On my podcast, I love to speak with guests that are making a difference in the world and impacting individuals’ lives, and my conversation with Eve Rodsky is no exception. Eve is a New York Times best-selling author, attorney, and gender specialist when it comes to systems and helping individuals reclaim their creative life in a too busy world. She is also an expert on the gender division of labor. We chatted about her book Fair Play that addresses this topic. We also discuss her book, Find Your Unicorn Space, which helps individuals explore who they truly are and not just stay being defined by their roles. I’m sharing some of the highlights of our conversation in this post, but click above to listen to the full episode and find all of Eve’s links HERE.
What is Fair Play?
Do you remember when you were young, and people would ask you what you wanted to be when you were older? I probably said attorney when I was younger. Eve discussed how she remembers being told that you can achieve whatever your dream may be, and she pretty much did that. She got amazing grades and went to Harvard Law School. Forward 13 years, though, and she was an overwhelmed mother after having her second child. Eve was constantly told that it would get better when the kids were in school. While attending a school visit for her toddler son, Eve was again reminded that the school community was there for her, and they would know her better than anyone. But then she looked at her name tag.
Eve’s name tag read “Zach’s Mom”. This was not the support she thought she would receive from this community who promised to get to know the real her. This was the beginning of the concept of Fair Play. Fair play is about not having to shoulder all the domestic burden.
Your Roles In Life Shouldn’t Be The Whole Definition Of Who You Are
While researching for her book, Fair Play, Eve called 55 schools and asked why moms were the first person they called when their child needed something. She realized that society has decided that we are going to build our entire society on the backs of women. And, that we’re going to do it on the unpaid labor of women. It’s not done by paying for childcare or having a social safety net. Eve and I both agree that women are expected to feel grateful for things like the job who gives you a closet to pump for breastfeeding or the schools your children attend.
Eve also believes that we condition women from birth to believe that their time is not valuable. Then, what happens is that we start believing our own time is worthless. As Eve explains, women start to feel grateful that their partner makes more money than them or that because their job is more flexible, they should take on most of the household labor. Have you ever had to tell your spouse that you have to finish something and that they need to just go away for a bit? I have, and I’m sure most of you have too. Does your partner know where to pick up your kids from school? What they like to eat for lunch? It certainly isn’t the first time the kids have done these things. Why do only the moms know how? Listen to the podcast episode with Eve to hear a great story of how she realized even her friends were being defined by their roles and losing the ability to have their own unicorn space.
What Is Your Unicorn Space?
Once you start to get your time back by initiating fair play, what do you start to do with your time? When you get “me” time, do you fall into the trap of movie binge watching? Eve has a better idea. She describes Unicorn Space as a call to action and a game plan for how to be consistently interested in your own life. It’s like a values-based curiosity, a way forward if you’re saying I wouldn’t even know where to start.
Eve explained that a unicorn space is defined by three things: curiosity, connection, and completion. Eve explained these things this way: If you have curiosity, you are asking yourself that if you speak to a certain person, you wonder if they have interesting things to say. Connection is actually contacting that person and asking about meeting or speaking with them. Completion, Eve notes, is the hardest. Completion is actually following through with it. Listen to the episode where Eve explains how unicorn space is not self-care and should not be confused with it.
Your Unicorn Space And Time
So, now that you have made time for your unicorn space, what will you do with it? Remember to move beyond Netflix and get curious about things. Eve and I are both involved in activism. She’s done things like being a poll watcher, and I’ve helped a local candidate try to get elected. Decide what you want to do because you deserve this. We have this one life to live, and we need to make sure that we spend it the way that we want.
I want to challenge you to go find that unicorn space. What are you curious about? What do you want to do? What interests you? Maybe it is tap dancing, maybe it’s taking music lessons, maybe it’s writing a book, but whatever it is, you need to go find it, and you owe it to yourself to do it. If you need help from your partner, from a friend, let them know. Do whatever it takes for you to put yourself first because you deserve it. It’s only fair, and you need to find your unicorn space.