It’s Time To Stop Doing It All. We Were Never Meant To “Lean In” Alone — Episode #028 With Tiffany Dufu

by Jan 1, 2018Mindset, Podcast

Learning to drop the ball (and stop doing it all)

If you’re still trying to figure out how to do it all—to be great mom, a great wife, and a great employee—and you’re starting to realize that it just isn’t possible, it may be time to drop a ball or two.

Tiffany Dufu had a reckoning on her first day back at work from maternity leave. After a hectic day running from meeting to meeting, she realized she had forgotten to stop and pump. The reality of being a working mom hit her as the milk seeped through her blouse. Doing it all? More like feeling like a failure at all the things.

Resentment and anger showed up that evening as she listened to her husband come home from work, and she thought through all of the things she had done to make his life easier and more predictable that day, from picking up the dry cleaning to putting a dinner plate in the refrigerator for him. It didn’t take long for Tiffany to realize that she had to renegotiate the terms of her marriage and redefine what it means to be a ‘good’ wife and mother. It was time to stop doing it all.

Tiffany took the time to get clear on what matters most to her and what she does really well, using that intelligence to decide which items on the to-do list were really necessary and which balls could be dropped. Today she explains the social conditioning that makes women think they have to do it all, what you can do in that moment of overwhelm, and how to determine your mission. I ask her how she initiated conversation about equity with her husband and why she has eliminated to-do lists from her life.

 

Listen in for Tiffany’s insight around the urgency of having women in leadership and the value of investing in community. Also, she’s going to give you permission to (you guessed) stop doing it all.

The Startup Parent Podcast — Episode #169

EPISODE QUOTES:
  • “Dropping the ball means letting go of unrealistic expectations of doing it all … and figuring out what really matters most to me so that I can leverage my highest and best use in achieving that and engage other people in my life along the way.”
  • “One of the interesting things about gender is that it’s the one aspect of diversity that having close proximity to someone who’s different from you doesn’t necessarily create an awareness or awakening about their experience.”
  • “I think it’s awesome to aspire to be an extraordinary wife, for example, or an extraordinary mother. I think what we’re got to do is re-curate a different job description for what it means to be an extraordinary mother or an extraordinary wife or an extraordinary worker.”
  • “There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to excellence. It’s just that our current definition for what excellence is faulty and it’s based on nonsense, on very old-school expectations that no person in today’s world could possibly meet.”
  • “It’s about redefining what success even is, what our roles even are, so that we can be gentler on ourselves and so that we can get rid of the G-word.”
  • “I’ve never met with a woman who every day wasn’t just trying to do right by herself, her community, her family, her workplace in order to create positive change and to do something meaningful, and yet in the process of doing that she feels like she’s done something terribly wrong. We need to just obliterate the G-word.”
  • “We were never meant to ‘lean in’ alone.”
  • “What I do is far less important than the difference I make… I don’t want my tombstone to say, ‘She got a lot of stuff done.’”
  • “I figured out very quickly that if you run through a door that somebody opens for you—not skip, not hop, but run through the door—that person will think very highly of you, and they’ll open more doors for you.”
  • “This past year has just reiterated even more the urgency of having women in elective office, having them at the tops of corporations, having them curating the public policies and the workplace practices that impact every single one of our lives.”
EPISODE SPONSORS:

Episode #169 — Sponsored by Splendid Spoon. 

This episode is sponsored by Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery service that creates whole, healthy, plant-based soups and smoothies that can be a great fit for busy parents and new moms. Get $50 off your first order with the link splendid.to/startuppregnant.

All of our sponsor offers are available on our website for you to grab the perks and discounts offered to podcast listeners: https://startupparent.com/sponsors. 

ABOUT THE STARTUP PREGNANT PODCAST

We're a weekly show that releases new episodes every Monday at 5:30 A.M. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or whenever you listen to podcasts. If you'd like to get new episodes delivered to you by email, sign up for the weekly newsletter with insights, strategies, and new ideas for working parents. If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, feel free to reach out.  Lastly, if you like what you hear definitely leave us a review on iTunes. 

ONLINE PARENT GROUPS 

Our private Startup Parent Facebook Community is for working moms navigating all things parenting, business, career, and children. We also have a brand-new Linked In Parenting Group for folks of all genders to join and share resources on parenting and business. Join us in one or both groups.

THE WISE WOMEN'S COUNCIL

Every year, we gather a group of women together to talk about pregnancy, parenting, marriage, partnership, work, business, children, and all the things that come up during this challenging season of life. Applications open in January. 

ASK SARAH — BONUS EPISODES AND FIRESIDE CHATS

If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything conversations with Sarah. When you become a Patreon backer, you'll get a brand-new episode every single month. Click here to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

Come Gather With Parents To Talk — Community Connect

Come Gather With Parents To Talk — Community Connect

We’re hosting FREE community gatherings for working parents every month. Come gather with other parents and soon-to-be-parents to meet each other and connect. Come as you are, show up in your jammies, with your baby, nursing, hiding in the bathroom, ducking into a car for a meeting—whatever you need to do, by all means. Sounds, noises, messes all welcome.

read more
Areas of Control: A Coaching Practice (Plus, Something To Look Forward To) — Episode #172

Areas of Control: A Coaching Practice (Plus, Something To Look Forward To) — Episode #172

In a year with a pandemic, wildfires, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more, it can be easy to fall into despair, sadness, or anger. Even if you’re reading this years from now, things can go wrong—and they often do. People pass on, projects go under, businesses are forced to change. Part of the work of being human is reconciling with all that is beyond our control. Here’s a practical exercise to understand what’s within your control, and how to use it.

read more
Stuck? Overwhelmed? Getting Out Of A Rut — Episode #156

Stuck? Overwhelmed? Getting Out Of A Rut — Episode #156

How do you push the reset button—that ability to feel like you’ve had a fresh cup of coffee, a good night of sleep, and you’re ready to go at work? While we’re all clawing at sanity and sobbing quietly into our fourteenth cup of coffee, it’s really hard to find the capacity to work and keep your head above water right now. Today’s episode is for anyone trying to find a semblance of sanity amidst all of this. If you’re stuck, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like you’re in a rut—here are a few things that are working for me.

read more
Maybe You Don’t Have To Work Harder Right Now

Maybe You Don’t Have To Work Harder Right Now

For many of you, there isn’t anything we can control, push, or organize to change the world around us. It’s maddening, but it also has an upside: we can release the pent-up energy of wanting things to change and trust that things will change, eventually, at some point. Sometimes, releasing the pressure of having to do something can release us to find tiny moments of joy—or at least contentment—inside of the space we’re in.

read more

Sarah K Peck

Founder, Startup Pregnant

Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Pregnant, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Pregnant Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.

She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.