3 Feb

Early last Sunday evening my husband and I arrived back at our house from taking our kids to the Oregon coast. It had been a beautiful day (yes in February!) and the kids had thoroughly enjoyed spending the day digging in the sand and freezing their little feet in the water. We had stopped at Mo’s for lunch and the kids had gobbled up clam chowder and fried clam strips. All in all it had been a really great day and we all got home tired, and ready for some nice warm comfort food.

As we pulled into town, Noah got a call from someone on his team at work (Noah and I run Palo Alto Software together). Over the weekend Noah’s team had successfully migrated a bunch of our servers to Amazon Web Services, and Sunday morning everyone was tired, but happy that everything had gone smoothly. But sometime Sunday our customers started experiencing issues with our shopping cart. After a lot of investigation it turned out the problems had nothing to do with us – but instead with PayPal, who own Payflow Pro, our credit card processor. So Noah had to jump out of the car as we got home, and immediately start dealing with Payflow Pro and our Web developers to come up with a solution for our customers ASAP.

So all of a sudden the last few hours that were supposed to end a beautiful day out with the family, turned into me dealing with the kids on my own, and Noah in our home office with the doors closed trying to deal with work stuff. I had made a ham and bean soup the day before, and had been looking forward to all of us sitting together and having yummy homemade soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and taking about our day at the beach. I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, almost annoyed that Noah had to deal with work stuff. But of course, then the CEO in me kicks in and wants to make sure that everything is dealt with as quickly as possible and that our customers are getting treated as well as possible.

So I sat there, eating with the kids (who hated my homemade ham and bean soup), being annoyed that Noah couldn’t sit down, and then at the same time wanting to know what was happening and how quickly we could fix things. Totally having a dual personality moment. How could I be annoyed that Noah didn’t eat dinner with us, and at the same time want him to fix things as quickly as possible? It was such a vivid feeling too. Knowing that I actually wanted two different things to happen at the same time. It annoyed me that my kids hated my soup (I thought it was great) and that Noah wasn’t there to at least enjoy the soup with me. It annoyed me that Payflow Pro couldn’t deal with its problems and had to keep my husband on the phone giving him very little customer support and not really telling him a prognosis (god forbid that the outside world should find out that PayPal is not invincible).

So there is the reality of my life. Right there, on a Sunday evening in my house. The very tangible problem between being a mommy, a wife, and a CEO.


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