Harper’s Bazaar article describing the mental load’s impact (from the standpoint of gender inequality in a heterosexual marriage) by writer Gemma Hartley.
- On Daily Worth, written by Kelly Burch ‘What Can We Do About Women’s Invisible Labor?‘ great piece about how the mental load adds to women’s workloads.
- Ultimately, 5 Moms who took the mental load survey recommended this book, ‘Drop the Ball’ by Tiffany Dufu as a resource to improve working mom stress. I enjoyed the book so much, I wrote a review. I also recently interviewed Tiffany for sage advice about strategies to create immediate relief from overwhelm.
- The comic ‘You Should Have Asked’ I referenced that ‘shows’ the concept of the mental load (aka emotional labor,) why simply asking your partner for help is not sufficient, in a super-funny, spot on way.
- “To be truly free we need to free women’s minds…” Well stated in another thoughtful article shared by a friend about the gender gap, The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down.
- Do Women Really Talk More? Great summary from Deborah Tannen about her research into gender differences in speech and also that women are much more likely to be interrupted (by men) when speaking.
- This article, The Mental Load Is Burning Women Out nails it! I’ve been referring to this issue as ‘mental energy’ for years (see What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day)… it’s a big deal and encouraging that this is becoming part of the gender equity conversation.
- Why Women Should Stay In The Career Game, A quick read and particularly interesting perspective as it was written by the daughter of a billionaire from Daily Worth (useful site all about making finance accessible to women).
- A former colleague of mine, Jacalyn Lee, wrote a great article Can We Please Stop Praising Dad for the Things Moms Already Do? for Working Mother Magazine. Need I say more?
- I read (and loved) the book, Unfinished Business by Anne Marie Slaughter where she explains a large part of her career success is possible due to her husband stepping into the ‘lead’ parent role. Last month, a friend shared this Atlantic article “Why I Put My Wife’s Career First”, a wonderful read with her husband’s perspective about their partnership.
Perseverance and Success Mindset
- I loved ‘The Year of Yes’ by Shonda Rimes (of Shondaland fame.) It’s funny… laugh out LOUD funny! However, her sharp, thoughtful observations about motherhood, feminism, and ways to push yourself past self-limiting beliefs and the comfort zone, straight to ‘bad-@ssery’ are brilliant. Well worth the read. I may have to read it twice.
- I loved this Tim Ferris interview of Brandon Stanton, Photographer and Author of the Humans of New York series. It’s an inspiring listen about perseverance and following your intuition and passions.
- Brene Brown’s ‘Braving the Wilderness’ is a beautiful and quick read. All about her personal story of finding her voice, life’s passion and courage. Also, she explains through stories why ‘getting comfortable with the uncomfortable’ is essential to living authentically.
- I finished reading (Audible), GRIT The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. It’s a fascinating read on her research about what constitutes ‘grit’, which goes beyond persistence to lead to exceptional performance in work and in life. This was helpful as a way to think about my career and perhaps even more so, parenting strategies with my children. Worthy of your time. Enjoy watching her TED Talk if you’d like the quick summary.
- A great Podcast interview with Nancy Lubin, founder of Dress for Success, DoSomething.org and Crisis Text Line, about ‘grit’ and how she grew all of these amazing non profits despite the obstacles and lack of resources. You can view the summary and listen here, it’s from the Master’s of Scale podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman.
Productivity & Creativity
- More productivity, my favorite subject! My friend Linda shared this article, it’s a good list of observations from a 30 day time-tracking exercise, written by Dorie Clark for HBR.
- So…I’ve already admitted I’m a bit of a productivity junkie. I enjoyed this solid list of practical tips from Robert Pozen, MIT Lecturer, written by my friend Kara Baskin, How To Achieve Extreme Productivity.
- Tapping into my creativity is an act of self-care I committed to last year. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a life-changing book. Yes. Really. Now, it is focused on artistic creativity in it’s broadest sense (i.e. writing, painting, performance art) but it’s like a ’12-step program to getting unblocked creatively.’ It’s tone is spiritual and that may not resonate with everyone, however, I highly recommend this (even though I’m still working through the many exercises).
- My friend Emily recommended I check out Gretchen Rubin years ago and I finally got around to it! I took her quiz on the 4 tendencies — basically describing how you typically respond to expectations. I’m an Upholder… married to a Rebel. Contemplating this.
- I believe creativity is closely linked to productivity. This Atlantic article, How Motherhood Affects Creativity is well-written and thought provoking. It’s long but worth it!
- I enjoyed this article, another from First Round Capital’s blog, which is more focused on work productivity (something I seek to improve all of the time) “Our 6 Must Reads To Make Self-Care Your Competitive Advantage”. It looks at self-care broadly, being engaged and ‘in flow’ with tasks and work that you enjoy, bringing your ‘A-game’ to your projects by employing abundant thinking… a worthwhile read.
- Great article from First Round Capital’s blog, “Our 6 Must Reads For Scaling Yourself As a Leader.” Solid advice on organizing your calendar and time, recognizing your level of mental energy to optimize tasks and delegation versus the responsibilities you need to handle personally.
- A friend in Sydney shared this Business Insider post on LinkedIn…I Left My Corporate Job and These 8 Things Became Clear.. I read it and kept nodding my head and even laughed. The first one in effect says, ‘meetings and death will be the death of us all’… need I say more?
- I listen to the Productivityist podcast often and this week, Shawn Stevenson author of “Sleep Smarter” was interviewed and shared insights from his research on the biology associated with sleep and deeper sleep that were new to me. I just bought his book ‘Sleep Smarter’ on Audible, but haven’t listened to it yet, but getting better quality (and more) sleep is a priority of mine.
Leadership, Business & Strategy
- Fun read for fellow marketers or business owners, Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller, this is a great step-by-step guide about creating a concise, customer focused value proposition in your communications (think website, marketing material, etc.)
- Loved Tim Ferris’ podcast interview with Reid Hoffman on the ‘Top 10 Commandments for Start-Up Success’. Advice from ultra successful start up teams.
- A friend, Rachel Happe, crowdsourced an incredible list of books about leadership and strategy written by women. I’ve read many of the books on this list but there are at least 15 that are on my ‘wish list’ to tackle over the next few months. Inc. magazine published the full list.
- I ‘read’ The Transformational Consumer by Tara-Nicholle Nelson (ahem listened on Audible). Fun book for fellow marketing geeks or if you’re interested in consumer behavior and market research. It was an informative deep dive into customer journey mapping at the perfect time, shortly after I started a new role at work focused on a different customer segment!
Did you enjoy this? Have suggestions for my reading list? Please let me know in the comments or to receive every week-ish updates, please join the mailing list!Tags: Book Review, Career development, entrepreneurship, Manage Stress For Moms, Mental Load And Emotional Labor, Moms Career Growth, Moms Growth, professional development, reading, stress management, time management, Work life balance, Working Moms