As a Happy New Year gift, I wanted to share 5 of my favorite things I discovered in 2010 – along with one RE-discovery. Hope you’ll share yours too!
When a friend or family member has a serious medical crisis, CaringBridge makes it easy to keep everyone updated on the situation without having to field a bunch of separate calls and emails from caring people – for free. I put a site up when my father-in-law was in the hospital this spring. Recently, he asked to understand more about what happened, and I was able to go to CaringBridge and print a slick book that included all of our updates and all our friends messages of hope for him. www.caringbridge.org
2. Insurance for iPhones
When my iPhone was stolen out of my car this past spring, I did some digging and discovered State Farm will insure iPhones! Now both our iPhones are ensured for loss or theft. Continue reading
Since my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, was released, Twitter has connected me with a host of people I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise, or I wouldn’t have found them for months. Cali Yost at Work+Life Fit is one of them. Twitter even gave us the opportunity to meet in person – briefly – while I was swinging through the East Coast this past fall. (Sick kid at home, Cali came out to a book signing to introduce herself.)
I just wish I had stumbled across Cali’s book, Work+Life Fit: Finding the Fit That’s Right For You, and her blog before I finished my own because I would have included both in my book. (I’ve added them to my Remodeling Tools web page now!). In my book I talk about the importance of shifting our language away from terms and phrases that have come to embody outdated assumptions about mothers, fathers, money, marriage and work. To that end I suggest replacing “work-family balance” – which tends to reinforce the separation between work and family- with options like “work-life integration” or “career-family fit.” But frankly, I’ve found that Cali’s term, “work+life fit,” is the one that now rolls off my tongue most easily and busts all the cultural assumptions I’m interested in busting up. Her book is a great tool for challenging our own assumptions about “work” that can keep us from envisioning and then taking responsibility for crafting our own “work+life fit” plan.
Cali recently published on her blog Continue reading
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m thrilled to share a special Q&A interview with my friends Marc and Amy Vachon whose book, Equally SharedParenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents just came out last month. Listen in to our conversation here and then check out their book and the additional resources on my Remodeling Motherhood Tools page!
Amy Vachon, Kristin Maschka, Marc Vachon in MA
What were the hardest assumptions of your own that each of you had to overcome to make ESP work? And can you each share your most memorable example of a time when your ESP arrangement challenged someone ELSE’s stereotypes about mothers and fathers?
Marc: Early in my career, I presumed that it was my responsibility to maximize my earning power to support a family someday. This led to the standard male prescriptive to forge ahead with long hours and an unbalanced dedication toward work. Letting that assumption go took courage (especially since I didn’t have role models to follow as I approached my boss with a request to work part-time – as a single guy). But it allowed me to create a life that I love daily. My work focus changed from wanting to retire early to wanting to work forever.
Amy: The most difficult assumption I had to shake was probably the notion that I had more responsibility for the home and the children. I still catch myself stressing out about little projects or an upcoming dinner party, and have to remember that these tasks can be jointly planned and handled – as long as I let Marc work alongside me as a true peer.
Both: We can think of two separate examples that highlight how others’ stereotypes can rub up against the notion of an equal partnership. In the first, Amy was picking up our daughter from Kindergarten in the school playground when our then 2-year old son threw a temper tantrum and stomped off a few yards away. A random mother was heard commenting snidely, “Who is that kid’s mother?” Yet a couple of months prior, Marc was handling the same pickup, in the same playground, with the same 2-year old throwing a tantrum (what can we say – a 2:20 pickup time doesn’t always mesh with a toddler’s nap schedule!). This time, a random mom approached Marc to ask if she could intervene to calm our son down. She explained that she was “very good at these types of things.”
The second example happened when our daughter was about 2, and fell off a swing at a friend’s birthday party. She ran right past Amy, all the way across the yard into Marc’s arms for comfort. The other parents at the party were too polite to say anything, but we often wonder if they thought Amy had failed as the “mother” in that moment. Amy felt a twinge of self-consciousness, but we both mark that event as one of those times when we could say, “We did it – we gave her two parents she could go to and this is cause for celebration!” Continue reading
Please check out BusinessWeek.com for a great feature on This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood To Get The Lives We Want Today. Journalist Lauren Young writes:
What are the things your friends and family never told you about life as a Working Parent? Kristin Maschka, the past president and national spokesperson for Mothers & More, answers that question while addressing the myths and traditions associated with motherhood, parenting, and work in her new book, This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood To Get The Lives We Want Today (Berkley Trade). She spoke to me about her revelations as a working mom.
The title of your new book is “This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be…” which begs the question: How did you envision motherhood?
The title is literally what I found myself saying or thinking to myself over and over after we had our daughter! This is NOT how I thought it would be.
Like many mothers I found there was a big disconnect between the way I thought motherhood in the 21st century would be and the way it turned out to be. My modern egalitarian marriage turned into something out of “Ozzie and Harriet” or “Leave it to Beaver.”
My previously successful career literally came to an abrupt and unexpected halt, which meant I lost colleagues, a paycheck, a big part of my identity. While I kept my name when I got married, when we had our daughter I suddenly lost it and became “Kate’s mom.”
Continue Reading >>