Episode 14

Published on:

8th Feb 2024

The Professional Mental Load and the Maternity Leave Tax

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 www.laurengordon.com 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

Mentioned in this episode:

Joy School Affiliate Link


Show artwork for The Mental Load

About the Podcast

The Mental Load
Breaking a generational cycle to create equal households
Two millennial moms explore the mental load. Here’s the deal, we’re the first generation of women who saw both of our parents work outside the home. And, because kids are oblivious to how much work it takes to actually raise them, we naturally assumed that our parents split everything else it took to run our households. Then we grew up, got married and were like what the f***? You know this conversation. You probably have it with your mom friends all the time. It’s your never ending to-do list. The perception that you’re the household manager and keeper of all the stuff and the things. The mental load is so much more complex than delegating out chores and duties or telling women to practice “self care” or “take a day off”. We don’t want a day off, we want husbands who are more “switched on” throughout the day. How do we have this conversation in our household? What systems keep the mental load in place? Why does the mental load even exist? We’re here to explore all of these topics and really dig into the small and large changes that need to happen in order to better support women and therefore, families in America.
And we’re here to bring this conversation to the forefront and help break a generational cycle so that as we raise girls AND boys, they know what it means to truly have an equal household.

About your host

Profile picture for Katlynn Pyatt

Katlynn Pyatt

Hi! I'm Katlynn. I'm a mom of three kids: Hudson, Nora and Willa. I might be biased, but they're pretty amazing kids. I'm super proud of myself for making them! I also have a very loving and supportive husband, Eric.

I'm a marketer from 9-5 but a creative soul all day every day. I love painting with watercolor, sitting on the porch watching the sunrise and meditating. I've always loved to talk, so podcasting is a natural fit for me and over the past year, I've spent a lot of time diving in to mindset and manifestation work. It's changed my outlook on life and made me a lot less high strung.

When I'm not wearing my mom, marketing or spouse hat, I enjoy exercising. Sometimes I'm motivated enough to look like a snack. Other times, I just like eating snacks.