First Day Back is a lovely little podcast about one mother’s return to work after an extended maternity leave. Tally Abecassis is a Canadian filmmaker who has decided to begin working again, and in addition to gender roles, policies that govern working for parents, and work environments, she also examines the personal, touching side of the concept of going back to work, including her own entrenched views of working mothers and her family’s, friends’ and coworkers’ honest input on this major life decision.
I don’t think there is anything like this on the radio or on a podcast – if there is, please leave me a comment with the name. It’s basically an audio journal of a story so many parents can relate to. I can see subsequent seasons either being a continuation of Abecassis’ journey or even profiling someone else completely. I am a mother, and while I would never identify 100% with any other mother, there are a lot of things that Abecassis experiences that resonate with me. She says right up front that this isn’t about the debate of whether to go back to work or stay home, it’s just about how she felt and what she experienced when she decided to go back to work after not working due to having children. This non-judgmental, neutral approach disarmed me as a listener and opened my heart to care for Abecassis as if she were my personal friend. My empathy flows easily and often as I listen.
So many parents, especially women, seek validation and to not feel so alone with their parenting choices. Going back to work after maternity or paternity leave is a tremendously emotional decision and event for many parents and the emotions are not always negative. This podcast provides that warm, comfy place for me, similar to The Longest Shortest Time (see review here). I “get” so much of what Abecassis is talking about, including the feelings that I myself did not feel when I went back to work after the birth of my children.
If you have read my other posts you know I am a sucker for storytelling podcasts, so it’s no surprise I really like this one a lot. I find Abecassis easy to listen to and love when she has other supporting “characters” in her life on-air (including her children). Can’t wait to hear more!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (3 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (2 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (5 / 5)
Flow (both planned podcast flow and advertisement-impacted) (5 / 5)
Humor (3 / 5)
Investigation (1 / 5)
Storytelling (5 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (4 / 5)
Anytime I can learn to empathize more with the struggles others have in life, I am absolutely becoming a better person.
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (4 / 5)
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Dear Sugar Radio, Death Sex & Money, Strangers, The Longest Shortest Time, This American Life, StoryCorps