I received a free copy of Work PAUSE Thrive in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg was released a month ago and navigates parenting and careers without having to miss out on life. It focuses on parents who make the decision to pause their careers for a season (whether that season is a few months, a few years, or longer) and then getting back into the workforce.
There’s never been a question during either pregnancy that when the baby arrived, I would go back to work. I live in Asheville, NC and my husband works in public education. I work in higher-ed, but we don’t make so much money that we can take lavish vacations every quarter. Cost of living is high in our area, and salaries are okay. Last spring, my boss came in one afternoon and asked me what my plans were once the baby was born. I remember thinking he had to be joking. When I realized he wasn’t kidding, I told him there was no way we could survive on one teacher’s salary and I would be returning full-time in June.
When my son was born 5.5 years ago, I went back to work after 12 weeks and I had family members who pieced together childcare for my first month back at work. He started daycare at 4 months old, and it was one of the saddest things I ever experienced. No worries. He did great. I just didn’t want to leave him. I wanted to put everything on hold, and just be with him. What made it more manageable was working with everyone and ensuring that my lunch hours could be spent at home with him.
What I learned from this book:
- I’m not alone in this struggle of work-parenting balance.
- It’s ok to want to press pause on my career if it means being home for my kids.
- I can take a temporary pause with my job.
- I can go back to work one day.
- Flexible work places exist and can work for me.
When my daughter was born last year, I had planned on staying out of work for about 10 weeks, so I would be paid for the entire month of July. My mom then broke her ankle in June and I was having a tougher time thinking about going back to work, so I took the extra two weeks – a very minor pause in my job. I also worked out a schedule to work from home one day a week for the rest of the summer, something I’m able to do easily because of the nature of my job (and a perk of having a really good-natured baby who values her naptime.) Unbeknownst to me, I did take a pause, but I also made things work for my situation. I work in a job that is always evolving, so it would be somewhat easy to step aside for a time and come back to it – as long as I kept educating myself along the way.
I enjoyed reading this book because it was so relatable for where I am in this stage of life. I wish this book had come out a little sooner – even a year ago – for it to really benefit me before our second child was born. Unfortunately, my family isn’t in a position where we can thrive on a single income. Even without the cost of childcare, the cost of living in my city is high.
I liked that the author spoke to real families and even focused on dads who may take a pause in the workforce to be home with children. Fortunately, I’m in a job that works with my family life. I highly recommend this for someone who is considering children in the future, or is thinking about pausing their career.
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Did you put your career on hold when your family expanded (or will you put it on hold one day?)
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.