Dr. Michelle Stephens, PhD, CPNP, RN is cofounder and chief nursing officer of Oath Care. Her experiences as a pediatric clinician, early childhood stress scientist, and mom deeply inform how she leads and builds in healthcare technology. In this episode we talk about Michelle’s career journey from pediatric nurse practitioner to healthcare startup founder — and what she’s learned along the way.
Vanessa Van Edwards learned right away that being an expert in behavioral science did not translate into innate parenting know-how. Vanessa joined us earlier to talk about those first few blurry weeks of infancy and babies in Episode #104. Now, she’s opening up about the first year, explaining that while some phases do indeed “go by so fast,” others can feel like a slog, but telling parents that it goes by so fast is not, well, helpful. We dig into the nitty-gritty of the first year of parenting, what surprised us, what we wish we’d known, and the milestones most parenting books miss.
My first child was born on Mothers’ Day, 2016, the day before our anniversary. It blew me open, ripped my birth canal vagina more than I would have liked, and turned so much of my life upside down. So many of you are about to become mothers for the first, second, third time. You’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of changing rules and ideas, amidst a sea of changing information. Motherhood, in many ways, feels like a pandemic. The strange thing about the last four months is this eerie sense I have that this already feels familiar. I’ve been here before. We’ve been here before.
Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from people about what to expect in the shift from non-parenting to the parenting world. Personally, I find it really challenging when people smile at you and say things like, “Wait and see,” or “You’ll get it when you become a parent.” No thanks—please tell me now! On this episode, I decided to dive straight into the daily tangle that is the parenting logistics required of managing small humans. It is in these daily nuances—and the morning pitter patter of tiny feet—that our work lives and our careers begin to explode.
Everyone tells women to bounce back after having a kid. Like, don’t change—don’t do anything except, of course, become a mom and be a mother 100% and love your kids and leave work because, obviously, you’ll leave work and you won’t be the same. Except also, don’t change. WTF?