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
William the Graduate
This essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch. I am reposting it in honor of all of the parents who are sending their beloveds off to college this month. Yes, one year later, and it is easier, much easier, but still bittersweet.
It’s graduation week around town. We’re hearing lots of speeches about new beginnings, following your dreams, and choosing roads less traveled. Students are told repeatedly “it’s all ahead of you.” But for those of us with children in cap and gown, it’s not all about the future. For us, it’s also about the past. Continue reading
This essay originally appeared on BlogHer.
“I’m gonna getcha,” cried my son who had just arrived home from his first fall at college. It was Christmas and our extended family was gathered to celebrate. He, this newly formed man, was on all fours scrambling after his toddler cousin. Our collective laughter spiraled the room as the new-to-walking little boy mimicked Frankenstein in his efforts to get away. My son scooped his cousin up and razzed the baby’s belly creating fits of giggles for them both.
Later, my son asked, “Mom, do you think I’ll be a good father?”
It’s such a seemingly simply question. A boy wants to emulate his role models, he wants to give love as he has been given, he wants to care and guide and support a child as he has been cared for and guided and supported. But for my son, the answer is not quite so simple. You see, my son is gay.
Image: DPA via ZUMA Press.
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.
Daddy's Little Girl - All Grown Up
It’s prom season around our house. My seventeen-year-old son is a prom pro. He’s been to so many in the past few years, I don’t even need to give him the Prom Speech. He knows the drill and I trust him. This year, however, his fifteen-year-old sister was invited to the prom. Funny how different my reaction was; I said, “No!” Continue reading
This article originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.
Loving the Rainbow
I was browsing the local news the other day when I came across this headline: “Apparent Suicide With Chemicals Forces Evacuation in Redwood City.” It seemed so innocuous. A small bit, really. Not even worthy of an obituary. But I knew better. It was what the story didn’t say and what it got so very wrong that haunts me. Continue reading
This essay first appeared on BlogHer.
My fourteen-year-old daughter is upstairs in her bedroom listening to Shakira on her iPod and studying for a french mid-term. Me? I am downstairs watching a horrific rape scene on a television show called Private Practice and remembering the stories I have heard from family, from friends, from strangers, and wondering, when do I tell her it isn’t all peaches and cream? Continue reading