December Staff Picks

Wear-1

The Fifth Trimester by Lauren Smith.
Admittedly, I haven’t quite finished this one yet, but I think I’ve got the gist. I think this book is a phenomenal resource for working moms, no matter how long you’ve been back to work. It is aimed at brand-new moms either freshly back at work, or anticipating their return, but the advice remains valuable even if it has been a while. Working motherhood is a logistical and emotional challenge it can sometimes feel like we never quite master.

Smith is a high-powered, NYC, fashion magazine editor and some of her advice on commuter heels and meeting a nanny in Central Park can feel a little irrelevant to those of us commuting in Bean boots in rural Maine. But, her book is designed to let you skip around to the chapters you find most useful, so feel free to miss the make-up tips if that’s not your priority.
She has great advice on how to talk about your new needs with your boss and your co-workers, the best way to figure out what childcare set-up works for your family, and how to beat the “I-must-quit” refrain that can run in your mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Honestly, I think everyone should give this book a read, not just new working moms. Understanding what working moms are going through is valuable for managers, HR reps, child-free workers, and anyone contemplating parenthood. It emphasizes open communication, and how beneficial flexible and understanding workplaces are to working mom productivity and retention.

My only major complaint, besides being super jealous of offices with special pumping rooms and in-office daycares for new moms, would be the language. I listen to audiobooks on my commute, usually with my toddler in tow, and I didn’t appreciate the swears. While infrequent, they were still enough to make me wince and hope my child isn’t absorbing them.

–Cayla
 The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More than Some Antics by John Pollack

This isn’t a joke book (although it is larded with wordplay), but an examination of wordplay, puns across languages, the neurobiology underlying this use of language, and more.  And the author has competed in national pun competitions (yeah!  that’s a real thing!!)
–Diane
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