And I don’t just mean the return of pumpkin spice lattes (even though I am incredibly excited about that).
I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately. Maybe it’s experiencing the first hints of Fall, children walking to school outside my window, or the pumpkins outside my local grocery store (seriously? They seem to appear earlier every year). I also recently dropped off my son, Theo, to his first day of Pre-K 4. It wasn’t some monumental thing – last year was the bigger deal, his first year at a new school. Still, I felt the shift – from the small stuff (waking up earlier, changing routines), to the bigger things (he dressed himself, describes his days in more detail, and looks so much taller these days).
In the past, I haven’t really put much thought against transitions. I’ve powered through them but have never really seen them for the enormous opportunities they are – if you approach them with more intention. I’ve talked very publicly about my transition to motherhood. You all know how that went – survival was the goal, which is a more than reasonable goal in the crazy postpartum phase. Then there was my transition to working motherhood. I would say there was no goal in this transition. If I’m being honest, I didn’t really consider becoming a “working mom” a transition. It wasn’t until many years later that I paused and realized I had gone through a significant identity shift.
I’m currently reading Eve Rodsky’s “Find Your Unicorn Space,” and loving every page! There is one quote in particular that stood out to me, and it reminds me of why we designed the Josie program to focus on those going through an identity shift to “working parent”:
“Prolonged separation from the normal ways of being and doing…are disturbing and disruptive, but they also represent potent opportunities for reflection, discovery, and even reinvention.”-Excerpt from “Find Your Unicorn Space” by Eve Rodsky
Is there are any better way to describe parental leave, other than a “prolonged separation from the normal ways of being and doing”? And I love the term “potent opportunities” – how might my return to work have looked different if I had thought about it this way? If I had been more intentional about creating a vision for myself, pausing to evaluate what’s most important to me, setting guiding principles for tough work/life decisions, etc.?
Looking back, I see a missed opportunity, but also believe amid the chaos I couldn’t have done it alone. I wish I had someone to partner with and guide me through this critical transition.
It’s why we created Josie. Our coaches are trained to support you in this very specific transition, making your return to work a major opportunity for growth, vs. a dreaded phase defined by survival.
I also think about transitions from the lens of our employer partners. They too recognize the opportunities created by adding working parents to their employee base. Opportunities to elevate a culture of inclusivity, welcome employees back who have been on a very different journey but were missed while they were gone, even to transition roles and responsibilities in ways that make things more sustainable and better for the whole team.
Do you have a transition story to share? We want to know! Send us a note at [email protected].
Happy transition to Fall to all,