I’m here today with Lauren Smith Brody. Lauren is the founder of The Fifth Trimester, which is both a movement and a book called The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Big Success After Baby. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America,, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and New York Family. Lauren has appeared recently in Talks by Google and on the “motherbirth” podcast before coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” Before launching The Fifth Trimester, Lauren worked for sixteen years in magazine publishing, most recently as the executive editor of Glamour magazine, a Condé Nast publication. Lauren lives in New York City now with her husband and her two young sons.

Before I introduce Lauren, a reminder that this episode is sponsored by Chloe’s Fruit, the cool way to eat fruit. You can learn more at

Welcome, Lauren.

Lauren Smith Brody: Thank you so much for having me on.

Zibby: Thanks for coming. We could spend the whole podcast talking about the movement, The Fifth Trimester, and how amazing it is. I want to talk about this fantastic book first.

Lauren: That’s where it started.


Zibby: There’s also a million podcast’s worth of material. You did such an amazing job of describing how it felt to you to go back to work after twelve weeks and how ironic it was that when your son Will was starting to be happy and calm, then it was time for you to go back to work. For those who haven’t read the book, can you set the stage for us a little about how it felt to you? Can you discuss what you say in the book about what you said is kindly referred to as “a hard time?”

Lauren: I was being kind to myself by calling it a hard time. I was mostly a mess. Obviously when I was pregnant, I knew about the first three trimesters. The forth trimester was something I learned about reading Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Baby on the Block when I had Will, who’s now nine. I didn’t realize he was a fussy baby. He was totally a fussy baby. My mom kept trying to tell me that. I was like, “No, it’s my fault.” I soothed him with this idea of the forth trimester, which is recreate the feeling of the womb by swaddling and all that because human babies are actually born three months too early. That was really helpful. Throughout the book as I was reading it, he kept saying, Dr. Karp, “Get to twelve weeks.” Get to twelve weeks and your baby will wake up the world and will give something back to you, and essentially will be the baby that I thought I was giving birth to. I kept thinking, “Gosh. Twelve weeks is when I go back to work.”

I don’t think I knew as deeply certainly as I do now how privileged I was to even be able to take those twelve weeks. They were not fully paid. I have a partner who’s very supportive and who was around. I have parents who could come to town at the drop of a hat. We had enough money in the bank that I could take a few of those weeks unpaid and it was okay. Yet still, twelve weeks was definitely not enough time for me. It was more than most American women are able to use. The average amount of FML used is 8.5 weeks. Only fifty-six percent of American workers are even eligible for it.

To get to the mess, I came back to work. Part of me felt steadied by being there. This was something I knew how to do. I wasn’t brand new at my job the way I was brand new at motherhood. I was brand new at being a working mom. It was my first day on the job. My day had a hard stop in a way that it never had before. I definitely had to get home. We were lucky to have a nanny in our home, but I had to get home to her. I had to bring the breast milk home that I had pumped at work otherwise she was going to dip into the very small frozen stash I had in the freezer. She had to get home to her own family. It was a whole layering on of stresses that I don’t think I properly anticipated.

My goal with this book was to help women anticipate the fact that they are probably going to be back at work before they’re physically and emotionally ready to be there, which is what I did end up discovering when I did a lot of research beyond my own experience. I interviewed more than a hundred working moms who had all approaches to work and motherhood and surveyed almost eight hundred. What I found is that collectively most people wished they had had more time but also, they really wanted more support during that time coming back to work. In my own experience, I found that stumbling through was the right thing for me to do. I was, at that point, at a senior enough position that it was okay for me to be a little bit transparent about what was hard.

What I found is that people actually came to me and thanked me. I was the first person they had seen struggle, and yet still succeed, and show them that they would one day too. I realized that even though it didn’t feel like a particularly powerful moment in terms of my career and I was not feeling super ambitious coming back to work at that moment, I actually did have cultural impact. That became a new way of measuring success in my job for me. Eventually grew this idea of the fifth trimester, which I realized is simply when the working mom is born. It’s another trimester. It’s another developmental phase, only this one’s for mom.

Zibby: In the book you cite a lot of statistics about how other countries have better maternity and paternity leave policies.

Lauren: All of them. All other countries.

Zibby: You said except for these two countries. Then you’re like, “There was this third country, but now they’re even —

Lauren: — They caught up.

Zibby: How did the US end up with the policy it has? Not that we need a whole big history lesson.

Lauren: The policy is just one part of it. The policy is a symptom of a larger, greater cultural problem we have, which is that there’s not a cultural appreciation around the transition to new parenthood, motherhood and fatherhood. This is my own theory. Mostly, it’s just that we’re a really young country. A lot of these other countries we look at it, in Europe in particular, are old. They have the long-lens perspective of being able to look back over many more generations than we do. We still feel like as a country, we’re still a start-up. Every generation wants to lap the next. We’re starting to feel this now. Progress halts if you don’t actually give it a little time to breathe. If we were to build in better policies including universal childcare — there’s almost no federal policy that doesn’t impact being a good parent in some way. If we were to do that, studies show it would ultimately impact the economy for the better. It takes taking a big, collective deep breath and forcing our leaders to acknowledge that it’s something that needs to be handled with law.

Zibby: I love how in the book you quote John Oliver saying, “There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for moms, apart from this one major thing.”

Lauren: Exactly, apart from this one thing that launches them.

Zibby: Can you talk about how going back to work when you weren’t really ready affected your marriage? You said, which I could totally relate to, “At the office, I mostly kept it together, but at home I picked fights with my husband over little things. They were really about one big thing. He didn’t feel as completely at the end of his rope as I did 24/7.”

Lauren: It’s funny. So much of that in the moment felt like I was doing something wrong or my husband was doing something wrong. I’ve really come to learn by talking to all of these other moms that it’s so much bigger than that. It doesn’t do any good to blame yourself or blame your spouse, with whom you probably intended to have a totally equal partnership. That gets a lot easier as the kids get older. It is a larger, greater cultural problem. Owning the fact that when you go back to work, if you go back to work or however you define work — we all work. Some of us work for a paycheck. Some of us don’t work for a paycheck. We all work.

Owning the fact that you can have cultural impact in that moment by being open and honest is really helpful. Some of that also has to come back home with you. If we want equality in the workplace, you really have to acknowledge the fact that you can’t be a gatekeeper, that dad has to be allowed to help as well. We have a real disparity in the amount of maternity leave and paternity leave that American moms and dads take. Even when men are entitled to take it — and they are, they’re entitled to just as much FMLA as you are — they tend not to, in part because they are paid more. We know about the pay gap. Also because there’s this cultural idea that men are more valued in the workplace than women are. When dad takes less time and says, “I need to be at work,” it’s doubling down on that really erroneous idea.

One thing that can really help — we weren’t able to do this. My husband was in his residency when we had my first son. He was finishing his residency when we had our second. His hours were nuts. I was, at that point actually, the bread winner because he was still in his training. It was a lot of pressure. It was pressure on him. He couldn’t be around and as involved as he wanted to when he was working week-long overnight shifts. That was not going to work. It is sometimes about baby steps. It’s about saving a couple of discrete duties that are actually for the dad or partner and saying, “I’m not going to do this at all. I’m not even going to learn how to do it. You learn how to do it.” It means giving up that control over whatever the baby task is being done. There’s so many studies that show that this is ultimately really good for the children, to have dads that involved that early on. It also sets up patterns. I have some bigger kids now. You have some bigger kids. You can see it play out positively and negatively. As much as you can do early on to truly share the work, but also the heartbreak, and the agony, and the joy, even the fun stuff of parenting, is really helpful.

Zibby: You’re so funny. You talk in the book about marriage and say how you have to prioritize each other. You were like, “Ha, ha, ha, ha. I know, I know. Go ahead. Laugh some more. Ha, ha, ha, ha.” It’s so funny. Do you feel that prioritizing marriage is part and parcel of this whole…?

Lauren: Yeah. I interviewed a number of single moms in the book. I’m so, so glad I did. They were so clear about the fact that there was no luxury of worrying about asking for help. They knew that in order to be good parents and take care of their children, they had to ask for help of their family, of their friends, of whomever. We need to take some of that back into our marriages for sure. Even interviewing other people and not just from my own perspective, I didn’t want to write a chapter that dictated date night. For a lot of new parents, particularly in the fifth trimester when you’re first going back to work, what does that actually look like? If you’re breastfeeding, that is pumping a bottle before you go out, spending money on a babysitter when money might already be a little tight at the moment. It’s making time to clear your brain of the baby stuff and have a lovely meal, maybe have some wine, but maybe you can’t have some wine because maybe you’re nursing. That doesn’t work. You got to wake up really early the next morning. Maybe you have to wake up in four hours. It becomes this added pressure to suggest that.

I was really relieved when I looked at — I became a data nerd by looking at everything that I got in from the survey of all these moms. I found that there was a group of moms who reported fighting more with their partners than they ever had before during the fifth trimester, most they’d ever fought. There was a subset, a sizable subset of those moms who also said they felt closer than they ever had been to their partners. I thought, “That’s really interesting.” They’re disagreeing, but they’re doing it in a really productive way that’s ultimately beneficial. What else do they have in common? I tried to see what other factors they had. There were a couple of things. Namely, they spent time alone with their partners without the baby. But — here’s the big but. It wasn’t copious numbers of hours. They spent between one and four hours. There were moms who spent five and six and seven hours alone per week with their partners. They were super-duper happy. That was a really small percentage of women. There were a lot of women who spent less than one hour per week with their partners. There were a good number who spent between one and four. There was almost no variation in their happiness between them.

What that said to me is yes, you can go have that lovely date with the babysitter and the bottle of wine that might stress you out. Or, it is just as valid to sit across your own dinner table or to sit on the couch and hold hands for an hour and watch your favorite TV show, a regular weekly TV date that you schedule and really look forward to. That counts. That was protective of the relationships for these women, which I found really comforting.

Zibby: That’s good to know. To switch gears for a minute, you talk in such a poignant way about selecting a nanny. You mentioned how conflicted you were to leave your son in, you write, “In the arms of a woman whose perfume I didn’t even know yet,” which I thought was so beautifully written.

How did it feel to you to leave your kids at home?

Lauren: It was one of the first titles I came up with of the chapters. It felt a second cutting of the cord. The first one you don’t really feel. This one you definitely feel, particularly if you’ve been home on maternity leave with that baby on you. It’s a real physical separation to walk away from your baby. I cried the whole way to work, and yet I also felt kind of elated to be free in some ways. I’d had a couple practices runs, but probably not enough, of running to the store or whatever to be away from the baby. It’s funny. My kids actually just talked to Jean, who’s no longer our nanny. They’ve outgrown her now. We just have after-school babysitters. It was such a wonderful conversation to catch up with her. She’s taking care of a baby now. I could hear her in the background with the baby, who sounded super cute.

Zibby: I love how she’s at the park with you and she’s like, “Go. Go run your errands. I got it.”

Lauren: Yes. Exactly. She knew. She knew I needed that test run. The first day — this is the truth — in the book I actually hugged her goodbye and was like, “I don’t know even know you, but I’m hugging you and I’m crying on you. You’re taking care of the most important work I’ve ever done in my life and the person I love the most in this world, this baby. I guess it’s going to be okay.” What I found in looking at the research about childcare — it’s the first chapter of the book. For most parents, it’s the primary thing. Nothing else works if you haven’t figured out who’s going to be able to take care of your child. It was the last chapter I wrote. I felt so conflicted about my perspective. Everything about it is so personal. The way you manage someone whether it is a day care staff at a day care center, or someone in your home, or even your mother-in-law if you’re mother-in-law’s watching your baby during the day, is so similar and so different from the way you manage at work. It’s very emotional work. I decided to be really analytical about it.

I looked at the studies of what is supposedly better for baby in terms of the decisions you’re making about who’s taking care of your child. There’s this massive compendium of fifteen years’ worth of childcare studies. It pulls together hundreds and hundreds of studies to boil it down to the real takeaway, which is essentially day care is great, can be detrimental, mostly good. Home care is great, can be detrimental, mostly good. Having family at home or even mom taking care of the baby is great, but can be detrimental. Dad, same thing. Yet, if you get to the very, very end what it says is the one thing that’s really genuinely predictive of your child’s success being cared for by someone is how comfortable you are with your decision around that childcare. I was like, “Thank god.” I had totally procrastinated writing this chapter of the book and even researching it.

That shined a light on what I needed to do, which was help women get comfortable with the decisions they were making around childcare, not making the right decision, but making the comfortable decision. That really led my research and led me to interview a lot of people about what they were looking for when they were touring day care. How do they manage if they have a caregiver in the home? How do they manage that person differently than they do at work? How do they feel about it? That’s what the chapter turned into. I was very comforted to find out that a lot of it is actually within your control, more than you think.

Zibby: So much parenting advice, it’s like, “Do what feels right to you.”

Lauren: I know, right? You have to determine what that is. By your forth child, you probably do.

Zibby: You talk about feeling like you’re turning into your mom when you found yourself freezing bolognese sauce in individual packets in your freezer.

Lauren: I still do that.

Zibby: You still do that? I want you to send me some of your bolognese. We have nothing in the freezer. I have to ask. You say you put cinnamon in your bolognese sauce. It’s amazing?

Lauren: It’s really good. It gives it an earthly, slightly — it’s a tablespoon for a huge pot. I always like to own my work. It is totally a Mario Batali recipe. I added my own one little kick.

Zibby: We’ll try that next time, if I ever cook again.

You talk about laying in bed at night, in the book, feeling guilty, feeling guilty at work, and wrestling with things, and finally deciding it was stupid to waste time feeling that way. You just said, “That’s it, feels stupid.” You say something to all the women in the book. “How ‘bout we stop? Let’s just stop,” which is so great. Tell me, how do we all get rid of our mom guilt? We just snap our fingers and it’s gone? That would be so nice.

Lauren: If you want clarity on any parenting issue, write a parenting book. If you have to interview all of these experts and actually see what a lot of other mothers have in common, it really helps you realize it’s not just you, first of all. One of the things that I splurged on in writing this book is I hired someone to do the transcribing. She’s awesome. Her name is Sara. She’s a single mom who lives outside of Cleveland. We’ve become friendly. I love her to pieces. She’s the best. She taught me a lot about thinking beyond my own experience. What I learned when she sent me these transcripts is that the word that jumped off the page universally, regardless of whether a mom was a single mom, an adoptive mom, used a surrogate, had an hourly wage working job, or twelve degrees and tenure at Harvard — it didn’t matter. The one thing they all had in common was guilt. When they described what they felt guilty about, they felt guilty about very different things.

Some of them felt guilty about leaving their baby in the care of someone they felt like was maybe not as capable as they would have been themselves if they had been home with the baby. Some of them felt guilty for enjoying being at work. You name a topic, somebody felt guilty about it. I realized pretty quickly that if guilt was this universal and we were all constantly thinking — guilt implies this idea that you’ve done something wrong and there was another better choice you could have made. If everyone is feeling some form of guilt, there is no other, better working mom. We’re all her. We’re all doing our best.

Also, given all of the research that I had seen by the point I wrote the book about the United States and the culture that we live in and the fact that it’s not your fault, it’s a larger, greater cultural problem. I realized that this guilt is a dangerous cycle. It doesn’t actually help progress anything in the workplace. It doesn’t progress anything at home. We feel like we’ve done something wrong. We’ve done nothing wrong. We’re trying to do the best we can for our kids. Will is now in third grade. He’s learning about denominators. Cross it out. It is a common denominator. Yes, the feelings you have are real. The problems that have caused those feelings, culturally or in your own specific workplace or home, deserve to be tended to and solved. Let’s solve them. Let’s not just write everything off as mom guilt. Also, if we do, let’s at least talk about dad guilt too. They have some. They might like to talk about it as well.

Zibby: Let’s drag them into this mess.

Lauren: Exactly.

Zibby: It’s so great when you wrote in the book about the newfound respect you feel for moms who you had seen at work who weren’t even able to change a toner cartridge simultaneously swaddling a baby, and folding a stroller, and holding a cup of coffee. I had this idea for a TV show that I’m actually trying to work on with my husband Kyle who’s a TV producer now for Morning Moon Productions about being a top mom, a contest where you could have a face-off with who can hold coffee and fold a stroller. You have thirty seconds. Go! One day I was leaving the park. I was holding like fifty-seven bags, and pushing a stroller, and walking across the street. I was like, “It’s amazing that I can actually carry this many things, that I figured out how to hold all this stuff.”

Lauren: Promise me if you do that show, everyone gets a trophy. They’re all winners.

Zibby: It’s true. There is really no top mom. Moms obviously have to pull off so much, both at home and at work. You shed a nice light on that as well.

You had a really interesting chapter about making yourself look good to feel good and applying makeup and doing it quickly because obviously a lot of moms don’t have time, especially working moms, although lots of moms. You even say, “If you like your body more, you’ll like everyone more.”

Lauren: It’s true. As you said, I worked at Glamour magazine. A big part of my job was — probably actually less a part of my job than I felt obligated to have a part of my job — was looking the part. To be totally honest, I’m five foot three. My weight goes up and down a little bit. I was not able to just pull things out of the closet and wear them to a fancy lunch on a moment’s notice because I wasn’t always sample size. I edited all of these beauty and fashion pages mostly to distill the information that came in from the real experts like the market editors to make it palatable to the mass audience of Glamour readers. I felt like I was coming into it with a slight phony expertise. I didn’t always look so good myself.

I also, like a lot of the women I interviewed, experienced this feeling of yes, obviously I don’t have as much time to spend on myself. Also, I just don’t care as much. I have such bigger obligations but also things that bring me joy right now than looking in the mirror and tending to my skin. Come on, really? I would rather make sure my baby doesn’t have eczema or cradle cap than deal with myself. However, I did force myself once again to look at the studies. They do show, for better or for worse, that the way we look affects how we feel about ourselves and that we project that in the workplace. There are actually studies that show that. People respond to what you put out there.

Given that and given the rest of the data that shows that women have so much less time to spend on themselves in the morning, it’s about being incredibly efficient. This sounds basic but get a haircut that works for you that doesn’t require a lot of work. Get your hair colored in a way, if you’re getting it colored, to talk to the colorist and say, “I need something that’s going to grow out. I realistically am going to get here twice a year. How can we make this work?” so that you’re not always stressing about the fact that you aren’t going to get it colored. In terms of your skin, I interviewed an amazing dermatologist, Jessica Weiser, here in New York who works with a big practice that sees a lot of celebrities. They have a whole line of products. I expected her to say, “You need A, B, C, D, F, and G in your skin arsenal.” No. She said two things. “You need to drink a lot of water, particularly if you’re breastfeeding.”

Zibby: I’m so bad about that.

Lauren: Me too. It’s so true. And, “You need to wash your face at the end of the day. You need to wash off your makeup.” I was like, “Jess, come on. Really? That’s all?” She’s like, “The goal is to not need to spend a lot of time putting on makeup in the morning. You just need to have your skin feeling good so that it’s good bare and you don’t need a lot of stuff to cover it up.” That said, I really relied on concealer. I definitely think if you spend money on one thing, make it concealer. Make it one that works for your skin tone and the texture that you need.

Zibby: I thought of you last night. I was too tired. I didn’t want to wash my face. I thought of your book. You were like, “You have to wash away the day. You have to.” I was like, “Okay, okay, okay. I’m going to wash away the day.”

Lauren: I do it every night. It is a battle in the mirror. It’s the last thing that I want to do. I know. Even if it’s one minute, it feels like, “No, just get me to the pillow.” It’s really helpful.

One more thing about closets. A lot of women are tortured by their closets in the morning going back to work. These are clothes that you may not have worn in more than a year. You might not be sure that they’re stylish. They might not fit quite the same way yet. Make a little miniature section within your closet that is your closet within a closet of only the things that fit and are appropriate for your workplace. That may be six things. If you look at those six things and there’s not a single pair of pants, go buy a pair of pants. That’s all you got to buy. Add to it as things start to fit, or as the seasons change, and things start to become more appropriate. Don’t even bother with everything else. Just choose from that one very pared down section. It will make your morning a lot easier.

Zibby: Excellent advice. I want to make sure to give you enough time to tell us more about the movement of The Fifth Trimester. Now, you have all these corporate programs that you’re doing, you’re giving workshops. I was just telling you I saw my picture in the workshop picture on your website, which was so cool, from a long time ago, last year. You do workshops. You talk all over. You’re really inspiring change, which is amazing. It’s incredible what you’ve even been able to do in such a short amount of time. Imagine where this is going. Tell us more about that.

Lauren: My intention all along was to give women the tools they need to make real change inside their own workplaces. That could be allowing you to move up in your career and advocate for policies. It could be being the first parent to ask for something in a workplace and change policy that way. I also want women to know that it is absolutely effective to also just be transparent about motherhood in the workplace. Nobody can know that there’s a problem to be solved unless they see that there’s a problem. We all have to take a pinky promise, as my kids say, pact with each other to be a little bit more open about this stuff. That’s one thing. That is really the core philosophy of the movement and what I hope that other women will catch onto as well in a way that we can all work together to make real progress here since it seems like our government is not doing that for us yet.

I also do go into companies. They have grown. It’s a lot of law firms, tech firms. I was at Google recently as you said. I’ve been at Facebook. American Express had me in. I’ve done a ton of law firms. Law firms have largely good maternity and paternity leave policies, but they still know they have retention problems. That’s where I come in and help them on the reentry side of things to help them figure out culturally, what do people feel they can and can’t use of these benefits? What would help them stay? There’s so much research that shows that if you support new parents coming back from parental leave when they come back to work that you will retain them. You have to boil it down to dollars to get people to listen. You will save money.

There was a study that was done internationally that showed that if private companies offered sixteen weeks of paid parental leave and offered six weeks of part-time work coming back but paid in full that it would boost the economy. Those parents are home during those days and spending money and also not spending as much on childcare for those days. It would save nineteen billion dollars in losses of revenue for companies because they would not lose these employees. You’re losing, also, things like what you’ve invested in their training. If you can boil it down to dollars, it really helps. It’s been wonderful to go into these workplaces and feel heard and also to hear, even months later, that their employees are thanking them for having had me in. Just my being there says a lot in the first place. It says, “You’re allowed to take a lunch and come listen to this lady who cares about this stuff. We’re not afraid to talk about it. Go ahead. Ask for what you need.”

Zibby: You also offer all sorts of services for moms like coaching.

Lauren: Yes. There’s also coaching. Obviously, the corporate engagements that I do are corporate. They’re handled mostly through my speaker’s bureau, which is at Penguin Random House. That allows me to be able to do these more community focused groups too, which can be a group of twelve moms in somebody’s kitchen, living room. In New York especially — I know a lot of other cities have this too — there are new mom meetup groups that happen. There’s one, it’s Hudson River Park Mamas that I’m doing in a couple weeks. I’ve spoken at Park Slope Parents. These are amazing communities. To be able to come together and have this one thing in common, which is that you all have a new baby, it’s amazing how much you expand your bubble of what you think is normal in your industry when you meet people in five other industries. You become a lot more emboldened to think of yourself as a career working mom and not just as what’s normal in my workplace and what can I and can’t ask for. You become more empowered.

Zibby: What’s up next for you aside from the eight million things? I can’t even ask that with a straight face.

Lauren: It’s ridiculous. I can’t answer it very clearly. I would love to tell you that I know exactly what my next nonfiction book is. I don’t. I am writing a novel on the side that I haven’t touched in nine months. I hope to get back to it this summer. That is the plan for August.

Zibby: You are? That’s great. Can you preview what it’s about?

Lauren: Oh, god. It’s three interlocking stories that take place in The Hamptons. There’s a dead baby, which is probably not very on brand for me. It’s a mystery. It is an outlet for me. It’s something that allows me to have something creative that I dip in and out of when I can. I’m building this company and this movement. If you look at my website when you see all the things that I say that I offer to businesses, it’s too many things.

Zibby: I can’t believe that you are even managing it all yourself. I’m like, “She must have a team of people.” It’s you doing it.

Lauren: It’s me. Every now and then I will hire a part-time assistant for a little while to help. There is this idea that starting your own company as a woman is the ideal. In many ways it’s amazing to be in charge of your own schedule and your own destiny and everything else. A lot of women, particularly women who are coming back to jobs after having a baby that are maybe not that supportive think, “I’m going to go hang my own shingle and do my own thing.” It is so much work, so much pressure. It is financially really hard to sustain. I do a lot of other side gigs to make it work.

I just finished a three-month long maternity leave fill-in at ELLE magazine for the executive editor, which was awesome because it was everything I already how to do from my old, corporate job. It also gave me a different perspective of filling in for someone who’s on maternity leave and what maternity leave can look for somebody who operates the way she does. She was a little bit different in her approach than I had been. She was great. It was such a learning experience. That was a four day a week gig for three months, and yet I’m still trying to do all this other stuff too. It’s a lot. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Zibby: I see you at drop-off.

Lauren: I do drop-off. I don’t usually do pickup.

Zibby: Thank you. Thanks not only for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” but honestly on behalf of all the women who are going back who feel so alone. Just having had four kids — I didn’t go back to an office, but that time of life is such a vulnerable, sensitive time. The fact that you’re out there helping so many women through it is amazing.

Lauren: Thanks for the support.

Zibby: Of course.