Getting to Yes, And

Yael Schonbrun: Work, Parent, Thrive


Yael Schonbrun

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Kelly sits on the couch with clinical psychologist Yael Schonbrun to talk about her new book “Work, Parent, Thrive: 12 Science-backed Strategies to Ditch Guilt, Manage Overwhelm and Grow Connection (When Everything Feels Like Too Much).”

The main tension in this book is one that just won’t go away – which is that being a working parent is going to produce conflict.

“Freud has this great quote, ‘Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness,’ and I think that manifests differently, depending on your circumstances and your temperament, and all those kinds of things. But it is true that we're pulled in different directions, and that's not a bad thing. That is just what it is to be human. So there's an inherent discomfort in that.”

So, an idea you posit is a kind of reframe that lets each role inform and help the other.

“Whatever caregiving role or relationship role you have, you're gaining skills. You're gaining patience and compassion and for most of us those kinds of skills feed very naturally and beneficially back into our work roles. And so, while they kind of inhabit separate silos on the one hand, they also can really enrich each other. And when we realize that both are true, we can be more deliberate about how we allow the enrichment to come into each role. We can pursue it.”

So, I love it when you suggest the simple act of writing things down to deal with the tough stuff.  

“There's something really powerful about writing, but we object to it because it just takes a little bit more effort. But this is sort of the key. It's powerful because it takes effort and I think that's a kind of paradox. Often the things that are hardest in our lives are the things that teach us the most. And I'm not condoning bad things.  Tragedies do happen, and they are unavoidable. They're part of living a full, rich life. They're part of loving deeply. They're part of living because living is finite. I think the danger here is that I sometimes worry that I sound like I'm endorsing toxic positivity. But what I'm saying is a lot of this sucks, and we don't have to sugar coat it. I think we can recognize it sucks. And this really is a Yes, And because the suckiness has this other side which usually means that there's something that you care deeply about.”

Photo credit: Inna Chernysh-Govorov

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