Cover art for podcast Strong Feelings

Strong Feelings

82 EpisodesProduced by Katel LeDû & Sara Wachter-BoettcherWebsite

Best friends and business partners Katel and Sara let it all out in a weekly show about work, friendship, and feminism. Plus, intimate conversations with authors, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs about how they got where they are, what they learned in the process, and what they do to find joy. … read more

59:51

Forget "Having it All" with Amy Westervelt

It’s a motherlode of an episode this week! We’re talking all about kids, work, and how the two fit together—or, way too often, don’t. From family leave policy to flex time to all the weird stuff people say when you opt out of kids altogether, we’ve got tons to discuss.

Our guest today is Amy Westervelt—a journalist, podcast host, producer, the founder of podcast network Critical Frequency, and a mom to two kids. And now she’s also an author: her new book is called Forget “Having It All”: How America Messed Up Motherhood—and How to Fix It.

Whew, that is a lot. And that’s actually how Amy ended up writing the book! It’s a hell of a story, and it led her to a deep-dive into the history, politics, and policy decisions around working parents.

> I took off literally an afternoon to have a baby and mostly also didn’t even tell the people that I was working for that I was pregnant—because with my first son, I did tell people, and like 80% of my freelance work disappeared and never came back… I felt kind of proud of myself for really not even pausing a beat to have a kid. And I felt like that was kind of a messed up thing to feel. I was like, “why am I patting myself on the back for the fact that no one even knew I was pregnant?

> —Amy Westervelt, author, Forget "Having it All": How America Messed Up Motherhood—And How to Fix It

We talk with her about:

  • Why we need to make more space for taking care of others. “There’s a certain amount of caregiving that’s required to make society work and that can be in the form of parenthood, it can be in the form of taking care of elderly people. It can be in the form of taking care of yourself. All of those things are kind of necessary.”
  • Why she started asking male CEOs how they balance work and family. “Oftentimes, it’s like, ‘I have a lot of paid help or I have a spouse who’s a full-time parent.’”
  • What she does to decompress when all her responsibilities and ambitions start to add up. “So, when I start feeling really, really overwhelmed, the thing that helps me the most is to just go be alone. Whether that is sitting in a room for ten minutes or going on a walk or whatever.”

Also in this episode:

  • Sara and Katel talk about their own decisions not to have kids
  • Katel experiences the sadness of a Bagel Thin
  • Sara ditches a judgey OBGYN
  • And, Sara and Katel get hyped to announce their first big workshop together, at Lead Dev NYC

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