Recorded on 05/03/2022

A Guidebook to Embracing the Challenge of Work, Life & Motherhood

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Recorded on May 3, 2022. 

The idea that being a successful and ambitious career-woman could potentially make you a better mother remains divisive. After all, it challenges the long-held belief that so-called “good mothers” sacrifice everything for their children’s happiness at the expense of their own.

As the mother of two children, law professor, litigator, and writer, Lara Bazelon has often felt judged for choosing to prioritize her work – at times ahead of her children. In her new book, Ambitious Like a Mother: Why Prioritizing Your Career Is Good for Your Kids, Lara explores the issues facing countless other working women who are also struggling to reconcile their love for their children with their equally fervent love for their jobs without feeling like they are bad moms. Bazelon wants to end the cycle of criticism these women face – whether its external or self-directed – by changing the existing conversation about work, life, and motherhood. By sharing research-backed findings and anecdotes about the positive impact working women have on their children, she helps us break down the myth of the “perfect” mother, challenge the idea of the ever-elusive “work-life balance,” and help us envision a better path forward for all working parents.

About Lara Bazelon

Lara Bazleon is a writer, teacher, and advocate for racial and social justice. She is law professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she directs the Criminal & Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinics and holds the Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy. Before that, she worked as a deputy federal public defender and the director of a Los Angeles-based innocence project. Along the way, she married, had two children, got divorced, and worked to create a different kind of family. Bazelon’s writing seeks to break down the barriers between the various fields in which she works and invites her readers to open their minds to unexpected—even unlikely—ways of thinking about problems that may not be so intractable after all.

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