Croissant chupa chups dragée donut apple pie.
A podcast where you join me (Penny!) as I chat to fellow creatives over a cocktail.
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Eve Rodsky is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) where she applies her expertise in organizational management to a problem closer to home – a system for couples seeking equity, efficiency, and peace in their home.
And on Dec 28th, 2021, she released her newest book called “Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World” which is a practical program for reclaiming the natural gifts, interests and talents that make you uniquely you.
But on top of it all, Eve is the mom of 3 – ages 13, 10, 5
The difference between roles and values and the importance of values in our lives
Time is our most valuable currency – what happens when we keep that time instead of giving it away to others
Eve’s journey from climbing the corporate ladder to becoming a specialist in gender division of labor
What is Unicorn Space and the 3 C’s to achieving it
How her Fair Play cards are distributed in her household
The power of telling stories to understand the why and motivation behind the why they do what they do and how to compromise on minimum standard of care
Subscribe, review and tune in weekly because you know you’ve yelled “Mommy’s on a Call” at least once in the last week!!!
[00:00:00] Eve: Parenting is extremely meaningful, but statistically it doesn’t make us happy. And so what unicorn space is about and what fair play was ultimately seeking was for women to have more time so that they can sit at the intersection of meaning and happiness.
And that’s ultimately things that we. The active pursuits that we do for ourselves.
[00:00:17] Stephanie: Welcome back to Mommy’s on a Call. Today I am beyond excited to bring to you one of my favorite authors and life-changing humans, Eve Rodsky. Eve is the author of the New York times bestselling book fair play a game-changing solution for when you have too much to do and more life to live, where she applies her expertise in organizational management to a problem closer to her.
And on December 28th, she’s releasing her newest book, which I’m so excited about called find your unicorn space, reclaim your creative life in a too busy world, which is a practical program for reclaiming the natural gifts, interests, and talents that make you uniquely you. But on top of it all Eve as the mom of three ages, 13, 10, and five.
[00:01:54] Eve: Oh, my gosh, Stephanie I’m so happy to be here. And I feel like our missions are so, so aligned. Say,
[00:02:00] Stephanie: I am like, I’m so excited that I’ve been waiting for this moment because your book literally changed me. I heard about you in like 2019 from one of my other podcast, guests, Jessie Draper. And she told me to read the book and I looked at it and this was pre pandemic.
Mind you while I was pregnant with my third year. And I read it and I was like, this is amazing, but I actually just re-read it recently after having three kids after being in a pandemic and it resonated even more. But before we get started, I wanted to ask, what is your biggest mom win of the week?
[00:02:31] Eve: I love that so much.
I think my biggest mom win of this week was having my kids repeat back to me, Stephanie, that I don’t need to see mommy every day. Because part of what I think happened to us in the pandemic, right, was this over expectation that somehow we’re emotionally available to our kids every second of every single day.
And so recently I’ve been repeating to them. You don’t need to see me every day. This is a marathon we’re here for each other. We don’t have to, you know, to be close. Sometimes you need to miss someone. So I was gone all day. Yesterday, came back after they went to bed. Didn’t see anybody yesterday. And then this morning, one of my kids woke up and said it was Ben my middle one.
He was like, yeah, we don’t. Because Anna was saying that she missed me yesterday. And then Ben said, we’re not expected to see mom every day. So it’s kicking in Stephanie, the. The boundaries it’s kicking in.
[00:03:22] Stephanie: I love that, but I have a question because there are some moms out there who would hear that and their heart would be broken.
So how did you kind of address that with them in order to kind of like inspire them? That that’s okay. And how did you put that boundary within yourself to feel that way? Cause I know some moms out there who were literally like when they heard their daughters or whatnot, say like, oh, mommy was gone last night.
Like I really missed her like blah, blah, blah. And then they felt guilty and heartbroken that they were. How did you build that up?
[00:03:49] Eve: Well, I think that’s a great question because part of it is understanding what society has done to us, Stephanie, to devalue our own time. And I think that’s what Fair Play is all about.
And it’s why, as I said to you earlier in our pregame, how much I love your new name of your podcast, mommy’s on a call because it connotes two things. It connotes interruption, which is what women have to deal with. And it also connotes. That mommy’s on a call. She’s doing something else important for herself and she can’t talk to you right now.
So that’s why I love your, your name of your podcast so much. But in general, what I think fair play taught me in 10 years was yeah. At 35, a hundred percent. Those words would never have come out of my mouth. In fact, like you said, they would have sort of stabbed me. And the heart, but the course of, you know, understanding the gender division of labor, which by the way, was not on my third grade board.
It didn’t say, what do you want to be when you grow up? It didn’t say gender division of labor, a specialist or expert in the identity intersection of identity, creativity, and happiness for women. But as this has evolved for me in my life, what I’ve realized is that the core through line of find your unicorn space, my second book and fair play is how we devalue women’s time and society.
So literally anything women do is devalued. Our time is literally sand it’s considered infinite like sand and week. The men’s time is if it’s finite like diamonds. And if my time was infinite, I could have gone to my friend’s movie premiere last night and worked a full day and promoted this book in Europe and done all those things and see my kids.
But that’s just a completely unrealistic assumption when people ask me now, because I’m, I am considered an expert in productivity. What is the key to getting it all done? There’s only really one answer and that is. To do less childcare and housework. Yeah.
[00:05:47] Stephanie: And we’ll definitely talk about that. Cause I want to know what your behind the scenes looks like, but before we get into it all stepping back, I asked all my guests this, but then I realized that you are the expert in roles.
So give us a little bit of context about your life. What roles you and your partner plays in either the home, work, et cetera, like, you know, some women say like, oh, I’m the breadwinner. My husband stays at home. Or I’m the stay at home? What are the roles look like in your house? And then also the ages of your children?
[00:06:15] Eve: Well, I love, I love that question that you asked. I dream of roles, right. I think enrolls. And I think it’s because at the end of the day again, and sort of the 10 years of fair play, I really, I keep post-its of my favorite quotes of people. And I’ll probably find one from you too, Stephanie. But the one I have from Ann Marie slaughter, that I love so much as a colleague and a former professor of mine, she said, you know, the way she can feel that she relates to women across the world, whether they feel like they can relate to her.
Regardless of whether, what privileges we have at some point, every single woman that’s on this planet will be defined by her roles. And so I think a lot about roles and in fact, also the toxic masculinity of defining men as an ideal worker, as a breadwinner, as a button to chair, or again, as another good colleague that I love and Helen Peterson calls it, you know, we don’t love human beings.
We love capital. So humans are our capital. So why, what does that all mean to my roles? Well, I look at my roles as sort of an integrated part of my whole. And so I think the idea that I am, of course, defined as a mother, I can be defined as an author and activist and attorney a co- breadwinner, but instead lately, what I’ve been really doing is when people ask me that question, I instead flip it and say, well, instead of the roles that I play, I’d rather tell you about the values I live.
[00:07:39] Stephanie: I love that.
[00:07:40] Eve: And the values that I’m living right now are gender justice, creating community, and the value that I have cast aside, because it’s a very Jewish, very Jewish value, the value of obligation. That is a value that I’m, I’m not putting so much in play anymore because I no longer feel obligated to wipe asses and do dishes.
And that’s what the Fair Play journey is, has shown me so long answer to probably a short question that most other people answer. But because I think about these things every single day, I will say to you into what I always say to myself is that I’m more than my roles, but I am at its core. I am my values.
[00:08:22] Stephanie: That’s so interesting because I always, when I think about things, I always, I think that you have a line in here, like about your why, and that’s something that I always ask too. And I choose to do things based on my values, not based on what I feel obligated to do. So another thing, but you said obligated, I think it’s an Asian thing too.
Um, not subservient, but like that
[00:08:45] Eve: obligation is very, very Asian and Jewish. Exactly. It would be obligated to our past, to be obligated to our in-laws, to our parents, to be
[00:08:57] Stephanie: to our family, to our, and to be a cert like of service, which I think is funny because in 2022, my word of the year is going to be, and I said, I don’t care if this sounds selfish, but it’s the year of me because I have yet to put myself first because I’ve been pregnant, breastfeeding.
Seven years. I think like, it was just ridiculous. And so I was like, you know, I don’t mind it being servant of service, but I don’t want to be a servant anymore. So it’s interesting you say that. So when I think of like things to do and that what I want, I think of like my value, like, does it fulfill those?
Because if it’s not in line with my values, then why am I doing it? So it’s kind of. Deeper why? Anyway, I know
[00:09:36] Eve: I loved that so much. Well, that is so funny. You say that because I think that’s why people always ask, like, why is a book on creativity, you know, on unicorn space, your natural followup to fair play.
When it could be the natural thought is really like a fair play for business, which I will do. But the reason why this was a natural follow-up is exactly what you just said. Stephanie is getting women clear on the fact that Fair Play was all about the fact that time is our most valuable currency. And we’ve been taught since birth, as we just were talking about those obligations to give it away, to give it away to others.
And the second book asked a different question, like what if you keep that time for yourself and how glorious does that look and how. Empowering, can that be, and ultimately the way to do that, you know, and we’ll talk about this more in depth, but 100% that the key to unlocking all of that is really to understand motivation and whether you’re being motivated by obligation, which is what we were just talking about or motivated by service, or what else could you be motivated by?
[00:10:41] Stephanie: Every day in my journal, I say, what do you want? Like, what do you want? Like, it could be whatever. And just to dream and just to like write it down because I feel like I put like a boundary on myself and, you know, it’s like, what do you want? If you had no limits, like just dream big. Even if it doesn’t happen, like, what do you want?
Because. I feel like that is the, like, it’s the snowball effect. Like you start thinking of things and you’re like, I’m going to drink big and like, wait, I can do this. I can do that. And sometimes you realize that what you want is really the feeling, not the actual physical object. And so I guess like, I’ve come a long way.
The other mom’s struggling with that. It’s like they have this space, they have this time, like their kids started school. Like I’ve been in the thick of things. And a lot of my friends have, and now that like, you know, one of them’s off to kindergarten and we have a little bit more space. It’s like, know, what do we do?
We like total or thumbs. And my husband asks me that all the time. He’s like, you have time. What do you want to do? And I’m like, I don’t know. I have no idea what to do. And so it’s like now I started asking myself, this is kind of my unicorn
[00:11:42] Eve: space. Yes, it is. I can tell. And, and why it’s your unicorn space? And I think it’s important to understand that that’s a very important question, keeping.
Small. So very sad. And I like to go dark to go light, but this is supposed to be humorous, but a very sad finding, even ironically, the more economic privilege and success quote unquote, that women were achieving, the more that they reported to me, two things. That seemed like they would be counterintuitive, but going together is literally the worst combination.
They felt overwhelmed and bored. And so, Hey, Stephanie, do you want to be a woman in America and live a life of overwhelm and boredom? Um, no. No. And so I will never, the women in my orbit will never be allowed to live that type of life, a life that I found myself in 10 years ago when I was drowning and unpaid labor and childcare.
And so now what I really realized is the opposite of burnout overwhelmed. It’s really not taking a walk around the block or grabbing a drink with a friend, which is what we sometimes hear or waking up a fucking hour early to exercise
[00:12:51] Stephanie: because it’s just
[00:12:52] Eve: not right. It was just not the real antidote to burnout from what I learned now, interviewing over 750 people for unicorn space and more, I mean, we have the longest longitudinal study now of unpaid labor.
We are in the thousands and thousands of people, but those are just people that are able to capture their actual creative stories. What I found is that the antidote to burnout is being interested in your own life. And I can’t tell you how to do that, but I can tell you how to find it. And so this book, this practical program is a way back to ourselves because the year of you, me, Stephanie is so beautiful because 2022, what I say is this book is coming out because they call it a new year, new you.
I don’t want a new year. New you. I just want the same, Stephanie. I just want to see more of you, you know, so new year, same you just having that uninterrupted attention for things that you love and knowing what those things are, is actually very subversive in society. And it’s the opposite to what society wants us to be, which is small, overwhelmed and bored is, is small.
[00:13:55] Stephanie: Well, I love that because I feel like my podcast can piggyback off of that. It gives you also like ideas of what you can be passionate about. So that’s why I interview all these women because it’s not just like, mommy’s on a call. Mommy’s like don’t interrupt me. It’s also like mommy’s on a call with wellness.
Mommy’s on a call with entrepreneurship, mommy’s on call with different things. And so I interview interesting moms about what they do also besides just behind the scenes, because I want to hear, because. Astrology sparks your interest or something like that. And you realize that you have something passionate, you’re passionate about that you never knew existed.
[00:14:27] Eve: Well, I think that’s what you do. I’ve noticed that. And again, you are asking people about their unicorn space. You’re asking people what makes them them and how they can share with the world or different passions that they want to explore. And passions. I use that word facetiously because I don’t use that word anymore.
I’ve decided to replace it with the word that actually aligns more closely with what people told me. Who are living self-actualized creative lives. And that word is curiosity.
[00:14:52] Stephanie: Oh, that’s the perfect word. Someone once asked me, like, you know, what’s your podcast. I’m like, I just interviewed people. Cause I’m curious.
I’m just curious. I don’t get paid for this podcast. I don’t have advertisers and that’s purely on purpose because I’m just curious. I just want to talk to people.
And so I want to kind of step back in your life. You were talking about 10 years ago, overwhelm all of that. You have a law degree from Harvard. You know, you have all of these like degrees and specialties, you were a lawyer and you know, you’ve pivoted.
And you even said like on my third grade board, I wouldn’t have put like gender and advocate for gender equality and all of this. So let’s talk about that journey a little, because I want to see like pre mom life who was Eve. And once you become a mom, how did that kind of change you or not change you?
And then. All of a sudden you are where you are today. Like, what did that look like? Let’s step back to maybe Eve in college,
[00:15:44] Eve: well, I love that. I love it. Well, I think that I would, I’d love that because again, I like to go dark to go light and I will say that during COVID I was going to give a commencement speech then ended up getting canceled, but it was a 21 year old women and the speech was called you only have 10 years left to live and it was going to be funny, I promise.
But what it was reflecting on is that journey, Stephanie, that you were talking about, and if you knew 21 year old Eve, you would know that I was going to be the first president and Senator, because duh, no, one’s done both, but like legislatures are so. Like inefficient. They like end at like three 30 every day.
And like there’s all this rest of the time during the day. So I might as well be president. Right. Because then I can issue all my executive orders, but I’m not going to give up my dream of being a Knicks city dancer. So I’ll just take air force one and fly it to Madison square garden and I’ll do the 1230 Saturday show.
And then I’ll just like fly air force one back and then just like rinse and repeat like, no. And cut to 10 years later, right? Where I’ve become as my friend, Amanda calls it, you know, a graveyard of unfulfilled dreams, sort of dead and buried
under, like I said, dark to go light under the weight of unpaid labor and childcare, where I ended up having a breakdown on the side of the road, over a text, Seth sends me that said, I’m surprised you didn’t get blueberries. And I went from that Eve to a breast pump and a diaper bag. And the passenger seat of my car, gifts for a newborn baby to return in the backseat of my car, a client contract in my lap, because I had opted out of the traditional workforce due to overwhelm.
And now I never say opted out anymore. I always say if you’re in the traditional workforce and you’re not there, and you’re a woman you’ve been forced out in some way for 100% certain. So I had a client contract in my lap because I had started my own law firm. I had a pen in between my legs, Stephanie.
So I remember. I was in the car in the first place. So I was already texting and driving as Seth sent me. The I’m surprised you didn’t get blueberries with all the shit around me with the contracted between my lab and a pen in between my legs. And it was already as I was hitting stop signs, racing to pick up Zach who was three at the time at his toddler transition program.
Cause in America, right. That costs our entire salary. And they’re about seven minutes. This pen would sort of slide back. Stab me in the vagina. Like that’s what I remember of that day. And so I’m being stabbed in the vagina by a pen I’m being defined as the fulfiller of my husband’s smoothie needs. And I just had to pull over.
It was just too much. It was too fucking much and it was LA. So, you know, we don’t try to take traffic lightly here, but. And back then, that’s when I did have a ton of guilt and shame. So God forbid I was late to pick up Zach from his program. Right? God forbid he had to stay back with a teacher for five minutes, but that’s when I realized that I didn’t have the career marriage combo.
I thought I was going to have, I didn’t have anything that society promised for me that I could be everything and do it all. And girls run the world. I was sold, , a lie. And the way I like to do things is instead of resigning myself to doing it all and lose myself in the process, which would have been an option.
Or as my friend said, she got her balance back through three words, court ordered custody. I took a, another path to start saying, you know, how can I say. Becoming my own client, sort of, I’m an agent in my own life, understanding that we’re blue breathing, polluted air, that the deck has been stacked against us.
As one quote says, women are freed and what mothers are constrained, but that we can do something about it. We can, we still have to breathe that polluted air. And so I started to take agency in my own life to understand what was happening to me to understand that I was a living statistics, Stephanie, that women holds, you know, two thirds or more of what is.
To run a home and family regardless of whether they work outside the home and we often lose ourselves in the process. So then when someone says to us, well, you have time now, what are you going to do? I want to say, fuck the fucking questioner, because you’ve literally kept me overwhelmed and bored for 10 years of my life.
Affecting me to just jump back into who I was before, what I’ve been profoundly impacted and changed by this process. And so the Phoenix rising is a more appropriate metaphor in my mind that sometimes we have to burn it all down to rise.
[00:20:09] Stephanie: Well, I wanted to rewind a little. You said, you know, you don’t say opted out and a lot of people would say, but you made a choice to leave the workforce.
And I know you said you were forced out where in your, I guess motherhood journey or career journey where you, when you decided to leave full-time I assume you were working at a law firm, or I’m not really sure where you want to work. What means you decide to then be consulting are on your own at what point in your journey was that?
[00:20:37] Eve: Well, it’s a good question. And it’s something I caution women about because I call myself the case of the 10 99. I think we ha you know, so many women, especially women of color end up in entrepreneurship because other traditional power structures don’t work for us. But the problem is if we’re not in the traditional power structures, then we’re never going to get to make the important decisions.
And so in a lot of ways, I regret not still being at JP Morgan. I regret opting out or being forced out of my job, even though at the time. It wasn’t my fault because I would love to be the COO there right now, and helping to influence power structures at a big bank. But that was not the reality for me 11 years ago, because I didn’t have a Stephanie.
Right. I didn’t have women out there where I could listen to their word podcasts. Pad hadn’t even been invented yet. I think it came out that year. Nobody was except for the, what to expect when you’re expecting book. That basically just told me my child was the size of a pea. I had no idea that I was in for the biggest surprise in my life.
And again, it’s, I’m not saying, and I’m joking, right? Yeah. Parenting is not meaningful. Parenting is extremely meaningful, but statistically it doesn’t make us happy. And so what unicorn space is about and what fair play was ultimately seeking was for women to have more time so that they can sit at the intersection of meaning and happiness.
And that’s ultimately things that we. The active pursuits that we do for ourselves. We’ll you said something earlier about that, right? It’s not the object. It’s sometimes just the questions are this, you know, and, and I will say it’s the staying in the active pursuit and, you know, put it back on you. And what you said about your podcast, the beauty and the profoundness of.
The idea of unicorn space to me was that as women, right? It’s like that Vivian green quote, even though I’m not a big, inspirational quotes person, as you know, because I say I’m more dark, but you know, that quote, you know, life is not waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning to dance in the rain. It will always rain on women.
We will always be in the rain. We’re not in 72 and sunny climates, but there is an umbrella. And again, that’s that antidote to the rain. Is that being interested in your own lives and the unicorn space ideas of what you are doing? So what I found in the research with the program is based on is my letter.
I love alliterations it’s three CS. And so it’s the curiosity. So it’s exactly what you said, starting with curiosity, but it doesn’t stop there because as my friend said, I could be curious about scrolling my friend’s Venmo’s transactions and I’m like,
[00:23:00] Stephanie: absolutely. That’s always the best, by the way. Figure out where, like, why did she pay her husband?
What was that all about? Do they have a way
[00:23:12] Eve: that could be unicorn space, right. But it’s not because the next C is the connection, right? It’s the fact that you and your beautiful energy, you’re now spiritual friend to me. I can feel it. I feel your support. Um, you connecting with all these women also change you. And then also you get to share yourself with the world.
The curiosity and the connection. I think most people understood, but the third was the hardest for women. And that third is completion. Completion is really hard because again, we’ve been taught a lot of cultural messages, including being perfect. And so when I look at you and your podcast, the idea, you’re curious, you take the initiative to connect and you bring people on, and then even if the interview doesn’t go the way you want it, even.
You’re interrupted. Uh, cause mommy’s on a call, whatever it is, the fact that you complete something, you edit it, you download it and you put it out in the world and whatever state it’s in, that’s the essence of unicorn space, the curiosity, plus the connection plus the completion. And so not putting words in your mouth, but it’s why I will say that whether you get paid nothing or a billion dollars for what you do keep doing it.
Because it is extremely unicorn space approved and is linked to your mental health and your longevity.
[00:24:26] Stephanie: Awesome. I’m going to add in a fourth C it’s consistency.
[00:24:29] Eve: I love it. I love it for me.
[00:24:31] Stephanie: It’s a sense of ownership of, or something. That’s my own. That’s not. I don’t know, after being pregnant for so many years, I just, I mean, you have three kids.
I felt like, and breastfeeding. I just felt like my body wasn’t my own, my life. Wasn’t my own. I didn’t own anything anymore. And so my unicorn space is my ability to own something of my own, where I get to make the rules. I get to make the decisions and like that can sound as only child cause I, as I want, but it is my space where I can create all the sparkles I want.
[00:25:04] Eve: And I love that you called space because again, that’s sort of why I wanted to redefine creativity as a unicorn space because we don’t have space as women we’re taught not to take up space. We don’t have space in time for ourselves. And so the idea that. I wanted people to understand how important space was, but like a mythical equine, like a unicorn, it doesn’t fucking exist unless we reclaim it.
So that is
[00:25:29] Stephanie: emphasized. I don’t know, young kids love to touch you. It’s like, oh my child always touching me. Or like everything. I’m like, I don’t have space to when my husband. So, you know, physically touch me. I’m like, no,
[00:25:41] Eve: don’t touch me.
[00:25:43] Stephanie: And he’s like, but I love you. I’m like, don’t
[00:25:45] Eve: touch me. Don’t touch me. I was like, not exactly, no, a hundred percent.
I mean, people are so shocked right by like, why we don’t want to be touched when we’ve literally we’ve, we’ve had something touching us. Inside the site. Yeah. Something’s been touching us inside us over and
[00:26:04] Stephanie: over again. Like I literally feel like I have a hand trying to reach my vagina. It was like, I don’t know how to describe this feeling, but that’s how I feel
[00:26:15] Eve: we’re being touched from the inside.
So what I would say to step is I don’t want to be touched from the outside because I’m being touched from the inside.
[00:26:22] Stephanie: Oh, that’s funny. So I want to ask you now that you’ve finished your book, what is, what do you do in your unicorn space? And I asked most of my guests, what’s one thing you do for yourself daily. So I’m curious about that, but I also want to know what is your next unicorn space?
What is your. Not passion, but yes. What is, what is your
[00:26:40] Eve: curiosity? Well, I definitely want to learn to make chocolate. That’s something I’ve always wanted to, but I will say that for me, I talk about this in the conclusion of, of unicorn space. This idea that Ben asked me that question because we were watching tangled and I don’t know if anyone has seen the movie, unless you’re like us who’ve been, are being touched by toddlers, but the book is a really beautiful book at the end where Rapunzel spends 18 years dreaming of seeing these lanterns.
And then as she’s about to realize her dream, she’s really scared because she says, you know what, if this dream isn’t as good as it is, I think it’s going to be, you know, and, and Flynn writer, her love interest says it’s going to be, and then she says, well, that’s even scarier because what if it is, would it be.
As good as I think it’s going to be. And then he says, well, then you have the beauty to find a new dream. And Ben says, you know, Ben said to me, like, that’s what you always say, mom. And, and what I mean by that is it doesn’t mean you’re ever going to leave your values. It doesn’t mean I’m ever going to.
Leave my values that I’m really leaning into right now, which are gender justice and community, but it means that it’ll look different. So my next unicorn space is creating a physical unicorn space that I’m inviting you to, and you can hold me to it because everyone, your listeners here at here, but I unicorn space where I could have salons and women come write.
And the opposite of unicorn space is interruption. And so uninterrupted attention for something you love is my dream for all women. It’s my wish for the universe right now. And so I want to build a space where, uh, you know, like a free we work, where anybody can come, who needs to bring a laptop and they can have wifi.
And they just want a day of uninterrupted attention to, write.
[00:28:25] Stephanie: It’s interesting because as much as I highly respect those, we work some things that include childcare. Sometimes I’m like, I know childcare is an issue in the world. But sometimes I just want to work without any kids. I don’t, I don’t need my kids to be in the room next door.
Cause I feel like they still feel your presence. So I love that. I think
[00:28:44] Eve: guilt and shame are still there. There’s a great professor of Harvard business review, Harvard business school named John jesinwitz. And he talks about how men can compartmentalize, but women, we have a much harder time, right? We can, when we’re a dancer, we’re still a mother.
Uh, when we’re a writer, we’re still the sandwich maker, uh, you know, school service provider. Like we’re still we’re, you know, uh, download our school forms or whatever, you know, that verb would be, but that now would be. It’s hard. It’s hard when you have a child around th they, I talk about that in unicorn space that, you know, at no fault of their own, but children are programmed to be the opposite of the flow state, which is that uninterrupted attention for deep, deep thinking.
And so, yeah. I’m fighting for childcare in this world, but not just childcare that is, you know, can be accessed through a, we work type situation and private equity, real fixed childcare that are as federally subsidized. So we see you out there because again, as we said earlier, this is polluted air. This is rain.
We are not. You know, we were dancing in the rain, hopefully not drowning, but there’s still rain and we’re fighting for blue skies and that’s, you know, universal childcare, paid leave.
[00:29:57] Stephanie: We saw that all of last year. Why did most women leave the workforce? It wasn’t because they were laid off or it wasn’t because of, they weren’t interested in it anymore.
It’s because we had no childcare. I mean, I took a full break because, and I just never went back and it’s yeah. I was working to pay childcare. And if the work wasn’t equal to my interests, then I was now almost like it was negative. It was like, I’m not only paying my salary for childcare, but I’m also unhappy.
And so I feel like a lot of women,
[00:30:28] Eve: your salary, I’ll just remind you it’s half your salary because it would be half of your husbands, right? It’s not your salary. Thank you. Yes. Half, half your salary and half
[00:30:40] Stephanie: hit. Well, speaking of childcare, I know you have a five-year-old. So you had, you know, young kids in the last few years.
What did your behind the scenes look like? How did you make it all work? How did you do work childcare, school dropoff, all of that stuff. I mean, did you pass off your fair play card to someone else? You know, what is, what did that look like? What did your childcare situation like?
[00:31:01] Eve: Yeah, we have a huge village.
Ironically when Seth and I were struggling with just, you know, Zack and New York, we moved to LA because his parents were willing to be part of our village and be actively engaged in raising our kids. And everybody shamed us. Stephanie, they were like New York is the bastion of, at that point, Seth was in nightlife and I was at in the corporate workforce and banking and philanthropic advising and that’s all in New York. So it was a really shaming message in 2009 that we were leaving New York for childcare. People didn’t understand our decisions. Now. I hope no one will ever feel that again, where they can’t, they feel like they have to hide their work-life integration. I’m hoping that that’s the one good thing of this pandemic.
Is that saying that you have a toddler saying that you’re a Potter saying that you have unicorn space? The fact that we celebrate the whole person, as opposed to have to hide aspects of our identity, And so for, for Seth and me, we absolutely have paid childcare that we pay on the books we pay on payroll. We pay, we, we value that work as, as, as much as we value our own.
But the key for us was A that Seth would hold more cards, but he started to do, and it didn’t affect his career ironically. Right? The more he had, the more cards he held, Stephanie, the more successful he became. And I don’t know if that’s karma in the world or just that he became more empathetic or could see different he’s an investor.
So maybe he was able to see the beauty of different types of projects. Cause he had a more holistic lived experience, but he came, he became better at his job. The more childcare and housework.
[00:32:39] Stephanie: What was the hardest card in that for you to give up?
[00:32:42] Eve: To him. It’s a good question. I would say bedtime routine.
Because I’m a night person. So I had to recognize my circadian rhythms. So not putting my kids to bed in the beginning. As we talked about earlier was really hard for me to say, you know, I’m gonna go to a Starbucks and work from six to nine and come back after you’re sleeping. So I’d say bedtime routine for me.
The hardest one to give up, but how great for him? He gets us, you know, he got to hear and he’ll come in and be like, I heard gossip today. And this is what Zach said before. He’s falling asleep and this is who Anna’s friends with. And it’s just so nice when you know, someone else is holding those emotions, that emotional memory.
And, and because it’s not really a burden, it’s an emotional memory, um, that you could do it. You do things with, it can feel like a burden if you’re only one holding it. But when you have someone else to share that with it, it, it starts to feel really, really good.
[00:33:34] Stephanie: Who holds the morning routine card then.
[00:33:37] Eve: So now what we’ve done, because we, you know, we have. We’re like Atkins, right? We have to not eat sugar. We have to live fair play to the letter of the law because,
[00:33:46] Stephanie: , you’re, you’re the role model, right?
[00:33:48] Eve: Exactly. So other other people
[00:33:50] Stephanie: just take hate to not do it. Like,
[00:33:54] Eve: yes, we are. We as a practice, but I will say that morning routines are actually very strictly Fair Play.
Seth holds the bathing and grooming that, that card. So basically he gets the kids up, ensures that they’re dressed and ready to go to school. I hold breakfast. So I make breakfast as he’s doing all of that. And then when they’re down, we, he. Morning, drop-offs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays where he says he has a much higher minimum standard of care than I do because my kids are tardy every freaking time I take them to school.
So I keep saying, well, why don’t you just take the card five days a week? And he’s like, I want to work out two days a week. So he does morning drop-off which takes and over an hour because we go to two different schools. So he does morning job. It’s actually an hour and a half. It’s from seven 30 to nine.
Wow. So he does that Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and I do a Tuesday, Thursday, but I’m secretly try to get out of that too.
[00:34:51] Stephanie: I feel like I’m you, because I am a night person. I’m a night owl and my husband keeps telling me, just go to bed earlier, just go to bed earlier. That way you can wake up earlier. I cannot wake up in the morning.
So I’m curious. What time do you wake up? Because I felt that sentiment when everyone tells me, wake up an hour earlier, Stephanie, go to the gym, go do XYZ. I’m like I physically don’t function. And my husband will say like, you’re putting a limiting belief on yourself. Like you’re. Uh, no, honey, I just don’t function.
So Eve I’m wondering, what time do you wake up in the morning?
[00:35:22] Eve: Well, this is the good news. The good news is that my day job is I’m a philanthropic advisor and I work for families that look like the HBO show succession. So you should feel bad for me, but what I do for those families is. The giveaway, their capital, , and hopefully more nuanced ways now than we’ve done philanthropy in the past.
But one of my clients is a big funder of circadian rhythms. So we, you can tell your partner and all the people around you is that it’s really actually hard to change your circadian rhythms. And it’s not, when we wake up an hour earlier, like I had two yesterday at six 30 because I was recording my audio book.
I felt like I was literally gonna throw up. Yeah. Like my whole body felt like I was gonna actually like heave. You know, it, it was. Everything in my body was telling me you stay in bed. There’s just nothing we can do about our circadian rhythms. And so I try to wake up as late as possible. , and for being a parent, that’s about eight o’clock now on days that Seth takes kids to school, but that’s a really luxurious extra hour and a half of sleep.
When I, you know, of course I I’m used to waking up at six 30 most mornings, but most of my life until maybe a year ago, my kids were waking up in the fives.
[00:36:30] Stephanie: Do you have any like morning practices, anything like journaling or meditation or anything,
[00:36:34] Eve: or no, you just know, I fucking hate the morning.
[00:36:37] Stephanie: So every day in
[00:36:39] Eve: later I’m wearing wearing clothes to take Zack to school and I’ve just decided like a robe is fine.
I mean, I don’t want to be like, be addressing for exposure. So it’s like, okay, I have to put a bra probably.
[00:36:51] Stephanie: Yes. The other day, who my husband was like every day it gets later and later, did you just opt out of mornings? He pulls the Tim Ferriss stuff on me. He’s like, you can change your circadian rhythm, go outside, get some like ground.
And I was like, honey, I’ve been doing what
[00:37:06] Eve: you’re going to say to him. I only want advice from non white Christian men. If you have advice from a non white Christian man, I mean like anybody, who’s not a white Christian man, I’ll take your advice, but don’t give me advice from white Christian men while he was a white
[00:37:20] Stephanie: half Jewish.
[00:37:24] Eve: take advice from him. But know that the white Christian privilege of Tim Ferriss, as much as I love him, it’s a very different, it’s a very different
[00:37:33] Stephanie: children by the way. Exactly.
[00:37:36] Eve: Yes. It’s a very, it’s a, it’s, it’s similar to a lot of the panels I sit on with men, like I said to you earlier, which is full circle that say like women just, you know, we all, you all just need an uninterrupted day, uh, for deep work.
And I’m like, well, since we’re an interrupted on average every three minutes and 42 seconds, uh, good luck with that. Good luck with. Sir,
[00:37:57] Stephanie: you were saying about your minimum standard of care and how your husband’s is actually higher, which is I like, I feel like it’s, it’s usually reversed, at least. I know I’m super OCD.
So like implementing your fair play tests on minimum standard of care is really hard for me. And so what do you do when you really just like, cannot agree? Like I have a friend who she actually asked me this question, she’s like, oh, you’re talking to Eve. Can you ask her this? I’m like, okay, maybe I’ll try her husband.
So they split bathtime and who cleans up after dinner and he always takes bath. But he never wants to use soap or he does it as quickly as possible. Cause time is his biggest value and she’s like, obviously, cleanliness, you need to use soap. And they argue over that all the time. What do you do when you literally can’t agree?
[00:38:38] Eve: Well, it’s a great question. And I think, well, you can change cards. So I think he should just try, I think they should redeal and he should clean up and then, you know, they will have a very hopefully good conversation about what cleaning up actually means. But what I find, , is that you go back, so this is where I’m, I’m, you know, I’m a lawyer, I’m a be I look at the world as design.
, I always think it’s funny that people talk about design thinkers, because really the only design thinkers, the real design thinkers are lawyers. Right? You want to. People will stop at a stop sign, Stephanie. Right? You did pass a law that they stop at that stop sign. So I think a lot about forward thinking things as a sort of design thinker, but the psychotherapist that I work with, , Darby Saxby, my good friend who helped me develop Fair Play.
We realized there’s a lot of power in telling your stories. And so sitting down when emotion is high, , emotion is low. Cognition is high, an anniversary. Valentine’s day and say, you know what? I just want to pull like three of these cards out of this deck and just tell our stories and just say like, so tell me what was it, what does it feel like to shower in your house?
Did you have to share on your own, did someone teach you to clean your tush? You know, or did you have like skid marks on your underwear, your whole life? Did you learn, you know, when you got pubic hair on your arms, did you learn, you need a deodorant? You know, what was clean last night look like to you?
Cause you smell delicious and I met you cause you, you know, you’re super attractor to me and I like clean men. Those types of conversations where you can really slow down and understand where people’s humanity comes from in the fair play cards or stories.
So the re-deals, obviously the easier one, but I think investing in our stories is a really important way to understand why people, , the motivation, as we talked about earlier, why they do what they do or why they do, why they don’t do what they do. , and the idea of a minimum standard of care is also saying to somebody in a healthy relationship, we don’t always have to agree, but we have to agree. On a compromise on something that we can both feel good about.
Otherwise we’re going to live. Do you want to live in a relationship relationship of just seeding resentment? And so, even though it’s not important to you, what Seth started to realize was that it’s not important to him to put a garbage liner back in the garbage bag, but he’s like, Jesus Christ. I had no idea.
How important it was to you, but he got the understanding of how important it was to me, because I was able to finally sit down and say, why is this important to me? Why is this such a trigger for me? And realizing that I didn’t have a garbage can growing up was why it was such a trigger. I realized, oh my God, you know, it’s a trigger because we would have a take-out bag on like a knob.
One, you know, very small, uh, sort of bedroom, you know, apartment and the, the trash would fall out on the floor. And what would happen is my mother worked late nights. I’m the product of a single mother. And I would often be tasked with putting my disabled brother. And so when I go in to get him water, , and he’d asked for water as a man, I’d go to the kitchen, I’d have to close my eyes and count to 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
And then because when the lights would turn on the cockroaches and the water bugs would scatter. So I closed my eyes and wait for them to go, and then I would get the water, but it reminded me. And when I was able to save and articulate this success, that. , is a real trigger for me, like seeing garbage overflow of banana peel out of a garbage it’s a real trigger for me because it brings me back to a time that’s hard for me.
And so, you know, I think looking at your own motivations to say cleanliness to me is the world of fucking mess. You know, kids are getting shot. And I’m just saying what I would say to Seth, because they’re getting shot in school. It’s a, you know, that we’re in the middle of a crazy pandemic. I can’t control anything, but what I can control is my kids cleanliness, how they take care of their own body.
That they’re the recognition that when you respect yourself, when you get up, you put on clothes. When you shower at night, those routines make you feel human. They make you feel important in the middle of chaos. To treat yourself with respect and with cleanliness. And so that’s why to me, you know, getting our kids to use shampoo is way bigger than just this fight around whether they’re cleaning between their toes.
[00:42:55] Stephanie: I think that advice can translate to anything that people argue about because it’s always, it’s not about the blueberries. It’s not about it. Wasn’t about the fact that he did that, but there’s more to it and it brings up our own thing. And I talk a lot about too, about like reparenting ourselves and figuring out where in our past our like, history and all of that, where it’s been ingrained, as I was saying, I think offline is, you know, or maybe online, but coming from an Asian culture, I’m, you know, the obligation thing.
And so just how do we change those things that have been embedded in us? In order to bring them to our relationship and families. So thank you. Oh my gosh. I could talk to you forever, but I will wrap this up.
[00:43:34] Eve: I’m so glad I got to meet you. Please come write with me.
[00:43:38] Stephanie: I will. And I feel like, I mean, I didn’t even know about your unicorn space, but I’m planning almost like a unicorn space retreat for moms.
I’m doing one recharge next year where it’s just. For moms to escape or not escape, but like to uninterrupted time to themselves to choose things that they would like to do, but also to discover those, those things that light them up and to just have that space, to think about what they want. Like I’m just giving them the space.
That’s what I want to provide. The space and some tools for them, but like really not too much, like, not a ton of programming, but just the space. And so I feel like I’m like, I’m going to have to gift your book to everybody
[00:44:22] Eve: for the retreat. I just got a lot of them,
[00:44:29] Stephanie: but to wrap things up, I want to ask you, what do you think is your super power that you gained once you became a mom that makes you better in either business or life. Something, you didn’t really have our hone in pre motherhood.
[00:44:42] Eve: Oh my gosh. I’d say the connection to every other woman on this planet. And I, and I don’t mean that every woman has to be a mother, but again, it’s what we started with.
You know, the fact that we, at some point we will all be defined. By our roles and, and the recognition that we are so much more than that. And so the permission to be unavailable from those roles to live in our full power, , outside the home is, is a realization that I’m not sure I would have gotten to if I hadn’t had my own kids and then also had.
A real reckoning to understand that maybe at one point in my life, I was okay doing it all, but I’m not okay with my kids watching me do it all.
[00:45:28] Stephanie: Wow. Well, thank you so much for everything. Where can we find you
[00:45:32] Eve: online? Oh, definitely. Instagram Fairplay life has all of these, a lot of resources. And then Eve Rodsky, if you want the darker version that you got on this,
[00:45:43] Stephanie: and then when this releases her book will be out.
So also go by unicorn space. And if you haven’t also get Fairplay, I mean, I have the book like literally right here. I love it. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
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