A FREAKOUT WITH A PURPOSE ((🆘➡️🎯🎯🎯 ))
Sharing this super honest moment from last week's @masswomen Mass. Conference for Women for anyone who didn’t see me in full panic mode on my Stories. 💛
In a perfect storm of work/kid obligations, my boys' winter after-school sign-up (which helps cover afternoons so I can work) was at 12pm, right in the middle of my panel. 💛
My husband (a doctor) was seeing patients, my mom was on a plane....and, well, I preach the gospel of bringing your whole self to work ALL the time. So, I decided to walk the walk and logged in to register ON STAGE. In front of 500 people. Who cheered (thank God!). 💛
So, what made doing something so personal in a professional setting okay in my book? 💛
1) I cleared the idea with my fabulous co-panelists (@cateluzio from @bealuminary, @katieakitchens from @fabfitfun, and Yvonne Albert from @millipore.sigma) first. I never would have attempted this at a solo speech for a paying client. But here I had their backup to cover me, and their support. 💛
2) I gave the audience a heads up out of respect (after all, they'd bought tix), explained the urgency, and admitted my mistake in not planning ahead. A mea culpa goes a long way. In fact, I was mid-sentence speaking about the Motherhood Penalty when one woman shouted, "hey! It's noon!! Do your thing!" LOVED that. 💛
3) I jumped right back in afterward and didn't linger on it or self-consciously make jokes about the pause. This didn't need to be any more about me than it already was! 💛
In the end, it was 3 minutes of yikes and 57 minutes of being totally on and inspired and real with my awesome co-panelists. For all of my soap-boxing, it's still making me blush just typing these words. But here I am in all my red-cheeked glory, getting it DONE. 💛
PS: Thank you to the ten (10!) people who messaged me offering to help when I posted the dilemma on my Stories. You guys are amazing and I’d return the favor any day!
Happy 8th night to everyone who’s celebrating love, family, hope, things fried in oil, and children old enough to light the way.
Last weekend, I read my 10-year-old son Will the famous Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours essay, and, wow, did it have new meaning this time around. I hadn’t read it since before he and his little brother (the pink blob above) were born. The basic premise is that the only way to become a true expert at anything is to spend 10,000 hours practicing. *
Back when Will was first born, I was a magazine editor. I had already logged my 10k hours (plus plus) of learning to write and edit. The comfort of that expertise was, ironically, part of what made my adjustment to motherhood so jarring. *
In those blissful/painful early days, I hated not being "good" at all of the things that were supposed to come naturally -- breastfeeding, swaddling, napping while the baby napped (ha!). Gladwell would say that even with innate talent -- or, motherly instincts, I’ll add -- you still need practice to be excellent. And God knows, like many of us, I had *really* wanted to be excellent at this new work of mothering right from day one. *
Anyway, as 10-year-old Will and I sat there reading, I wrapped my arm around his shoulder -- we can now share sweatshirts -- and remembered what happened two days after his birth.
Just home from the hospital, baby Will spit up blood. So, back to the ER we went. The doctors stripped him naked and he screamed and thrashed on the table like a terrified alien. My husband looked scared. I started to cry. *
And then, standing behind my baby, I put one hot hand on either side of Will’s face, cupping his tiny head in my palms. The room went quiet. “Hey, mama,” the nurse said to me, gently in the silence — funny how they all call you mama, I thought — “see what you did there? He knows you, he loves you, he knows he’s safe with you.” *
My 10,000 hours started that moment. I didn’t feel yet that I had any right to trust my own instincts. But my baby knew better. And bless that nurse for telling me so. (It was just blood from my breastmilk he’d spit up, btw, no biggie.) *
As I write this, I’m on my way to speak at the launch of @elliemoms, a new app that lets moms connect and share their 10k hours. Because the only resource more precious than time is people. 💛
May, 2008, just home from work at 11pm, 38ish weeks pregnant.
November 21, 2018: I’m on the PA turnpike on my way to Thanksgiving, listening to Jenny Lewis, just swimming in nostalgic RIP posts for my beloved Glamour magazine, which announced yesterday that it would evolve (not die!) to become all digital, ceasing regular print operations. *
I have more memories — thrilling, challenging, indelible — of my 13 years working there, every one of which I carry with me as I do the work I treasure now. When I stand with a mic in hand and say that all moms work, and that everyone at work has a personal life need, some just more visible than others....When I say that when we solve these challenges for new parents, we solve them for everyone who wants to bring their vulnerability, their humanity, their passion to work, I say so thinking of this place. Of its sparkling, deeply talented editors, designers, sales team, researchers, copy editors, freelancers, building services staff, and more. These are people who, on the surface, got dressed for work and showed up to do a cool and fancypants job. *
In reality — and you learn a lot of people’s backstories when you’re burning the midnight oil, sharing cold pad Thai by the printer — they were: having babies, losing babies, stuck in bad relationships, taking care of sick parents, gay and finally breathing in the big city after years of feeling unsafe in smaller hometowns, “the only ___” on staff who bravely represented that perspective, frustrated world-caliber artists doing hourly gigs to pay for studio space, parenting sick kids and kids with special needs, living with chronic pain, going through chemo, planning weddings, getting divorced....And all the while bringing their hearts and minds to work with great care in a place that welcomed their truth.
I owe you all and am so, so grateful.
NYC-area friends, I am SO excited to be speaking at the @elliemoms app launch in Brooklyn two weeks from today. It’s open to the public and tickets are FREE (I never get to say those two things in the same post!). You just need to RSVP. Ellie is a genius and much-needed idea that will connect virtual mom groups neighborhood by neighborhood. I’ll be sharing hard-earned #thefifthtrimester negotiating tips for work, home, and beyond, because #AllMomsWork. Oh, and! There’s free five-minute consults from my friend @theparentingmentor too!
#Repost @elliemoms with @get_repost
You’re invited! We're hosting the ellie Williamsburg/Greenpoint LAUNCH PARTY at @WildWasMama on Monday, Dec 3rd at 7:30pm featuring Lauren Smith Brody, author of @TheFifthTrimester for a special talk on how #ALLMothersWork: How to Negotiate Like a Boss at Work, Home, and Beyond.
You'll also get to chat with Susan Groner from @TheParentingMentor who will be doing free mini consultations offering (genius!) parenting advice.
RSVP by clicking the "Get Tickets" link on our profile page! 📲🙌🏼
Three thoughts: 1) For a week, we’ve been eating dinner on just one corner of our dining table because of an ongoing game of Monopoly. Tonight, we finished, finally, with a Mommy win (whoops!), and my boys both shook my hand and said “good game.” Fair and right. 2) Meanwhile, all day, every outer borough (read: not majority white) friend I’ve asked has said that their voting lines were impossibly long due to ballot machines that didn’t work. 3) On a homework assignment tonight about the myth of Native Americans having “sold” Manhattan to the Dutch, Will remarked upon the lack of decent human beings, “just like there aren’t any now, either.” I’m watching the returns roll in, heartbroken by his words in my ear, but hopeful for our country’s future. We have a lot of repair work to do. #myfamilyvotes
Let’s do this, week. Two years ago, I dressed all in suffragette white and put on my Grandma’s coat in her memory and marched to the polls with my boys, so full of optimism that even bumping into Madonna with her daughter Lourdes (!) seemed like a blip in comparison. Tomorrow, we will go in just as optimistic but a lot more educated. About healthcare 🤰, about immigration 🗽🚪, about race and bias 👍🏿👍🏾👍🏽👍🏼👍🏻, and education 📓🎼🎨🎒, and gun reform 🔫💔, and paid leave🤱, and a woman’s right to choose ⚖️, and LGBTQIAA rights 👨👨👦👩👩👦, and freedom of the press 📜📰, and voter access🗳. I’ll quit it with the emojis and ask you this: **WHAT IS A MOTHER’S JOB IF NOT TO TEACH HER KIDS THAT THEIR EMPATHY CAN HAVE ACTUAL IMPACT?** Please, #VoteLikeaMother! And take a picture voting with your kids if you can (or have them pose with your “I voted” sticker later) and hashtag it #MyFamilyVotes. Need a last minute cram on what’s going to be on your ballot? Check out the nonpartisan Ballotpedia.org. #2018Midterms #PowertothePolls 💛
USE YOUR VOICE. Most of my audience here is moms... I don’t know what percentage are Jewish (I am). But I’ll bet we all have something that has made us feel “other” for no reason other than plain bigotry at some point. Please, speak up with every bit of privilege and rank you may have for those who don’t. That work, after all, is the very root of motherhood. (Image: @jbaumgardner; quote heard this morning on @nytimes The Daily.)
This year, more than ever, I’ve been buoyed by this man’s seemingly bottomless supply of optimism. As a kid, I’d swing and miss 1000 times in our driveway batting practice, and 1000 times I’d hear, “Good effort!” This past summer, my kids were rude to me, and when I finally lost my cool and let them have it, embarrassed that my dad had seen me fail, he pulled me aside and said, “good job...they needed you to be a strong mom like that.” When you’re someone who believes as deeply as my dad does in the inherent goodness of people, there’s always the risk of disappointment. He’s terribly disappointed in the state of our country right now, but that feeling is outpaced by his enormous hope and confidence and teeth-gritting, pink-pussy-hat-wearing, daily-sleepaway-camp-writing, chemo and radiation enduring, Mr. Rogers-documentary-recommending love of his family and his country. Happy birthday, Dad. I love you. We are lucky beyond lucky you’re ours.
🤗 Excited for this Tips by Trimester day with @wellroundedny! My panel is at 1pm, but come all day. I’ll be talking about the myth of balance (and the reality of being okay with that)! Link to tix in bio...and here’s my discount code for 25% off if you want to use it: VIP25 (please note that the discount doesn’t apply to the VIP or Bump Envy ticket). Hope to see you there! #thefifthtrimester #momfriends #newmom #backtowork #maternityleave
#ad #giveaway I love this picture...but not for the reasons you might think. It was taken on one of my last days of #maternityleave with Teddy. I’d planned a little photo shoot in the park. Only, on the day of, my baby woke up with a bald spot, my big guy would NOT smile, and even the sleeves (!) of my t-shirt were tight. But when I look at this image now, I see a woman who is about to learn a LOT about resetting her expectations and finding meaning in the mess. Today, I’m excited to share my top six #backtowork tips in a takeover at @playtexbaby Come over and check it out! Oh, and!! There’s a contest! Comment on the post on their page for a chance to win a newborn giveaway of an awesome baby bottle set plus a Diaper Genie! #thefifthtrimester #workingmom #maternityleave #backtowork 📸 @nancyborowick
Today, this boy painstakingly hand wrote a “good news” announcement for his weekly school assembly thanking two sweet kids who’d helped him when he fell on the playground. As he was writing it— a process that took 20 minutes letter by letter—two kind school cafeteria servers passed by with a leftover cart of food and offered him a cookie. So he added them to his “good news” too...only we didn’t know their names...so he asked our wonderful school office assistant who looked them up in the yearbook. So she got a “good news” thank you too! I hope his whole life is this charmed... and that he stays this grateful for everything good that comes his way. This little light of mine likes to shine on other people. ❤️