Emily Oster

24 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Household Division of Labor

Making the invisible work fair, if not equal

Emily Oster

24 min Read

Invisible labor. It’s the work — in our households especially — that has to happen but that no one sees. It’s making the doctor’s appointment, ensuring the Valentine’s cards are purchased, remembering the milk. When we think about equity in household labor, we often find that there are already inequities in the visible work, and they can become insurmountable when the invisible work is added in.

My guest on this episode, Eve Rodsky, has come up with a solution here, or at least a way for us to recognize the problem and make our own solutions. I’ve wanted to speak with Eve for ages, since I read her book Fair Play, and I was delighted to have this conversation. We talk about the problem, about solutions, and I swoon over a question she has about mustard. Enjoy!

To spark your interest, here are three highlights from the conversation:

What is invisible work?

Eve Rodsky:

My mother is a single mother. My father and she divorced. I knew that narrative, but I was trying to look for an alternative. I went to the library, and that’s when I realized what was happening to me had a name. It was called “the second shift.” It was called “emotional labor.” But my favorite term was “invisible work.” It was coined in 1986 by a sociologist named Arlene Kaplan Daniels. 

And what she argued was that the work that women do in the home will never, ever be valued because we are the social safety net of countries, especially in America. And if we try to illuminate that work, add it to the GDP, or create any value for it, then societies would collapse. So instead, what we do is we convince women that their time is worthless. And that article changed the whole trajectory of my life.

Emily Oster:

I love this story. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you are doing a large number of jobs, which could be done by someone for pay and would be done by someone for pay if you were not there. There’s the child care piece of it, the cooking piece — all of those things are things that are sold in the marketplace. And the way we count GDP doesn’t count that if you do it, but it would count it if someone else did it. And so there’s a sense in which it’s just literally uncounted, even though if you and I switched places and I did the job for you and you did it for me and we paid each other, that would be GDP.

Eve:

Absolutely. I’m a lawyer, but I majored in economics and I almost pursued a PhD in economics before I went to law school. But as an economist, that was the shock for me. That if I hired a housekeeper to do a certain amount of work, it would count as a valuable transaction in society. But if I decided to do that work myself, to clean my own house, all of a sudden that value vanishes. And that doesn’t make any sense, so it has to be designed that way. Once you realize that there is a reason that it’s designed that way — which is that we have to have unpaid labor done by women for society to function — you start to understand everything that surrounds it, which is why it became so wild. Because at the end of the day, I could design as many systems as possible to handle unpaid labor, which is ultimately what [my book] Fair Play was: a system that came out of my decade of working with families. 

How do you transfer household tasks to a partner?

Emily:

Sometimes I talk about [how] my husband does the dishwasher. And there was a time at which I did the dishwasher, and then at some point we switched after we had kids, and now he’s responsible for the dishwasher. And I don’t think he was amazing at it initially, but now not only is he really very excellent at the dishwasher, he won’t let me touch it. It’s like this thing where if I get near it, he gets a little twitchy because I’ve lost my ability to do it effectively.

Eve:

Which I love, by the way, because anytime men step up in the home, I love the reversal since that’s not the norm. So yes, I’d love for him to just keep that.

Emily: 

But there’s learning-by-doing, which I think we want to remember. And it’s like the parallel with work. If you’re training someone to take on a task that you’ve done, you don’t assume that they will do it as well as you did the first time that you did it. That’s why we have training at jobs.

Eve:

And also why you can’t do everything. Because typically you’re hiring someone because you’re recognizing that this is going to be somebody who can handle tasks and own them. And I think that’s the hardest part. Because I would ask people if they would hire somebody who would come into their office and say, “Hey, Emily, what should I be doing today? I’m just going to wait here every single day until you tell me what to do.” And that’s what the home is like, which is so frustrating. If someone said that to me more than three days in a row, they would be fired. But in the home, we accept this idea that we have a helper and not a partner. I was in that situation too, so that’s why I can speak to it. 

What’s one way to start to address the invisible labor in your family?

Eve:

I would say that it’s really, really important to do an internal audit of what’s happening for you right now. If you feel that the cloud words that would come up for your life are “overwhelm, erasure, boredom” — those are not things that I want for anybody. And I’m your Ghost of Christmas Future to say that they don’t get better on their own; they get worse. 

And so the internal audit would be, how am I feeling right now? And this is the most important question: Do I feel like I have the time and bandwidth to be consistently interested in my own life? That is my threshold question. If you do, then I would say you start with the systems. You can always make yourself more efficient. If you feel like I’m so far from having time and bandwidth to be consistently interested in my own life, then what I would say is just listen to this episode a couple more times. Sit with it, because this is the first time you may be hearing these things, and they’re overwhelming and it takes a really, really long time to process. [My husband] Seth and I are 10 years longer into this work, and it’s still a practice. And so what I would just say is be patient. But it starts with that threshold to me. 

Full transcript

This transcript was automatically generated and may contain small errors.

Emily Oster

This is ParentData. I’m Emily Oster. 

In your household, whose job is kids’ doctor’s appointments? 

In some ways that sounds like a really simple question and probably the first thing that comes to your mind is, well, who takes the kid to the doctor? But actually doctor’s appointments is not just the job of taking the kid to the doctor. It’s the job of remembering when the kid has to go to the doctor. It’s the job of calling the doctor and making the appointment for the kid. It’s the job of making sure that the school knows that they’ll be out of school for that time while you take them to the doctor. The last mile there, the driving, the sitting in the office, that’s only a little part of the job, but it’s the visible part of the job. The rest of that, it’s all invisible.

And when we talk about household work, this idea of invisible work, it comes up for a lot of families. And in a lot of cases, it seems like the woman in the family, particularly in heterosexual couples, is doing most of that invisible work. This is one of the most common sources of resentment, unhappiness, anger, in parents that I talk to. Once we have kids, there’s a lot more work visible and invisible. And when one person is doing the lion’s share of that work and doesn’t always feel acknowledged for it, it can bubble up, it can linger. It can cause our marriages, our relationships to be less than they would be otherwise.

Today on the podcast, I’m talking to Eve Rodsky, who has written a book Fair Play, which is all about this gender division of labor in the household and all about solutions. All of that thinking about really how can we get to a better place, a place where we are happier with the way that work is allocated inside our homes. And her insight is that we need to treat our homes more like businesses inside, which I certainly appreciate and one I’ve talked about in other contexts before. I think this kind of approach, focusing on systems, focusing on organization, focusing on being honest about who’s really doing what and what we really want, that’s kind of the key to fixing some of these problems. So I’m delighted to talk to Eve about this and I think everyone, whether they’re doing the invisible work or the visible work or all of the work will get something out of this episode. After the break, my conversation with Eve Rodsky.

Emily:

Eve Rodsky, thank you for joining me. I’m so delighted to have you here.

Eve Rodsky:

I feel the same. I feel like I know you. It’s that parasocial relationship with someone. You read their newsletter every week or however frequency it is. I feel like we’re best friends.

Emily:

Totally. And I love your book so much so I also feel like I know you. There’s some stories in your book that I think about a lot. I would love to just have you start by introducing yourself for the people you don’t have a parasocial relationship with.

Eve:

Hi. My name is Eve Rodsky. I’m an author of a book called Fair Play and another one that was a follow-up called Find Your Unicorn Space. I will say I did not set out to be an expert on the gendered division of labor. That was not Emily, what was on my third grade, what do you want to be when you grow up board. I think it was like veterinarian or something, or maybe a chef.

Emily:

Yeah. Maybe princess.

Eve:

Or that was a little later.

Emily:

Yes. Yes. That was probably later. And it wasn’t this topic that we’re going to be talking about today around women’s identity, creativity, how much unpaid labor they shoulder. It was definitely not on my radar when I went to law school either because I’m resolutely gen X, and I remember Elizabeth Warren was my orientation teacher at Harvard and she asked us what we want to do with our law degree. And again, I did not say I want to be an expert on the gender division of labor. I actually thought we had equal opportunity because I was told that lie. That everything that happened in the generation before us was to pave the way for women to have equal opportunity in the workplace and at home. So that’s who I am. I came to this work from me search. That’s what they call research when it’s yours. Me search. And now I’m here as an expert on the gender division of labor.

I want to start by talking about something I wrote a couple months ago about how schools always called moms. So the title of the post was Schools Call Moms. And it was a post based on an academic paper in which some researchers had done what we call an audit study. Sorry. You’ll edit this tomorrow. So they had done what they call an audit study where they called schools and they pretended to be either a man or a woman, and they said something like, “Can you call me back?” They were looking for some information about the school and they said some version of either I’m very busy, but you can call my wife or I’m very busy, but you can call my husband. And they varied all these things. And basically what they found is the schools were a lot more likely to call moms if it was both options. If the woman said, “I’m free, but my husband is busy,” they never called the husband. Whereas if the husband said, “I’m free, but my wife is busy,” sometimes they still called the wife.

And I was thinking about this this morning because my son vomited at school and they called me and I didn’t answer. Not out of spite, but just because I didn’t hear the phone then they did call my husband afterwards. But it strikes me always as it’s one small thing of many things, but for me, this is the story I would tell if somebody said, can you describe what invisible labor is? This might be where I would start. But I’m curious if I said to you, when we say the phrase invisible labor in the household, what is the story you would tell? What is the way you would go into that?

Eve:

Well, it’s a great question. And in fact, I did call 50 schools in 2012 before I even had Fair Play as a book in my mind. I didn’t start really writing it as a book until 2016, but I was desperate for my own solution. And I’ll tell that story a little bit. But yeah, I called 50 schools and asked them why they call women first. And it was actually pretty interesting. Mostly it wasn’t because the women were the first on the list, which I thought I would hear. It was typically because we don’t want to bother men. So we’ll talk a little bit about that. Or that men don’t pick up. So it’s disturbing, but I’ll explain I think what the origin of that is. But I didn’t know that at the time.

So the story that I typically tell is a story that I write in Fair Play. I write a couple of stories, but one of the stories that was the hardest for me, Emily, was the abandonment of what it felt like to be a parent. There’s a lot of talk about I think the isolation now. Whereas when I had Zach, my first child, in 2008, the only book and resource I had was What To Expect When You’re Expecting, which was like your child’s a jellybean size, but nothing really about what to expect, what you’re expecting. And so I came into motherhood really shocked like many of us are, with just the magnitude of work that was required that I didn’t expect and the toll it was taking on me and my husband. But the hardest for me I think was I didn’t realize that it was a toll until my second child came. And that’s why it’s actually hard to collect data because it’s a longitudinal death by a thousand cuts where women start getting sick physically and mentally over time, and it gets worse exponentially by how many children they have.

And I promise we’re going to get to the light part because one man said to me I go very dark to go light. So we’re going really in the darkness right now. But in the darkness what I want to say was that after my second son was born and I was trying to go back to work, that’s when everything hit me. Because what I realized was my first son, I was hearing in America that we don’t really have a social safety net, but that school is a social safety net. That once they get to school, I’ll have people who can support me, help me carpool. And so I was really excited to have a social safety net. That social safety net I was waiting for at the same time I was negotiating to go back to work after my second son was born.

My workplace was the first place to abandon me because they did not want to take me back in the same capacity. They did not want to offer any flexibility. They did not want to allow me to pump. There were many issues that made me feel like I quit, but really I was not opting out. I was forced out of the workplace. So I was abandoned by my workplace. Then I was abandoned by my school community because I was so excited to join this community. And when I finally got there for a toddler transition program, I saw my name tag around with just other mothers and a couple of gay fathers, and my name tag said Zach’s mom. So all of a sudden, these people who are supposed to know me better than anyone’s ever supposed to know me, which is what the preschool teacher said, don’t even know my fucking name.

I am Zach’s mom. I don’t have a job anymore. And then on top of it, as I was negotiating going back to work because I’m a lawyer by trade. I believe in behavior design as a legal issue. If you want to get people to stop at a stop sign, what you do is you pass a law. If you don’t want them to vote in Georgia, guess what you do? You pass a law. So I look at myself as a behavior designer. When I went back to work to do that, work with the families I work with … I work for families that look like the HBO show succession and everyone should feel bad for me because those families are hard. But I went back and started my own law firm at this time and my husband was very supportive of that. But the third failure in this trifecta after school was failing me by calling me Zach’s mom, and my workplace had told me I couldn’t come back, and then I decided to start my own firm with the support of my husband. My husband failed me. That was in a story that I tell about going on my first work trip back. It was a day trip to Seattle where Seth texted me at 7:00 AM, “A guy left a jacket and beer bottle on our lawn.”

Emily:

I remember that story so vividly from your book. Because it is an extreme example, but it does epitomize an experience I think a lot of us have had, which is I’m on this work trip and you’re there and you’re doing the things, but the amount of scaffolding that has been put in place to make it possible for me to be away can feel quite big. And in some ways it echoes these smaller things like people talk about dinner. Making dinner is not just cooking the dinner, it’s thinking about what would be the dinner, procuring the ingredients for the dinner and making it so the person who gets there to cook the dinner just cooks the dinner, which is a contribution, but it isn’t the whole contribution.

Eve:

Correct. And so what happened to me by realizing that text that morning when Seth said a guy left his jacket and beer bottle on our lawn, and when I come home 16 hours later, Emily, right-

Emily:

It’s still there.

Eve:

The jacket is still there on the lawn, and I talk about how I did give Seth the benefit of the doubt because I figured maybe he was dead. But then when I found out that he wasn’t dead, he was actually happily alive and laying onto the bed and telling me that he had three hours after our kids went to bed to check SportsCenter, finish a PowerPoint deck and work out. Plenty of time to decompress from his day, but not enough time to pick up a drunk guy’s jacket and beer bottle that were left on our lawn. What I realized was that was my first act of resistance, Emily, because I decided to time myself. And all in all, it took me 12 minutes from taking every shard … Because I had a toddler and I didn’t want them playing with glass in the morning. Every shard and putting it from shard one all the way to the alley, throwing out that jacket and a beer bottle and coming home. This is before Fair Play when I still thought it was on me to do.

But I think what was the most interesting about timing myself and having that 12 minutes was I realized that the text Seth sent me wasn’t a hey, this is so weird. It was a, this is on you text. And then I started to multiply at that point almost 10 years of marriage times how many this is on you texts I had received from Seth. And I started to realize that we are literally racing up against a clock from the moment we wake up. And that started a path for me that I never thought and expected would ever happen to me. Because at that time, the only narrative I was hearing was the Eat, Pray, Love narrative, which was like, get the fuck out.

My mother is a single mother. My father and her divorced. I knew that narrative, but I was trying to look for an alternative. Could I find divorce for married people? And that’s when I said to myself, I could either eat, pray, love this out of my marriage or get my ass in gear and become my own client. And because I’m an expert at organizational management and behavior design through a legal lens, I sat down in 2012 … Again, so far away from a book or writing it down systemically or collecting data just to understand what was happening to me. And I went to the library. And that’s when I realized what was happening to me had a name. It was called the second shift.

Emily:

The second shift.

Eve:

It was called invisible work. It was called emotional labor. But my favorite term was invisible work. It was coined in 1986 by a sociologist named Arlene Kaplan Daniels. And what she argued was that the work that women do in the home will never ever be valued because we are the social safety net of countries, especially in America. And if we try to illuminate that work, add it to the GDP or create any value for it, then societies would collapse. So instead what we do is we convince women that their time is worthless. And that article changed the whole trajectory of my life.

Emily:

I love this story and I love two pieces of that. One is this last point about the invisible work. In some sense, you could put it in a numeric terms so simply, which is just to say the things that you’re doing, if you’re a stay at home parent, you are doing a large number of jobs, which could be done by someone for pay and would be done by someone for pay if you were not there. There’s the childcare piece of it, the cooking piece. All of those things are things that are sold in the marketplace. And the way we count GDP … This is the economist talking. But the way we count GDP doesn’t count that if you do it, but it would count it if someone else did it. And so there’s a sense in which it’s just literally uncounted even though if you and I switched places and I did the job for you and you did it for me and we paid each other, that would be GDP.

Eve:

Absolutely.

Emily:

When we do it ourselves, it’s not. And I think that’s just… It’s a weird aspect of accounting, which I think contributes to some of this undervaluation because it’s not something we can say, well, this is contributing to the economy. The economy is very important. I think so.

Eve:

But it’s wild. It’s wild.

Emily:

It’s crazy.

Eve:

Because again, I’m a lawyer, but I majored in economics and I almost pursued a PhD in economics before I went to law school. And so my training is in economics. And in fact, law and economics was where I spent most of my time, actually more on the critical race theory side of things in law school because I thought gender was solved. But what was so fascinating to me about reading that Arlene Kaplan Daniels article … She’s a sociologist. But as an economist, that was the shock for me. That if I hired a housekeeper to do a certain amount of work, it would count as a valuable transaction in society. But if I decided to do that work myself, to clean my own house, all of a sudden that value vanishes. And that doesn’t make any sense so it has to be designed that way. And so once you realize that there is a reason that it’s designed that way, which is that we have to have unpaid labor done by women for society to function, you start to understand everything that surrounds it, which is why it became so wild. Because at the end of the day, I could design as many systems as possible to handle unpaid labor, which is ultimately what Fair Play was. A system that came out of my decade of working with families. And we’ll talk about that.

Emily:

Yeah. No. Sorry. Let’s talk about that now.

Eve:

Let’s talk about that.

Emily:

Because I think the stakes are so high … And this is the one thing I want to say before we talk about this solution, is the stakes of this are not just like, I wish people would acknowledge the individual labor. It is your marriage and you say this in the book and in this interview that you find yourself at a choice of like, are we going to fix this or am I just going to be like, you know what, I’m out? And I think for a lot of people that’s the only way out. I think the goal of your book as I see it, is to try to say, hey, is there a way in? Can we fix this rather than just abandoning it?

Eve:

Yeah. So when I became my own client, what I ultimately put on my board, which was my own whiteboard … Which is very dorky that I did for myself. But again, why I love you, Emily, because-

Emily:

You know that I would do that too.

Eve:

Great. Yes. Exactly.

Emily:

I would totally love that.

Eve:

Symbiosis, and I feel like you would use the whiteboard. So this was in 2012. I decided to write the three things that I would tell any family if I was working with them. So question one on my whiteboard was what if we treat our homes as our most important organization? So that was question one. So I looked for any book that had thought that. Is there any other book out there that has treated the home as an organization? So what did I find? I found the early versions of organizing your junk drawer, what now we’d call Marie Kondoing our lives or whatever. But I did not find organizational management applied to the home, which I thought was actually pretty interesting. So then from there I wrote down the three things that an organization needs to have to function correctly. Which is one, boundaries, two, systems, and three, communication.

So as you know from being an economist, where would I start? The boundaries is the thing we were just talking about. We can talk about that later. About why we don’t come to the table. Why women are conditioned to believe this. Why we believe our time is sand and men’s time is diamonds, and how we become complicit in our own oppression. That’s all the things we were going to talk about and we can always go back to that. But really I couldn’t deal with that at the time so I started with in boundary, systems, communication, where can I make a difference? And so I started with systems.

Emily:

Systems. Yeah. I think this is really important because it’s very easy for this conversation, this discussion to get into just grievance porn.

Eve:

Right. Yeah.

Emily:

All of the examples of things that annoy you and are bothering us and ways in which this is just like, ah. But the way into fixing it is to say, let me try to turn that emotion off and figure out what system can I put in place to actually fix this without just being angry about it, which doesn’t work.

Eve:

Correct. And the truth is that boundaries is really hard like we said. Also, communication is really hard. I see everything as you can imagine related to these issues now. But there was a Facebook group during COVID called The Reasons I Hate My Husband and Kids. And there was 27,000 members, Emily. And one woman wrote, “If my husband dies during COVID it’ll be because of me not the disease.” And so I reached out to her and I said, “How do you communicate about domestic life?” And she wrote back, “I don’t. This is my safe space.” So let’s just reflect on the fact that most people … This deserves a trigger warning because literally complaining and venting about her husband’s murder to 27,000 strangers felt safer to this woman than having a direct conversation with her partner about changing the dynamics in their home.

So that’s why this is a movement. Fair Play is a movement. But you can’t really have communication if you don’t know what to ask for. And you can’t really set a boundary over your time if you feel like you are the one who has to do it all. Because AKA, your school system, your community, your partner has the assumptions. So again, all I felt I could do was start with the place I can make a difference. Yes, there’s going to be polluted air. Yes, we don’t have paid leave. Yes, we don’t have universal childcare, but you still have to breathe even if the air is polluted. And so to me, the first step was systematizing the unpaid labor because that’s what I knew how to do.

Emily:

And so tell me … We don’t have to ruin it for everybody in terms of the… No spoilers. But you want to talk a little bit about how you think about that system?

Eve:

Absolutely. I love spoilers. I don’t want anybody to feel like they have to buy anything. We have every tool available on our website. You could put that in the show notes. We really want to make this a movement. Fair Play has become a nonprofit. We have a policy institute. So we really look at this as we’re trying to help as many people as possible. But the way it started for me was I couldn’t get data, and this is why I’m so happy I get to talk to you. Because you can understand how frustrating it was. What I did was the first nine months after I figured out that invisible work was a term that was coined in 1986 was I decided visibility equals value because Peter Drucker told me that you don’t manage what you don’t measure. And so I started to make invisible work visible. I had to start with somewhere.

So I started with the shit I do spreadsheet, which I talk about in the book. And that became 98 tabs and 2000 items of invisible work. So there would be a sub tab of say like medical living. Medical and healthy living. That would be a tab. And then the sub tabs would have things like application of sunscreen. And next to it used to say two minutes. But then people would weigh in and say, “No, no, you need to add 30 minutes for the chase.” So then it would say two minutes for application plus 30 minutes for the chase. That would be a sub tab. So that’s how granular the shit I do spreadsheet became. So it was 98 tabs, 2000 items of invisible work. Oh yeah, things like extracurricular non-sports. God forbid I forgot Girl Scout cookies ordering in sales. So I put in, of course, Girl Scout cookies ordering in sales.

So it became very, very granular. And then what I decided to do when I wrote boundary, systems, communication to design a system to divide up this work was I needed to figure out who was doing what in hetero cisgender couples especially. So I went out to the snowball research effect at the time. This is 2012. I didn’t really have TikTok. I wish I did. But I started with the snowball effect of just asking people and asking people. And I grew up in a very, very diverse lower middle class neighborhood on Avenue C and 14th street so I could get a good socioeconomic diversity just by my snowball research. And I found out that when I asked couples who does what, I couldn’t get any accurate data. Because if I said, who handles groceries, who handles pickup and drop off of kids from school … Just looking at my cards. Who handles bedtime routine? The answer I heard over and over again is we both do it.

So I was feeling very frustrated because I knew I was missing something in the data because we know that women shoulder two thirds or more of what it takes to run a home in family, and so I was missing something. So then I found a study that showed me that men over report what they do and women significantly under report. So I was thinking, how can I break through this gap of figuring out this over reporting under reporting mystery?

So then I finally came upon a question, a data question, a survey question that changed my life.And you’ve heard me talk about this before, but for those who don’t know me, the question was how does mustard get in your refrigerator? That question … Because you can ask about condiments in 16, 17 at this point over 20 countries. It doesn’t have to be mustard. There’s other condiments. This is how I knew Norway and the Nordic countries weren’t doing it any better, even though finally data is coming out to show that now. Because it was the same. Every country, Emily, it was the same. It was women telling me that they were the ones noticing that their second son Johnny only liked yellow mustard on their hot dog or their protein, otherwise they would choke. The kids would choke if they didn’t douse their protein and mustard. And so then I knew, okay, well that’s a conception problem. That’s an organizational management, project management … We have these phases. So I said, okay, that’s conception.

Emily:

I just want to say that this is so … You said at the beginning, me search, et cetera. But this is such an incredible research instinct because when you do research studies-

Eve:

Thank you.

Emily:

One of the things that’s really hard is figuring out how you get to the thing you really mean. Because it’s so easy to ask these general questions. Who does more work? Do you feel like you do more work? We ask people about colic and their babies. Do you think your baby has … Everybody thinks their baby has colic. 90% of people. But you got to get the right question and hear the question. It’s so simple. It’s such a simple-

Eve:

I’m crying. Because hearing from you that you thought my data question is good is hearing from the president. It’s the most amazing validation I think I’ve ever received. So I’m literally tearing up from you saying that. But it was the most evocative … I’ll say that again. It was the most illuminating and validating part of my life besides getting women to tell me the shit they did. Was understanding that I was breaking through finally. That I understood that there was phases. That there was a conception phase, there was a noticing phase, and then there was a planning phase where the women would say that they were the ones monitoring the mustard for when it ran low. And then they were the ones that got stakeholder buy-in from their family for what they wanted from their grocery list. They didn’t say stakeholder buy-in, but I was looking for that planning.

And then the both trap was that men were going to the store to get the mustard but they bring home spicy Dijon every fucking time. And then women were saying, I’m not going to trust my husband with my living will Eve. The dude can’t even bring home the right type of mustard. So then because the women were holding conception and planning and they were breaking up the execution, CPE, there was a breakup. I could see that the CPE breakup was leading to the things that are most important in an organization failing. And the things that are most important in an organization, the outcomes, not the inputs, the outcomes are accountability and trust. So accountability and trust were not happening anymore because of this mustard breakdown. Then it was like, oh my god, there’s something you can do here. You can hold an ownership mindset and put conception, planning, and execution together on the shit I do spreadsheet and start to play with what it looks like for someone to own a task. And so in 2012, that’s what Seth and I started doing.

Emily:

And I think what’s quite important and insightful about that is the idea that the conception and planning make the execution possible.

Eve:

Exactly.

Emily:

You think about how you do this at your job, how you organize tasks at work, basically you package those together. It would be unusual to say, I am going to plan. I’m going to think about what needs to be done, I’m going to plan what needs to be done, and then I’m just going to vaguely explain to someone else how they might think about doing it and then rely on them to do it. No business school professor is going to tell you to organize your tasks that way, and a well run business won’t do it and yet this separation as you say is so … And feels like, oh, we’re splitting the work. It has this feel of like we’re splitting it. But it’s like I guess, but not in an efficient way.

Eve:

Even my Aunt Marion’s Mahjong group understood this. You don’t bring full snack twice to the group you’re out. Everywhere else there was an ownership mindset. I started to see that Apple was quitting a term called DRI, directly responsible individual. I start to comb Netflix’s … They have a huge organizational PowerPoint for how Netflix does their business, and they had the DRI concept. They had something called context not control. That you have to give somebody conception, planning, and execution. This one systems analyst … This was the funniest part. I remember an early early interview with a systems analyst. He designed systems for a living and he said that in his house they wait to decide who’s taking the dog out every night, right when it’s about to take a piss on the rug. So I said, “Okay, so in your day job you know that systems are literally to make decisions before you have to make the decision so you don’t have to keep making the same decision, but in your home you make the exact same decision about who takes the dog out every single night without any advanced planning?”

So I knew that I couldn’t probably bring women to the table because we’re conditioned that our time is sand. I knew I couldn’t really get them to communicate by just saying, emotion is low, cognition is high, you got to do it then because they were in these Facebook groups ranting. But I knew that at least for myself, I could design a system that would be based on organizational principles that already were rooted in organizational science and just bringing them to the home made Seth very open to receiving them because … He’s now more of a feminist, but as a resolute sexist probably at the time hearing from the Peter Drucker’s and the organizational management specialists with my studies and my binders along with the system I had developed gave it more validity than if it was just me making it up from nowhere. So he needed to see that this is based in this organizational science of a DRI. This idea that ownership.

And we now know … There are studies now that show that when people have context … And we see this all over Fair Play. People who play Fair Play. When you have context, your standards automatically go up. So this whole idea, well, I can never trust my partner because they bring home the wrong type of mustard. Or as one woman said … She showed me a picture of a pairing knife in her car seat because her husband’s a chef and left a knife in the car seat. How can I trust my husband to transport my kid? He leaves knives in car seats. The only thing I was hearing at the time in 2012 for women was Lower your standards. Fuck that. So instead what you do is you put a reasonable person standard, which is a legal standard that we use for tort law. We have a trillion dollar tort system that works fine with a reasonable person standard. I took a reasonable person standard, I applied it to the 98 tabs and I broke out the CPE for each one of those tabs and I gave it to Seth and we started to play with it. And then we started to have beta testers and more beta testers and thousands of beta testers and now hundreds of thousands of beta testers, and we’ve been collecting data for 10 years.

Emily:

I wanted to ask about the implementation piece of this because a lot of the ideas behind the system involve taking these tasks and combining them together and then figuring out who should do what. There’s two pieces I think are hard. There’s many pieces that are hard. But I think two that come up are one, starting this conversation. Where do you start the conversation is one question. But then the second thing is … It is true in many couples, many relationships, probably more cisgender heterosexual relationships than others, that one person has a more intense out of the home job than others. And we can talk about why that’s because of things that happened before. But coming into this conversation, it is likely that for many people it will be unequal in terms of their out of the home expectations. And I’m curious how you talk to people about navigating that. Because if it’s like, well, I’m already working, I work more so I can’t do the things.

Eve:

That’s a great question. So I had to do my boundary systems and communication audit. And so what I did was … Again, I would only get this specific because it’s you and you appreciate these things. And so you can edit out whatever you want or not. But this is the specifics. Of the boundary, systems, communication audit we started to do in 2012 around the beta testers. I was trying to find out what the hurdle was. So for couples that were really, really eager to do good for each other and they looked at themselves as the equal partners, they could jump right into the system. I could give them the CPE checklists, which are online again if anybody wants to see them. But basically what they were, they were the shit I do spreadsheet became a long list of CPE. So for example, auto. I’m just looking at the one on the checklist now. Do you know what happens if you don’t put the new registration sticker on your car? Researching and planning cars to lease or buy. Scheduling maintenance, tire maintenance oil, tuneups mile inspections, researching auto insurance. Consult with the home insurance card holder about a bundle. Renewing DMV registration. Cleaning inside and out the car. Managing inspections. Filling gas tank purchasing auto insurance and renewals.

So I was able to give these CPE checklists for 98 tasks to people if they were already there and they were like, we just want more efficiency in the home. That was awesome. The harder part and why Fair Play had to become a movement was when I had to diagnose the people who A wouldn’t come to the table and B, why. So typically people don’t come to the table for two reasons in our surveys now and our data. One because they can’t communicate about these issues. They believe that they’ve already tried to communicate about these issues and it has not worked, and they’ve had no practice in communication. And in fact, we ended up asking a thousand people in a survey, what is your most important practice? And I did this facetiously because I knew there would be nobody that came back and said communication at all. And I wanted that data for myself.

So I’m here to tell you, out of a thousand people, not one person said communication is their most important practice. Most people said it was religious or some meditation practice or they didn’t understand the question. So we know people don’t view communication as a practice. It’s a more important practice than exercise, but people look at it as one and done transactional. I try to have a conversation in 2005, it didn’t work. Just like I tell my doctor, Emily, I tried to exercise once in 2005 and I’m not fit.

Emily:

Wasn’t for me. Wasn’t for me.

Eve:

That was it. It wasn’t for me. You can’t really do that. It’s a practice. So those people, I had to teach them how to communicate. My beta testers. But then there was another even harder group, and those were the ones who I called CIYOO as an annotation. And that was complicit in your own oppression. Women who believed to their core that this was their work to do. The bedtime routine. I’m just going through all these. The seasonal storage of items for holidays. Tidying up and donations. Coupons. Hosting. Extracurricular sports. First aid in safety and emergency. Packing and unpacking for travel. Packing and unpacking backpacks. Points, miles and coupons. Return in store credits. School breaks, planning for summer. School breaks, non-summer. School-

Emily:

You’re stressing me out. You’re stressing me out.

Eve:

Transportation. On and on and on.

Emily:

In season, Eve. It’s in season. Stressing me out.

Eve:

So of the 98 tasks, the hardest people for me were the ones who were the CIYOOs and they were the ones who said to themselves four things, my husband makes more money than me, or my job is more flexible so I have to do all those things we just listed. Number two in the time that it would take me to tell him, her, they what to do, I should do it myself. That’s called the present bias that Emily can talk to you more about. The other one was, I’m a better multitasker. I’m wired differently to hear the baby cry. I went to a panoply of neuroscientists, including Dr. Pat Levitt. I wanted to shout him out who said to me, there’s no fucking difference in the brain for how you task switch. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

And then the worst was that yes, we’re both two colorectal surgeons, but my husband is better at focusing on one task at a time whereas I can find the time. Emily, we’re not Albert Einstein. We can’t find time. We can’t fuck with the space time continuum. This was the hardest group to change because these women believed that their time was owned by their roles as parents, partners and professionals. And so they wouldn’t even entertain that these were toxic time messages that could be overturned. And it became a very triggering topic of a lot of sobbing, a lot of crying. And so that’s why I think this almost episode may need a trigger warning because a lot of people are not in the systems place or even the communication place. A lot of people are in this boundaries place where you are not even going to come to the table because you said one of those four toxic time messages to yourself.

Emily:

Yeah. It’s interesting because when I think about these same set of issues, it is so easy to come into the systems place. And you’re right, there’s a set of people who are just like, “Oh, hey, I didn’t think about this efficiency gain. That’s so great. Thanks so much.” It’s huge value unlocked, but it’s not hard value in the sense that once you get it’s like bam, there we are. But the piece of, we’ve gotten into a place where I think whoever is the partner that this is my job and there’s some reason, and it could be … And it could be any reason. I think at that point, when you’re in the space of believing that you are responsible for all of this stuff, the reason could be anything. There’s an old Jewish joke about someone who won’t donate to the synagogue, and then they ask him why? And they keep asking why. I keep asking why. And at the end he says, cream cheese. And they say, what kind of answer is that? And he says, well, the answer is no and so any answer is as good as any other.

So I think it’s in this space of whatever you’re going to say, it’s because my brain works more quickly. It’s because he’s better at his job. It’s because he makes a little more money. It’s because I’ve always done it. Because he doesn’t know where the mustard is. There are all of these pieces.

Eve:

There’s be knives in my car seat.

Emily:

Right. Because there are knives in my car seat. And some of those pieces I think are really deep seeded. And some of them miss a pretty fundamental issue about learning by doing, which is that no one is good at the thing the first time.

Eve:

Correct.

Emily:

Sometimes I talk about my husband does the dishwasher. And so there was a time at which I did the dishwasher, and then at some point we switched. I don’t know. After we had kids, and now he’s responsible for the dishwasher. And I don’t think he was a amazing at it initially, but now not only is he really very excellent at the dishwasher, he won’t let me touch it. It’s like this thing where if I get near it is he starts to twitch. He gets a little twitchy because I’ve lost my ability to do it effectively.

Eve:

Which I love by the way, because anytime men step up in the home, I love the reverse since that’s not the norm. So yes, I’d love for him to just keep that.

Emily:

But it is. There’s a learning by doing, which I think we want to remember that when you make any of these transitions, there will probably be a period of time. And again, it’s like the parallel with work. If you’re training someone to take on a task that you’ve done, you don’t assume that they will do it as well as you did the first time that you did it. That’s why we have training at jobs.

Eve:

And also why you can’t do everything. Because typically you’re hiring someone because you’re recognizing that this is going to be somebody who can handle tasks and own them. And I think that’s the hardest part. Because I would ask people if they would hire somebody who would come into their office and say, Hey, Emily, what should I be doing today? I’m just going to wait here every single day until you tell me what to do. And that’s what the home is like, which is so frustrating. Because we would never even hire a basic assistant. If someone said that to me more than three days in a row, they would be fired. But in the home, we accept this idea that we have a helper and not a partner. I was in that situation too, so that’s why I can speak to it. It’s not like I’m condescending to people who’ve believed these things.

I’m more educated than my husband, but he makes more money than me. And so for me, it was this really deep work that I had to do to say to Seth … Especially after the Drunk Guy’s jacket, that this is not about you just taking and picking up a drunk guy’s jacket. This is about the fact that we both just have 24 hours in a day, Seth, and you look at our time as money. I see it. You think your hours are more valuable than mine. And I’m here to tell you that I deserve as equal time choice. May not be equal distribution of tasks, but I do deserve equal time choice. Agency over how I use my day. And when I’m doing things in service of our home until my head hits the pillow two hours after you go to bed, that’s fundamentally unfair.

And so that was the conversation that changed our marriage. Not you have to handle the drunk guy’s jacket. Even though ultimately that’s what he ended up doing. And that’s the dishes and all those other tasks we just read out. But it starts with, I think taking personal agency over how you view your own time. And I think as women, when we’ve been conditioned to believe our time is sand, it’s very hard. And if people don’t believe us, there is the data that shows that if women enter male professions, the salaries automatically come down. It’s called occupational segregation. So we know that society’s viewing women’s time as less important. Emily, you can still go to health systems in this day and age in 2024 and see that they hand out flyers that say breastfeeding is free. When it’s 1800 hours.

Emily:

It drives me out of my mind.

Eve:

1800 hours a year.

Emily:

It’s free. Not free. It’s not free. Not free.

Eve:

But if you’re hearing that right everywhere since birth, you’re going to absorb some of these messages that your time is less valuable than men’s time. And so I am not mad at anybody for doing it. I did it myself. But I think that it’s unfair … Back to Jewish. The Talmud says that we’re not allowed … We don’t have to finish the work but we can’t abandon it. And so we have to break these generational cycles. Whereas one woman said to me in a funny way, that Fair Play, what it did for her was it made her really realize that she didn’t have a magical vagina that whispered in her ear what her husband’s mother wanted for Christmas. She couldn’t believe that it actually was work. She actually had to find out what her mother in-law wanted and that it wasn’t a magical vagina. And I said, no, you don’t have a magical vagina. It’s not magical.

Emily:

It’s not magical. Nope. So if you had to give people one piece of advice for what to do next beyond buy your book, visit your website, if you wanted to give people one piece of advice about how to start here, if this is resonating, what would you say?

Eve:

I would say that it’s really, really important to do an internal audit of what’s happening for you right now. If you feel that the two word cloud words that would come up for your life are overwhelm, erasure, boredom, those are not things that I want for anybody, and I’m your ghost of Christmas future to say that they don’t get better on their own, they get worse. And so the internal audit would be, how am I feeling right now? And this is the most important question. Do I feel like I have the time and bandwidth to be consistently interested in my own life? That is my threshold question. If you do, then I would say you start with the systems. You can always make yourself more efficient. If you feel like I’m so far from having time and bandwidth to be consistently interested in my own life, then what I would say is just listen to this episode a couple more times. Sit with it because this is the first time you may be hearing these things and they’re overwhelming and it takes a really, really long time to process. Seth and I are 10 years longer into this work, and it’s still a practice. And so what I would just say is be patient. But it starts with that threshold to me. Do you feel like you have the time and bandwidth to be consistently interested in your own life?

Because that’s ultimately what we found and that’s my whole second book, and hopefully I can come on to do the data that I found in that.

Emily:

Yes. Definitely.

Eve:

But that was fascinating to me because what I found in researching women’s identity and passion gap, which came along with the research on their systems in their home, which is why I wrote a second book on these issues, was that we have a problem in society about valuing women’s time in any capacity outside of their roles as partners, parents and professionals. And our mental health and physical health depends on us being able to be consistently interested in our own life.

Emily:

I love it. All right. Rapid fire question. When is the most inconvenient time you’ve ever been interrupted by a call from your kids’ school?

Eve:

Oh my gosh. I’m going to say that it was actually at Tomoko Day Spa, and I don’t know why my phone was on, but I was having a language barrier and I had to jump off the table. I wasn’t wearing clothes. And I did take that call only because Seth and I hold cards and they’re called … One of the cards is called … It’s a daily grind glitch in the matrix, and I was holding that card that week. So I was the one responsible for picking up the phone if the school car called. But it was Tomoko Day Spa. Shout out Tomoko Day Spa.

Emily:

Amazing. If you didn’t have this job, what other job would you have?

Eve:

I think right now what I’d still probably be doing if this hadn’t evolved into the movement that it did was I would still be doing the work for my beloved clients and I would be working on their family businesses and their family foundations to create grace and humor and generosity when they’re making their most highly complex decisions. I’ve always loved my clients and I love that work.

Emily:

How does the mustard get in your fridge?

Eve:

The mustard gets in our fridge by a re-deal. So there are weeks where I’m on the road and that is a card that we re-deal. It’s the groceries card. And we both now know typically what is on that list. Maybe things are a little bit different. But we’re both equally versed in groceries so that we re-deal that card. There are some cards like gifts where … Seth brought this beautiful bottle of tequila to this 18th birthday party of a client’s son, and I was like, this is America, we can’t drink alcohol here, so that’s not that appropriate. So that was really not something I needed to give up because I love giving gifts, so I will hold gifts probably forever. That’s a card that I will hold forever. A daily grind like groceries, we re-deal based on who’s traveling.

Emily:

I love it. Thank you so much for being here. This is such a treat.

Eve:

Thanks, Emily, for having me.

Voicemail Message:

Hey Emily. I feel bad asking this, but I’m wondering how I can appreciate my husband more. I’ve got two small kids. Appreciating him just seems a lot better than resenting him, like I currently do. Thank you.

Emily:

One of the things that Eve and I talk about in this episode is the idea of making a list of all the things that go into tasks. And I have always found that idea really resonant because I think part of what happens when you make a list of all of the things and you show the other person is that it helps you appreciate the things that they’re doing that you don’t see. So it’s not just about you telling them what you’re doing, but it’s about you seeing the things that they’re doing and maybe appreciating them a little bit more. So my own personal most extreme version of this is about the trash. So my husband, Jesse, is in charge of the trash. He’s in charge of putting it outside and thinking about when it’s getting picked up and resetting it. And I always thought of this as something that took 25 seconds and so should deserve almost no credit.

And then one day he was gone on a Monday and he sent me an email about the trash. I’m going to read you the email. It’s from Jesse to Emily. Subject, trash instructions. His emails always have detailed subject lines, not like mine, which have no subject lines. Section one, taking the trash out. Tie a bin liner in trash. This is a bulleted list. Roll trash out to street. Making sure to leave room for recycling. Roll recycling out to street. Make sure there is room between the two bins so they can lift them separately.

Section two, taking trash back in. It’s another list. Roll bins back to their area. Recycling goes in first, closest to garage, then trash goes. Put some diatomaceous earth in the trash and recycling. Put some baking soda if there is an odor. Put a new bin liner in the trash, not in the recycling. Then congratulations, you are done. That part was in bold. Apparently there are some maggot and fly issues and I really, really, really hate bugs. So he had come up with this elaborate diatomaceous earth system to fix the maggot and bug problem in our trash. I was sorry that he was gone on a Monday and I had to do this, but I was a lot more grateful for the 99% of the time that he does it for us.

ParentData is produced by Tamar Avishai with support from the ParentData team and PRX. Also, special thanks to our house violinist, my daughter, Penelope.

Penelope:

No problem, Mom.

Emily:

If you have thoughts on this episode, please join the conversation on my Instagram, @profemilyoster. And if you want to support the show, become a subscriber to the ParentData newsletter at parentdata.org, where I write weekly posts on everything to do with parents and data to help you make better, more informed parenting decisions. For example, you can dive more deeply into an article I wrote last year on strategies to divide up family labor more equitably. Remember, fair is not always equal.

If you like what you hear, please leave the show a positive review on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find out about us. Right, Penelope?

Penelope:

Right, Mom.

Emily:

We’ll see you next time.

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AdamWuertz
1 day ago

This conversation reminded me a lot of the book “The Manager Mom Epidemic” by Thomas Phelan. I especially liked the idea from that book that letting things go means handing them off completely and being ok with with substandard results initially or even things just being done different than how you would do them.

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Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET 
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray

Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

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...

I’m calling on you today to share your story. I know that many of you have experienced complications during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum. It’s not something we want to talk about, but it’s important that we do. Not just for awareness, but to help people going through it feel a little less alone.

That’s why I’m asking you to post a story, photo, or reel this week with #MyUnexpectedStory and tag me. I’ll re-share as many as I can to amplify. Let’s fill our feeds with these important stories and lift each other up. Our voices can create change. And your story matters. 💙

#theunexpected #emilyoster #pregnancycomplications #pregnancystory

I’m calling on you today to share your story. I know that many of you have experienced complications during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum. It’s not something we want to talk about, but it’s important that we do. Not just for awareness, but to help people going through it feel a little less alone.

That’s why I’m asking you to post a story, photo, or reel this week with #MyUnexpectedStory and tag me. I’ll re-share as many as I can to amplify. Let’s fill our feeds with these important stories and lift each other up. Our voices can create change. And your story matters. 💙

#theunexpected #emilyoster #pregnancycomplications #pregnancystory
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OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio!

OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio! ...

OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio!

OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio! ...

OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio!

OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio! ...

Is side sleeping important during pregnancy? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on whether sleep position affects pregnancy outcomes.

Being pregnant makes you tired, and as time goes by, it gets increasingly hard to get comfortable. You were probably instructed to sleep on your side and not your back, but it turns out that advice is not based on very good data.

We now have much better data on this, and the bulk of the evidence seems to reject the link between sleep position and stillbirth or other negative outcomes. So go ahead and get some sleep however you are most comfortable. 💤

Sources:
📖 #ExpectingBetter pp. 160-163
📈 Robert M. Silver et al., “Prospective Evaluation of Maternal Sleep Position Through 30 Weeks of Gestation and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes,” Obstetrics and Gynecology 134, no. 4 (2019): 667–76. 

#emilyoster #pregnancy #pregnancytips #sleepingposition #pregnantlife

Is side sleeping important during pregnancy? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on whether sleep position affects pregnancy outcomes.

Being pregnant makes you tired, and as time goes by, it gets increasingly hard to get comfortable. You were probably instructed to sleep on your side and not your back, but it turns out that advice is not based on very good data.

We now have much better data on this, and the bulk of the evidence seems to reject the link between sleep position and stillbirth or other negative outcomes. So go ahead and get some sleep however you are most comfortable. 💤

Sources:
📖 #ExpectingBetter pp. 160-163
📈 Robert M. Silver et al., “Prospective Evaluation of Maternal Sleep Position Through 30 Weeks of Gestation and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes,” Obstetrics and Gynecology 134, no. 4 (2019): 667–76.

#emilyoster #pregnancy #pregnancytips #sleepingposition #pregnantlife
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My new book, “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available for preorder at the link in my bio!

I co-wrote #TheUnexpected with my friend and maternal fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Nathan Fox. The unfortunate reality is that about half of pregnancies include complications such as preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth, and postpartum depression. Because these are things not talked about enough, it can not only be an isolating experience, but it can also make treatment harder to access.

The book lays out the data on recurrence and delves into treatment options shown to lower risk for these conditions in subsequent pregnancies. It also guides you through how to have productive conversations and make shared decisions with your doctor. I hope none of you need this book, but if you do, it’ll be here for you 💛

#pregnancy #pregnancycomplications #pregnancyjourney #preeclampsiaawareness #postpartumjourney #emilyoster

My new book, “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available for preorder at the link in my bio!

I co-wrote #TheUnexpected with my friend and maternal fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Nathan Fox. The unfortunate reality is that about half of pregnancies include complications such as preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth, and postpartum depression. Because these are things not talked about enough, it can not only be an isolating experience, but it can also make treatment harder to access.

The book lays out the data on recurrence and delves into treatment options shown to lower risk for these conditions in subsequent pregnancies. It also guides you through how to have productive conversations and make shared decisions with your doctor. I hope none of you need this book, but if you do, it’ll be here for you 💛

#pregnancy #pregnancycomplications #pregnancyjourney #preeclampsiaawareness #postpartumjourney #emilyoster
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We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy. 

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙

We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy.

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙
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