I remember the day I found out I was pregnant, I was elated and fearful at the same time. It had been a long road to get here physically with two pregnancy losses and a diagnosis of severe endometriosis. I was fearful of whether my body was ready to handle this pregnancy, and I had just started a new job.
As International Women’s Day just passed, I reflected on all of the personal and professional choices I have had to face as a woman, and especially as a mother. I remember thinking I would need to take a few months off after naturally giving birth like the rock star that I was. I was so young, and so sweet. I had little to no idea how much my life was about to change. Serendipitously it seems, the department I was working for was shutting down, and I was laid off (like most people in the construction industry in 2009). While I’d worried about how this would affect me returning to the workforce after childbirth, I was grateful for the chance to focus on impending motherhood.
Jumping into the role full throttle, I embraced everything pregnancy and motherhood had to offer, ad nauseam. I met morning sickness, swollen feet, and constipation with the excitement of a toddler learning something for the first time. Really, looking back I want to smack myself and say, “Snap out of it!”.. Anyhow, I soon learned that this glorious time in my life where the world seemed to slow down just enough so I could get a better glimpse of it, would be known as the “Pause” according to Lisen Stromberg. Her new book “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career” has been described as “essential reading for all people – not just women” and I heartily agree.
Lisen is a former advertising executive in Silicon Valley who did the unthinkable in her industry. She dared to “pause”, by opting out and taking time to focus on her family. But her journey didn’t end there, she paused and then pivoted to become a social entrepreneur, and then an award-winning journalist writing about women, work, and life. Her new book Work Pause Thrive, shows how trailblazing women everywhere are disrupting the traditional career paradigm, and how you can too.
Deeply rooted in social science, and cutting edge data, Work Pause Thrive aims to change the way successful women are perceived. Until now, the perception has been that women who aren’t completely devoted, all of the time, won’t amount to much professionally. That simply isn’t true, Stromberg points out that many women who have enviable careers have paused. Just because we have hidden that gap on our resume’s for years, Lisen feels in order to shift that public perception, successful women need to open up about that time in their lives and share a new story. In one hundred and eighty-six first-person interviews, Lisen hopes to help women everywhere understand that pausing takes the long view on one’s career and honors the reality that sometimes we must reframe our priorities to meet the immediate needs of our family. Pausing and being wealthy aren’t mutually exclusive, in Stromberg’s book she emphasizes the need to understand these priorities and work to achieve a system that works for each individual family, in some cases requiring a father to pause and focus on their family.
I was lucky enough to be able to “pause” for my family, and pour all of my knowledge and passion into writing once the boys were a bit older. Which has now turned into a successfully monetized blog where I can share my thoughts and ideals on lifestyle choices such as parenting, family, food & travel.
“It is time to recognize that those who place the personal before the professional aren’t failures; they are career innovators who have the courage and grit to risk it all for that which matters most to them.” -Lisen Stromberg
I am partnering up to host a giveaway for Lisen’s best-selling book Work Pause Thrive! Enter below to find out:
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.