Rebecca Jarvis wants to help you feel less alone. The Chief Business, Economics, and Technology Correspondent for ABC News, host of two podcasts (The Dropout and No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis), and mom to six-month old Isabel wants you to know that whatever you’re going through as a parent, “don’t be too hard on yourself.” “You can pivot just like a company. You can pivot as a parent. And, if something is not working, you’ll figure it out,” she adds. Trust her on this, she was named one of Teen People’s “20 Teens Who Will Change The World” in 2000 alongside Beyoncé. Yes, that Beyoncé.
After sitting down with Rebecca (did we mention she’s an Emmy-Award winning journalist) we were left energized and inspired by her thoughtful approach to all aspects of her life. Whether it’s interviewing influential women on No Limits or building a supportive partnership with her husband Matthew, Rebecca is a master at transforming everyday struggles into valuable life lessons. For the busy new mom, parenthood “is really difficult, but it’s also incredibly fulfilling and can be the most wonderful thing in your life.”x5
The Right Time Doesn’t Exist
“You can’t time this stuff. You really can’t,” Rebecca shares, when asked about figuring out when the right time is to start a family. The secret is that the right time doesn’t exist, it’s imaginary like the tooth fairy, or a good night’s sleep.”I would say to people who are worried about those things, it’s impossible to not worry. If you’re worrying about it, you’re going to worry about it. Accept that and don’t put your life on hold because you’re scared it won’t fall into place.”
It’s like how the old saying goes, “You’ll never know until you try.” No matter how many eggs and flour sacks you took care of in home-economics class, parenting can’t be practiced—the preparation is nothing like the real thing. If that were the case, it would be too easy! Instead of fretting and pre-planning, Rebecca wants soon-to-be and recent moms and dads to take comfort in the fact that no one goes into parenting already an expert. Working it out is human nature.
Let Go of the Idea of the Perfect Parenthood
You can read all the books, go to all the classes, watch as many videos on YouTube, but as a parent you’re bound to mess up—and that’s okay. Being imperfect isn’t wrong, it’s normal! Rebecca is an advocate for parents practicing self-compassion, and welcoming every turn as an opportunity to learn. “I think the biggest thing is that you figure it out as you go. And you have to be okay with the fact that, if you get it wrong, or you realize that it’s not working, you’re going to have to change it up. I mean, I think the permission to change is something that you have to give yourself, especially as a new parent. You have to give yourself the space to say, actually nope. This isn’t right. So, we’re going to change course here.”
For Rebecca, it’s essential for her and husband to be on the same page: parenting isn’t going to be easy, but you and your partner should have each other’s backs. After Isabel was born, the two talked about their new reality of long days, late nights, and how they will give the other space to not be so polite. “Like you can say something terrible to me, it’s going to roll off my back. I can say something terrible to you. . .The underlying thing is total love for each other and total love for this new being that we’re raising together.”
Growing up, Rebecca’s parents made sure their daughter knew she could achieve whatever she set her mind to. As a working mom who regularly engages with female entrepreneurs, Rebecca sees firsthand what teaching a daughter to believe in herself can do. She hopes to teach those lessons to Isabel by helping her be fearless. “I don’t want her to be afraid of going after her dreams,” she says. Becoming a mother has also given her a new level of respect for the many different women who’ve touched her life.
“Seeing now the challenge of motherhood—yes, of course the gift too,—but the challenge makes me have so much respect for all of these women who I’ve worked for, who I worked with, who I’ve interviewed on No Limits. My own mom. What they’ve put into their life, into their career, and into raising children—it’s unbelievable what parents are doing every day. And I just have so much respect now, seeing it from this side.”
Don’t Overthink It, Just Do It
“To anybody who’s thinking about becoming a parent, I would say don’t overthink what people are telling you. It’s one thing to hear it and then it’s another thing to live it. And I think, once you’re living the whole experience of it, you will figure it out.”