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Women in Philanthropy Part 2 - An Interview with Kathleen Criscione on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, we continue from last week with Part 2 of our Women in Philanthropy series, hosted by Tara Doyon and Sarah Rose. In Part 2, Sarah and Tara visit with Kathleen Criscione, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist, mother of 3 and practicing Catholic. Join them as they discuss how to let go of the unrealistic expectations set for working women. And how to create a healthy work-life balance. 

Show Notes:

Expectations for working moms. How do you get everything done and keep your sanity? How do working moms make it in development?

Kathleen Criscione is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist. She is a mother of 3 children under 4. She and her family are practicing Catholics with faith as a central part of their home. She is a member of St. Peter Catholic Church in St. Louis.

Kathleen received her Bachelors in Social Work from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, IN and her Masters in Social Work from Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She has been in the field of social work for 13 years. Kathleen owns her own private practice, Nurturing Family Therapy, LLC where she works with families and individuals of all ages. She is also in her 9th school year as a social worker for Special School District (SSD).  She currently works in early childhood doing Play Therapy with 3- to 5-year-old children and has also worked with elementary aged children.  Prior to her work at SSD, Kathleen worked as a hospital social worker in a variety of settings and has worked with the elderly in a short-term/long-term care facility.


What are the common challenges that women experience in trying to achieve a work-life balance?


  • Mom guilt exists no matter where or how much you work.
  • Feeling like your thoughts are not where you are. When you are at work, you’re thinking about home and when you get home, you’re thinking about work.
  • How to be present with your family when you’re thinking about all the other responsibilities you have to maintain a home.
  • It’s common to be doing something non-stop, which leaves no room for self-care and taking care of your mental health.


There is such a thing as a self-Inflicted fantasy of what I think my life should look like. There’s a difference between reality and what people show. And self-talk can be detrimental if you are talking to yourself through guilt.


Do you think we will be better equipped to be easier on ourselves post-covid working from home?


Hopefully, this was a wake up call for most people. And hoping that companies and bosses can see that family and home-life is so important.


Healthy Work-Life Balance? What is a realistic goal that people can set for themselves?


Accept the mom guilt so that we can work towards finding the balance, discovering what works for us. We are human, we can’t do it all, but we can try our best. Life is a rollercoaster, there will be highs and lows, but continue to move forward. Once we have acceptance, we can say, this is my life, what can I do to create balance?

Be intentional in blocking off time for each item, don’t multi-task. For work as well as personal time with family. Don’t put quantity over quality. This teaches and shows how priorities play a role. This includes setting work boundaries.

Don’t forget about setting time for your personal health as well as time with your spouse.


Quality vs Quantity Time


Is the time that you’ve set aside filling your cup? For example, you spent 60 minutes with your kids, but were you distracted and multi-tasking so that it wasn’t quality time? Would it have been better to block off 30 undistracted, quality minutes with them?

You’ll need to incorporate this into your personal mental health regimen. Put on your oxygen mask first. If you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else in any kind of sustainable way. Find one thing a day that you can do for yourself that will fill your cup:

  • Self-care
    • Examples: tv show, conversation, glass of wine, exercise, dessert, pampering
    • Doesn’t have to be extravagant
    • Give yourself 15 minutes everyday
  • Stress Management
    • Learn how to lean on your spouse, your family, your support
    • Challenge the negative self-talk by reaching out and asking for help
    • Ask for a hug
  • Therapy
    • A neutral person to talk to
    • Helps create ways to process and set healthy habits


Can we have it all?


I'll answer your question with a question: what does “all” mean to you? Can we be successful, absolutely. But when is it enough while still being able to have quality over quantity? That’s something we all have to decide for ourselves.


Tara’s Take-Aways:

  • Be present. It’s more about quality time over quantity of time.
  • Keep moving forward.
  • Accept what you can change and what you have control over and throw everything else out the window.


Sarah’s Take-Aways:

  • How we can model a healthy work-life balance in the workplace. For our children and others in the workplace.
  • The first thing to do about mom guilt is to name it and talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more we can fix it.
  • Think about what you can do and be the best at that. We don’t have to be the best at everything. What are you good at and get joy from and stick with those things.
  • Last week, Kerry talked about how we need female leadership. And this week is about how we need you and we need you to take care of yourselves.

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