“I believe Mothers standing up for themselves is the highest form of self-care. Higher than any massage or relaxing sound machine,” Said Katherine Goldstein, an award-winning journalist and Founder of The Double Shift podcast. She added, “…Getting in touch with your anger, with your experience, is a powerful form of self-care. Forcing yourself to accept unfair treatment, unequal relationships and bad workplaces is what’s really causing people to feel like ‘I need self-care, I’m so stressed.’ If you have a partner, tell him he has to do some f*cking housework okay?” I laughed in agreement. Katherine said, “I know it’s easier said than done. It’s easier to recommend a Continue reading “Yes, You Absolutely Can Raise Your Self-Care Bar”
How to Rebuild & Find Purpose In the Pivot
“I was all in on Lean In.” said Katherine. She added, “…I didn’t want to be held back and was totally convinced everyone else had this whole working Mom thing figured out except for me.” I nodded and remembered feeling the same way. “My son was born in 2015 with some pretty serious health problems. He’s doing great now but it was a stressful early time. Then, when he was 6 months old, I lost my job. Those twin crises really made me feel like a failure.”
The work-life collide is inevitable but jarring. Even if we’re aware of the Motherhood penalty, in our hyper-accountable culture, we expect better. We rarely discuss being passed over or pushed out at work. Why not?
Most US Moms have breadwinning responsibilities. When things are bad at work, we still Continue reading “What Happens If You Lean in and Fall?”
Share housework, childcare and the mental load with your partner!
Me: Visibly surprised to see my son on screen after calling to FaceTime with my husband. “Hi honey. You’re still up? Where’s your sister?”
Son: Moves the camera over an inch. “She’s right here.” My daughter, who doesn’t look up, is eating popcorn while staring intently at her iPad.
Me: “I actually called to talk to Daddy, can you put him on please?”
Me: Hi. “Sooooo…. do you know what time it is?”
Husband: “It’s late, yes, I’m sorry.”
I ended the call frustrated. When traveling for work, I still micromanage from afar. Whether it’s homework, or bedtime, the routines fall apart if I’m away. I fret and we fight. I called earlier and spoke with the kids. This call, the after-bedtime-call, was to catch up with my husband.
My seat neighbor on the train looked at me, before he said, “If it makes you feel any better, we have that exact conversation in my family.” I smiled. Yes I Continue reading “It’s Time for Moms and Dads to Have an Open Conversation”
An interview with Kim McLarin
Building a Portfolio of Professional Interests
“I’m triaging so many things. It feels like my days are filled with ‘Yes, No, Maybe, Next,’” said Kim McLarin, accomplished journalist, author, professor and activist. I laughed and asked if she planned it this way. She nodded, “Yes, I wanted each component but, I’m doing a lot.”
Kim, like most, vacillates between feeling she’s doing too much or too little. Many of us want a portfolio of professional interests. Diversifying income can lead to better security and satisfaction. However, building the different work streams requires more than just adding a side-hustle. It’s transitioning from worker-bee to Empress. It’s showcasing your expertise as a speaker and content creator. It means stepping into the limelight while juggling plates that are already full. Many Moms, whose schedules are hostage to the illness-and-childcare gods, are wary of Continue reading “Can You Stay Vulnerable & Emotionally Strong on the Public Stage?”
Work. Is. Different.
“I generally prioritize my family and work over myself,” admits one surveyed Mom. “I am the breadwinner … and turn myself inside out at work to try to keep my standing there. Then I come home and want as much time as I can have with my kids. And there’s little time left for me. I feel like my kids are little once and I can’t get the time with them back.”
Nearly 200 Moms shared their struggles, triumphs and feelings in the survey about setting personal boundaries. The context and consequences for drawing lines at work are different. Somewhere in the back of our minds, despite grim statistics about the motherhood penalty, we believe there’s a loophole. We were promised life without limits, and want to prove to ourselves that being great Moms while doing Continue reading “Is The Myth of ‘Having it All’ Hurting Our Work/Life Boundaries?”
We Need Capacity.
Capacity in the form of emotional space and mental energy to process all of the inputs.
Almost overnight, my kids have gone from needing my help to eat, to learning how the world works. It’s a fundamental shift. It’s more than just survival now, it’s teaching them to be good people. They have so many questions, like why are people happy or sad? When to defend yourself or walk away. Why are there different rules for boys and Continue reading “Can I Please Get More Capacity For Mother’s Day?”
Have you ever questioned yourself, or your sanity, navigating professional life post-kids?
You are in excellent company! Authors Sheryl Sandberg, Anne Marie Slaughter, Tiffany Dufu, Brigid Schulte, Shonda Rimes and Jessica Turner have all written about the challenges of ambition, identity and how professional life differs for Moms.
I’m surrounded by talented women. All of whom stitch together a patchwork-quilt of childcare coverage, while managing unrealistic expectations from employers, family members and sometimes, themselves!
We invest in and rely on our careers, but achieving stability and growth, still Continue reading “Killing it at Work but Completely Stressed in Life? You Need These Books!”
“How was your trip?” I asked. “It was wonderful, but I broke my foot,” Anna said with a laugh. She then described stepping into an ‘ocean pothole’ while surfing. “It was great fun, but it wasn’t the first time my body told me to stop when my brain said keep going! Now, I have to slow down, for 6 to 8 weeks.”
Anna went on a yoga retreat in the Costa Rican jungle on a mission … to recover from overwhelm and reclaim her joy. “I can’t believe I went. I’m so glad I went,” she said.
We oversee complex schedules and fragile childcare logistics, without breaks, for years. Moms speak the language of exhaustion. Burnout, however, can consume all of your remaining energy. Whether it’s from a crisis, or the daily routine, feeling drained and disconnected is Continue reading “How to Replenish When You’re Burned Out”
“The common thread among everything, is that I see a ‘hole,’ and create that thing that I want to have,” said Christine Koh. The Neuroscientist turned Blogger, turned Consultant and Online Retailer, has become an entrepreneurial savant. Creating products, that satisfy her own unmet needs, has led to running 5 (yep FIVE) ventures simultaneously. She notes, “I haven’t been trained in any of them. In all cases, (before starting) I asked (myself) will other people find it useful?”
Popular wisdom says ‘stick to your strengths’ and ‘ruthlessly focus.’ It’s reasonable advice…but what if it’s not working? Sticking to the wrong thing can limit your growth…or lead to burnout. We become so invested in our chosen fields. Work that fits post-college, may feel restrictive later, as we try to ascend and raise kids. Change is hard. Career change, in an unstable economy, can feel reckless. Many Moms linger in professional roles that have become stale. Tenure can buy that fragile, yet oh-so-valuable benefit, flexibility.
What if we have the drive, inclination and talent, to do something very different? Can we build our own flexibility? Christine still enjoys the challenge, variety and freedom that a constellation of professional interests creates.
Learn How You Learn Best
“In neuroscience, I was Continue reading “What Happens When You Run Multiple-Businesses… at the Same Time?”