In The Episode
The guest on today’s show is Karla Miller. Karla writes for the Washington Post Magazine’s weekly “Work Advice” column, where she answers questions on everything from co-worker clashes to employee rights issues. Karla, a wife and mother of two children, also works full time at a local accounting firm and is an active volunteer in her community.
Karla’s Parent at Work story started before she was even technically a parent while working for the same accounting firm that she does now. Her plan was to leave work and get her house in order about a week before her baby was due to arrive.
About six weeks before her due date, she woke up to find that her water had broken. That was lesson number one: children don’t give a hoot about what your plans are.
After spending a day in the hospital in labor, she had an emergency C-section. With that came lesson two for Karla: you really do need excellent co-workers and a supportive work environment to survive the experience of becoming a parent. Fortunately for Karla, she had all of that.
Listen in now to find out more about what Karla has learned through her experience of working and becoming a parent.
Today, Karla talks to Tom about:
– Her supportive work environment
– That with parenting, there are always things to juggle
– The often-overlooked difficulties of being a stay-at-home parent
– The work she does for the accounting firm that is fortunately quite flexible, so she can do a lot of it on her laptop, wherever she is, or via email
– All the different elements that she has to balance in her busy life
– Her particular blend of flexibility and freedom
– The stress that comes from having work flexibility
– The double standards in people’s attitudes toward male working parents compared with their attitudes toward women parents who work
– What she sees as a writer with parenting in the working world
– That it’s sometimes a relief and a welcome change of pace to go into work
– How she makes it work as a working parent
– A tip she has for parents: don’t overshare or overjustify yourself for being unavailable to work
– That every family is different
– How she landed her writing job at the Washington Post
– That turning a problem into a story helps you to get a better perspective on it
– The kinds of concerns that managers tend to have about their workers with children
– Parents sometimes try to take advantage of their situation to get a better deal at work
– Moms often learn to get much more done in much less time
– The sense of camaraderie that can develop between co-workers when they support and help each other
– The advice that she would give to her “before she had children” self
– The little things that one tends to miss as a parent, like going out for a meal and being able to eat with both of your hands
Read more at http://parentsatwork.libsyn.com/#B7e1g1GrZoLY1mKi.99
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See this podcast’s transcript.