Tag Archives: Feminism

Not-So-New Mother Finding Balance

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.

(Byron Eggenschwiler)

(Byron Eggenschwiler)

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.

Back on the Fast Track

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)

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.

Everyday Women and Unsung Heroes: Happy Women’s History Month

In honor of International Women’s Day, I am reposting this essay. It  originally appeared on BlogHer on March 8, 2010. 

It’s March and that means it’s Women’s History Month. In schools across the country, children will be learning about Sacagawea and Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth and the myriad other

My Unsung Hero

famous women who are lauded for their role in changing the course of history. They won’t, however, be reading about the everyday woman. The woman who cares for her children, works to support her family, volunteers in her community. The woman who is the backbone of this country and most others around the world. They will not be reading about my grandmother, Jeanette Stromberg. Continue reading

Last Minute Thoughts: Voting for the Pro-Woman Candidate is Voting for the Economy

This column originally appeared at Finding (Un)Common Ground.

I have been accused of being a one issue voter. My one issue?

Women.

Why? Well, it is quite simple. I believe (and research shows) when women are empowered, society wins. What does empowerment mean to me? It means access to education, job opportunities, pay equity, and control of our reproduction in order to take advantage of said education and those, hopefully, well-paying jobs.

So, when my friends tell me that we have to look beyond “women’s issues” to focus on the economy, well I get so mad, I see green. I’d thought for my good health I would take a few breaths and explain how women’s issues are economic issues.

Continue reading (You know you want to)…

 

The Future of Feminism And Why Women Still “Can’t Have It All”

This article was modified for a feature in Diablo Magazine. Given the current (and yet ongoing) discussion regarding women’s choices and the future of feminism, I thought I’d post the full article here.

Feminism tee-shirtIt had been a busy week for Katrina Alcorn of Oakland. She’d worked late to meet a client’s deadline, she’d missed putting her three children to bed one night too many, and now she was racing off to Target to buy diapers. Afterwards, she’d go home to her husband and together they would clean the house, do the laundry, get dinner ready, put the kids to sleep, and then they would each spend the rest of the evening responding to work emails before falling into bed, exhausted. Suddenly, Katrina realized it was all too much. She pulled the car over to the side of the road, called her husband and said, “I just can’t do it anymore. I have to quit.” Continue reading

We Are Women. Hear Us Roar. Again.

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

Our Mothers, Ourselves

This essay originally appeared on BlogHer.

Isolette, preemies

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.

Continue reading