Episode 09

A hug and a sword for working mothers

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Being a working parent in the United States has its challenges.

It’s especially difficult for women, who face the motherhood penalty - or the idea that once becoming a mother, they’re less competent and committed to work - which results in lower earnings and fewer opportunities for career advancement.

The good news is - more and more research is being released around the motherhood penalty.

In fact, Claudia Goldin won the Nobel prize in economics in 2023 for studying women in the workforce and gender equity…which is one step in the right direction to drive change with this societal issue.

In Parentaly’s line of work, we meet many other women committed to building more equitable environments for working mothers.

One such person is Paula Faris.

Paula has a fascinating story. After a 20+ years with a career in TV, she left it all behind and founded CARRY Media™, where she champions women to transform the reality of working mothers.

So after years of following her career as an Emmy-winning journalist, I was so excited to bring her onto the podcast to talk about something we’re both very passionate about: supporting women in the workforce.

We covered her transition out of TV to become a trusted resource for working mothers with her launch of CARRY Media and dug into some of the interesting topics she covered in her book: You Don't Have to Carry It All: Ditch the Mom Guilt and Find a Better Way Forward.


Disclaimer: This podcast transcript is autogenerated and may contain minor errors or discrepancies. 

Allison: Thank you so much for being here today, Paula, I'm so excited to welcome you to The False Tradeoff Podcast.

Paula: Thank you so much for having me, Allison. This has been circled on my calendar. Can't wait. Thank you!

Allison: Yeah, well, I will start with a very guilty admission, which is that I am a super fan of yours and The View. I watched The View for 10 years. I should admit, I don't actually watch it anymore, but for a period of like 10 years, the only time when you were on, I watched it every single day to the point that my now husband was like… a little disturbed. He's like, why are you prioritizing watching The View every night?

Paula: Aww, thank you! That's hilarious. Oh my gosh, it's not for everybody, but I guess it was for you, right?

Allison: I know. And I was in my twenties and my husband's like, are you sure you're the demo that they're going for here?

Paula: No, no you weren't. No, you were the outlier. Ha ha ha.

Allison: I even tried to go in the audience once. I was on a work trip in New York. I got tickets and I couldn't go because I felt it was slightly unethical to be on a work trip and sneak out to The View. And that was the period when you were there. So I could have met you then.

Paula: Why, it's fact finding! Oh well, we're meeting now. I can get you tickets now. I still have very good friends at the show if you ever wanna go back, so.

Allison: Oh my goodness. We've joked, this is my, I'm turning 40 in a few weeks. Which by the way, happy birthday. I thought, I saw it was just your birthday.

Paula: Thank you. Yes, I'm a couple years older than you, but that's okay. I'm your, I'm your elder. Just remember that Alison. Okay.

Allison: I hope that I can follow in your footsteps. But anyway, to bring this full circle, obsessed with The View, then I see that you started CARRY Media and it is a topic that is so closely related to what I'm working on now. So I was like, this is the perfect mix of stuff for us to talk about today. So, you read your book, there are so many things in this book that I wanna talk about. Before I get into the topics in the book that I found most interesting and exciting, and I would say controversial, which is fun.

I want to start, like the book sort of starts about talking about this theme of burnout. Bring me back to your personal burnout. So you were at The View, GMA, kind of talking in the book about how you started researching this topic of working motherhood, but it wasn't totally clear to me. Where did this spark get lit? Like when do you start really becoming passionate about the topic of working motherhood within the context of your own journey?

Paula: Totally, yeah. So I remember it was 2018, like the height of my career, I was anchoring GMA, like you said, and co-hosting The View, and seemingly had it all, right? But I didn't, and I was so burned out. It's that typical mom guilt. When you're at work, you feel like you should be home. When you're home, you feel like you should be at work. And it's that expectation as well from society that you're supposed to work like you don't have kids and raise kids like you don't have a job.

And I just found in that moment, I decided to pump the brakes at the height of my career because I didn't feel like I was seeing my kids very much. I was working weird hours. And I just didn't feel like I was prioritizing my family and didn't have a huge support system as well. And I pumped the brakes at the height of my career. This was 2018 and I became a general correspondent at ABC. And then just to kind of get my life back to work Monday through Friday so I could see my kids, to see my husband, you know? And what good is it to, you know, gain the world but lose your soul in the process? And I kind of felt like once I got to the top, that's what it looked like for me. And, you know, who I was, the person I was, was kind of clashing with the choices I was making. And I just wanted to be part of, like, I wanted to be more present with my kids.

So, pump the brakes. And then a year later, right at the beginning of the pandemic, like end of 2019, beginning of 2020,I learned that they weren't going to resign me. And I didn't, there was really no explanation given other than it was just a business decision. And I had to figure out in that moment…I lived in that tension. I had kind of become a mentor to a lot of new moms at work, like, how do you do it? Cause I had three little kids. How do you do it? How do you work and mom?

And I really started realizing when I was working that motherhood is very marginalized in this country. It was my own experience of just getting passed over on promotions and getting paid less, being valued less, being scrutinized more. The motherhood penalty, I experienced it in the workforce. So did almost all of my friends who had become mothers. It's like all of a sudden we become, we're mothers and we're all of a sudden at risk and a liability and we don't get the promotion. We don't get the job often. We're paid less and valued less than if we have to spend time with a sick kid, we're scrutinized for it.

Allison: Yeah.

Paula: And so I realized in this moment, it was like, it was a combination of things. It was my own experience and the experience of my friends in the workplace. And then I lose my job and I'm like, what do I do now? Do I stay in TV? That's like a lot of people would expect me to stay in TV. I've worked in TV for over two decades. And it's the comfortable choice, or do I kinda do something about this thing? Like the marginalization of motherhood.

Allison: Mm-hmm.

Paula: It was my experience, the experience of so many mothers. We have to choose between kids and careers in this country. The motherhood penalty, the mom tax, all of that, mom guilt. I'm like, what do I do with it? I don't know what to do with it. And we decided to blow up our lives and leave New York City and move to a small town in South Carolina where my sister was living. So that's how we ended up down here. And I was like, I need to do something about this.

And so I formed a company. I didn't know anything about forming a company. I just had this burning passion to really be an advocate for working motherhood and for mothers and to make sure motherhood was celebrated, to make sure being a working mom works. And so formed CARRY a couple of years ago, we want to help carry the burdens of working moms because they're working so hard. And I also felt like the sector of working mothers, it's not things are either for women or they're for mothers. And I'm like, what about the working moms?

There's like 40 million working moms. And most of us are working because we have to. And guess what? Even if we want to work, why are we demonized for it? I really felt like there was this sector that just wasn't being supported and wasn't being seen and heard. And so that's why I really wanted to devote everything. And that's why we're focusing on working moms.

And yes, all moms work. Okay, so I get that a lot. I know, but this is specifically for the tension that mothers in the workplace have to feel. And so I formed this company two years ago. We create content, load lessening content to help working moms. We're also doing some work behind the scenes that the consumer doesn't see, some B2B work, some advocacy work to make sure that the workplace does work for mothers and that they do feel well supported and that they are hired, but that they also are supported and that they are valued in the workplace. So that's kind of how it all came to be. There wasn't this one moment, that experience, losing my job, and then deciding to do something about it.

Allison: I want to dig into a few of the things. So I focus on the topic of working motherhood and parenthood in general. It's hard to surprise me. I was surprised over and over in your book. So some things I'm surprised by, there's a lot of actually great research in this book that I thought you did a really good job of summarizing into the forefront. I want to, I want to cover a few of the things that really took me back because I find them fascinating. The happiness gap, the U S….it stopped me in my tracks because you describe, and maybe I'll let you share in your own words, what did you discover about the happy snap from mothers in the US versus everywhere else?

Paula: Well, the book, You Don't Have To Carry It All: Ditch The Mom Guilt And Find A Better Way Forward - I wanted this book to feel like a hug and a sword. I wanted mothers to feel seen and heard, but I also wanted them to feel really empowered. And I wanted there to be some almost myth busting, some context as to like, here's why it's so freaking hard. You know, so I talked to historians, I talked to sociologists, I talked to thought leaders, I talked to theologians, I talked to moms from all walks of life to figure out like, not just like what we can do to support working moms and why it's important.

One of those people I spoke with, who you just aforementioned, the happiness gap, Dr. Jennifer Glass. She's a sociology professor at the University of Texas. She's also the head of research. No, she's the executive director at the Council for Contemporary Families. And I was talking to her, and I said, she gave me a lot of background from a sociological perspective about the roles of women in society about how families have been treated over the years, about the American family, the nostalgia we feel for the 1950s family, but that was good for part of the people part of the time based on awful things. The most traditional American family was the family that worked side by side, co-produced, co-labored. But Dr. Jennifer Glass released a journal, I don't know if it was like eight years ago, and she said in her terms it was a smoking gun because she knew that being a parent in America was very hard because of the stress and strain, but she just didn't understand like she couldn't put her finger on exactly why.

And so she released this study and the happy gap is very much an American thing. It means that there is a substantial gap between the happiness of parents and non-parents. You'd think that parenthood would make you more happy or more fulfilled.

But America, it's the opposite. We're actually less happy than non-parents are. And it's because, specifically because of the stress and the strain of raising children in this country, this country was not created nor formed or doesn't survive and thrive through policy attitudes in society to make it easy for families. We make it more difficult. That's why you're also seeing lower birth rates. We still want the same amount of children, but because of the stress and strain,

We're having fewer and fewer kids because being a working parent just doesn't work in this country. It's freaking hard to have kids. We don't have support from the policymakers. We don't have support from society. We have a general attitude in this country of your kid, your problem. It's not like that in other countries. So this happy gap is an American phenomenon and it just shows that there is, and it's very much an American thing. It's related to the stress and strain of raising children in this country.

Allison: Mm-hmm. Something that comes up a lot in your book also is childcare and the cost of childcare. And so when I think about the happy gap, I hear a lot from Europe, which obviously they get a lot of support, whether that's pay parental leave that's supported from the government or in certain countries where they get free childcare starting at age zero, right? Whereas we wait until public school starts around the age of six. You talked a little bit about how, and I hate to jump to solutions because I have other things that I want to talk about…

Paula: No, we can talk about it all, whatever. We can jump all over the place. Ha ha ha.

Allison: I keep going back to these solutions of like, to me, what I find so difficult in this space, and I also have three children, three young children right now. My childcare fell through last week and it felt like our world was over for those days because we cannot survive without childcare.

For me, childcare is at the absolute crux of this. In researching this book, when you think about the solutions, does it, like in your opinion, is it also like 90% childcare is the issue or were there other things that you found that you're like, okay, yes, childcare is very, very important, but there are these other things as well.

Paula: I think childcare is a huge issue and it's the number one barrier for women in the workforce is childcare. So I would say absolutely. I actually just gave a talk, Allison, for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and it was specifically about the childcare crisis. And it was so great because I actually just presented a case for why affordable and quality, and by the way...both of those things, affordable and quality child care are necessary. They are necessary for a healthy and robust economy. They are necessary for healthy families. They're necessary. It is necessary for gender equality to have child care. And it is the number one barrier to women in the workforce. It's like all this stuff has happened. You've seen the skyrocketing cost of child care. In 34 states, it costs more to send your kid to daycare for a year than it does to send them to in-state college, right, tuition. We just went off a childcare cliff. We know that the costs are out of control. We know that it disproportionately affects women. We know it's the number one barrier to women in the workforce. We know we're losing 120 billion plus in our economy because of the inability to access childcare, and yet people still don't care.

And I think so yes, childcare…but it's the getting people to care. And that's why we have to show that, look y'all, we need this. You can't grow your economy without a labor force. And if you make it difficult on families to have children, we will have fewer and fewer children. This is what's happening right now in Asia, in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, China. The governments are investing hundreds of billions of dollars to reverse the trend because they know without healthy families and children, they cannot grow their economy. And so they're starting to feel the repercussions of having low birth rates.

And we will continue to have low birth rates in this country if we make it difficult on families. So just presenting that case for why we have to have it, why it's necessary for healthy families, why it's necessarily necessary for gender equality, all of that. But there are so many solutions.

There's so many things that we can do, Allison, outside of you know, I don't think a lot of us want a universal child care program. I'm sorry, the federal government is terribly inefficient, but there are so many things we could do at a local and state level. There are things we can do within our community. There are things companies should be doing. Um, there are things companies already are doing that are giving me some hope. But yes, and we need to do something about it because again, it's the number one barrier for women in the workforce is childcare, the lack of access to quality and affordable, not just affordable, not just quality, but it's got to be quality and affordable childcare.

Allison: Yeah. One thing you talked about that I found really interesting in the book is you are obviously, faith is really important to you. And I had never heard this way of speaking about God's intent for equality in the workplace in the way that you presented it in the book. I found it incredibly interesting. I'm going to read something that I highlighted from your book that I thought was so interesting.

Because this is just so deeply important to me. So you're talking about, well, how one of the problems that we have in society is that we view the woman as the caretaker. That then becomes her problem. She's in charge of childcare. It's a big reason why women then struggle at work if they're taking on all the burden of childcare. And so you're talking about the woman as a role taking on that childcare burden, and you say:

Why? Because her body is capable of creating food for her baby? Is that God's or evolution's way of telling us that the mother should be the primary caregiver? If that's your argument, you could also reason that a man's superior physical strength is a similar indicator that he should provide the majority of care, seeing as how he is capable of protecting and defending his young.

I was like, yes!

Paula: Mm-hmm. Ha ha ha!

Allison: Because I mean, I just think that that's so brilliant. And you then went on to talk about actually, that was a little bit more tongue in cheek, you know, of like, oh really? You know, you actually did give other examples later on about Adam and Eve and how if you really want to talk about faith within the context of caregiving, there are actually a lot of examples from the Bible and from religion and all that do show that we should be equal.

Tell me more about how you included this because I've never heard it put that way before.

Paula: So it's very much a mainstream book. I am a Christian. I've always talked about my deep faith. I've never I've never been shy about it. But I always try to be respectful. I did a former podcast and I talk to people of all different faiths. So I, I just wanted to specifically in this chapter, chapter five, which is the chapter you're referring to, I wanted to acknowledge that a lot of the tension that so many women feel might be due to their tradition or their culture or their faith.

And not just Christian faith, but I know a lot of Muslim friends. I have a Black Hat Jewish friend that has felt that their particular tradition or religion has said something specific about their role and where they belong. I only wanted to speak about my experience because I wanted to be respectful of that. So I talked about the tension that I felt as a working mom, so much of it was related to the way I was raised in a very conservative Christian home where, you know, oh, but it's your job to stay home with the kids and that's your job to raise the children.

And so I had a hard time reconciling these ambitions that I felt were God given, right, of working outside of the home and reconciling that with the messages that I heard growing up. And that was so much of the tension I carried. So that's why I wanted to acknowledge that it's something that a lot of women feel, like their culture has told them what their role is. So specifically I tackled, okay, well, what does the Bible really say about our roles as women in society and home and at work?

And so I talked to the head of theology from Proverbs 31 Ministries, a gentleman, his name is Joel Modomale, and he said that it's very important from the very beginning of scriptures, Adam and Eve were called to subdue the earth together. There was never this indication that one was supposed to go off and the other was supposed to take care of things while the other one went off. He said they were called to have dominion over the earth together.

And then there are countless examples throughout the Bible, the Old Testament, and the New Testament where women had ambition outside of the home. Even the Proverbs 31 woman who is, if you're a person of faith or not, you probably have heard her thrown around. We kind of reduce her to a domestic housewife. But in reality, she was a masterful negotiator. She bought a field with her earnings.

She was a shrewd businesswoman. In fact, the security and the strength and the stability of her region and her community rested on her. And back in the day, too, the men were at war. So this isn't just what the Bible say. Historically, women have described themselves as hardworking and resourceful. It wasn't really until the 50s when we pushed men out of the home and pushed women out of the workforce that we were like, well, the woman's the nurturer. And she's the man's the provider. He's a failure if he provide for his family. And if you're a woman, you have any ambition outside of the home, you're a menace to society. It's a disease. So that chapter was just really, I found so much freedom in researching that particular chapter freedom from a lot of the message that I've been told. And sadly, as a Christian, I know that a lot of scriptures have been weaponized against women.

And that's not God's way. So I found a ton of freedom. And I wanted to give other women from different faiths or different cultures who've grown up in similar situations where they were told what their role is and they were diminished. I wanted to give them some freedom. And actually not just freedom, I wanted to nod to them and that tension that they have felt because so much of it is our bias, how we were raised, our childhood, what we've been told. And a lot of women are carrying that.

Allison: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I thought what I found really interesting about it is there's, to me, and I'm not a religious person, and still reading this book, I found it to be incredibly educational. And there are a lot of themes from this. Like when I read this, it was like, yes, we want everyone to be a caregiver. And your point here is...men, women, we all have things about us that make us great caregivers. And why do we just pick the things from the woman that indicates that she should be the one to stay at home with the children?

When I had my first child, my husband did not get paid leave. And you talk a lot about how this is one of the solutions is having fathers actually take their leave. It's something that I think back on all the time. We had our first child, I had no idea what was going on. And I remember being so shocked that the overwhelming majority of my parental leave was just caretaking. It wasn't really about, I mean, I was very fortunate. I had an easy delivery, so my physical recovery was fine. I thought, oh yes, of course I get this time because I gave birth and I need to do all these things that only I can do, when in reality, I was like, no, no. 90% of the stuff that's happening in this time, he could do as well. So that's why I love that excerpt because I thought exactly right that caretaking is universal.

Paula: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, we've just kind of become the default and there's a couple of reasons. Well, first of all, it's not intuitive it's not helpful in a society where Most mothers have to work to put food on the table and in a society where 70% of mothers will be the primary breadwinner At some point in their child's lives, but the mom default out of the gate if you think about it It's maternity leave, right? It's rare to find paternity leave.

So out of the gate, we're the ones that have to figure it out. We have to figure out the new responsibilities at home, managing the home, managing the child, work, everything. And the dad goes off. But that's just the expectation. That's how it's been. I mean, my husband never took Paternity League with our third. He went back the next day. And I remember the way that he was received as like, look at him. He's back at work. Look how committed he is to his. I just was so annoyed. Because it was celebrated.

Allison: Yeah.

Paula: But we are the default out of the gate, and it's not healthy. It's not how it was supposed to be. The most traditional American family throughout our history was the one. It was when they were co-producing, they were co-laboring, they were parenting together. They were actual partners.

And I do get excited about this next generation, Allison, for a couple of reasons. You've seen this research that millennial dads are spending three times more time with their children than their dads did. Gen Z, the number one benefit that they want is not healthcare. The number one benefit Gen Z wants is childcare benefits. Over half of them would leave a job for childcare stipends. Over half of them would leave a job for better childcare options. They're becoming partners. The spouses are becoming, they're becoming true partners. So it's not like you do this, I do that. You're actually partnering in everything together. I just think that that's a better dynamic at home. It's better for the kid. It's better for the relationship. And I do have a lot of hope that this next generation wants something totally different. And it's all going to benefit the family at the end of the day, it really will.

But the default, the mom default, and again, often we're the ones that end up staying home because we make less. Mothers make $0.70 on the dollar. Pew Research says that women make $0.84 on the dollar compared to men. But mothers make even less. We make $0.70. That's the motherhood penalty.

Allison: Yeah.

Paula: And so if we continue to pay mothers less than what we're worth, we're going to continue those cycles of debt and poverty, especially because so many moms will be the primary breadwinner. So it's not intuitive. The default isn't intuitive. It's not effective, not in a society where most mothers have to work.

Allison: You talk also about spousal equity, which I found really interesting and how you had a period of time in your career where I believe you had an opportunity to go to Chicago and your husband then followed you for lack of a better term.

Paula: Yep, I hate that term, but how else am I gonna explain it? You know what I mean?

Allison: Yeah, which I related to as well. My husband and I, we both met at business school. We were identical on paper. And it's been something that we've had to navigate, do we have to pick one of us to have the right person? Right, exactly. And we've tried over time to be equals.

Paula: Whose career takes precedence, right? Mm-hmm.

Allison: And in reality, I think a more realistic way of looking at this is kind of the fluctuating piece. And so I followed him. He then followed me to Chicago for my next, we're kind of taking turns. And for us, that's what we found works really well. You then talk in the book about how this idea of spousal equity is really important because we can't go back to that default of the father or the man in that type of a relationship where the woman is sort of taking on all of the burden of running the household. Anyway, what do you think about spousal equity now? Am I summarizing this in the right way?

Paula: No, no, I think it's well, it gets back to yes, and you mentioned, so when my career was taking off, my husband was a basketball coach and we had to move. I was in Dayton, we I should say, we were in Dayton in Cincinnati and then I had an opportunity to go to Chicago and then from Chicago to New York. And so twice he left his job to follow mine, but it was a collective decision. It was a decision that we made together. It's a decision that I think a lot of men would have a hard time making.

And so I said, my story of spousal equity is the exception. But it's no wonder because, and that's where I get into the research. Like even amongst some of the greatest minds, there's a research study from the Harvard Business School graduates, 25,000 were surveyed whose career would take precedent. And the majority said it was going to be the man's. And that's how it played out. And that the woman choosing family over career was the number one detriment to her moving up. And it's like, we're not groomed for these positions, even though we're more credentialed as women. We have more college degrees now, but we don't have, we're not placed in position to have these leadership positions because we might do something crazy and have a baby, right? So we are given the positions that we're given, we're not being groomed for those larger positions. But...

The equity thing, it's just, again, I think we're living under such a generational weight, Allison, of this is how our parents and grandparents did it. But that's why, from a research and historical perspective, why it was really important for me to peel back those layers of the American family. And the most traditional nuclear family wasn't that 1950s family. It was the family that worked side by side, that labored and produced and parented together.

Allison Whalen: Mm-hmm.

Paula: So this idea and notion that the man's job's always going to take precedent. Women were always respected. No, we were third rate citizens and deferred to the man throughout history, but we were always respected in society as hardworking and productive. And at any moment, we had to be able to take over the butcher shop, the farm, whatever it was that our husbands owned. And we could because we were working side by side in the field with them. We were working. We were candle makers. We were the original brew masters. We were working hard alongside of them. So we were seen as perfectly capable to negotiate and take over the business. But the default and the inequity and the expectation that the man's job will be more important than the woman's job and will take precedent, it's fairly new. And we're still living with that generational weight.

We're seeing much more equity today. We're seeing partnership today with these millennial dads and even the young Gen Zers. And even if you bring up some of these issues, they don't even realize that they are issues because they haven't lived with the generational weight that we have. The scene that like my grandma didn't even finish high school. My mom didn't go to college because it wasn't, because the expectation, it's not her job, right? She only had an opportunity to become a secretary. So a lot of it is the generational weight. It's how we were raised.

Allison: Right.

Paula: But times are changing, but it's still, there is still this expectation still to this day that our job won't be the precedent and why should it? We're not paid as much. So it only makes sense for us to pursue our spouse's job. So, but my story was the exception and as is yours, but I, you know, and I'm hoping for brighter days ahead where it's a partnership.

Allison: Yeah. Right. Speaking of partnership, what was the conversation like when you went to your husband, you said, I want to start CARRY Media. I want to throw my life up in the air and do something very risky. What did that conversation look like?

Paula: Oh, he's been so supportive. Mm-hmm. I want to empty a couple of retirement accounts, please. He's been super supportive. He really has. He understands that this is like my call and mission right now in this season of life. I'm super passionate about it. And he's always been the one that's been cheering me on, like even getting my big break in television, he was the one that was encouraging me to go for it. So he has been a huge supporter and a big proponent and a great partner. I feel like it's just in the last couple of years that he stepped it up at home with the domestic labor, you know, that unpaid labor we talk about at home, you know, he's very involved now. But I think again, it's I had to give him the benefit of the doubt because we were both raised in these conservative homes where the mom did everything at home, and now we're both working. I want my kids to see a dad who's involved in everything, who's doing the laundry alongside of me. You know what I mean? Who's doing the dishes and helping to cook and clean. It's not like your job, it's our job to do that together. I want my sons to be good partners. I want my daughter to be a good partner. I want her to know how to treat a man and how she should be treated, and I want my sons to know how to treat a woman and how to be treated by a woman.

And so much of that starts at home in the example that we give our kids. So it's taken a while, it's taken a lot of honest dialogue and it can't come from a place of heated emotion. We've been married 23 years, so there's been plenty of heated emotion. But it's taken a while for us to get here. We're in a really good place. We both took our kids, our two youngest to their doctor's appointments today. And yes, I filled out all the paperwork, but he made the appointments. Whereas in years past, it's like, do you even know our teachers? Or do you even know the teacher's names? You know, probably not. So it's taken a while to get here. But again, it's that expectation that wasn't expected. That's not how they grew up. They grew up in a different, you know, they may have grown up with something different. And so we have to give each other grace in that. But we want something different for our kids than what we had.

Allison: Yeah. I want to end by talking a little bit about CARRY Media. What has been the biggest excitement thing that has come out of this that maybe surprised you? And what would success, what is your big success over the next year? Like what is the thing that would get you really excited if you could say, I've done this in the next one year?

Paula: Yeah. Oh my gosh, in the next one year, I... Oh, I'm so bad with that, Allison. I'm like the 5-10 year plan. So we're growing. We have a weekly newsletter called The Carry All For and By Working Moms. I would love to start hiring and growing and scaling. Like five, 10 years, I'd love to sell it, but be on the board and still have a role in decision making. I would love to be so successful that we could sell it, and I could still be part of it, and I could kind of be the face and the spokesperson for these issues. I'm not good with like QuickBooks and paying people. You know, that's not my wheelhouse, Allison.

Like, let me just do me and go out there and beat the drum, you know, publicly and talk about why it's important and build that case for childcare. Oh yeah, you don't think it's your problem? Well, maybe it is because we can't grow our economy. And if we don't have children for a labor force, like help me, let me go out there and really be the advocate. That would be a win is to start growing and scaling. And for me to find a business partner where I can kind of move out of those day-to-day business decisions and kind of work more in the media space.

But yeah, I'm real excited. It just supercharges me. I have such a passion. I want, at the end of the day, it's not just about advocating for working moms, it's about strengthening families. And any successful movement has to have allies. So that's why we need dads to join in. This isn't an anti-male movement, we disrupt, we don't destruct. Our biggest allies could be our spouses and our husbands. And that's why I think one of the greatest things we can do for gender equality is for fathers to either take their paternity leave and if they don't take it to fight for it because it changes the dynamic out of the gate. We're not the default out of the gate. So out of the gate of that new chapter of parenthood, it's not just the mom figuring it out. It's mom and dad figuring it out together, right? It's partnering together. Imagine how that would just change families out of the gate, so change the dynamic. Yeah, I need a business partner though. Look, I'm doing my best. I have a passion. I love to ask questions and advocate for people. I'll keep doing my thing, but I'd love to do my thing, you know, and walk in my strengths.

Allison: Yeah. Oh, you're killing me. I am a business person. I'm like, if I didn't have my own business, I would be... It would be a perfect story.

Paula: I need a business partner, seriously, I do. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses, so there it is.

Allison: Well, this is great. I love what you're doing. I found the book really fascinating. Even though I know the space really well, I thought you'd watch it and go, I know all of it. At first, I mean, I was excited to read it because I'm a big fan of yours, but I'm like, oh, you know, I read a lot of these books in the same space. And so I'm like, is this gonna be the same stuff? And it wasn't.

Paula: Thank you, that's a huge compliment coming from you. My gosh.

Allison: You brought a lot of really great points to the forefront. And so I've been thinking about how do we highlight, you know, a lot of those takeaways to make them really digestible for folks, because I just think that there's a lot there and it's a lot of, you know, we run a parental leave coaching program for folks going through this experience and so much to talk about, it starts in parental leave and it starts with that happiness gap and how everything falls on one person and how do you create systems at home to support you in child care? You know, there's just so many things in this book that I was furiously taking notes on because I think it it's just so interesting and so we will link out to and your newsletter is incredible. I think it comes out, is it Sunday nights once a week?

Paula: Sundays, although we're changing the deployment date. I think we're gonna try Tuesdays because we're realizing Sunday evening, like a lot of us are still checked out, you know? So we're gonna try to do…

Hi, Landon, come say hi to my friend, Allison. Come here. He's sick. He's sick today. He's sick. Come on, it's okay. Dad had a cold today. Oh, he did? Are you, he's all sweaty. He's, he was outside running around. Say hi, this is my youngest, Landon. Hi. Say hi, Miss Allison. Hi, Miss Allison.

Allison: Oh no! Is he home with the flu?

Paula: Okay, you're sweaty. No, he's not at home with the flu. No, he was just coughing. He had a little bit of asthma this morning. And real talk, we had their well appointments. And because he wasn't, like he was coughing and needed his inhaler, we're like, eh, we just won't take you back to school today. And dad had a call and you wouldn't be able to get on it. And dad had a call and he wouldn't be able to go back to school. So there you go, real talk, right there. Okay, honey, I'll be out in a little bit, okay? So funny.

Allison: Yep, welcome to our life! Do you love working from home? I love it.

Paula: That's the joy of doing this from your home. I do love it. I do, and I still get out, you know, quite a bit to speak or to what have you. I'm out and about. But I love the flexibility of working for a moment. It's something that a lot of us don't have a choice, but it's the number one, it's the number one thing that all employees across boards, not just parents want, 95% of employees want flexible schedules and that's why I'm like if companies don't start listening 70% of the modern workforce is going to comprise of Millennials and Gen Z in the next year by 2025 They want something different Companies need to start listening to what companies need to start listening to their people because if they don't they're gonna face a serious hiring and retention crisis if they're not already listening to what this next generation wants.

They are going to be the dominant force in the workforce soon. They want something totally different. Give it to them, be creative, and commit to measuring the measurables, right? And, oh, you're working 35 hours? Well, guess what? You give a working mom something, like we could probably get it done in 25 hours. Are we gonna be penalized because we're much more efficient now that we become mothers? So measure the measurables. Listen to your people.

Allison: Yeah, and even back to the whole equity issue, if you have, I found that when my husband and I are both working from home, which he works from home four out of five days, that day when he's not working from home, everything falls on me. And so we're both at home, we are splitting it equally, if not actually, my husband does way more than I do. We are really not the norm in that sense. But when he's at the office, I'm on, that's it.

Allison: Okay, Paula, well, thank you so much for all of your time today. We could talk for hours and hours. Now I'm walking away from this conversation thinking my goal is how do I figure out how to work with her more combined efforts.

Paula: Hey, I am, you know where to find me. You know where to find me, because I feel the same way. Thanks for having me on.