Notes From Our Event With Monica & Andy and Lauren Smith Brody
Yesterday, we gathered fifteen thoughtful mothers from our community in a cozy circle at Monica & Andy's sweet guide shop on the UWS. We put Lauren Smith Brody, author of The Fifth Trimester, at the center to talk through things specific to our community. She's previously written a popular post on Mother Untitled, on topics pertinent to our community, like returning from pauses and negotiating flexible work. In person, every one of us walked away enamored with her warmth and eloquence and empowered in whatever stage we are.
Here were the nuggets from the conversation with Lauren that we loved (all of the below is paraphrased):
For women taking a pause:
Your work at home is important and valued. You are growing and learning in marketable capacities as a mother - agility, management, delegation, empathy.
The networking potential is huge. You are meeting women in so many different professional industries, learning in a way that is raw and real versus the bubbles we are often caught in in the traditional workplace.
Own your story. In answering, "What do you do?", practice speaking to your passion points. Be it mothering, philanthropy, activities.
For women negotiating flexible work:
Approach your employer with a plan versus an ask. Your supervisor wants to understand how your deliverables will get done and what they will need to give to support you.
Consider presenting your plan as a test period. Employers are wary of setting precedent, but in approaching it as a finite period, it lessens risk and empowers you to prove value.
Know that it will be fluid. Your needs will change as your kids age into different stages so you and your employer should stay open-minded.
For women starting their own project or business:
Transitioning into working for yourself is as much of a transition as going back to work at the three-month-mark. Don't discount how hard it is (much of the advice from The Fifth Trimester applies)!
Whether you're exploring a passion point or launching a business, you will encounter things that you may feel uncomfortable with (web design, SEO, accounting, etc.). Plow through the intimidation, and you will feel so much more confident on the other side.
For every woman:
It serves society well for each of us to be transparent about our role as mothers as we make our transitions - be it into the workplace, entrepreneurship, flexible work or our communities.
It empowers our peers to see models of women making it work uniquely for them and for our culture to recognize and value motherhood.
A big thank you to Monica & Andy for creating inclusive local communities for mothers and inviting me to brings ours into their space and brand - they are the most generous hosts! We're looking forward to continuing this series with them where we bring the site conversations offline. Please do email us your ideas of what you'd like to connect on and we'd love to see you at the next one.
Have you read The Fifth Trimester? What books, articles or advice has helped you in your career transitions in motherhood? We'd love to hear! xo