Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend Reading: The Lighting the Way Edition

Sheryl Sandberg is in the news again, for saying that she leaves work at 5:30 to go home and have dinner with her kids (and good for her, both for doing it and for talking about it). I've read the basic Sandberg quote a gazillion places, but I found the link above via @fianros, in a tweet saying "The questions at the end are really the pertinent part. The rest is fluff."

And this is the quote with the questions, from Krissah Thompson:
"My generation has lived through the mommy war debates and heard the “you-can’t-have-it-all” harangues. We’re tired of all the talking — but we do want to hear how you do it. Sandberg’s pronouncement has the potential to change the culture at least a little if we let it… Powerful women like Sandberg have got to be willing to own up to how they manage.
Does she have a cook? Does her husband cook? Does she have a nanny? Is she involved with the school PTA? Is her husband? When I meet a highly successful woman raising small children who is willing to be real, I ask those questions.
It drives me crazy feeling like my generation is left to figure out how to make our lives work when so many other women already have. And is the trail really blazed if you keep it a secret?"
I have two responses to that quote: the first is directed to the folks who think that the younger generation has this all figured out and that maybe people like me are talking about it just a little bit too much: I won't say "I told you so" but... this is an example of why I don't think I'm making up some angst that doesn't exist in our culture right now.

The second is directed at women like Ms. Thompson, who may be understandably frustrated at women in my generation and older for not sharing their details. As I tweeted back to @fianros, my experience with trying to tell the details has not been a universally happy one. It seems that any post I write on the topic attracts at least one comment or email telling me I'm wrong. Perhaps because there is no "one true way" to be a mother, people whose details are different than mine feel threatened or just annoyed by what I have written and leave comments implying that I am judging others (I'm not! I triple pinky swear it!), or am lying, or deluded. They say I am privileged (a fact I have never denied, although I do not come from a wealthy background) and therefore dismiss my experience, or tell me that I must be oppressing other women in order to support my lifestyle. They leave comments on other people's blogs saying that women like me are over-scheduled and not enjoying our children, and sometimes they write comments that imply not so subtly that we must be bad mothers whose kids are doomed to fail to achieve their potential because we've put them in day care and sent them to public schools. I have gotten a fairly thick skin about this "mommy wars" crap, but I'll admit that comments of that last type hurt enough that I can't even bring myself to link to an example, because then I'd have to read the comment again.

I try to focus on the positive responses, which, to be fair, are more numerous. And I also try to learn from the thoughtful and fair criticisms of what I write. I do not want to offend other women unnecessarily. But this topic is a minefield, and navigating it wears me down, which is why I often turn to other topics on this blog, even though it is obvious from my stats that posts on combining career and motherhood are what most people come here to read. I don't want to be constantly defending my life. I just want to live it and be happy. I keep this blog because I truly enjoy writing about my life, but I have come to understand that writing about certain aspects will provoke responses that I might find draining, not energizing, and so I am a bit more careful about what I post than I used to be. I also find that sometimes I read a comment somewhere that includes a subtle or not so subtle jibe at my style of mothering or my approach to being a feminist (because, let's be honest, the judgment on women's choices flows from all directions) and I just opt out. I click away and don't engage, because the mental and emotional effort of replying just doesn't seem worth it.

I think this is how women like me have disappeared from the cultural narrative, leaving the younger generation hungry for role models even as they are surrounded by moms in the workforce. This is why Ms. Thompson is frustrated by the lack of details on how to "have it all"- because the women who would give her those details must learn to shrug off judgment from all directions if we try to share. I'm not ready to shut up on the topic yet, but I'm also a lot less naive about the costs of speaking up than I used to be. I now know that I cannot write about my life without offending someone else. Does that also mean that I cannot live my life without offending someone else? Probably, but it is only when I speak up that I hear about how offensive or wrong I am, and I'm only human, so sometimes- a lot of times- I'm going to just close my computer and go play with my kids or talk to my husband instead. And I'm in no hurry to volunteer to say these things with my real name and picture attached to them. As I said in last week's links post, I'm just not that secure in my position in my career. I hope that when I'm as successful as Sheryl Sandberg, I'll feel differently.

But please understand, women like Sheryl Sandberg have almost certainly already absorbed a lot of crap, and are in fact continuing to absorb a lot of crap while they blaze that trail to the top of the business world. It is wonderful if they are willing to speak up and be role models, but it shouldn't be demanded of them. Until the response to a woman sharing the details of how she makes her life work is an unanimous "thanks for sharing" instead of "you suck and you're doing it all wrong," don't be surprised if mothers who are successful in the workplace don't want to paint yet another target on their chests. I suspect that just about any such woman will, if asked in private and in a tone that makes it clear that no judgment is forthcoming, tell all the details about how she makes her life work. But it is unfair to expect all women to be willing to do so in public forums, and it is doubly unfair to expect this only of the mothers who are successful in workplace. Let's start asking fathers in the workforce these questions, too. After all, they are also responsible for the children. I've seen a lot of shocked reactions to the description of Steve Jobs as a father in his biography. But is anyone really surprised? I can't recall ever hearing anyone fret about how he was combining his control freak management style and fathering while he was alive. Why not? A woman in his position would have had her mothering dissected in excruciating detail before her kids were in school- before they could walk, even- and if she tried not to discuss it, people would have simply assumed the worst.

Ahem. This is supposed to be a weekend reading post, not a rant. So, for those looking for blueprints and ideas about how to organize their life as a mother with a demanding career, I do have a link to suggest: Equally Shared Parenting. There is a blog and a book. I haven't explored the site that much yet, but it looks like it might have some good resources. I found it via Laura Vanderkam's repost of her review of the book.

In related news... in the comments on last week's weekend reading post, I mentioned that I have a feeling that pop culture (by which I primarily mean TV and movies) does not often portray mothers like me- i.e., mothers in the workforce who are happy, and not conflicted about it. An anonymous commenter called me out on that, and I have to admit here as I did there that since I do not actually watch a lot of TV or go to many (any?) movies, I am responding primarily to the ads and the general buzz about things, which is completely unfair on my part. I am sure there are excellent examples of strong, happy working mothers out there, and I am not finding them in large part because I have given up looking. Still, it was nice to read FeMOMhist's recent post in which she mentions that she, too, sees the narrative in which the working mother must be punished and/or redeemed to be the dominant one, and offers the example of Bones as a show that avoids that trap.

If you don't want to fuss around with the video FeMOMhist links to, here is a rough transcription of what Tempe says, after she confesses to missing her baby daughter during the day, and then tells Seeley, that no, she doesn't want to quit her job: "What I do is for her, now, too. She should know that what I do is important. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean that I shouldn't do it."  Exactly. (But we all get to choose what hard things we want to do to the extent that our lives let us.)

Finally, @Mom101's twitter feed led me to this hilarious post about the Mommy Wars Hunger Games. I agree with Reedster: I am not at war with any other mother. Or non-mother, really. Incidentally, Mom-101 had an excellent post up about the myth of the selfish working mom. Or, as I'm trying to train myself to say "mom in the workforce," because hey, if some stay at home mothers find "working mom" offensive, I'm willing to try to change my language. I think most of us are willing to try to avoid offending our fellow mothers. As FeMOMhist pointed out, a lot of this Mommy War crap is pushed by the media in how they choose to frame stories.  Do you suppose we could all call a truce and send a press release to the media to let them know?


  1. Oddly, a lot of the anime I watch shows positive versions of working mothers. Generally they're in the arts, writers, managers at anime studios etc. And they have strong daughters.


    Kodocha-- a single mom who is a novelist. Daughter is an actress.

    Hime Chan's ribbon-- married mom with two kids, also a novelist. Daughter is a magic girl.

    Sgt. Frog-- single mom with two kids who manages anime artists. Daughter keeps aliens from taking over the planet on a weekly basis. Also makes aliens do housework.

    When they're on deadline everyone in the house pitches in. The kids also have chore charts.

    There's also single moms who work at grocery stores and other low-end jobs to keep their children fed, and the children pitch in with their own work and chores. There are parents who own small businesses like bakeries or bath houses or restaurants, and the children take part in those as well.

    The positive working mother role models in some anime seems odd considering how silly a lot of anime is. But there's a subset that shows much more positive working mother experiences than most of what I see on tv these days. (...Couldn't get through Bones season one because every other episode was investigating a sordid crime against women or children.)

  2. Against my better judgment, finally went back through the comments on the other post. (I should be working, or processing the rest of the CSA veggies.) Man there's a lot of attacks for me being self-confident. See, one can't even be self-confident without other people accusing one of LYING or being deluded.

    Maybe, like Scalzi, I'm deluded (I've been reading Scalzi essays -- I see a lot of myself in his attitude). It's ok for him to "be arrogant" though because he's male. But it's hard for me not to be self-confident when every day I see evidence of my hard work, growth, intelligence, jobs well done etc. And to tell the truth, the attacks make me feel even a little bit more self-confident, because even though I know it isn't good to compare myself to other people, just knowing that some people can't believe that a woman could possibly think highly of herself makes me feel superior because obviously they've never had that experience of feeling self-confident. Which is sad, but at the same time, man.

    And of course, when other women see those attacks, the message is, "Oh, I can't be self-confident either. I will be attacked." That aspect still irritates me. It makes me wonder if the backlash from Sheryl Sandberg is actually worse than the positive message she's trying to send. (There's a famous paper in my field on black candidates increasing white voter turnout for the opposition...similar idea.)

    So I guess the point is: You can't win except by not playing the game. But if nobody plays the game, then the patriarchy wins by default. I don't see a way out.

    1. Anonymous8:31 AM

      Keep up the good fight! It will take years, decades or more, but if you keep on doing what you are doing, it will pay out! Maybe not to you but to your daughters or grand-daughters...

    2. Anonymous8:50 AM

      Oh... I am not a native english speaker...maybe the right term is pay off?!? I mean it will be worthy!!! And the same goes to our beloved Cloud too!!!

    3. @Anonymous- yes, you want "pay off", but don't worry your meaning was clear and appreciated (by me, anyway).

      @Nicoleandmaggie- sometime in grad school, I got a lot more self-confident. I am not really sure why. Maybe I noticed that I was doing pretty well, and had gotten through a famously tough college with good grades and was now doing cool research? I don't know. Anyway, I know that my demeanor changed, because I lost a couple of friends at about the same time. Which was sad, for several reasons, and convinced me that some women really do not like it when other women are confident. Sad.

      I love reading Scalzi, too! I'm so glad I followed the link on your blog over there.

    4. @nicoleandmaggie: I don't appreciate arrogance in men or women. I think it's the culture I grew up in. Even though I have been in the US for 13 years now, people of either gender who toot their own horn too much (which is much more common in the US than in Europe) tend to really irritate me. But I am apparently an irritating online presence myself in multiple ways, so whatever.

      Now, I know that in academia a certain level of self-promotion is necessary and for it me it has been a learned skill that I practice and employ because it's necessary for career advancement. It doesn't mean that it comes naturally or that I enjoy it. But, if it's necessary to get a raise or other offers or grants that pay my students or otherwise advance in my career, I will do it hard because I try to be pragmatic above all else.

      You asked in a previous comment why some people focus only on the negative online (I am often in this camp). It's also legitimate to ask why would some people only focus on the positive. Considering that most people's lives are a mix of good and bad, we could argue that both extremes don't reveal the whole truth about what goes on in one's life or one's head, so yes both could be considered either disingenuous (e.g. person not revealing all they could) or not sufficiently introspective (a person refusing to see something about their life that is fairly plain to see). Feel free to slap one or both of these attributes on me.

      There are some of my favorite bloggers who never really reveal what they are thinking beyond the facade. But here's the deal -- at the end of the day, this is the Internet, and none of us really owe it to anyone to write what we don't want or present more of our inner selves than we are comfortable with. So people should feel free to write all positive or all negative stuff, nobody owes it to me to "show their true colors" or owes it to N&M to be more positive or assertive.

      The bummer is what to do when you write what you feel you should and people come by to tell you you suck and are generally being asses. (Yes, I suppose I totally am an ass sometimes.) I don't have a good answer for that, I get plenty of crap in my comments, too. What I can do, however, is refrain from commenting here and at N&M so that will be my contribution to de-assification of the intertubes.

      [P.S. There are plenty of topics where I don't see eye to eye with nicoleandmaggie, but let me say that I certainly appreciate that they (or generally No 1, as far as I can tell) do feel passionately about their standpoints and get genuinely upset by pointed discussions. I certainly get very upset too, so at least we share that.]

    5. @GMP- you're always welcome to comment here. Your comments aren't of the "you suck and you're doing it all wrong" variety at all!

    6. Zenmoo11:37 PM

      @nicoleandmaggie - my comment was not intended to be an attack on self-confidence, although I can see on re-reading it might be construed that way. It was meant as a cultural observation & a fond one at that. Unfortunately - the Internet doesn't really do tone of voice really well & my comment clairity suffers from typing on my iPhone. (I do most of my blog reading on my phone). I did find your phrasing irritating initially - but I generally agree with the substance of what you say & find it interesting enough to keep reading. I don't have to agree with how you say it - but I can still approve of the sentiment.

    7. Anonymous2:32 PM

      GMP wrote: “I don't appreciate arrogance in men or women” – and I couldn’t agree more. I feel exactly the same way, and I was raised in the US. What irritates me about n&m’s self-promotion is the implication that to be a self-confident woman, I have to emulate one of the qualities/behaviors that I despise most in men. I call bullshit on that! But the tone of much of what n&m write is the reason I stopped reading their blog long ago.

  3. I generally disengage from mommy war conversations. There's just no convincing people that the decisions of others isn't a direct attack on your own decisions or opinions. Life is too short to focus on all the negativity surrounding those conversations/arguments. Like you said, I'd rather be playing with my son or spending time with my husband.

  4. I think the conversations about these so-called "mommy wars" happen because people keep blogging, reading, and commenting about it. It's a surefire way to rile everyone up and mass media knows it, as do many bloggers.

    I'm with @Alyssa. Life is too short for me to create fake drama on the internet. Now more than ever, being a parent has made me realize there are about 1000 different "right" paths, and only the person traveling can decide what that is for her/himself.

  5. Well I'm going to say I don't think the mommy wars are fuelled only by blogs or riling people up; I look at the pressure on politicians and politicians' wives as an example of how retro thinking gets at a certain point. Even shows like Undercover Boss -- with few women bosses by the way -- betray quite a bit about cultural narrative and high achievers; the men who are CEOs and go undercover are frequently shocked, shocked, shocked to find that some women in their company working for them are struggling with daycare issues, for example, as if it has never even once occurred to them that a sick child needs care or a change in shift impacts on care arrangements.

    I also think there is a kind of cultural pushback against women in the workforce, still, and it moves pretty creatively to just quietly raise the parenting bar until it gets harder to meet (I personally see homeschooling as the new achievement bar and the push back to artisanal cooking/sewing/etc. as the new standard in house stuff -- see Pinterest -- as aspects of that push.)

    I actually had trouble going back from my first maternity leave as my direct boss didn't believe that you could be both "a good mother" and "a good JobTitle" and said so directly. We negotiated a mutually acceptable alternative at that time, but it was definitely discrimination; I just happened to be up for what he was proposing and used it to get to the next EvenBetterJobTitle. But I will say that shocked me; I wasn't expecting it and this is a pretty female-friendly industry.

    I agree that defending one's life as okay gets old fast, and tiring. I think that's the piece that social media does make worse: Direct commentary.

    1. @Shandra - wow, your situation with your boss totally sucks. I definitely think there is still a retro mindset about women bearing the burden of home stuff, regardless of whether they work out of the home or not. And I also agree with you re: homeschooling/Pinterest, to some degree, though both of those things appeal to me :)

      But I think 99% of what we see on blogs and in the media re: "Mommy Wars" is designed for pageviews, not intelligent discourse.

      I mean, let's delve into the stuff you mentioned in your comment, or talk about the single moms who don't have any help, or any number of the REAL issues.

      Most of what I see is a lot of judgment and navel gazing from one side or the other, casting aspersions on people making different choices from themselves.

    2. @Shandra - I agree with what you're saying here about the mommy wars stuff. I know many people say, Oh it's just media drama because most women in real life have supportive and non-judgmental relationships with each other. But at the same time, there *is* something going on here, in terms of the continuing push back against mothers, and working mothers in particular (it seems socially the less we value motherhood, the bigger deal we make of it culturally). I see what you're saying about artisanal cooking, homeschooling, and crafting, and I do think we have to watch those things with a critical eye, though I am more ambivalent about them, because it's not those things in of themselves that are the issue (to me), but rather the *expectation* and explicit connecting between those ideas and the idea of good motherhood. I also think that part of the mommy wars is connected to the rise of vitriol generally in the US, and our inability to have an intelligent and substantive conversation about any issue - people are defensive and go right in for the polemic, rather than trying to look at something from someone else's perspective and really hear what they are saying. (The derail on this comment thread re: whether or not another blog is too self-confident is a case in point. How about instead of attacking any blogger for putting forward a tone or comment you don't like, you really sit down and think about what ze is trying to say, and either engage with it in the right spirit or walk away? Work through the defensive reaction and see what's on the other side of it.)

      But Shandra's point about homeschooling made me think of something else, which is how the whole lack of public discourse and policies helping caregivers and families (that is, paid family leave, subsidized day care, decent public schools) is having a profound effect at eroding the middle class even more. If you live in a place without decent schools (or where you can't afford a house near a good school, and there's no lottery), daycare, preschool, and private school can be astronomically expensive. I just read something about parents taking out *loans* for preschool. The more expensive it becomes to educate children, the more women will leave the workforce to take over that roll. And those who stay in get poorer and poorer as their expenses skyrocket. Our preschool costs went up 10% this year. Nobody at my university got a raise for the fifth year in a row (not even cost of living, not even 1%). Of course Sandberg probably has a nanny - I would too if I were a millionaire. Who doesn't want/need more help?

      @Cloud - I see what you mean about that moment in Bones - I really liked hearing her say What I do is important, it has VALUE. At the same time, it was so *American* (in the bad sense) - the baby was 6 weeks old! Why was she going back to work! And I'm not saying that if someone genuinely wants to go back to work that early it's a bad thing, I have just met few women who would choose six weeks for full time work. I know it's a small point, but I really have trouble getting behind an argument that's like, yes women's work is valuable - hence everyone should be ready to leave their babies at 6 weeks!

    3. @Erin- good point about the 6 weeks thing. I know I was barely coherent 6 weeks after my first baby was born! And Bones has heaps of money, so could easily have availed herself of the unpaid family leave and taken 3 months... I wonder if the writers/producers were making a point? And why?

      I didn't watch the entire episode, though- I just zipped ahead to the part FeMOMhist referenced. So I won't try to analyze that episode further, at the risk of turning my blog into "commentary on TV and movies I haven't seen."

    4. Cloud, I had the same response. She's a millionaire! She totes would have hired a nanny IRL. Plus, she works at that swanky place; I can't believe they don't have 12 weeks of leave. But in spite of those criticisms, I did like that the baby was in daycare, because that's the reality of most working mothers. On a similar vein, did you ever watch Friday Night Lights? There's a moment in the series finale where the female lead wants to move for her job and her husband resists and she says something like "What will we tell our daughter?" That's not a great description, but it was a powerful moment.

  6. The Younger Generation2:49 PM

    So Krissah Thompson has no idea how Sandberg manages? Sandberg is worth how many millions, and Thompson wonders if she has a cook or nanny? How the hell else does Sandberg leave work at 5:30 and have dinner at 6 with her kids?! Sorry Cloud, I am 26 and Thompson’s cluelessness is *not* representative of me or my generation.

    Also, you write: “I don't want to be constantly defending my life. I just want to live it and be happy.” Now, I’m not trying to pick a fight here (honest!), but to me it sounds like you don’t just want to live your life – you want society to give you one giant pat on the back and to reassure you that the choices you’ve made are good choices. Could this be one reason why people don’t think that you are being honest when you claim to be satisfied and happy? Most people don’t tend to obsess or worry so much about other people’s opinions when it comes to things that they are truly happy and secure about.

    1. Wow, that was unnecessarily mean. And I don't think it deserves more of a response than that. I'll say to you what I said to Anonymous- if you don't like what you're reading, don't read it.

      But thanks for dropping by and providing an example of exactly the sort of snark I was talking about.

  7. Folks- this is not the place to vent about what you don't like about other people's blogs, please. Re-read what I wrote in this post if it isn't clear why I'm asking that.

    I am happy to have people discuss points of view, but I am not happy to host personal attacks on other people, and we're veering very close to that. @Anonymous, you are welcome to argue about whether or not being self-confident requires emulating behaviors you do not like in men. I may or may not agree with you, but that is fine. You can also disagree with things that Nicoleandmaggie write here. But there is no need to critique the tone of their writing here. I think you already know the best way to handle your opinion- just don't read their blog if you don't like it.

    Let's keep my comment section respectful, please. Pretend you're saying whatever it is you want to say to us in person. I doubt you'd say what you just wrote.

    Thanks for understanding.

    1. Anonymous3:11 PM

      “Pretend you're saying whatever it is you want to say to us in person. I doubt you'd say what you just wrote.”

      I would say exactly what I wrote. To say that I don’t appreciate someone’s tone and that is why I stopped reading their blog is not disrespectful or mean-spirited or an ad hominem attack. Especially when said to/about someone who is not exactly delicate when it comes to expressing her opinions.

    2. Than go on over to their blog and say it. I do not want to host this discussion here.

      That is my final word on this. Any other comments along those lines will be deleted.

  8. Sigh..comments always/often get ugly. I've been following the topic and here's my take on it all:
    1) Until MEN get involved in discussions of flexibility/maternity and paternity leave (and chore wars), nothing will change in the workplace or at home. At work, I hate that only certain women in certain states get the benefits of bonding time with their kids while others don't. At home, until Men think about chores, women will continue to delegate and/or complain (and often have cause to complain!)

    2) I don't like the term stay-at-home mom; the term reinfoces this mentality of child-obsessed home life. While I don't advocate going back to the mentality of kids should be seen and not heard, I think women (and men?) should be called a homemaker as in someone who takes care of all aspects of home life as well as kids.

    3) I think there is judgement against moms who work, but the blogs/websites/media probably blow it out of proportion?

    1. I think women (and men?) should be called a homemaker as in someone who takes care of all aspects of home life as well as kids

      Hmmm... This implies that people who work don't take care of all aspects of home life or kids.

      But I like that "homemaker" is a gender-neutral term.

    2. One would think that a homemaker personally does all the aspects of home life that an otherwise employed person outsources or just doesn't do?
      It's a very privileged life that includes not working for pay outside the home and employing a cook, cleaner, nanny, gardener, etc. I don't personally think that family structure needs much light shed on how it functions. It's women working for pay outside the home who are also expected to be or expecting of themselves to be homemakers (since homemaker is a "full-time" job in and of itself) resulting in the "how can we have/do it all" discussions.

    3. Figuring out how to name the different types of mother is a problem, isn't it? I think that we're all just going to have to live with something suboptimal.

      Personally, I think that moms that aren't in the workforce should learn to live with "working mom" as a shorthand for those of us who are, even though part of them wants to scream "but I AM working, too!" And I should have to learn to live with "full time mom" or something like that for moms who are not working outside the home, even though part of me wants to scream "but I AM a mom all the time, too!"

      It just seems that our words are failing us on this one.

    4. Terms are tricky. Yes, gender neutral is always better IMO.
      I guess I feel that the term SAHM became popular around the same time that our culture became very child-centered, not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to have gotten more crazy every year.

      Yes, we all work...okay, back to the drawing board.

  9. How about as a culture we stop opening every conversation with "and what do you do?" lol It is a limiting way to view the world and the people in it. Being a 30-something unmarried parent still in school has made me a bit more sensitive to that question. If I say I don't work, the asker assumes I have a husband. If I say I'm still in school, the asker usually assumes I'm younger than I am. It's hard to go through life without an answer to that question that feels good to oneself. And in our culture that places such an importance on work for pay and job titles, I wouldn't begrudge a woman who called herself anything she pleased if it made getting over that conversational hurdle any easier. Words definitely matter.

    1. I see your point. It is really hard to find the words/phrases that won't inadvertently hit someone else's pain points, isn't it? I try to remember that when I feel myself getting annoyed about someone's phrasing.

      And incidentally, thank you all for bringing the comments on this post back into the land of respectful and interesting discussion!

    2. I remember hearing once that in some European cultures, it's extremely rude to ask that question when you first meet someone. Which then forces you to talk about something else. I like that.

  10. @Cloud said: "I now know that I cannot write about my life without offending someone else. Does that also mean that I cannot live my life without offending someone else?"

    First I just want to say hugs to you (don't gag). Haters on the internets suck. I appreciate what you're doing here. Your narrative matters. Don't you dare stop blogging! Same goes for you, @nicoleandmaggie. If someone finds you offensive, I respectfully say that's their problem. Not yours.

    If everyone always likes you, you're doing something wrong. Carry on!

  11. I've been pondering doing a time use study (like actual study, not just the tips and tricks of 168 Hours) of women who earn six figures or more per year and have children. This would provide the very nitty gritty of how people have it all. And to address someone's comment above, there may be various outsourcing and other people (like men) involved. But isn't it better to know that and see how it works?

    1. I think a study like that would be interesting to see. I also think it might surprise a lot of people. There is a lot of variation in the demands of six figure jobs!

      In my perfect world, the study would look at high earning men with children, too. And break it all down by whether or not the partner also works.

  12. Could I convince you to guest post about it at my blog? Because I absolutely love hearing about these experiences so that I can learn the different ways people make it work for them so I can steal their ideas and adapt them. I mean, you're actually happy? PERFECT, please, please tell me about it because we hear plenty of negativity already.

    ... I guess asking you to come over so I can steal from you isn't a great invitation, is it? But you know what I mean. (I hope)

    I think it's a bloody shame that we have to worry about navigating the sensitivities so much that we're losing the actual discourse and most importantly, the good ideas and mechanisms that some or more of us could potentially incorporate into our own lives.

    And seriously, I'd be thrilled to have you talk about it over at my blog sometime. I'm having real trouble with the topic of possible parenting and such as I'm still raw on the subject of Mom.

    1. I'd love to do a guest post! If Petunia ever lets me have some time at night to do things, I'll email you and set it up.


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.