The response to my essay in the Sunday New York Times has been astonishing. The biggest learning is that we all crave a more nuanced approach to how women (and men) integrate their work and family obligations.
We were all strangers that spring of 1996. Our only connection was that we had all recently given birth at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., and, as recommended by our doctors, had signed up for the New Mother training class. Once a week, we sat in a circle sharing our concerns as a nurse educator led the discussion. It was like those consciousness-raising sessions from the 1960s. But, unlike our mothers who had gathered to secure their place in the world, we gathered to figure out how to be mothers in spite of it.
Read the full essay here.
Posted in 2014
Tagged Failure, Family, Feminism, Love, Making Change, Marriage, Men, Mid-Life, Mothering, Palo Alto, Parenting, Personal Development
It was an honor to interview three amazing women I profiled for a recent San Jose Mercury News article. Alison Cormack, Mary Page Platerink, and Kriste Michelini collectively debunk the myth that you can’t step back from your career to focus on your family and then return to great success. They also show us how they carved their own authentic path to a “having it all”.
Mary Page Platerink (Photo by Karl Mondon)
A woman spends years building her career. Then family becomes her new priority, so she steps out of her high-powered job to raise children. What happens when she wants to get back in the game? Since Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg launched the “Lean In” movement in 2013, much attention has been paid to figuring out how to keep mothers in the workforce, but many have already left and are trying to get back in. There’s not one route for all. As these three Bay Area executive women demonstrate, you can reignite your professional life — and even take it in a wildly different, equally or more successful direction — even after taking years off from work. Here they share their stories and their advice.
Read the full article here.
This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Diablo Magazine.
Kriste Michelini and Children (Photo courtesy of Diablo Magazine)
It’s 7:30 on a Thursday evening, and 10 moms are gathered at Kriste Michelini’s interior design studio in Danville, drinking wine and eating off a veggie platter artfully arranged by Michelini. This isn’t a book group or PTA fundraiser. These mothers are busy trying to help Bridget Scott finalize the details of her business plan. She’s preparing to open her own chiropractic office, a lifelong dream, but is still determining the best way to incorporate the hours while placing family first. Scott wants to work while her children are in school and is confident she can find clients who will fit her schedule. But issues around finalizing a name and staff management are what she needs advice on. The other women, all business owners themselves, readily offer it.
Scott started Business Owner Moms (BOMS) in 2008 because she wanted to gather like-minded working mothers to offer each other support and guidance as they struggled to balance their professional ambitions with their personal lives. BOMS includes women such as Alamo’s Kristin Kiltz, a mother of three who quit her high-powered job at a public relations firm to set up her own PR consulting business; and Danville’s Julie Ligon, also a mother of three, who left her exciting marketing position at Gap to open one of the first franchise studios of the Dailey Method. The BOMS could have given up work completely to stay home with their children, but haven’t. Continue reading
Posted in April 2012
Tagged Failure, Family, Feminism, Making Change, Marriage, Men, Mid-Life, Mothering, Parenting, Politics, Relationships
This essay originally appeared on BlogHer.
Our Babies, Ourselves
Eighteen years ago this month, my first child arrived six weeks ahead of schedule. While he was hooked up to tubes and toasting away in the ICU’s isolette, I spent those first days as a mother praying for him and reading Annie Lamott’s memoir, Operating Instructions. Between the laughter and the tears, I was hoping to find that elusive “how-to” manual for mothering.
This essay originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.
My son and I watched The Green Mile the other night. You may know the story: An African-American man is falsely accused of murder, and, despite their conviction that he is innocent, his jailers are required to execute him. You see, he was given the death penalty for a crime he didn’t commit.
After the movie ended, my son shook his head (was that a tear I saw?) and said, “That just isn’t right.” Continue reading
On Failure: “The model for personal development is antithetical to profesional success,” says Designer Milton Glaser.