Pointer to a video about MJ Hegar
This story is about a political candidate in the US named MJ Hegar. We know almost nothing about her political positions, but think her campaign video is great because it highlights another contribution from another working parent.
Prepare to be impressed. And surprised.
Movie Review: RBG
According to the new movie RBG, both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, were rocking Working Parent roles back in the 1950s. And this documentary shows that they were doing surprisingly more than that at the same time.
Readers outside the United States may not be familiar with Ruth, who is sometimes referred to as "RBG" (her initials) as an affectionate term of endearment. She is one of nine justices on the US Supreme Court and has developed a fan base recently.
It wasn't my idea to see this movie; my husband suggested it. But we both enjoyed it a lot. And apparently we're not alone; the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The movie is informative, educational, funny, sad, frustrating and more.
At one point in the movie, Ruth makes the claim that being a parent actually enhanced her ability to succeed by providing an advantage not available to her parentless classmates and colleagues.
Like other stories we share on this site, a case is made within the movie that both Marty and Ruth encouraged and engaged each other in significant ways that helped them as parents and on the job.
We won't share any more, because we don't want to spoil the story or give away the ending. But trust us when we tell you that we think you'll enjoy the show. And at the very least, be sure to watch the trailer.
Pointer to HBO's new Docu-Series Being Serena
Working moms on Reddit brought our attention to the new five-part Docu-Series on HBO* called Being Serena. The series chronicals the most recent events in Serena Williams' life; from winning the Australian Open while pregnant in April 2017 right up to attending the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
But it's the stuff in-between those events that is most interesting ... and inspiring ... and thought provoking ... and relatable.
For those who don't know, Serena is married to Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, so it's especially interesting that Reddit led us to this program. Talk about a synergistic relationship!
Working parents (both moms and dads) are likely to appreciate Serena's story and find themselves relating, thinking, and being inspired as they watch.
* It appears that Being Serena is also available via On Demand until early July. More info.
By Thomas McFall (adapted from Twitter with permission | @Thomas___McFall)
In one of my Management classes, I sit in the same seat every day. It's in the front of the class. Every single day I sit there.
It's next to some foreign guy who barely speaks English. The most advanced thing I've heard this guy say in English is "Wow, my muffin is really good". This guy also has a habit of stacking every item he owns in the exact space I sit; his bag, his food, his books, and his phone are ALWAYS right on my desk space.
Every single time I walk into class this guy says "Ah, Tom. You here. Okay." And then he starts frantically clearing my desk of his belongings. He then makes it a habit to say "Ready for class, yeah?" And gives me a high five. Every day this guy gives me a high five.
I was ALWAYS annoyed with this guy. I'm thinking "Dude, you know I sit in this seat every day. Why are you always stacking your shit here? And the last thing I want to do is give a guy who barely speaks my language high fives at 8:00 in the morning." Just get your shit off my desk.
But Monday I came to class and was running a few minutes late. I'm standing outside because I had to send a quick text. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my usual space through the door. Of course, my desk was filled with his belongings. The usual.
As I'm standing there on my phone, another guy, who was also late, walks into the class before me and tried to take my seat since it's closest to the door. The foreign guy who sits next to me stops this dude from sitting down and says "I'm sorry. My good friend Thomas sits here."
It was then that I realized this guy wasn't putting stuff on my seat to annoy me. He was saving me the seat every morning. And this whole time he saw me as a friend, but I was too busy thinking about myself to take him into consideration. Cheesy as it sounds, I was touched.
I ended up going into class, and of course he cleared the seat and said "Ah, Tom. You here. Okay." And I did get a high five. At the end of class I asked him if he wanted to get a bite to eat with me. We did. And we talked for a while. I got through the broken English and learned that he moved here from the Middle East to pursue a college education in America. He plans to go back after he gets his degree. He's got two kids and a wife. He works full time and sends all his left over money back home to his wife.
Moral of the story? Don't do what I did and constantly only think about yourself. It took me nearly the entire semester to get my head out of my ass and realize this guy was just trying to be my friend. Better late than never I suppose.
Pointer to a Yahoo! Lifestyle video featuring Anne McClain
Some working parents fret about the need to travel for business. Astronaut Anne McClain, who will be heading to the International Space Station in November, offers a balanced perspective shared by many. Some of her thoughts have been included in a short Yahoo! Lifestyle video (<2 min). Enjoy!
Inspired by the Harvard Business Review podcast: "Couples That Work"
About two months after our second child was born, I was interviewing for a new job. I'd spent the previous few years at a start-up that never came close to delivering the compensation I'd walked away from with my previous employer. So when I received a respectable offer to return to that "previous employer" as a contractor, and in a role I'd filled right out of college nine years earlier, I felt relieved, encouraged, and happy to get my foot back in the door.
But my husband didn't feel the same way. He told me that if I took that job I'd "ruin the family name" because I was overqualified for it and capable of more. He thought I needed to continue my search until I found a position that better aligned with my experience and provided compensation that aligned with that experience.
That wasn't exactly the encouraging response I was expecting, so I paused, and then I took his advice. A month later I landed a much better offer for a position that required the experience I'd acquired and would compensate me accordingly.
My husband's surprising encouragement to walk away from the "lesser" offer really caught me off guard. I'd always appreciated that he supported me, but I'd never realized how much he respected my capabilities. It was a huge confidence booster, and in hindsight, a defining moment that kept my career on track at a time when it could have easily been derailed. (It's also worth mentioning that by pushing me to take on more responsibility at work, demands on his time at home were certainly going to increase, so he didn't have much to gain by pushing me to strive for more.) Of course I ended up taking the better offer, and I never looked back.
It turns out that this kind of "tough love" advice is a trait found within successful dual career couples according to an interesting Harvard Business Review podcast called "Couples That Work". Guest Jennifer Petriglieri calls this providing a "secure base" and points out that this kind of encouragement, when one spouse actually pushes the other to move further outside the relationship, is how we thrive, develop and grow. Interestingly, it's often the same kind of encouragement we give to our children to ensure they become capable adults.
Every young couple who wants to strengthen their relationship and career opportunities should listen to at least the first 10 minutes of this podcast.
Current events commentary
At Working Parent Stories we have a single focus; encouraging working parents who are committed to their kids and their careers. Since the beginning of time, most parents have needed to work, but it's a relatively new reality in many parts of the world to have men and women collaborating side-by-side as peers in the workplace. Norms continue to shift as expectations and opportunities for working parents evolve and the value of increased diversity in the workplace continues to reveal itself in new and interesting ways.
When we become parents, we take on the significant responsibility to nurture another human being. And when parents are able to make contributions beyond their own families, they further strengthen their children, families, and communities. This assertion has been exemplified recently via the value delivered by working parent Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Judge Aquilina, a mother to five children and a grandmother, has presided over the sentencing of convicted criminal Larry Nassar, and she is credited with creating an environment that gave the victims the space they needed to tell their stories. As CNN anchor Michaela Pereira pointed out earlier today, Judge Aquilinia enabled the young women victims "to go from not being heard and believed to being heard, seen, validated, and believed."
Judge Aquilina is 59 years old. Over the years it's possible, and maybe even probable, that she's had at least a few days when she may have felt like she had taken on too much as she balanced family and professional responsibilities. But the value of her most recent contributions are impossible to ignore. They enable us to clearly recognize that her extra effort has resulted in strengthened victims, families, and communities. Her work reminds each of us why our own work can be so important.
It's impossible to know where our career paths will lead us, but it's encouraging when we are reminded that when we strive to apply our skills and use them to do the right thing, we are best positioned to make positive contributions. The work we do, and the examples we set, make a difference. Often progress occurs and we don't even realize it. When we're lucky, we can see the differences we make. Either way, the contributions matter.
Submitted by Kelly Coon
Throughout the day, I wear a slew of different hats. I'm a mom to three boys and a rescue pup, a wife, a writer, an editor, and as of November of 2017, an author with a book deal from Penguin Random House. I'm over the moon to report that my first young adult fantasy is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2019. It recounts the tale of a 16-year-old healer's apprentice who must save a dying Sumerian king or her little sister will be buried alive to serve him in the Netherworld.
My sons say it's spooky, but cool.
After many years of dedicated work, it's thrilling to be able to say that the book (and its sequel) will be published. It's a lifelong dream fulfilled. A bucket-list item I can check off my list. But this excitement pales compared to the gift I received on Christmas morning. My 10-year-old son, Brady, made me save his gift for last. With bright eyes, he watched me intently as I tore into the package. To my surprise, nestled with the greatest of care inside a little box, was a Harry Potter snitch bookmark, a gift he'd given because, in his words, "Now, you're an author like J. K. Rowling."
It's a trinket I will treasure every day of my life. For in that moment, he hadn't just recognized me as his mom, or his dad's wife, or the crazy person running around doing all the things I do on a daily basis; he'd seen my innermost passion, had recognized it, and had reached across from himself to me to express his shared joy in my journey.
Nothing will ever touch that.
Pointer to a video about Rachel Freier
Some parents have a lot of children. Some parents follow religious traditions. And some parents have demanding jobs. This parent broke the mold when she combined all three. Watch this video (~6 min) to learn more about her impressive story on the Megyn Kelly TODAY show.
Sisters First was written by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Lately I've been watching YouTube videos while exercising, and recently I stumbled across some very entertaining segments featuring the Bush Twins, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, daughters of former president George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. These young women (now 36) have been on tour promoting their new book Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life. They are highly entertaining, and I especially enjoyed their Nov 8, 2017 interview at the Reagan Library.
After watching a number of their interviews, I started to wonder if I really needed to read the book, but finally decided to buy it in an effort to encourage them to keep the stories coming. And I'm glad I did. It's entertaining, informative, and touching, and there are quite a few stories in the book that haven't been shared via the interviews. The reason I mention it within the context of Working Parent Stories is that I think it provides a valuable example of how a parent's career can not only enhance a child's life, but how it can shape it as well. It's probably not surprising that these young women's lives have been shaped by their experiences as "first daughters", but their stories seem to present a suprising case for the value a working parent's career can provide to his or her children.
The interviews left me wondering if their childhoods were almost too good to be true, and while watching them I even started to feel a little like a slacker parent, but the book does a great job of painting a more well-rounded picture of their family life and a portrait that I personally found encouraging and inspiring. This is a collection of stories that are likely to encourage working parents everywhere.
If you ever wonder if your career is helping your kids, I recommend you read this book or at least watch one or more of the videos. The stories are likely to bring you comfort and they may even inspire you to find new ways to be sure that your career is influencing and shaping your own children in a positive way. Happy reading!