Paw'd Defiance

Motherhood Part I

December 09, 2019 Season 2 Episode 5
Paw'd Defiance
Motherhood Part I
Chapters
Paw'd Defiance
Motherhood Part I
Dec 09, 2019 Season 2 Episode 5
UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and UW Tacoma Lecturer Annie Nguyen

UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and UW Tacoma Lecturer Annie Nguyen talk about the role of motherhood in the United States. Jolly and Nguyen are both mothers. They'll talk about their experiences as working mothers. They'll also discuss how motherhood is viewed in the Amish community and in other parts of the world. Finally, Jolly and Nguyen will address what changes need to be made to better support mothers and parents in general who are either working or going to school.

Show Notes Transcript

UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and UW Tacoma Lecturer Annie Nguyen talk about the role of motherhood in the United States. Jolly and Nguyen are both mothers. They'll talk about their experiences as working mothers. They'll also discuss how motherhood is viewed in the Amish community and in other parts of the world. Finally, Jolly and Nguyen will address what changes need to be made to better support mothers and parents in general who are either working or going to school.

Speaker 1:
0:00
It's interesting. We have more resources to get kids through college than we do to get kids through daycare
Speaker 2:
0:09
from UDaB Tacoma. This is pod defiance. Welcome to pod defiance where we don't lecture, but we do educate. I'm your host Sarah Smith and today on the pod motherhood with UDaB to come associate professor Natalie jolly and UDaB to come, a lecturer Annie NuGen, jolly and NuGen are educators and mothers. And together we'll explore the unique challenges mothers face, the evolving definitions of motherhood and the choices mothers make as they navigate building families, careers and pursuing an education.
Speaker 1:
0:48
So welcome to you both. Thank you, dr jolly. Let's begin with you. Can you tell me just a little bit about yourself and what you teach here at UWT? Sure. I am a sociologist here at UDaB T and I teach courses on, uh, sociology and also gender studies. And we talk a lot about pop culture and how we learn about social norms and how those norms shape the choices that we make. And, um, we also do talk a little bit about motherhood since it's an area of, um, my, uh, ongoing research. I was reading a bit about your research and found it really fascinating. Can you talk a little bit about that and, and working with Amish mothers? Yes. So I've talked with women in a variety of different contexts. I've, I did spend some time with the Amish and looking at the birth experiences that they have and how they think about childbirth and motherhood.
Speaker 1:
1:49
I've talked with women on military bases and the military is just a really interesting microcosm of society. So, um, spend some time talking with women about their experience of being pregnant and being new mothers as well enlisted in, in the military. I've talked with women of color and how they've navigated the health system when their rates of maternal mortality and, um, just general treatment of their bodies is, is really, um, uh, poor compared to what we would expect for women, uh, having babies. So, yeah, I've, I've just spent a lot of time with mothers and babies and tried to get a sense for what their experiences are like, uh, across a bunch of different contexts. Interesting. Did you, did you notice anything in the Amish community as far as, um, birth experience and infant mortality? And were there differences? There were some really profound differences that I saw and one is that their, the way they think of being a woman in society is really different.
Speaker 1:
2:55
And in some ways that, you know, that not to glorify society or anything, but you know, it definitely has some problems, but for them in birth it allowed them the ability to see themselves as really strong, capable people. And that translated to them having a lot of confidence in their birth experience. And so for them, childbirth looked really different because it was just kind of part and parcel of what they did in terms of hard work and, um, approaching birth with a lot less fear. And I think that manifested in interesting ways in their understanding of childbirth and their experiences of new motherhood.
Speaker 3:
3:31
All right. Uh, Annie Mnuchin, let's switch over to you and can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you teach here at UWT?
Speaker 4:
3:38
I'm sure I am a lecturer of Reginald studies. Um, and primarily I'm focused on for sure writing, but I also teach creative writing courses. Um, I'm in my first year writing courses. We tend to focus on the themes of identity and social change. So I have students think a little bit about their place in society. And then how writing can shape or change or influence, um, social change. And then in creative writing courses. Um, my, my background is in creative nonfiction, so I work a lot from personal experience and having, um, students cultivate their voice and, um, understand the authenticity of their experiences and how that lens to how they reflect society.
Speaker 3:
4:18
And you write yourself, have you written anything recently or,
Speaker 4:
4:23
um, recently I'm not, well, I'm in a couple of different projects right now, but one of the projects or one of the things that I wanted to focus on is the roles that women have as they, um, go into motherhood and how our identity changes. And shifts as we move from being a, an individual to being a parent and then how that works out. Um, you know, I think that a lot of women that I've spoken to, a lot of, a lot of parents in general go through a shift in identity and, um, this, this idea of like self sacrifice or like the idea of living vicariously through your children. Um, the idea or notion of like your work identity, um, taking a back seat to your parental identity or things that I'm trying to explore.
Speaker 3:
5:06
Well, you're both mothers, so I'd love to start by having you share a little bit about your own, uh, experience of motherhood and any, let's, let's start with you.
Speaker 4:
5:16
I'm sure. I think that, you know, I just gave birth to, um, as a little boy. Um, so I now have a four year old daughter and a four month old son and um, you know, and it's, it's been a really wonderful and interesting journey. Um, I think that definitely having the second child, um, has been a lot easier than the first one because as I said with the first child, there was a lot of identity shift between, you know, being really independent person and thinking about myself and like having, um, you know, I joke about this, but I used to have a getaway bag in my car. So like, if I ever wanted like a last minute impromptu trip or wanting to go camping for the weekend, I could just jump in my car and get away. And so, you know, of course when you become a parent, all of that changes because suddenly you're not just thinking about yourself.
Speaker 4:
6:00
You're also considering the impacts on other people and then, um, you know, you're taking care of someone who's completely dependent on you. So I think that that was, uh, with the first child, it was definitely a big shift for me. And I'm now as a mother, I'm really enjoying watching her grow. Um, you know, it's, I, I sort of, um, I've, I've talked to some friends about this, but I sort of lament how my, my baby girl is gone. Um, you know, like there was this period where she seems so small and so vulnerable and everything she needed I had to do for her and now she's becoming much more independent and stronger. And, and while I like and so thrilled to see her grow into this thoughtful, caring little girl. I'm also really sad about losing out on the little baby that I, I nurtured who needed me for protection. And so, you know, I guess timing wise it worked out really well because now I have a little boy.
Speaker 4:
6:59
So now I have like, I'm going through the whole experience again with, um, my son and it's just been, it's been a much better ride. I think there was a lot of stress in the first child. Again, I have a lot of parent friends who joke about this, you know, with the first child, you're so worried about, you know, every little thing. Like, are they eating enough? You're like wearing warm enough clothes. Did you leave them alone too long and they're bouncy. See like, you know, what type of soap should you use to wash their clothes in? And then, you know, with the second child it's like, Oh, I got this. I feel much more confident. I feel better prepared. I'm not stressed out anymore. And you know, I definitely feel like, um, I'm enjoying motherhood a lot more going into the second child. Not that I didn't enjoy the first time, but I think there was just a lot of fear and a lot of stress with the first child that's not really showing its head at the second child. I mean, if anything now I'm probably still more worried about my little girl because I'm like, Oh my goodness. Are you learning your ABCs? Like, are you, are you up to speed in preschool? What's going on? Do you have friends? You know, all those types of things that parents ensure worry about all the time. I'm going to switch over to you, dr jolly. You want to talk about your experience?
Speaker 1:
8:04
Yeah, I think that, um, just to echo some of the things that Annie said, uh, you, you do have such a profound shift in identity and I think it's made me more aware, um, as a sociologist how these personal experiences echo larger social reality. So how our mothers in our society, uh, facing these issues and, and what are the issues that they're facing. Because I feel like there's really two competing narratives that happen in motherhood. There's sort of the, um, celebration of motherhood that congratulations every sentiment that's ever been on a hallmark card, you know, this is motherhood. And then there's the sort of social and economic reality of being a mother and where you have these struggles in the workplace. You have these struggles over, uh, who am I and what is my role here? And, um, you have this, um, I think for many women this like increase in social isolation where you're, you're, you can't do the same things.
Speaker 1:
9:04
You maybe want to have your getaway bag, Annie, right? I love that idea now, but the reality is like, Oh man, we can't do that anymore. And so I think struggling with those sorts of things is sort of foundational experience for, for mothers and not being able to reconcile the two. So I used to joke that like, I can't believe we give congratulations cards when people are having a baby. After I had my first one, I was like, Oh my gosh, nobody told me anything about this. We need like my condolences. You don't know what you've signed up for. Uh, so I, I think I'm, I can do it, you know, like you can do this. Yeah, absolutely. And so I feel like I got more interested in reconciling those two competing what I saw as really competing narratives of, you know, uh, this will kind of, this has the potential to derail your career. This has the potential to shift so many aspects of your life, um, and also has these profound contributions it's going to make to your experience. But, uh, those two. So for me, it's been interesting to try to figure out what is it about these two competing narratives that are so profoundly shaped women's experience.
Speaker 3:
10:20
Yeah. So, to piggyback on that a little bit, can you each talk a little bit about how becoming a mother impacted your career choices and I guess specifically as academics, how has that had an impact?
Speaker 1:
10:33
Um, well I will say I've, I've spent 15 years talking to women with newborn babies and I didn't realize it was going to be an occupational hazard that I was going to end up with so many newborn babies of my own because it's really hard to spend time around little babies and not be like, Oh, these babies are so great. I should have more. So I always think that, wow, that was an unforeseen occupational hazard. Now I, now I have five children. Okay. Um, but, um, I think that we talk a lot about the personal choices that, that women make when they become mothers. The career choices they make. Are they going to cut hours? Are they gonna change jobs to get a more flexible job? Are they gonna extend their leave or maybe even leave the workforce? And so I think because we focus so much on the individuals, like what are you going to do and how are you gonna manage this?
Speaker 1:
11:27
We don't often talk about how inflexible our labor force is for mothers and other caregivers. And so I think that just even in terms of the financial costs of having a baby, we don't often talk about, you know, this is a problem that we don't have good childcare for mothers and caregivers to utilize it if we want to take seriously their role in the, in the workforce. So how do we support things like daycare or babysitting or things like that. Uh, I think it's ironic that this is often hitting people at a time where they're pretty vulnerable in their career. You're early in your career and you have to sort of navigate a society that doesn't give you very many resources to take care of your kids. Uh, and I think that now that childcare costs are about the same as college tuition, it's interesting.
Speaker 1:
12:17
We have more resources to get kids through college than we do to get kids through daycare. And so I think that's an, some of these are key places that we can think about. How do we make it so that you don't have to feel like you're sacrificing your career so that you can be a mother if that's the choice you make or can you stay home and we value that work in such a way that you're compensated for the labor that you're doing. So those are some of the things that I've been thinking about in terms of how your, how women navigate the their career while being mothers and what sort of investments we can make into supporting women that also then translate into a healthier workforce, a happier workforce. And that's good for business, that's good for workers and things like that. Annie, do you want to speak
Speaker 4:
13:04
about a little bit about how motherhood's impacted your career? I'm sure. And you know, I, I do want to piggyback on a few things that Natalie brought up as well. Um, you know, and I, I want to start off first by saying that, um, I recognize how privileged I am. You know, as, as professor, we have some flexibility in our schedule. So, um, you know, at least with my division, uh, you'd have to coma. Um, they've been really accommodating in terms of giving me courses that are flexible around, um, schedules that I have to maintain for my children's sake. Uh, for example, this quarter I wasn't able to get to campus by a certain time because I had to worry about dropping off my daughter at preschool and, you know, making sure that my son was being cared for by my mother. And so all of these different things, um, you know, the fact that I don't have to be on campus and the nine to five routine is something that has been really, uh, kind of luxurious almost.
Speaker 4:
14:02
Um, you know, and I know that a lot of mothers don't have that or a lot of parents really don't have that sort of privilege. And so that's one thing that I wanted to acknowledge just because, you know, while I, while I find it, it's still difficult in a lot of ways to, you know, find care, um, especially for a newborn or for infants. And toddlers, um, in the Seattle Metro area. Um, I also recognize a lot of parents don't have this flexibility and scheduling and then the possibilities of summers off where we can do research at home. So those are things that, um, I think that other parents might struggle with. And that said, you know, I, part of one of my courses is a research course that's actually focused around the theme or topic of what is happiness. And in this class, um, you know, we talk about lots of different things that impact and one of those things is actually our connection to family and also from a parent's perspective, how much support they receive from their community as they're raising their children.
Speaker 4:
15:01
So it's, it's interesting because if you look at other societies, right, where parents have a year or two years even of parental leave and, um, you know, men are equally encouraged to take the leave. For example. Um, you know, you're allowed a year of leave or for a mother. And if the father also wants to take time off, he gets an additional year of leave. Um, that's how they balance it. Rather than just saying, um, you know, you have the option of taking leave for up to two years. And so it's, it's interesting to see that in these societies, a lot of these parents report higher levels of happiness than in our society for example. Um, where I think that between the pressure between the lack of, um, paid time off the lack of, um, employers who are willing to accommodate, uh, parents need to be home with their child and then, um, even if they are willing to give the leave, whether or not you're looked down upon for taking that leap, these are all the questions that, um, people need to consider.
Speaker 4:
15:59
Especially like Natalie was saying. Um, you know, a lot of times people are putting parents at the point in their careers where it's most important to, um, kind of lean in as they say. Right. Um, so here on the one hand, especially as a, as a mother, you're being encouraged to lean in, um, to like give everything to your job so that you get advanced and promoted and, um, you know, are able to whatever, breaking glass ceilings that there might be in your, in your field. And then on the other hand, you're expected to be a really strong mother and really accommodating and yet you're not given the support to do so. So I think that these are things that, um, you know, we're seeing a lot of, a lot of parents suffering from depression. Um, a lot of mothers are for postpartum depression. And I, you know, and I, it's hard not to think that there's a connection between the lack of maternity leave and the lack of parental support with us, like with these higher rates of depression in the United States.
Speaker 5:
16:57
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
16:58
Hey everyone, it's Sarah. I want to tell the student parents out there about the childcare assistance program at UDub Tacoma. The program offers students with dependents, financial assistance to cover the cost of childcare for children ages birth to 12 years and 11 months. Funding is first come, first serve and the application open September 10th and will remain open until the last day of spring quarter. For more information, go to the UDaB to come a website and type childcare into the search bar.
Speaker 3:
17:30
We spoke briefly before we started the podcast just about the idea of choice and how important it is for mothers to feel like they have choice. And you know, Troy says you make from the time you begin your maternity care, you're faced with do I want to have a baby in the hospital and the birth center? Do I want medication? Do I want to do this all natural? Do I want support? Do I, you know, and it just kind of, in my experience, I'm a mom too. It felt like there was a lot of choice that felt more like sacrifice or self sacrifice for the benefit of others. And in that was obviously frustrating in some ways. I'm a student here at UDaB T and I am a, what we call a nontraditional student, and I came back to school after I had my two kids and had had the opportunity to stay home with them.
Speaker 3:
18:20
That was really important to me, having grown up as a latchkey kid. Anyways, I kind of wanted to discuss this idea of, of choice and living up to those expectations that I F you know, I know everybody that I've talked to is always talked about this sort of the idea that you should be perfect in some way or that you should live up to these standards that are just completely unattainable. That you should be doing it all and have it all and, and be it all. I guess. Dr jolly, I want to start with you. Tell me what you would say to those, to those mothers. Do you have any
Speaker 1:
18:52
words of wisdom? Actually, well, I don't know if it's words of wisdom, but I have words that works. Um, but I think that we focus so much on personal choice and the choices that women have that we sometimes miss the ways that those choices are already so constrained for women. And we miss that you're, you're often in a position, you're in a tight, you know, you're between a rock and a hard place for a lot of these choices. And so I think sometimes when mothers in particular are responding to are the ways that these choices are already not great choices and, and what I feel like we don't have and what we really need is a room is room for women or room for mothers I should say, to talk about the ways that various forces in our society have constrained choices. So I feel like it's a huge choice for that that women face, um, around the issue of maternity leave.
Speaker 1:
19:49
Do I take this leave? Do I just withdraw from the workforce? Uh, how will my family support itself and how will I pay for this? Leave all of these really profoundly difficult questions that hit you right at the beginning of motherhood. And we S we really trivialize that. And say, Oh, this is a mommy war, the stay homes versus the work, you know. And, and so I feel like part of what we're dealing with is that any choices that women make become trivialized as just, Oh, these are just mommy issues. And I feel like it then masks the larger problem we have in our society about how we've, we've really limited women to choosing between two not great options or three not great options. And so it feels frustrating to feel like, I can't believe these are the choices that I have to choose between.
Speaker 1:
20:40
And so I feel like that happens with a lot of the choices women make, particularly in early parenting where you really are trying to figure out how do I keep this person alive and how, you know, I know this about breastfeeding, I know this about bottle feeding, but also I have a really inflexible workplace and I maybe don't have the support I need to breastfeed. And even if that's the choice I want to make, I may choose not to breastfeed even though that choice feels really constrained by these other forces. And so that was something really interesting. Um, when I was talking with women in the military, uh, I interviewed a lot of nurses and they told me about how on paper their workplace was supportive of nursing and pumping milk. And they had a spot they could go, but in order to do that, they had to get someone to cover their shifts.
Speaker 1:
21:29
There are people that, you know, and so, and these are their colleagues and they know, you know, how difficult it is to say, Hey, for the next 45 minutes, can you do double work every day that I worked with you? And so they talked about their choice to not continue breastfeeding, but really it was a choice. Um, that was constrained by the way the system was set up that they valued these relationships and their, their position in the, on their nursing unit, um, in such a way that they couldn't continue to ask that of their colleagues. And so I feel like those sorts of conversations, um, you know, we, we don't always have, when we say, uh, Oh women, you are just, you know, um, griping about these silly things and I feel like it, it masks then our ability to say, Hey, this is a, a systematic problem that we have that even when we have quote unquote supportive workplaces for breastfeeding, we really haven't thought about what that means in terms of a setup on the ground.
Speaker 3:
22:31
Annie, I wanted to ask you, have you had a students in your class that are, that are parents or mothers or caregivers, have you witnessed, I guess them, them being mothers or caregivers having an impact on, on their experience as a student in any way?
Speaker 4:
22:46
Um, I definitely have, um, I've had a lot of, as you said, non traditional students or um, mothers in my classrooms. And some of them are, um, women who have come back after spending some time in the workforce or taking time off to raise their children and then they've come back. And then others are actually traditional students who are simultaneously, um, raising children while they're attending school full time or what, or part time as it is. Um, and from what I've seen at least, um, you know, the, the same challenges that any mother faces, they, they face and then it's, it's, it's two fold, right? Because on top of, um, taking their children to appointments and whatnot, they have to rearrange their, um, academic schedule so that they can participate in events or go to different activities. And then I've had plenty of students who have, um, you know, who have contacted me about being able to, um, submit work on like, online or like whatever it might be because they need to be at home with their child.
Speaker 4:
23:50
And so, you know, I as a, as a parent, as their professor, I'm, I always try to be as accommodating as possible, but I do wonder like how much support some of these students may be getting because, um, you know, in one, one instance, I had a student who was actually suffering a housing crisis in addition to, um, having to deal with, um, I guess, um, attendance and, uh, other issues with her son's school. And so, um, you know, on the one hand, she was trying to navigate the, her own education and then navigate her son's education and like how well he was doing in school or if he was behaving or if he was attending classes or what it might be. And then on the other hand, she was also dealing with this housing crisis because she couldn't, um, she couldn't afford the place that they're staying at any longer.
Speaker 4:
24:39
And, you know, as a single mother, she was having challenges with that. And so I always am concerned about that. Like, um, you know, I, I feel like because I make it very clear in my classes that I, uh, I understand that students have lives outside of the classroom and that I myself am a parent. I think that a lot of my students are willing to talk to me about these issues, issues and then when something comes up that they can't be in class because of, um, a parenting me, they'll tell me. But I wonder how often they don't, you know, in other areas they may not speak up because either they haven't been invited to or because they don't know that it's a legitimate reason for them not to be in class or is a legitimate reason for them to ask for, um, you know, an extension on an assignment.
Speaker 3:
25:25
So one thing I thought of too while we were, we were talking is I mentioned caregivers and mothers and I wanted to kind of switch gears a little bit and talk about the definition of motherhood. I think in this day and age for sure, it goes beyond the definition of a woman who gave birth and who's raising her biological child. You know, a woman can be a mother without having given birth to that child. Um, or a person can give birth without identifying as a woman. Um, there can be people who take on the role of both parents. I guess maybe we could speak about that a little bit about this is something you talk about in your class. So dr jolly, maybe you can speak to this a little bit.
Speaker 1:
26:07
Well, I think it's, it's one of those issues where if we think about a workplace and I think higher ed has, has done a good job of, of thinking about issues about these sorts of issues in terms of accessibility and how do we create a responsive environment that increases accessibility. And I think that's one of those tides that rise all boats. Because if we can think about how we have a responsive learning environment that understands the various identities that people have, they are taking care of children maybe, but maybe they're taking care of sick parents, maybe they have, you know, I think we talk a lot about, you know, the different roles that our students have in terms of they're also employees. They're also parents. They're also doing these other important jobs in their lives. And so how do we create an environment that recognizes that?
Speaker 1:
26:57
And in doing so makes this not necessarily a single issue conversation but says, okay, we learn in a variety of ways. We are a variety of different people. How do we build that into our structure? And so I think that's a way to kind of broaden this conversation and then sort of create alliances between different folks who may have particular issues of that or needs that they need met and build affinity groups so that you can say, well look, something that serves mothers of small children may also serve people who are taking care of parents. And if we can incorporate that into how we build things, then we may have a happier workforce, a more satisfied workforce. We may have more loyal workers. Um, if we're talking about workforce, but you know, for students as well, we, we may be able to understand, yes, our students may be homeless, like Annie spoke about. They may be incarcerated. And what does that mean for accessibility? And so that if we can just broaden our understanding of who people are and move away from an idealized norm, then I think we can sort of bring more people to the table. So, Annie, what would a world where mothers are fully supported in the workplace, in the home and pursuit of their goals in the classroom?
Speaker 4:
28:16
Look like? Um, you know, I, I, I think that we're asking for a really large cultural shift, to be honest. Um, I, I think that for one, um, you know, I know that this is really focused on, um, motherhood and maternity, but I think that we should also think about the roles of fathers and of partners. Um, as you were mentioning, you know, even if you're having, um, a same sex, same sex family, then, you know, how do people balance those roles out and making sure that everyone does their part? Um, you know, I, I think a lot about, um, you know, now I, I'm currently actually facilitating a mother's group or mother's support group in Seattle. And, um, a theme that commonly comes up is, you know, what does, what does my partner do and how much support am I getting from my partner?
Speaker 4:
29:03
And it's really interesting because, um, you know, the support group that I'm in, which was actually, um, I believe it was started by UDaB, um, back in the 70s, I want to say, um, I was in this group as a first time parent and now in facilitating it as a second time parent and, uh, as a first time parent, I just remember that, um, you know, we, we often talked about like, um, the challenges that we were having, finding childcare and support and like, whether or not we were going back to work and like breastfeeding, all those things. And those were definitely issues. Um, though, interestingly in that group, there were, I think eight couples and of the eight couples, three of the couples actually had at home dads. Right. Um, and it was, it was interesting because these fathers in this group or um, you know, a couple of them were just like, this is kind of unusual for us and you know, when we go out to take our babies out for parent groups or whatever or like for children's activities, you know, other stay at home, mothers are looking at us strangely or we were not part of that, that group.
Speaker 4:
30:02
And I think it's interesting because, um, as I was mentioning before, like in other cultures, fathers are just as encouraged to take parental leave as mothers are and are given the same amount of time for that leave. So, um, I know that some companies offer, like, you know, if you're the mother you get 12 weeks, but if you're a father you only get six weeks. And I wonder about that because, um, definitely there is a, there's a, I guess, biological need in the sense that, you know, now that mothers are the ones that are nursing. But you know, when you think about the emotional need and the connection and development between a father and the child to, I wonder why, why don't we encourage fathers to take on a more active role in the nurturing and the development of infant children? And I think about that a lot.
Speaker 4:
30:45
I think that one of the things that we do is work on kind of just shifting the roles so that we're not shifting the role, but shifting the mindset so that, um, men can get or are encouraged to be as involved or even expected to be as involved without any sort of like, societal, um, I don't know, disregard or looking down upon, um, that's one thing. And then I think that, you know, going back to, um, leave and understanding how privileged, you know, uh, I am as an academic, um, I would love to see more employers take or follow the lead of the Gates foundation where, um, parents are, uh, paid fully for S um, I think it was a year, but they've now abbreviated six months. Um, and you know, if you already have that opportunity where you're not stressed out looking for, um, childcare where you're not wondering like, who's going to be, um, with your child or if you're going to have the opportunity to bond with them because you're at work 40 hours a week and there's somebody else taking care of your child for 40 hours a week.
Speaker 4:
31:51
I think those steps could do so much in terms of, um, you know, making sure that parents feel supported, making sure that our more mothers and, um, more families or couples are choosing to have children. Um, you know, right now the U S is actually at the [inaudible]. We have like the lowest birth rate that we've ever had. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, you know, as a, as a, as a woman, if you're looking around, you don't really see that support. You don't see like, Oh my, my company is going to give me a year of paid leave. You know, my partner is just as engaged as I am and also gets a year paid leave. Um, you know, I, uh, know that this isn't going to affect my career going forward if I stay at home for a year, like fact, um, you know, I will come back and sit the same role, et cetera, et cetera.
Speaker 4:
32:44
And then I think that one of the things that it'd be great to see is that more parents taking, um, or more parents speaking out about, you know, the challenges of parenting. Um, and I don't mean this to say like constantly just talking about it, but I do think that, you know, something in the workforce is that, um, or at least when I wasn't a parent, I don't really remember a lot of people talking about, uh, you know, I can't be here because I have to go to my son's tee ball game or I can't do this because, um, you know, I have, I have to do a preschool drop off at eight 30. I think if more people were articulate about their real needs instead of, um, making sure that, or instead of like bending over backwards to accommodate crazy work schedules or whatever it might be, um, the more comfortable we get in that in, the more we talk about it, the more likely people are going to say, Hey, this is, this is normal. You know, not so-and-so had a child. And now we, we know that we have to make certain exceptions for this person instead of it being like that. Just being more like, Oh, in this environment and this culture, we recognize and support families. So of course we shouldn't have meetings that start at 8:00 AM or seven 30 or we shouldn't expect someone to work until six or 7:00 PM
Speaker 2:
34:03
thank you to our guests and thank you for listening. Be sure to like and subscribe. You can find us on Spotify, Google podcasts, PocketCasts, Stitcher, and Apple podcasts.
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