Friday, February 27, 2009

I want you to buy me something expensive!

These words were shouted by my 3-year old daughter today while I was browsing in a store. After many chuckles from the women shopping in the same aisle and my fruitless attempts to tell her that I was not buying her anything in the store, I caved. She wanted a $10 item which I told her was too much and then we settled on a $6 item. So I told myself that it wasn't a big deal since it wasn't as expensive and she did not get EXACTLY what she wanted.

Yes, I know...a lot of BS. The reality is that I found a few items I was interested in and just wanted a few minutes to shop in peace. So I did the horrible thing and gave in. As we left the store, I spent 5 minutes telling her how that would not happen again and that I was not about to buy her something every time we went into a store and blah, blah, blah. "Yes, Mom," she said in her cute little voice. Yeah, right.

It's amazing how much more diligent I was with my 6-year old. He never got away with things like this. But, as they say, the second child (and third, fourth, for those who have them) always gets away with more. Especially when they are adorable and cuddly with big brown eyes.

But I recognize that we need to do a better job with our kids when it comes to financial responsibility. They both get an allowance and Zach used to save and save his money. Until he decided that he wanted to buy a few different Lego sets. Jeff and I have both decided that we need to teach him to set aside a portion of his allowance for savings and the rest he can use to buy items of his choice when he is deserving of this privilege.

How do you teach your kids about financial responsibility? I would love to hear thoughts from others on this topic so feel free to share.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moms on Alltop

Just a quick shout to let everyone know that Working Moms Make It Work is now out on under Top Moms News. There are lots of other great bloggers out there, as well, so take a look.


Kids, Media and Values

A few days ago, I blogged about the TV dilemma: how much is okay? Which shows are okay? Well, as my kids watch Arthur on PBS, I noticed that they are running educational spots for They are offering up a kit called "Kids, Media and Values" to answer many of these questions. So, in case you are interested, give it a look.

As I review, I realize that I have not even touched on the whole internet issue. Because my kids are still pretty young, that's an issue that I have not had to tackle yet and I hope it might be a few more years. For now, Zach is still focused on his Lego Star Wars game and wants to play it every chance he can. I limit it to one hour per week and only over the weekend. For now, it works but I'm sure all of this will get more complicated over time.

Happy reading!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

My New Gig

It's now official; I have accepted a new job and I'm very excited about it. I had previously written about my layoff and it was tough to get past it. But once I was past it, I realized that what I had helped build had disappeared well before I was laid off. Now, I am able to look back on the earlier days of that experience as being incredibly rich; I learned so much while I was there, helped to build a company and was able to enjoy its success.

I was also able to stay home for a while and enjoy my children. I got to spend a lot more time with them, help Zach with his homework and be more involved in their day-to-day lives. This was so wonderful. But I also know that I'm just not a stay-at-home Mom type. I am a much better parent when I am out working and being challenged. It energizes me and I believe that that happiness and energy translates to my parenting role and to my kids.

I am very excited about my new opportunity. It is a broad marketing role which I love and I will be working for a small company that is pretty close to home. Best of all, the culture seems great and I have really liked everyone I have met so far. I am a bit nervous about being on a specific schedule since I was pretty much able to set my own schedule in the past without issue. But that's hopefully just an adjustment that will easily work out.

To all Moms who go through the ups and downs of being a working mother...we role with the punches, figure out how to make it work and most importantly, ensure that our situations work for our families. It's tough and we don't have much help out there - hats off to all of us.


TV Choices: PBS and Beer

Ahhh, TV. To watch or not to watch? How long is okay? PBS or Nick Jr.? These are all questions I have asked myself for years. These days, my kids watch TV in the morning before school and then Zach watches one show after school after he finishes his homework. I am pretty strict about what both of my kids watch and it's mainly PBS. I also have to balance between what Zach can watch (he's 6) and what Brie can watch (she's 3).

Some of this has become a joke between my husband and I. Jeff often thinks that I am overprotective and that Zach is too old for some of the shows that he watches. I feel that if he likes these educational shows then why not let him watch them until he gets to a point where he is bored with them. I'm sure that at that point, I will need to figure out which shows are appropriate and will likely have a hard time with most of them.

This is all so different from when we were kids, though. I can remember watching many shows that were probably not entirely appropriate (there were also fewer choices back then). But I turned out okay. And my parents always took me to see movies that weren't necessarily the typical kid movies (I can remember seeing Amadeus at an artsy theatre in NY) and I actually liked it. But then today's movies and TV have so much violence, sex, etc. that it's also a much harder task to make choices that are older, interesting and still appropriate. So I think that we have to be more selective that our parents were.

Case in point: Jeff and I slept late the other morning while the kids went downstairs to watch TV. In my partially-awake state, I called down to Zach to make sure he was watching 802, our PBS station, to which he responded yes. Jeff then joked, "Yeah, Mom. I'm watching 802. I'm taking the car out to pick up some beer. See you later."

See what I have to deal with? I would love to hear thoughts from others on my TV dilemma.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Detours and OnRamps Forum

I just found out about a phenomenal event that will take place on March 25 in Waltham, MA: Detours and OnRamps Forum. This is a conference for parents, both working and stay-at-home, who are seeking expertise on navigating the world of work. For working parents, it's about finding better ways to balance work and home life. For stay-at-home parents, it's about looking at the options for re-entering the workforce, possibilities for consulting and/or starting your own business.

One thing that amazes me about this entire topic is that your work life is forever evolving dependent upon your stage of life. Yet most people don't even realize it. I personally have gone from workaholic career woman, to stay-at-home Mome, to consulting, to part-time, back to full-time in an Executive role to being unemployed. That's a lot of shifting. Yet, with each change has come new options and pathways. It's challenging and is something that none of us really anticipated. I mean, if someone had told me when I was 25 that I would be doing consulting work or working part-time, I would have said they were crazy. But here I am and here we all are trying to figure it out.

So kudos to Meghan McCartan for developing this fantastic way for parents to try to figure this all out and to network with others. Check it out and attend if you can!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

When Does the Empathy Kick In?

Let me get this straight. You care for and nurture your kids from the time they are in the womb, through infancy and toddlerhood. You give them everything, prepare them for the world and make sure they are happy and healthy. And then, you get a sinus infection that makes you feel like your head will explode and they cannot give you one moment to rest.

My son is six (7 in a few months). He is just a great, funny kid. But the one thing that I cannot get over is that he has no least not with his own family. Last week my husband was sick but, of course, still going to work and doing all the things that need to be done. He comes home from work and Zach insists that he has to help him build his Lego ship. And Jeff just wants to lay down on the couch for a half hour but Zach just starts screaming at the suggestion that Jeff might want a few minutes to himself.

I have had many conversations about this with Zach but I'm not sure if it's something that can be taught. In the back of my mind I think that I should probably give him ways to help his Dad or me when we don't feel well or just need a break...maybe that would help. But I don't always want to think this hard. I just wish he could understand that his parents have needs, too.

I would love to hear from others who may have suggestions or thoughts on empathy. Right now, I'm going to lay down so that my head doesn't explode.