Science-backed Tips to Manage Working and Parenthood

Schonbrun, Yael.Headshot

Written by: Where Parents Talk Staff

Published: Apr 9, 2023

Working is increasingly an inherent part of modern parenthood. So, as a practicing clinical psychologist and academic — on solid ground professionally, financially and personally — Dr. Yael Schobrun safely assumed she was in the driver’s seat when she and her husband decided to become parents.

“It was a surprise to me that it was so hard,” Dr. Schonbrun admitted during an interview with Lianne Castelino for Where Parents Talk.

Click for video transcription

Welcome to where parents talk. My name is Lianne Castelino. Our guest today is a clinical psychologist, assistant professor at Brown University in psychiatry and human behavior. Dr. Yael Schonbrun is also a family therapist, a podcast host and an author. Her first book is called Work parent thrive 12 Science backed strategies to ditch guilt, manage, overwhelm, and grow connection. Dr. Schonbrun is also a mother of three children under the age of 12. She joins us today from outside Boston, Massachusetts. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to speak with you, Lianne.

Needless to say, after reading that introduction, you are one busy working mother. And you know, that’s an understatement. So at what point in your own journey as a parent, did you come to the conclusion that, you know, this really hit home for you personally?

Probably, right. When I became a working parents 12 years ago, I actually really anticipated having not too hard of a time because I had achieved a really stable professional life that I really loved with very supportive colleagues, many of whom were parents themselves, I had a supportive partnership, the flexible job. And so I actually thought I kind of had it in the bag. And so it was a surprise to me that it was so hard, I found that when I went back to work, you know, I had eight weeks leave, which in the States is pretty typical. It’s actually fortunate to have that long in the States. But I thought I would be okay, my child would be in child care, and I would do the work that I loved. But I found myself crying, every commute, and really feeling kind of brokenhearted at while at work. And then when I was at home with him feeling like I was getting lapped by my colleagues. And so I started thinking a lot about what this dilemma meant. And I started reading everything I could get my hands on. But most of what I found in the bookstores and libraries really spoke to this the outside structural issues, the lack of parental leave the lack of workplace flexibility, the inequality and a lot of marriages. And for me, as a clinical psychologist, I felt like it was missing something, the conversation was missing something. So I started diving into the academic literature. And there I found more of what I was looking for some of the issues that were more psychologically based. And also, as somebody who’s not a natural optimist, but a dedicated optimist, I’m really into the happiness science that psychologists have really dedicated themselves to studying for the past several decades. And what I found in academic literature really spoke to that that there is tension between roles. And that is a part of what is so challenging for working parents. But there’s also these opportunities within that tension, to access really beautiful things, greater creativity, greater resilience, greater skill sets in both our parenting and work roles. And so what this book represents is both a psychologically based book about working parenthood and a positive psychology based book for working parents.

That’s probably music to the ears of many people who will be watching and listening to this interview. But I want it before we dive into the science, I want to ask you, what did you try to do when you were going through this yourself? Where did you turn to for support? What kind of solutions? Were you able to find? If any?

That’s such a great question. I tried so many different permutations, because I thought possibly one of the challenges that I was experiencing would be resolved by working less and parenting more because I just felt so heartbroken really is the best word that I can use to describe how I felt to be apart from my infant. And so I worked with my colleagues, my mentors at the time, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the time when I became a parent to reduce my hours. And I went to I think 50% pretty shortly after I became a parent, and that didn’t do the trick. I think that was, you know, one of these things that we often think we can fix what is hurting inside by changing some of those structures of how we do things on the outside. And I think this is one of the challenges in working parenthood is that we imagine that if we had more childcare or an a more equal partnership, or more flexible workplaces that we wouldn’t feel that tension. I think those outside solutions are really critical, especially for some people, they have really inhumane work, working parent conditions. But I think those outside solutions only get partway because I do think that part of what is challenging and working parenthood is that we’re involved in multiple roles that we care about. And this is something that Freud said way back when he was in, you know, very popular, he wrote, love and work are the cornerstones of our humaneness. I think that for so many of us were drawn so deeply to participate in these two different roles. And by nature, they conflict with one another because they both are so demanding. In addition, what we know from psychology is that happy lives are full of demanding roles, this is something that characterizes happy people is that they have a lot of role obligations. And so there’s sort of this paradox that happier people have more demanding roles, but happier people are also in more rural conflict. And so what we know is that we can’t undo that conflict, because then we’d be less happy, we can’t undo it and end up as happier people, because then we would have emptier lives. But we also need a way to navigate those tensions. And so I think what I initially tried getting back to your original question of drawing back on my professional life and feeling like up note that still not doing the trick for me, is what a lot of people find is that this tension isn’t going away. And that we do need, again, some of the better supports from the outside. But we also need to grapple with the psychological tensions that exist no matter what we do. And so for me, you know, recognizing that drawing back on work wasn’t going to do the trick really led me to dive more deeply into some of the psychological tools.

So at what point when you did that, dive yourself into the research and, you know, everything that you did in terms of preparing to write this book? What was the tipping point for you to decide to actually write a book?

Yeah, that’s a great question, too. So I know exactly what not was, because it was a very seminal moment in my own life, where I, I was really struggling with these issues. And I was talking with my husband about what it meant to be an ambitious achievement oriented person who had kind of pulled back on my professional life, and how hard that was. And we had this sort of conversation that opened me up to really be thinking about some of the psychological journey, some of the pieces of the psychological journey that I had taken. And one day during my kids at the time, I just had two children, one was three, and the other was one and a half, they were down for their naps. And I thought, you know, I think I have something to say here. So I sat down during their nap time, and I penned this op ed piece, I’d never written for popular press audiences before. And I literally Googled how to submit op ed piece. And of course, at the top of the list is instructions to submit to the New York Times. So I did and I got published there and what so that was a really powerful moment, very exciting for me and kind of a new pivot in my career, which had up until that time, then purely academic in nature. And I wrote this piece, and the response was just wild kind of went viral the pieces called a mother’s ambitions. And what people were saying is, you know, it really touched them, because this was something that they had grappled with to that the drive to want to parent and the drive to want to achieve ambitious things in our professional lives, was something that was so common, and that for many people, the way that they sort of found peace and allowing those to coexist was something that wasn’t really talked about very much the psychological way that people sort of, say, you know, I am both of these things. And there’s balanced, and there’s nothing earth shattering about it. But there’s something so human about it. And it wasn’t sort of being talked again, from that psychological perspective, which I think really spoke to a lot of people. And so that’s when I decided to write a book, but I will just mentioned that from, because I wear a lot of hats and things move slowly. It took me a lot of years to get to this point. So for any writers out there, hang in there and keep trying.

So let’s talk about that science. You know, what, what was it that you were struck by as you’re researching, as you, you know, put this book together that you think the average parent working parent really needs to understand and be aware of?

You’re asking such great questions. I love this question. I think that the main thesis of this book, is a really surprising one. Our conversation about working Parenthood in the modern world really focuses on a term that most people have heard of, which is work family conflict, this idea that our two main roles compete with each other for finite resources, our time, our energy, our attention. And what is so cool is there’s an entire science on a construct that is very parallel to work family conflict called work family enrichment. And that’s the idea that our two roles help each other. And what is so amazing about the science is that it shows that both are true, right? There is a reality that our two roles compete for our resources. And at the same time, there is a very substantive literature that demonstrates the ways that are to work. We can help each other and I think about it along three different dimensions. The first is this positive pressure effect, where the tension between our roles helps us to build skills. So for example, if you have to step away from your parenting role and into your work role, you’re going to be developing work skills, which feed back into your parenting roles. So you lead and have this great skill set of asking questions and listening very deeply. Guess what that helps in parenting. As a parent, you’ve probably had to learn to be patient to perspective take, and that really helps in your work role. So for most people, they can find those kind of skill transfer benefits. In addition, the pressure to stay a step away from one role forces you to take a break from it. And in that break, you get rest from that role. But you also have an opportunity to activate this creativity that happens when you’re not consciously focused on a given role. So there’s these rest effects, there’s these creativity effects that are so powerful. Okay, so that’s kind of the first the positive pressure effect. The second is the stress buffer effect. And that’s the idea that we have stressful experiences in all of our demanding roles, but we can complement them with positive experiences in the other. So if your child is going through a difficult developmental phase, you can go to work and have a sense of mastery. If your work is feeling really isolating, you can go home and have hugs with your kids. So we can buffer those stress effects. The third domain is something called the additive effect. And that’s the idea that happy lives are filled with meaning and purpose. And the more roles we have, the better chance we have to access that meaning and purpose and the more meaning and purpose we can access. And so through these three paths, we can see that not just despite but actually because of the tension between roles, we can access this enrichment effect. And so if anything, my main hope for people after reading this book is to shift from a work family conflict mindset, to a mindset of work, family enrichment, because work family enrichment actually embody some of that conflict where it’s not toxic positivity, we actually can see that the conflict is there, but it’s not a net negative, it actually can serve as fodder for a lot of the enrichment that we can access. And the more we know how to access that enrichment, the more of it we can get to, and we can even do it strategically.

That is so interesting, because it is a massive pivot, and a massive shift in perspective, for most working parents, most parents out there for sure. So let me ask you, you know, your book talks about many things, but it really does focus on what’s in the subheading of the book. And that is guilt, overwhelm, and connection. Let’s go through each of those, if you don’t mind individually, as it relates to what is science saying about working parenthood, as it relates to guilt.

So guilt is such a common emotion for for parents, and I wouldn’t say particularly mothers, this is a, I think a lot of the social messaging that we get that really pressures us to parent in particular ways. And we feel like we should be doing all of the things all of the time. And so the result is guilt. So let me say a little bit about guilt. With respect to what researchers have, elucidated the function of guilt is so in functional motion theory, we understand that all emotions kind of serve a function typically to help us survive or reproduce think guilt is one of these emotions that is very interpersonally oriented. So it serves to protect our relationships, either from harm that’s been done, or from anticipated harm. Now, in pre modern times, this is really important, because guilt helps you protect your kids, right from a predator. It also helps you protect relationships with people in your village, so that you wouldn’t be turned out of the village because that would have been the end. In those times where there wasn’t a lot of protection. Now, our culture has evolved much more rapidly than our brain. And so guilt gets triggered very easily. And for protective survival purposes. However, those functions are no longer necessary. And so when we feel guilty, for example, for not showing up, because we have a job, and our kids field trip happens on a day that we have meetings and we can’t cancel. Guilt is gonna get cute, right? We’re not there for our kid and our body just responds to that as if there was a serious danger. And so what we need to understand about guilt is that it is killing you to make sure everything’s okay. But you don’t need to take it seriously like you needed to in pre modern times. Instead, we can sort of look at it and say, you know, is there a danger here? Do I need have I been neglecting my kids too much? Is it maybe it a good night to make sure that I’m home for dinner and to put them to bed? Or is it really kind of okay. And what I’ll say in addition to that is often with a parenting guilt. What we have have found ourselves doing 100 times over parenting right sort of this helicopter parenting slow snowplow parenting lawnmower parenting. And guilt is part of what keeps us doing that. And it’s not even not helpful, it’s counterproductive, it is interfering with our children’s ability to develop independence and resilience, creatively problem solve. And so for example, with the chaperone example, if I don’t show up to chaperone my child’s field trip, they might be disappointed. And that’s actually a really good opportunity for them to learn how to tolerate disappointment, and to still be able to talk it through with me and repair, it’s a good opportunity for them to develop independence, to ask another caregiver for help if they need so to develop their interpersonal skills. And then what a nice opportunity for them to come back with excitement and tell me all about their day. And the more that we can sort of allow guilt to que es, but then to let it go, the more that we can reduce its toxic effect, because what we don’t want is for guilt to show up, and then we have to go to work. And then we tell our kids, Oh, I’m such a bad parent, and we tell ourselves, I’m such a bad parent. And then we’re not able to focus on our work. And we’re kind of shaming ourselves in our parenting role. That is counterproductive all the way through. It’s also again, counterproductive to always allow guilt to tell you have to always be there. Because again, if we swoop in every time, we’re not allowing our kids to develop those kinds of skills, and the opposite direction, it works the same, right? Every time guilt shows up when we’re parenting not working, it causes us to not be present with our kids. And then we don’t get a chance to recharge our work battery, because we’re not fully detached from work, we’re not resting from work. So the more that we can notice guilt and allow it to tell us you know, is now a time that I really need to pay attention to work or to parent in whichever is getting queued. Either use it to prompt action, or notice it and then choose to kind of let it go and pay attention to whatever role you’re in. That’s sort of the general guidelines for how to manage guilt.

Now with respect to sense, yes, it does, it does, and you lay it out. So in such an easy to understand way. And I have to say personally, that I find it to be a discipline that you just have to practice over time, because I remember those days where you’re just wracked with guilt. And then you start to let go, and you really start to kind of think about what would be the end result? Is anybody going to, you know, be in danger or being harm? And if the answer to all those questions is no, you know what? I’m good. So. So I think it is definitely something you develop over time. And it does seem to affect mothers more than fathers for sure. The fact of modern parenting, really, is that there is at least one and possibly two parents who are working and trying to raise a family.

That’s just a fact. The statistics show that number rising steadily. You know, when you look at some of the other evidence based strategies around, for example, overwhelm, which is part of what your book focuses on. What strikes you about actual, tangible, actionable solutions that people could look at employing in their own homes? To manage overwhelm?

Yeah, that’s a great question. And yet working parents are are the dominant kind of parent, we have 95% of kids have at least one working parent 60% had both in 2020. And again, as you said, it’s rising. So overwhelmed, is a really common feature of modern parenthood. And one of the one of my absolute favorite skills is to remember to subtract. And that idea comes from this research from a researcher at University of Virginia lady clocks, who has a terrific book called subtract, highly recommend it. And in it, he goes into this really cool series of studies where what researchers found is that humans systematically overlook subtracting as a way to solve problems, even when subtracting is the better choice. And so to kind of lay the stage a little bit better, we often think about less as a nice outcome, right? You think about your closet, we think, oh, like, if I had less junk in there, that would be a better thing. Or you look at your schedule on your kids schedule, and you think, Oh, this is so packed less would be a good thing. And so we can see the outcome of less as a positive as something that would be worthy of trying to achieve and yet we can’t seem to figure out how to get there. And the reason this is really interesting, is that the human brain is wired to acquire we are much better when faced with a problem to come up with an additive solution. And they found this in study after study like different kinds of stimuli. When people are asked to solve a problem. The default is to come up with additive solutions. What’s more When we’re cognitively overwhelmed, we’re even more likely to neglect subtraction as an option. Which is unfortunate, because if you’re really busy, and you have too much going on, and then now somebody asks you for another thing, another favor or another task that is on your plate, you’re much less likely to say, sorry, I’m too busy, because you’re too overwhelmed to even process that you just say, Sure, I’ll just do it. And again, I’m gonna go to evolutionary science again, here, because it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. In pre modern times, if you were faced with a stressor, it was typically not enough calories, not enough human relationships, not enough shelter. And so the common way to solve those kinds of problems would be to add, but we don’t live in a world like that anymore. Now we have an abundance of resources. And so less, not having enough is typically not for most people the issue. And fact in modern working parenthood, the issue is that we have too much stuff going on, I’m talking specifically about our calendars. And so when nice science back tip here is that first recognize that subtracting isn’t easy, it’s not going to be the default, even when it’s a better choice. And so we have to build habits around it and do it more deliberately. And recognizing that empowers you to kind of set up cues in your environment to for example, when you go through your weekly to do list to really have on there like a checkmark, like have I thought about what not to do what is just kind of junking up my schedule. And you can even think about it more broadly and reflect on the past week and think about where did you spend time that isn’t really valuable. And that didn’t really contribute to the life that you want to live or the world that you want to be building for your kids or even the work that you want to be doing for your professional life. And really think about as much as you can just kind of setting up some rules about like, you know, those kinds of activities like social media or meetings that are, that seems sort of not very useful, or parenting things that other people are doing, but that don’t really matter to you. Right? Think about what your values are. And if it’s somebody else’s value, and they want to do it great. But if it’s not important to you see about subtracting it in order to allow yourself to be able to do the things that are important to you, with more wholeheartedness. Because if you’re so busy running around from thing to thing, then it’s hard to really enjoy and get the most out of the things that are important to you. And working parent lives, have some things that are really important. And often you’ll find there’s some things that just kind of junk up, and you need to kind of very deliberately remove them. So remember to subtract, it’s not effortless.

It’s such an important point, because really what you’re talking about is a combination of saying no, where it applies, and also really auditing your time. And you know, I think it’s it’s something that not a lot of us think about doing on a regular basis. But like any other of these strategies that you’re suggesting, it comes with practice, and I think it comes over time as well. With respect to connection for working parents. You know, if the goal, the overarching goal, hopefully is healthy relationships with our children, what can you say about evidence based strategies around connection and preserving and maintaining connection while being a working parent?

Yeah, so I have a chapter on connection. And in it, I actually focus a lot on relationships with our primary partners. And what’s interesting is I actually don’t talk a lot about relationships with kids. But I will sort of talk about the clinical recommendations that I give, which is, remember that your, you don’t have control over your kids. This is sort of the basics 101. I think for a lot of parents, we get so anxious about our kids safety and their future. And we want so much right, these are our little hearts walking out in the world. And all we want to do is protect them and give them the best life possible. But remember that what you want is to maintain a solid relationship role, everything is really toxic for maintaining good relationships with our children. So move from control to influence and use a positive relationship with them to have influence and in fact, you’ll have more influence if you stop trying to control it’s very paradoxical as many things in psychology are. But the more we try to dictate what our kids are interested in, how they do things, what they care about, the less they want to pay attention to what’s important to us. And this is really helpful when you’re trying to instill values that you give them options because what we know from kids, you know, as young as two is that feeling a sense of agency is really important, right. And that’s important. I actually talked about this within partnerships to everybody, right? All adults want to feel as and small people want to feel a sense of agency. And so the more that we can respect our children’s and our partners agency, the more we can cultivate warm, close relationships. The other thing, and this is another basic thing that I think we often forget about is that in any conversation, there needs to be a speaker, and a listener. And sometimes as parents, we forget the listening part, because we’re so invested in imparting our wisdom, and our kids really need a listening ear. And again, this is a give and take, they’ll be a lot more likely to listen, if we also really develop a good listening ear. And sometimes it can be really hard to figure out like, who’s in the listener on who’s missed speaker. And so I really encourage people to get really structured about it to tell their kids okay, I know I haven’t been listening to lately. And I think that there might be some things that you have to tell me, I’m going to step into listening role, I really want to hear what you have to say, I’m going to try to do with as little judgment and criticism as possible. And I want you to be able to come talk to me, as our kids get older, we kind of have to do this a little bit on the fly, right, they’re not going to necessarily be in the mood to talk to us. And so some of that has really require a lot of what we call psychological flexibility, which is kind of being able to pivot into a particular mode, given the context that we’re in. So if our teenager is ready and willing to talk, we sort of need to be able to largely dropped what we’re doing, and really stepped into that listening mode so that they feel like they have a receptive ear in us. Some of the other tools that I talked about, I’ll just give one other quick communication tool is that we want to separate out two different kinds of conversations. One is discussion, where the point is to really hear and understand where the speaker is coming from, if we’re in the listener role. The second kind of conversation is problem solving. So there we want to solve a problem. And often what happens in conversations that go off the rails is that one person really wants to vent and have the other person listen deeply. Whereas the other person wants to problem solve. And so if you have two community education partners that are on different pages, in terms of they want to get out of a conversation, it doesn’t feel good for either person. So make sure that you they just want to vent and they don’t want you to help problem solve, than enter into that or if they want help problem solving, enter into that, but but have some clarity in setting the agenda or asking what kind of a conversation Do you want to have?

Very interesting. Dr. Schonbrun, let me ask you, was there one piece of research that you came across that you applied in your own life that you found to be game changing as a working mother?

Yes, my favourite concept probably is something called Psychological detachment. So I think working parents, we have a really hard time finding a way to rest because there’s so much to do, and so little time to do it. So I love this idea of psychological attachment, which is really just a fancy way of saying, we turn off completely from whatever role we’re not in. So when we’re at work, we try as much as we can to switch off our parenting role so that our parenting role gets a break, right? Even though we’re working, we’re not actually taking a nap, we’re resting our parenting self, when we’re at work, if we can do that same thing goes for parenting. If while we’re parenting, we can really deliberately turn off of work, right? Get off the Slack channel, get off your email, oh, really turn it off, then when we go back to work, we’ll feel more recharged. And the research on this is clear, when we psychologically detach, turned completely off from the role that we stepped away from, we have a chance to recoup some energy and return to it later, with a bit more juice in our batteries. And that is very good for both roles and a really clever way for people who are very busy to access a break from each role that we have. So I’ve been very deliberate about that.

Absolutely. Let me ask you any final tips that you can share with respect to you know, working parents who maybe have support, but also single parent families where this, you know, everything you’ve described is perhaps even more of a struggle on multiple levels, in terms of how to be both a provider as well as raising children?

Well, my favorite tip for people who feel like they’re kind of in it alone, and I mean, honestly, I think a lot of parents with partners feel like they’re in it alone. So and again, you’re right, it is so much harder if you’re a single working parent, or if you’re a parent that doesn’t have family nearby or doesn’t have close community and what we know from research and this is from anthropological research There’s there’s a fancy term called allo parenting that humans are wired to rear children in groups right? We’re not wired to do it alone so much as Western civilization has taught us Oh, we should just do it alone we’re we got it. That’s actually not how we’re intended to do it. And so my big recommendation is take advantage of the pressure to need support right your daycare can be a support your teachers for your children’s teachers can be a support your work colleagues can be a support your neighbors can be a support, the local nursing home might be a support, your spiritual community might offer support, and take advantage of that. Because we are meant to do this thing, this child rearing and working to be honest, in collaboration with other people, it’s better for our kids, it’s better for us, it’s better for our relationships, it’s better for our work when we’re connected into community and we have helped. So rather than feel guilty, and now we come back to that, ever present guilt, rather than feel guilty about using our resources to get support around parenting and around work, see that as a benefit as something that you’re doing to on behalf of your parenting life and on behalf of your work life to do it better. Because and I’ll just share quickly that getting support as a parent helps you to learn new things, right? You’ve never if you’re a first time parent, you’ve never seen these things before you don’t know how to nurse you don’t know how to get your children to sleep, you don’t know how to toilet train, your daycare providers know all those things. So that’s great. They have lessons to teach you. If you’re at work and you don’t know how to do something asking for help is a way that you can boost your skill set and be more clever and you know, expand the brain power that you can apply to a problem. And the more that we can let go of the guilt and take advantage of the community that we live in. And the more that we can see the pressure to do so as a positive pressure. The more that we can do that and and be helpful to ourselves and our families in our work lives.
Absolutely asking for help cannot be understated on this journey we call parenting.

Dr. Yael Schoenbrun, a clinical psychologist, assistant professor at Brown University and author of work parent Thrive. Thank you so much for sharing your insight with us today.

Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time chatting with you.

Thank you

“I found that when I went back to work —I had eight weeks leave —I thought I would be okay, my child would be in child care, and I would do the work that I loved. But I found myself crying, every commute, and really feeling kind of brokenhearted at while at work. And then when I was at home with him feeling like I was getting lapped by my colleagues. And so I started thinking a lot about what this dilemma meant.”

In a search for answers, Dr. Schonbrun, an Assistant Professor at Brown University in Psychiatry and Human Behaviour,
Dr. Schonbrun defaulted to the research.

“What I found in academic literature really spoke tension between roles, and that is a part of what is so challenging for working parents,” she says recalling her lived experience back in 2010.

She also uncovered a few surprises. “Most of what I found in the bookstores and libraries really spoke to the outside structural issues, the lack of parental leave, the lack of workplace flexibility, the inequality in a lot of marriages. And for me, as a clinical psychologist, I felt like it was missing something, the conversation was missing something,” she says.

Meanwhile, on the home-front, the race to find solutions was a daily pursuit.

“I tried so many different permutations, because I thought possibly one of the challenges that I was experiencing would be resolved by working less and parenting more.”

Book cover.Schonbrun, Dr. YaelA self-described optimist and believer in positive psychology, Dr. Schonbrun’s quest to address her own struggle finding a balance between work and motherhood propelled her to dig further into the science.

That effort and the research she uncovered, inspired her to write her first book —- Work, Parent, Thrive: 12 Science-Backed Strategies to Ditch Guilt, Manage Overwhelm, and Grow Connection, published in November 2022.

“I do think that part of what is challenging in working parenthood is that we’re involved in multiple roles that we care about,” says the mother of three children under the age of 12. “This is something that Freud said way back when he was very popular —- love and work are the cornerstones of our humaneness. I think that for so many of us we’re drawn so deeply to participate in these two different roles, and by nature, they conflict with one another because they both are so demanding. In addition, what we know from psychology is that happy lives are full of demanding roles. This is something that characterizes happy people is that they have a lot of role obligations.”

Understanding how to weave these roles together so that they co-exist rather than clash, is among the key discoveries Dr. Schonbrun made in the course of researching her book.

During her interview with Where Parents Talk, Dr. Yael Schonbrun shares:

  • Her personal struggle becoming a new parent
  • What the science says about how to effectively manage work and family
  • Practical tips and tools for parents to achieve a better balance
  • What she learned that she applies to her own family and work life
  • The impact and benefit of psychological detachment


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