What to do when the hits just keep on coming

Don’t we all just want a “nice,” “easy” low-drama holiday? Doesn’t it feel like we deserve a break from the non-stop bad news and other shoes dropping like rain all the time?

What to do when the hits just keep on coming
Photo by Ben White / Unsplash

Double Shifters,

Don’t we all just want a “nice,” “easy” low-drama holiday? Doesn’t it feel like we deserve a break from the non-stop bad news (What’s happening with reproductive freedom and the Supreme Court might give me an aneurysm) and other shoes dropping like rain all the time? 

I was planning to do my first ever 5K race -- a turkey trot -- on Thanksgiving, with my pal Dr. Liz. I’m probably the world’s slowest runner but it felt like a huge fitness triumph for me, going from still wearing an abdominal binder at 4 months postpartum to months of physical therapy to recover from carrying 6 lb+ twins to term to barely being able to run on the treadmill for two minutes when I started working out again in March 2021...to a 5K!! The Instagram caption was just writing itself. Wednesday night I started feeling nauseous, and it became clear I’d caught the mild stomach bug the twins had the week before. Luckily it passed quickly and Thanksgiving wasn’t completely ruined, but no race for me. As I lay in bed, I started to feel waves of self-pity. It’s been a hard Fall. I thought. Yes. It was also a hard Summer. YES. There was that 6 weeks when we thought the pandemic was totally over, but before that it was a hard Spring. Yes. And pre-vaccine COVID Winter. UGH. Yes. And before that, ALL of 2020. Double UGH. 

On Friday, feeling better and still on the high of my older son getting his second shot, I started to hear about Omicron and my thought was just completely selfish. “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, ANOTHER SCARY VARIANT???  I CANNOT DO THIS PANDEMIC ANYMORE.” 

(Side note: now that you all know Dr. Liz and her soothing ways, I wanted to let you know that she read all the studies on Omicron over the holiday weekend and says there really is not enough information to warrant freaking out yet. Thought you should know. Thanks, Dr. Liz)

(My mom, my big kid, and a big turkey.)

I imagine some of you are also feeling the impact of the relentlessness of this time, which is why I feel like today’s episode is the hopeful balm we all need right now. It’s called "Building a Movement for Paid Leave." You’ve probably been following a little of the drama in Washington around paid leave and the Build Back Better Act, but if not, we’ll catch you up on what’s happening. Federal legislation is extremely important, and our chance for something universal may not come again for a while, but this episode is about more than calling your senator. 

Inspired by our show on paid family leave back in 2019, this episode features some Double Shift listeners who fiercely advocated for -- and got -- better paid family leave at their companies. We aren’t going to get the paid leave we need and deserve in one fell swoop, which is why we need all sorts of different tactics to push for change -- federal, state, and in workplaces. All of this is part of a movement to create culture change. And our episode today proves that you, yes, you, can make a huge difference on this issue, especially at the workplace level. Come for the encouragement, stay for the playbook tactics, check out the show notes for tons of resources, and let’s end the year with some 2008-Barack Obama era hope. I do believe change is possible, and that’s the belief we have to return to when the hits keep on coming. I still believe it. Otherwise I couldn’t do this work.

Thanks for coming along on this ride, Double Shifters. I’ll talk to you in the new year.



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Hangout: For our last members-only hangout of the year, we're going to be talking about the power and importance of creative space when you are a caregiver. Even if you don't consider yourself a "creative type" this is going to be a fascinating and worthwhile conversation. It's Dec 16th at 3pm EST/12PM PST. To become a member and join us, go to thedoubleshift.com/join. It starts at $5/mo.

 If you had a pandemic baby like me: I came across this perinatal grief support group -- it’s virtual event on December 29th that’s an end of year ritual to hold space for each other's grief with other pandemic parents/caregivers of babies and toddlers. It’s put on by two moms who are licensed clinical social workers. You can register here.

Do you like your toast burnt?: Burnt Toast is a fantastic, eye-opening newsletter by Virginia Sole-Smith about diet culture and fatphobia, that includes both history and current trends in how we feed and talk to our kids about food. It makes me think about something I hadn’t considered in every edition.


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