Parent “Coaching”

Tara Seigel Bernard:

When Lindsay Abt was pregnant with her first child, she remembers reading a book for expectant mothers that cautioned against making too many big life changes at once. She went ahead and made three anyway.

“I broke all of the rules,” she said. Not only did she take on a job with greater responsibility — she is a partner at the accounting firm Ernst & Young — she had to move her family to Florida from New York to do it. She moved in July 2014 while her husband stayed behind to sell their house. Her son was born that October.

Throughout the transition, she had a dedicated coach, Delaine, provided by her employer, as part of a new program at the firm to help parents prepare for parental leave — and ease the transition when they return. In one-hour phone sessions each month, Delaine helped Ms. Abt think through what was important to her — being home by bath time every evening? Working from home once a week? — and how to set limits during a long workweek to make that happen