Can motherhood launch a brand new career?

Christine Koh has a fascinating backstory: previously, she was a music and brain scientist who was on track to become a professor after a long career in science. Then, she left that career to become a self-described “internet unicorn.” This was no small leap: she had been awarded prestigious fellowships and one of the highest postdoctoral assignments: a joint appointment at both Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Instead, however, she “hung up her academic spurs” and decided for a brand new career and a path with more creativity, flexibility, and independence. In today’s episode, we dig into this decision she made (more than a decade ago), and how her work has grown and evolved since.

Today, Christine holds a number of positions and runs several platforms, hence the nickname, ‘Internet Unicorn.’ She is the founder and editor of Boston Mamas, a pioneering hyperlocal lifestyle blog; she’s the creative director at Women Online, a communications firm that specializes in using social media for good; and she is the co-owner/designer at Brave New World Designs, an advocacy-oriented design collection.

The heart of today’s episode? We talk about how you can be a multifaceted business owner while still living a streamlined life that you enjoy.

A busy professional life and a minimalist parenting style can co-exist

One of her projects is a book called Minimalist Parenting, and she also has a podcast called The Edit Your Life Show (link down below). It’s a call to enjoy family life more by doing less: to stop overbooking, to cut through the clutter, and say “no” more so you can make room for spontaneity and joy in your family life.

When I found out about this book, I immediately was drawn to the themes and the advice. In the book, she writes about making room in your life for the remarkable, and finding your family’s true north, not everyone else’s. Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh came together to write this book, and I knew I wanted to interview them both. We got to interview Asha previously in Episode #076: Hacking Parenting, and today, we get to dig into the work, the life, and the parenting journey of Christine Koh.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Leaving a high power, high profile job and career.
  • How having her first child jump started the change.
  • How she met and became “internet friends” with her co-author and co-host.
  • What that looks like to be involved in lots of different types of projects.
  • Why “white space” in your calendar is an absolute must.
  • Her carpool strategy for getting her kids to their activities without losing her sanity.
  • Why we’re overbooking our kids and how to stop.
  • Plus, BABIES! Christine explains the difference between a “barracuda” and a “gourmand” breastfed baby.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #099

Some quotes from the episode:

  • “I remember tears of joy when I cleaned out my office and left.”
  • “As a new parent, you’re crazed and sleep-deprived. There’s this general haze around you. But on the other hand, you have such limited bandwidth for nonsense that it helps you see more clearly.”
  • “It’s totally normal to evolve and have your priorities and passions shift. It’s good to let go of the control, and see what emerges.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTINE KOH

Christine Koh (christinekoh.com) is a music and brain neuroscientist turned Internet unicorn who is devoted to helping people live better, happier, and with elevated intention. She is the founder/editor of Boston Mamas, creative director at Women Online, and co-owner/designer at Brave New World Designs. Across this potpourri of projects, including her book and her podcast, we talk about how you can be a multifaceted business owner while still living a streamlined life. She is also the co-author, with Asha Dornfest, of Minimalist Parenting and the co-host, also with Asha, of the “Edit Your Life” podcast.

EPISODE SPONSOR & SPECIAL OFFER

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