Transitioning from your role as lead parent to working lead parent can be nerve-wracking, dizzying, and unpredictable. It can also be intentional, empowering, and ultimately cathartic. Our final episode highlights some of the brightest points of light we hope to shine on your journey, and we share a few personal reflections about how our research for this show impacted our own lives.
Whether you work in or outside of your home, self-care needs to be your number one priority. You may scoff at this, or laugh, or think it completely off-base, but really: If you don’t take proper care of yourself, how can you possibly show up and be your best for your kids, your partner, or your job? Caring for others starts with caring for yourself. And self-care, as Dr. Rae Anne Barry tells us, begins with positive self-talk.
When you go back to work, as the lead parent, keep in mind that you’re actually signing on for a second job. The full-time job you were doing at home still exists. All of the household chores and administrative tasks for your family still need to be done. In this episode, Mary Louise Starkey, founder and president of Starkey Institute for Household Management, lays out tips to make this second shift easier and suggests ways to share affordable help with another family.
Going back to work was a huge transition for Angela, as it is for anyone who has left the workforce for many years to raise their children. She jumped into the job, head first, and resurfaced for a deep breath of air several months later. It was then that she realized she wanted to understand what this major change had been like for her husband, Ryan. This episode is an open and honest discussion between Angela and Ryan and the impact her return to work had on their relationship and family dynamics.
The best thing you can do for yourself going into an interview is to know that you’re going to crush it. In this episode, return-to-work expert Carol Fishman Cohen offers simple yet skillful ways to directly address the gap in your resume, assure potential employers of the intentionality of your job search, and suggest the option of an internship-style arrangement when appropriate.
The “career ladder” has become a “career lattice,” with greater opportunities for those of us who chose to take a career break. That’s not to say it’s easy to return to work, but career coach Suzanne Coonan tells us it’s very possible to find – or create – an opportunity that suits your new needs. The key is to get very clear about what those needs are, and then get out of your house and away from your computer.
In this episode of “Where Was I…?” career coach Michelle Friedman talks about various exercises that can help you decide on a direction as you take the first steps toward a return to work outside of the home. She also introduces us to one of our new favorite phrases: “thought partner.”
In this episode, Amy Cuddy, best-selling author of "Presence," talks to us about how to conquer impostor syndrome by identifying your core values and practicing self-affirmation. This is relevant and important information for life in general, but particularly useful for lead parents facing the question, “what’s next?” now that your children have entered school. Take a listen and share a story of your own experience with impostor syndrome on our Facebook page (facebook.com/wherewasipodcast).
When we first thought about producing this podcast, we wrote one name on a piece of paper and said to each other, “Just imagine if we could talk to her.” That name was Anne-Marie Slaughter. In this episode, Ms. Slaughter reminds us that, even “from a (public) policy point of view, there really isn’t anything more important that we do” than caring for our children. “In a way,” she says, “society is free-riding off the efforts” of lead parents. “The very least we can do is provide the social respect and prestige.”
For our first episode, we spoke with two women who left a full-time job to care for their young children. Lauren Pricer was an Assistant Vice President at an asset management firm. Wendy Hillmuth was a family law attorney. Lauren and Wendy take us through their experience of the day their youngest child started kindergarten and talk about some pretty profound emotions that we believe will resonate deeply with every primary parent listening.