I’ve found that the new mamas I work with often get fired up about changing workplace culture and making the working world more hospitable to new parents when they go back to the office. All those struggles they’ve heard about are no longer just theoretical, and they’ve got a fresh spark to make a difference.
The problem is, of course, that new working mamas are exhausted. All brain cells are being used to keep the wheels turning with work, baby, and at home, and life doesn’t seem to leave much time for concerted action. Even around issues they care about.
The good news is that simply being a new parent in the workplace gives you the opportunity to be an important model to other new parent colleagues. Others will want to see THAT you are doing it, and HOW. To this end, one simple way you can help move the needle is by sharing your own story in a public and beautiful way. Here’s how:
Contribute to the It’s Working Project’s Portrait Project, which they describe as “the first comprehensive look at the back-to-work experience in our country, told in the first person, through the lens of those who live it.”
- How to contribute? Fill out this interview form. I did it, and it took only about 20 minutes. (See, I told you: a baby step!)
- They just published my own working mama portrait, and you can check it out here.
I’m LOVING how the It’s Working Project is painting a candid portrait of new parents in the workplace.
And if you’re REALLY on fire and want to do more than share your story, here are a few more thoughts:
- Start a working parents group at your office
- Start a petition on Change.org (a partner of the Its Working Project) to change the picture
- Follow the work of my friend Valerie Young, a big advocate for family-friendly policies and paid leave
- Donate to First Shift Justice Project, a non-profit that works to empower low-income pregnant women and parents to safeguard the health and economic security of their families by asserting their workplace rights.
The more of us who are out there taking baby steps, the faster that workplace culture needle will move.
To join a community of new mamas who are all returning to work at the same time you are, join the Mindful Return E-Course. The next session starts soon.