Executive Vice President, Home Operations

Archive for the month “March, 2014”


So this past weekend I was exhausted… for a number of reasons other than just being a mom of a teething toddler.   I ran a 5k (go me!), the CEO had been out of town for an entire week (i.e. I stayed up too late every night working on the computer), and I’d been losing sleep over a to-do list that has grown out of control.

So Sunday, as jet lagged daddy and associate A napped, I took Associate P out for some 1:1 time.  We biked around the neighborhood and parked at the playground.  After about the millionth game of “pay a toll with a kiss to get by,” I could barely keep my eyes open.  It was 78 degrees, sunny, perfect and breezy.  All I wanted to do was lay down.  So I pulled a play from the dinner playbook and bribed my little one.

“If you let mommy lay on the bench and take a little 10 minute nap, I’ll give you a cookie when we get home!”

Associate P enthusiastically agreed, and promised to stay in the little playground area and play quietly.  I flopped over on the bench and passed out faster than you can say “I LOVE NAP TIME!”

I know he is only 2 1/2 but he is the most cautious kid in the world and won’t consider doing anything remotely exciting or dangerous unless my hand is within reach, so I had full confidence he would stay clear of the huge climbing wall and just be playing “yard work” — cleaning the mulch and bushes  — like he usually does.

10 – maybe 15 – minutes later I open my eyes.  My sweet boy is siting on the ground next to my bench playing with a stick. Then I notice there is another family that has joined us at the playground.  I sit up, wipe the drool from my cheek, and say a quiet prayer they just arrived and didn’t just observe me sleeping while my kid examined rocks and mulch.

I was totally BUSTED napping on the job.  Hopefully they didn’t then hear Associate P say, “can we go home and get my cookie now, mommy?”

We Really Can Have It All

I very vividly remember arguing with my women’s studies professor.   I could not believe a modern American educated woman could complain about our opportunities and choices.  We are the most blessed class of people to have ever lived, IMHO.   We can take on men in the classroom, board room and bedroom, yet we can demand they treat us like ladies and welcome all the traditional acts of chivalry.  Even after working in Politics, a classic example of a male-centric industry, I never doubted that myself or any other amazing woman I worked with could achieve anything we set out to.  We could if we wanted to.

But the reality is, many women don’t want to.  Many women reach a point in life – I blame the hormones – where they value their opportunity to be mother and they willingly choose to “sacrifice” career.

Girls increasingly outnumber and outperform boys in all areas of higher education, and are graduating with  degrees left and right.  In fact, social science is beginning to turn its concern to the poor boys being emasculated at young ages or left behind as their female peers accelerate.

But opportunity to succeed can’t change the simple fact that women are the ones who have both more of a physical and emotional investment in child rearing.   Women not only have to spend time away from work to give birth to the children, but many women choose careers that will allow them flexibility so they can be more available to their families.

From an interesting 2012 article in The Atlantic

“a big part of the difference comes from an hours gap. The vast majority of male doctors under the age of 55 work substantially more than the standard 40 hour work week. In contrast, most female doctors work between 2 to 10 hours fewer than this per week”

Some might read that and think it is a negative for women.  No way.  It is another example of how women today really do have it made.

This TED talk is so worth a watch and really explains very well that

 “60 years after The Femine Mystique was published, many women actually have more choices than men do.  We can decide to be a breadwinner, a caregiver or any combination of the two.”

I love this TED talk, for so many reasons.  It highlights how modern dads, like my CEO, take pride in being an active parent, help around the house and even enjoy cooking – things not embraced by previous generations.  It highlights that having a partnership where one is a caregiver and the other is a breadwinner isn’t traditional or old fashioned, it is functional and purposeful.  It also has a few great lines in there, like “we need to re-socialize men.” 🙂

But mostly I love it because hearing this self-described feminist explain her ah-ha moment gives me hope that maybe my poor old women’s study professor has had her ah-ha moment too.

“I have come to believe that we have to value family every bit as much as we value work” Anne-Marie Slaughter

YUP! And when we do, we, men and women, really can have it all!



Let’s Play Find The Poop

I play all sorts of silly games with the kids to help make mundane tasks seem fun.  Pretending we are cranes to pick up toys, etc.   I bet every parent dabbles at least a little bit with this sort of psychological manipulation with hopes they will be the gold star parents to have a teenager who actually likes to help around the house.  (wishful thinking I know!)

It is so second nature, I can make just about any activity a game, in hopes it will brighten my Associates’ spirits and increase cooperation.  Sometimes, like today, we do this to lift MY spirits and remind me not to get upset about the silly stuff kids do.   Let me reenact a scene from earlier today for you:

Scene One: Picture a happy bath time, cleaning up after a fun morning at the beach and lunch.  Two toddlers splashing without a care in the world.

Mommy: It’s time to get out!  Who wants to go first?

Associate P:  Associate A, Associate A.  I get two more minutes.

Mommy Scoops up Associate A, who wiggles and giggles while being patted dry.  He waddles off, presumably to find his lovie and paci, while mommy scoops up Associate P.   Once dry he scampers into his room, and I follow, expecting to see two perfectly clean toddlers naked and ready for clean comfy clothes before nap. 

Mommy: Holy $#!*.   

Associate A is standing next to his brother and his entire bottom and legs are covered in Poop.  Mommy scoops up the soiled child and takes him back to the tub, watching where she steps along the way.  Associate P follows behind. 

Associate P: A poopied mommy! He did it! Did he go poopie in the potty?! Where did he do it mommy? Where? 

Mommy:  ( trying not to cry while doing unthinkable things with my bare hands and warm water.) I don’t know hunny.  I don’t know where he went poopie! Please just sit right there until I get your brother…

Associate P: (interrupting excitedly) Let’s play find the poopie mommy!  Poopie where are you?  Poopie Where are you?!”  (running off… brief silence….) Oh, here it is Mommy!   I win.  I found the Poopie! 



Needless to say, this has never happened to me before, and it is a lesson I don’t need to be taught twice.  From now on Associate A will be placed directly in a diaper after bath… no more streaking for him.   I really had to laugh and thank God that everyone was in such a great mood.  Perhaps Associate P saw that I was about to loose it and was emotionally advanced enough to recognize he had to act fast and make it a game.  More likely, he was just imitating what he hears me do, which is find the fun in absolutely everything.  Especially when dealing with poopie situations.

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