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The Professional Mental Load and the Maternity Leave Tax
Episode 148th February 2024 • The Mental Load • Katlynn Pyatt and Angie Cantrell
00:00:00 01:05:59

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Preparing for maternity leave and the start of the mental load.

Career coach to help moms navigate a career and children.

Women deal with a lot of emotions and roadblocks going into and coming back from maternity leave. How do we better prepare ourselves, our workplaces and our partners so the mental load at home and at work isn’t as bad? We had a great episode a couple weeks ago with Sarah Reeves about how to help shape the workplace into one that is more supportive for caregivers, so today’s conversation I think is going to be a nice follow-up to how to prepare yourself for the changes that come with becoming a mother and taking on more of the mental load both at home and in the office.

Today's guest is Lauren Gordon. Lauren is a dual-certified life and career coach for working moms, and a former senior leader in human resources at a global financial services company. She specializes in helping working moms fully enjoy life with a career and children, without trading happiness for a paycheck.

Lauren runs her own coaching practice where she works one-on-one with working moms who are navigating a wide range of personal and professional challenges. Lauren's areas of expertise include helping women to overcome feelings of stress, guilt, and overwhelm; ending imposter syndrome by growing their self-confidence; addressing people-pleasing and perfectionistic tendencies; navigating career decisions; and more.

 Lauren lives in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, Eli, and their three young daughters, ages 7, 5, and 3. When Lauren isn't coaching and teaching working moms, you can find her taking Peloton classes, reading, and continually trying to improve her cooking skills to keep up with the other members of her monthly cookbook club.

Visit to learn more about how to work with Lauren, and follow her on Instagram @workingmomcoach for tips you can begin applying to your life today.

The mental load isn’t just something that shows up at home, it’s also something that creeps in to our work lives. In the workplace, women spend more time on “non-promotable tasks” than men, which is unpaid work related to social or administrative “office housekeeping.” These types of activities are vital to maintaining company culture and strengthening team connections, but are not valued as strategic — and therefore come with little to no recognition, appreciation, reward, or career advantage.

In this episode, we explore:

  • Where the mental load started for us
  • What emotions women are facing personally and professionally going into maternity leave
  • What the mental load looks like professionally
  • How we can better prepare women for maternity leave
  • How the mental load perpetuates the stereotype that women are distracted or somehow not as good at their jobs after they have kids
  • How men prepare for maternity leave and how it looks different than women
  • How to prepare to return from maternity leave

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