Why every new mother needs a good luck charm

Photo credit:  lightlady  via  Visual hunt  /  CC BY

Photo credit: lightlady via Visual hunt / CC BY

There is one additional thing every new mom should pack in her back to work bag : A good luck charm. A little dose of superstition actually increases your performance, research shows. In one study out of Germany, carrying a good luck charm increased subjects' abilities at golfing, motor dexterity, anagrams, and more. Why? Magic. Just kidding, not magic. Because activating a superstition bolsters confidence and self-efficacy. It also boosts your levels of persistence. All really helpful things when you're returning to work.

Why am I posting this today? Because this morning I gave a big talk about The Fifth Trimester to a bunch of HR/talent reps at very cool companies. Getting dressed beforehand, I found myself putting on a ring my mom gave me from when she was a teenager. And a lucky necklace my husband gave me for Mother's Day. And extra tall shoes. It all helped. I'm not a brand new mom anymore. My boys are 4 and 7. But this big career 180 (from being a magazine editor, to launching this business) is remarkably reminiscent of that same mashup of scary/fun.

Best of all was the little good luck gift my son gave me on our way to school when I decided to tell him I was nervous: He took his little paper bus receipt and folded it into an origami Yoda. Braver I have become, hmmm?

PS: This was an extra big day thanks to the very kind people at MyHabit who interviewed me about the book and about my kid-dressing style. I love their pictures of my boys and their support of working moms.