Tag Archives: kids

Random Compliments

26 Jan

This weekend my husband and I were up on Mt. Bachelor with our 2 year old and 4 year old, skiing as a family. For the first time since our boys were born we can actually all go up on the chairlift together, and on days when our 4 year old wants to wait for our 2 year old, even ski down together. As avid skiers, this season is so much fun. We have been waiting for the day we could all ski together – and it’s amazing that it is happening so quickly.

As we skied down marshmallow, all 4 of us,  (a nice easy run for kids off of Sunrise chair at Mt. Bachelor) an older ski instructor yelled out to us:

“You guys are great parents.”

I can’t tell you how good it felt to be recognized by a random person. After all, my husband and I could go the way of many parents, and stick our kids in “ski school” (aka daycare so parents can ski on their own), or even just not take the kids skiing and only got to the mountain when we have babysitters. Sure it would be great to actually get to use my brand new skis, beyond just being forced to snow plow behind the 2 year old who is skiing, but on a leash. BUT we consider this an investment in the future of our skiing. Already the 4 year old skis just as fast as me or my husband (albeit a little out of control sometimes), and is skiing anywhere there are blue squares. Next year he will be unstoppable. Our 2 year old actually has the stamina now, after 9 days on the slopes to do 4 and sometimes even 5 runs – which is amazing for a little guy just over 2 ft. tall.

It’s nice to feel like we do some things right! ;)

Some random thoughts…..

15 Apr

Lately life is going too fast. I mean to write on my blog every day and then all of a sudden it is the next day.  So in the interest of posting something here are some random thoughts from my life in the last few weeks:

1. The other night my almost 4 year old was having trouble going to bed. We could not get him to stay in bed and he was just antsy. I went int to talk to him about this being the last time I was going to come in. He said to me:

I know Mommy. I had this conversation with Daddy already.

If my not yet 4 year old son is already exasperated with me… I am not sure if I want to think of all the stuff that is yet to come!

2.  We have been really busy at work lately. There are a lot of cool exciting projects on the horizon which I am very excited for. Because of this though, I have had a few evening meetings and work commitments which I generally turn down in favor of spending time with my boys.  Really the only time the boys are not with us in the evenings are for the occasional business meeting, and recently for a few evening weddings. I came home from one of my meetings and my three year old said:

Hi Mommy! I have been saving some pizza that I made for you. But first I want to know how was your wedding?

He confused “meeting” with “wedding”. I was on the ground laughing.

3.  I was at a venture competition over the weekend in Portland.  My company sponsors many competitions and for this one we had sponsored a Best Written Plan Award. This meant I had read most of the business plans for the teams presenting and was excited to see the presentations. Sometimes a plan that was just not that good comes alive with a presentation, and sometimes it is just the opposite. During one o the presentations, at the Q and A portion one of the teams was asked about how they would handle customer service. One of the team members said that they had thought about this, and had decided that they would hire “house wives” to do their customer service.  I was appalled. Who uses that word these days? I mean seriously they couldn’t have used “stay-at-home workforce”, or “part-time work force”?

4. I have been helping several different  business plan competition events organize and launch initiatives lately. I am constantly shocked at how many people volunteer to be a part of something, want to take ownership, take full authority, but then just simply don’t do what they have committed to do. I just don’t get that. How can you be a successful business person and do that?

OK my random thoughts are at an end as I have to finish 5 more things before rushing home to my boys!

Can’t we all get along?

19 Mar

I am a member of the Work It Mom Community. I subscribe to the blog and as I have time read entries. Some of them are relevant to me, some are not. Some of them are interesting, some are not. Some of them are in my opinion intelligent, some are not. You get the point. Recently Nataly, the founder of Work It Mom had to defend a post titled 10 Reasons Working Moms Should Feel Great About Themselves (Reason number one: Working women are happier). The author of the article is also the author of a book that has been controversial as it pits working moms against stay at home moms (or so the controversy goes). I don’t know the book. I quickly read through the article. What I don’t understand is why there is so much venom between women and their choice as mothers?

A few months back I was feature in an article on USA Today called Mommy Wars. You may have seen my post about it here on Mommy CEO. I felt that the worst comments, the most venom I received was from other mothers. Those mothers who have chosen to stay at home with their children felt the need to say some really ugly, really mean things to me about my choice to work. Let me be clear. In the article I DID NOT claim that I thought working mom’s were happier (Leslie Bennetts does claim that in her article). I simply said I was happy, and I thought i had made the right choice for me, and for my family. So why the venom? Can I not have my choice? Can I not have my opinion? Does the nature of me working offend other mom’s so much that they feel the need to get defensive and attack? I thought that as women we were all working together to make life better for ourselves, and our children.

While I can see why Ms. Bennetts’ article may not sit well with some people. It is not LAW or FACT. It is simply an opinion – hers. And I do have to say that I do believe it is better for every person to be in a position to be self reliant and take care of their children on their own should that terrible situation present itself. So here is a little story I think is appropriate here:

I have a friend, who is helping a very close friend of hers through an very ugly divorce. This couple (I don’t know them) apparently had the dream marriage. Let’s call them Mom and Dad. They lived happily ever after in a mid west city with their 2 young children. Dad was an executive make very good money, Mom was a very happy stay-at-home mom. Before they got married Dad made it very clear to Mom that he had grown up with a mother at home and that is what he wanted for his children. Mom agreed. She gave up her career (although she has a great college degree and had good career opportunities) while she was 5 months pregnant with her first child. Five years later she is in a terrible divorce as Dad has left her for his assistant (seriously). Dad has now told Mom that he is not going to let her “sit around on her butt doing nothing all day” and that he expects her to go out and find a job. He has wiped out all money from their bank account and she is having trouble paying the bills. She has not been employed for over 5 years and she has no day care options for her 2 very young children. Dad is not letting her get any money right now. Sure the courts are not going to let him get away with this – when they finally get there. Sure he sounds like a class A jerk. Sure, we all know that won’t happen to us. But of course that is what Mom said. And now I can’t help but think that she might be regretting giving everything up and staying at home. Maybe not. But there is a little part of me that wants all women to be able to be able to be self sufficient. NOT that I think staying at home is the wrong choice, or a bad choice. I just worry that it can dis-empower a woman and put her at the mercy of someone else. And that is what I don’t like.

What is the solution? I don’t know. I am not saying everyone should work. I am not saying that working mom’s are happier. I think every woman has a right to decide what works for them and their families. But I do know this – not letting people have an opinion is not the answer. Getting angry and aggressive because someone is saying something you do not agree with is not the answer. I think this is a very complicated situation and one that has not “right” answer. But it does bother me at my core that Ms. Bennett has to feel the ugliness I felt when the USA today article came out. Can’t we all just get along?

The judgement never ends….

8 Jan

Its been a little while since I posted what with the holidays and then getting back into the groove at work. I wish I was posting on a more cheery subject but I feel like this topic is one that I will face for the rest of my working life, as long as I have kids at home.

So first the background to the story. My 16 month old son who is usually a great sleeper had a few night of restless sleep the week before Christmas when we were leaving for a family trip to Mexico. He did not seem to have cold, no runny nose, no cough, but was drooling quite a bit. He looked like he had a few teeth coming in so my husband and I just figured he was going through the seemingly endless and painful process of teething. Poor baby!

Friday December 21st at 4pm our nanny called me. She said that Leo had been doing great all day, but had just woken up form his nap screaming inconsolable and with a fever. I knew right away that what we had mistaken as teething must have been the beginnings of an ear infection. Both my kids have gotten them throughout their baby years, and this would be Leo’s 5th one. I called the pediatrician right away, as we were scheduled to leave at 5:40 am the next morning for Mexico. Our pediatrician practices in a very small practice with only 2 other Doctors. We chose them because they were small and seemed to pitch more of an “old school” care for kids. Really hands on, with real time devoted at each appointment to the child and their parents. Their hours, as posted on their web site are Monday through Friday 8:30am-6:00pm. They do not have any after hours care.

At 4:05 when I talked the receptionists and let her know what was going on, I fully expected her to just say, OK rush him in here so that we can see him before we close. But no. She told me a nurse would call back. At 4:25 I got a call back from the nurse. She basically said the only Dr. that was there was on his way out. I begged her and told her we were leaving to Mexico very early the next morning, and that I was pretty sure it was an ear infection and that he would need antibiotic. She put me on hold and talked to the Dr. A few minutes later she came back on the line and said that the Dr. was on his way out and that he said I should go to urgent care. I rushed my 16 month old to Urgent care, hoping that if I got there before 5 it would be a shorter wait. I got there at 4:40 and was at urgent care until almost 10:00 pm. My son got the antibiotic he needed and was cleared by the urgent care Dr. to fly the next morning.

When I got back from my holiday on a Sunday, I wrote an email to the Dr. expressing my disappointed in the care (or lack thereof) that I had been given. I thought that pediatricians understood that you can not predict children, and that when they get sick is beyond your control. I was polite, but I wanted the office to know that I did no think they had handled the situation well. I heard nothing from them for 5 days. On Friday I took my 16 month old in to check that his ears were clear as he was pulling them and having some restless nights again. Thank goodness this time it was teething. But more interesting this is what the Dr. (a woman) had to say about my email:

Dr: “We got your email. In the future it would be better if you could call earlier”

Me: “I completely understand, but it was not clear he was sick until 4pm when he got up screaming and feverish from his nap”

Dr.: “You and your husband both work right?” I nodded yes. ” Well maybe our practice is not for you”

She was basically telling me that because I worked I was not able to care for my children in a manner that she approved of. that somehow if I had been home with my child I would have been able to call the office earlier. She herself, a working mom, was judging me as a working parent, and insulting my choice to work. My jaw was on the ground that she had judged me for working. I never expected a very highly educated woman to try and make me feel inferior for choosing to work. Needless to say we will not be going back to that practice. We are on the hunt for a good paediatrician that can support our family choices. All of them — from our choice to co-sleep with our babies, to my choice to nurse them pas a year of age, to our choice to work and run our own business.

I just did a little searching online to see if I could find any related articles or blog posts about  another working mom having the same experience and no surprise I found one within minutes of starting the search.

Mistakes Are Good! Failure is OK

1 Dec

We are trained our whole lives to do the right thing, and to avoid making “mistakes.” Our lives are more and more bombarded with a million tools to help us make all the right choices, and help us avoid making the wrong decision, or making any sort of a mistake. Growing up you were constantly judged by how “perfect” your scores were, and how few mistakes you made on a test, a paper, etc.

Alina Tugend writes a fascinating article in the New York times entitled: The Many Errors in Thinking About Mistakes. The article includes information about an experiment done by a Stanford professor with a classroom of fifth graders. It is amazing to see how quickly a 10 year old reacts to being praised for “trying hard” vs. “being smart.” The children praised for trying hard were more apt to try harder tasks — at the risk of making more mistakes.

When you apply these theories to business, it’s even more interesting. A good manager, according to this article is one that is not afraid to make mistakes — but then learns from them. A manager that doesn’t make mistakes is probably not taking risks, and most likely won’t have big wins. In the context of being entrepreneurial, and running your own business, this idea make a lot of sense. People who start successful businesses are risk takers. Taking risks means not everything is going to turn out exactly as you planned, and you will have to be able to deal with mistakes and learn quickly from them to keep your business running.

People often say that they want to start their own business, so that they “can be their own boss.” As someone who has started several businesses I can vouch that this is not EVER true. The business is your boss. Your spouse who invested the same money with you to start the business is your boss. Your children who need their schools and daycare paid are your boss. The vendor who needs to be paid is your boss. You best client is your boss. You unfortunately are not your own boss. BUT if you are willing to take the risk, willing to learn from your mistakes, it can be one heck of a ride, and a successful and lucrative one as well.

Nataly over at Work It Mom posted an article about her fears about running her own business. I think this fits exactly into the idea that people are afraid to make mistakes. It’s this fear that makes someone afraid to just do it and start their business. But at the same time this is a healthy fear that can keep making mistakes in perspective, and fuel a business to success. While I am sure that Nataly is not the only business owner that has fears about her business, she took the risk, made the leap, and started her business. I am sure that she has made mistakes along the way, and I am eve more sure that she has quickly learned and adjusted so as not to ever make those mistakes again. That is what it takes to run a business.

Think about it when your child wants to do something that may be too hard for him/her. think about how if encouraged correctly, and with the right support what you may be actually teaching your child is that they should try anything (within safe reason) and that you are OK if they make a few mistakes along the way. You never know – maybe you are raising the next Bill Gates!

Heading out

30 Oct

I am working like crazy today, trying to get as much done as possible. I am headed to London tomorrow, with my husband, 1 year old and 3 year old. Between getting things done at work, and getting things done at home for the trip – I feel like I haven’t stopped for the last few days.

Palo Alto Software will be exhibiting at the Business Startup Show in London, on November 2nd and 3rd. Our Managing Director, Alan Gleeson, will be speaking at the show on Business Planning. Noah, my husband will attend the show on Friday the 2nd and I will be there on Sat. So if you happen to be n the area, stop by and say hi!

Most likely I won’t post much will I am gone – between work, jet lag, and 2 very young kids I hope I am still alive when we arrive back in the US on Tuesday the 6th. Somehow I think if I am just ultra prepared – the flights will go smoothly. Noah keeps telling me that yes, we should be prepared, but that I have to deal with the fact that no 12 hour flight can EVER go smoothly with a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Sigh, I think he is right! I will let you know how it went when we get back.

Oh The Guilt

11 Oct

My husband and I are going to London to attend a business conference November 2nd and 3rd. We are taking the boys with us, as we don’t want to leave them for 6 days. As a bonus they will also get to meet their 95 year old great granny who lives just outside of London. In order to get to London, and be somewhat awake for the conference, we have to fly on Oct. 31st, which means that our 3 year old will be missing Halloween and trick or treating. When we made our plane reservations a few months ago we both figured that he would be too young to really notice. Although missing Halloween was a little bummer, we thought that at 3 years old he really wouldn’t know what he was missing.

Well we were wrong. For the last week all Timmy can talk about is Halloween and what he wants to be. So we decided that we would throw a Halloween party the Sunday before we left. That would surely solve all the issues.

Wrong again. After hearing about the party Timmy got very excited and said “Yeah! I can go trick or treating with my friends! I am so excited Mommy!”

Oh the guilt. We have to get to this business conference – we don’t have a choice. At least we get to bring the kids with us… right?

P.S. – At least I am in good company:

Work It Mom – Guilt Question

Mom Guilt Never Ends

Blog called “Working Moms against Guilt”

and these are just a few of the many posts on “Mommy guilt”

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