Episode 17: Jo Part 1


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In Episode 17, I interview Jo who is balancing a high-level career and being a single parent to twin girls. We talk about life as a single parent, the real cost of work travel for a parent, and the double-edged guilt sword of carer’s leave.

The Lowdown

– Family of 3
– 1 working parent (0.8)
– 2 school-aged children
– Grandparents providing after-school care

3:23 Sleep!
4:20 Focusing on children when they are awake
4:38 Buffer at the end of the day before sleep
5:02 Decompressing before sleep
7:18 Important things (like podcast interviews!) done after kids bedtime
7:51 Morning routines
8:16 Pocket money for getting ready on time in the morning
10:40 Rewards that can apply to just one child
11:12 Who are the people in your family
11:22 Single parent with twin 10 year old daughters
11:40 Current workload – paid and unpaid
12:22 School drops offs
12:54 Grandparents cover school pickup and after-school activities
13:16 The ‘good’ kind of after-school activity
14:02 Autopilot pickup fails
14:46 Grandparent/grandchild relationship
16:19 Having other authority figures involved
17:00 Always have to be the bad cop, grandpa can be the good cop
18:14 Parenting superpower
18:16 Knowing my kids and what drives them
19:33 The ‘hangry’ child
20: 01 Sense of justice
20:50 Looking at things a different way
22:04 Not just doing everything really slowly
23:50 Can drive you mad but at the same time you don’t want them to lose their childlike ways
24:04 Balance between developing a useful adult and breaking them
25:26 Being a twin mum requires you to be more task focused and not always enjoying the moment
26:38 Random supermarket twin mum encounter
27:42 Different stages with twins – separation, getting mobile
28:06 Twin mum a mothers group with mums of singles
29:24 STOP!
30:10 What works well?
30:22 Children on the same page
31:50 Grandparents support
32:18 Side steps the ‘management’ of OSHC
33:02 Having a manager who has a single mum
33:39 The mummy button
33:52 Attending a work conference as a single parent
34:10 Travel allowance including childcare costs?
35:45 The real cost of work travel to a family
37:36 Is the extra load OK for partners and families
37:48 Be organised
38:36 What doesn’t work well
38:44 Doesn’t take much to throw things off kilter
39:28 The two types of guilt, maternal guilt and employee guilt
39:56 Employee guilt ‘wins’ often due to working 0.8
40:50 You don’t get a medal either way
41:56 The difficulty of being the driver for change in a workplace
42:26 What is the next step for your family?
42:34 Working full time
42:30 Children looking at future employment options
43:56 Making children aware of finances and implications of choices
44:22 Entitlement in children
45:16 Entitlement in monetary and non-monetary terms
46:36 Pocket money for doing chores around the house?
47:12 That’s what our family does
48:16 Life is an adventure
48:58 Is family life what you thought it would be?
49:08 NO!
50:18 Modelling healthy relationships to children problematic
52:12 Having twins
53:27 There are 2 heartbeats!
55:28 Wish people were more honest about life with a newborn
56:24 It is not all a nappy commercial
57:20 Different personality types deal with it better
58:08 Away from all family when having small babies
1:00:20 The expectation that there is a right and wrong with parenting
1:00:44 Comparison between parents
1:01:12 Parenting advice
1:02:20 Teething and wind
1:03:00 Gripe water – who has the gripe?

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There are 2 types of guilt, there is the maternal guilt of leaving your child and the employee guilt of letting your employer down, and there's a quid pro quo, either way there is going to be a guilt cost       What I've learned over time is that you don't get a medal either way, you don't get a medal for being a good mum, and you don't get a medal for being the employee of the year either. Why not take the carer's leave?