The Parental Leave Playbook

Learn the 10 touchpoints to transition smoothly, strengthen your family, and continue building your career

Support your growing family without losing professional ground—a proven approach

The Parental Leave Playbook helps parents take control of their leave and make the most of what’s considered a career time-out, but is actually a vital “time-in” for your life. If you’re an expecting or new parent concerned about how your  leave and return plans will affect your visibility, candidacy for promotion, work relationships, and performance (not to mention your identity and home life), this book will guide you into the smoothest transition possible. Most importantly, this book will help you as you grow and strengthen yourself and your family while remaining a professional.

Too many working people are blindsided by the transition to parenthood. The Parental Leave Playbook offers practical and emotional preparation that has the power to help working families at a time when they need it most.”

Wendy Davis, Executive Director of PostPartum Support International

In The Parental Leave Playbook, you’ll learn Dr. Amy Beacom’s innovative R.E.T.A.I.N. framework and the three-phase, ten-touchpoint model, to coach yourself through the leave process. Beacom identifies the critical points before, during, and after leave where parents and managers must work together, and explains how parents can facilitate success by finessing the way they approach their manager and colleagues. These models are supported by case studies from the author’s work in the field with leading organizations like Microsoft, and supplemented by resources such as the evidence-based Parental Leave Transition Assessment (PLTA) sample report, leave action plan templates, reflection prompts, and development exercises to enhance self-awareness and skills.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Communicate your parental leave plans effectively and at the right time
  • Set expectations with managers and colleagues to ensure a smooth transition
  • Learn how to maintain visibility, avoid being replaced, and continue your upward career trajectory during your parental leave and beyond
  • Grow and strengthen your family without sacrificing your professional gains

Order the Book and Free Leaving Planning and Leave Management Resources

The Parental Leave Playbook comes with online resources to help you plan and enjoy your parental leave. Grab a copy of the book to access the online resources.

Or wherever books are sold

About the Authors

Dr. Amy Beacom is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Parental Leave Leadership, the first consultancy in the US to focus exclusively on parental leave. Drawing on over 25 years in executive leadership development and coaching, Amy consults with Fortune 100 companies, international organizations, and working parents, transforming the way our companies and our country engage with the parental leave transition.

Amy created the first evidence-based parental leave transition coaching model and distilled it into this book, the first of its kind to provide step-by-step guidance for navigating this complex life transition. She has trained and supervised parental leave coaches both in the US and Australia and the manager-focused training program she created can be found in over 80 countries around the world. She regularly appears on expert panels, conferences, and podcasts and has been quoted in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Working Mother. Amy holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Gender Studies from Lewis and Clark College, an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a doctorate, also from Columbia University, combining Organizational Psychology, Women’s Leadership, Work/Family, and Applied Anthropology. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their son and daughter. 

Sue Campbell is a writer, author, and coach who has worked with the Center for Parental Leave Leadership since its inception, helping to communicate the transformative impact of their core mission. Her professional background includes twelve years in public service, seven of those as a business systems analyst leading projects and teams to deliver process improvements through technology. Her writing, often focused on issues important to parents, has been published in many outlets, including Prevention, Good Housekeeping, Scary Mommy, and Mamalode. She is also the author of, The Cat, the Cash, the Leap, and the List, a novel for middle grade readers. Sue lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.

Praise for The Parental Leave Playbook

The Parental Leave Playbook is a must read for any expectant parent trying to navigate the transition to working-parenthood with less stress and more joy.

 —KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor of Motherlode, current contributor to The New York Times, author of How to Be a Happier Parent

Even though this book was written with new parents in mind, it should be mandatory reading for every single leader, manager, HR rep, paid leave advocate, grandparent and friend in this country”. 

—Luciana Nunez, Executive Coach, Board Advisor and former CEO of Danone

If you’ve ever wondered how becoming a parent advances your leadership skills, read this book.  If you’re currently a leader seeking to help parents who work for you improve their leadership skills by taking parental leave, read this book.  It’s filled with practical tips, real life examples, and action steps that provide a clear roadmap for making sense of the changing parental leave landscape. Best of all, this book shows us that parental leave is an important leadership development experience from which everyone benefits.

—David Dotlich, PhD., Entrepreneur and author of Why CEOs Fail; Head, Heart and Guts, Leadership Passages, and ten other best-selling leadership books; President and Senior Partner, Korn Ferry International

If you feel overwhelmed about how to plan your parental leave, look no further than this compassionate and ground-breaking book. The touchpoints, common sense, and humor help you focus your time and energy where it will do the most good to create a smooth transition.

—Meghan Leahy, certified parent coach, author of Parenting Outside the Lines, columnist for The Washington Post, and lover of reality TV

Too many working people are blindsided by the transition to parenthood. The Parental Leave Playbook offers practical and emotional preparation that has the power to help working families at a time when they need it most. This is the perfect guidebook for expecting and new parents, and gives essential information managers need as well. No matter how long your leave and no matter what kind of company or organization you work with, this book will be your trusted guide — full of relatable examples, accurate information, and reliable resources.

—Wendy Davis, PhD, PMH-C, Executive Director, Postpartum Support International

Order The Parental Leave Playbook