I found out about First Day Back from How to Be a Girl (which I discussed on an earlier post, and which just started posting episodes again. Yay!). Both podcasts are part of a collective called The Heard. The two podcasts are similar—both documentary-style narratives by and about a mother and her child(ren). First Day Back focuses more on the mother, Tally Abecassis, a documentary filmmaker who is returning to work after a six year maternity leave. Much of the show features Abecassis speaking into the microphone about her feelings—totally my style—but she also brings her tape recorder to work meetings and occasionally interviews her kids. These interviews are my favorite parts of the show, both because kids say the darndest things and because they often contradict Abecassis’s ideas of how a mother should be. Abecassis uses her own life to explore the question of what it means to have a career and kids, especially for a woman. For all of her concerns, her kids are remarkably unphased by her shift away from full-time parenting.
I am not (yet) a parent, but I am a woman who anticipates having a family and a career that will likely be in a creative field, and I enjoy hearing a person tell her story of balancing a life and feeling, at times, like her work is useless. It’s comforting to hear someone whose work I think matters worry that maybe it doesn’t.
Style: Narrative, Serial
If You Like: First Day Back, Strangers, The Longest Shortest Time, Love + Radio
Favorite Episode: Episode 7, “Good News, Bad News”