Non-profit executive Kyung Yoon shares how as a young parent, she chooses to leave a demanding job to spend more time at home. Fearful of losing her identity, she finds common ground with other professional women transitioning into full-time parenting roles. Through the relationships, the mothers learn to support one another, including helping each other re-enter the workforce.
Erik: As a parent, where has your network been most helpful? Kyung: Several years ago, when I made the decision to, sort of, leave fulltime work to spend more time with my kids, that was a conscious decision that I made because they were growing up with, I mean, we had a nanny and we had help but both my husband and I had very, very demanding jobs. And we just felt that somebody needed to be around more. And so, I made that choice. It's something that I will never regret. I mean, it was a great decision. And, even though I've gone back to fulltime work now, my kids are older. This has been something that I look back on as being one of the best decisions that I ever made. And at that time, I remember my greatest fear about, you know, stopping work and there were many about, sort of, losing my identity and, you know, but that I would be around, you know, other women who would only be trading pie recipes or something like that. And what I found instead, you know, in this network of incredible, wonderful, talented, smart, and dedicated women were that, you know, they were, you know, also making choices about, maybe, being fulltime moms or slowing down the career track but there was just so much that was alive, you know, about the kind of conversations we were having and the kind of topics. And, we actually really could run the gamut. Because of course, we're very interested in, you know, the latest, you know, nutrition book or how to feed our kids better. But we were also interested in world events. And we were also interested in contributing to our children's schools and, you know, I was very involved with the parents association at my children's schools. And, I think that some of those networks, and especially as many of those women now, like me, you know, are starting to maybe look around the corner at being empty nesters, you know. We're able to use our networks, you know, help make introductions or to just maybe encourage each other and brainstorm about ways to use our talents and our accomplishments. And to, maybe, get reconnected into the professional world.