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
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.
It 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
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 Palo Alto Patch.
I wouldn’t call it an obsession exactly, but the killing of Trayvon Martin has occupied much of my attention lately. Perhaps it is the senseless waste of a young life, or the fact that yet another parent has needlessly lost their beloved child, or the incontrovertible racist undertones, or the role unbidden fear played in his death (or all of the above) that has nurtured my mania. But while I have spent an inordinate amount of time reading news articles and watching one too many news videos on the case, not once have I confronted a meaningful discussion about gun control. Continue reading
This essay originally appeared on BlogHer.
My Dad, the Breast Cancer Survivor
In 1978, a few weeks after Christmas, my father had a radical mastectomy. The last words he said to me before the surgery were, “they can take my nipple but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let them take my ovaries.” So like my father to lighten the mood with a joke but, of course, cancer is no laughing matter. Continue reading
My neighbor, Steve Jobs, has been in the news lately. The talk of the town is the recent announcement he will be stepping aside to let other seeds grow at Apple. The business press, the general press, the blogosphere, and just about everybody else has waxed poetic about the “greatest CEO of all time” saying that this “boy wonder” has shaped the very nature of our lives with his genius.
On Failure: “The model for personal development is antithetical to profesional success,” says Designer Milton Glaser.