Category Archives: careers

Balancing Career, Family and Losing Things…

Balance.  Sometimes it’s impossible for me to balance family, career, marriage, kids, friends, writing, keeping up with emails, showering…  okay I do usually get the showering part in there somehow, but other things tend to fall through the cracks.  At the moment I’m consumed with work related things and so the showering part seems like kind of a pain.  Though the old “french bath” notion can be kind of awful if you are sensitive to perfumes and cologne, as I am.  The combination of body odor being masked by an aggressive dose of perfume, no matter how expensive, makes me a little nauseous just thinking about it.   So no, foregoing a shower isn’t an option, but other things fall by the way side or are delegated to others.  And while all this is going on I know I’m not alone.  I know others hold down full-time jobs, have kids, manage to get them fed and into fairly clean clothes and off to school without too many mishaps.

The basics do get taken care of, though Nic’s question of whats for dinner, and my answer, “Ummmm…. how about a bowl of Cheerios?” didn’t exactly gain me any parenting of the year points, Nic didn’t seem too traumatized and Em was thrilled.  In fact, she was already happily digging into her bowl of Cheerios, which is her second favorite meal falling only behind pancakes as her first choice.  I only learned a few months ago that Nic had begun wearing his school uniform to bed at night, “it’s easier, Mom” and I’m pleased to say I put a stop to that, though I was proud of his creative problem solving and told him so.   I am grateful for the small things…

Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a piece for the Atlantic last summer entitled: Why Women Still Can’t Have it All .  That piece caused a stir, though I never was able to work out exactly why.  My only issue was with the word “still”, implying that we should be able to have it all or that someone else does, but women don’t.  The truth is, it seems to me, no one “has it all”.   I’m not even sure what that means really, but that’s probably not the point.  I did feel an uncontrollable urge to argue the definition of the word “all” and was only stopped by the lack of interest anyone I attempted to discuss this with showed.  The tricky balance of work, family, mother, wife, friend, while maintaining some semblance of sanity is one I continue to look for, but never seem to actually find.  Things just do get forgotten or lost in the shuffle.

I have mail that remains unopened, I know I received some emails that I now cannot find, which require answering.  I’ll try to find them later.  I know there are things I can’t remember that were on my to do list, if only I could remember where I put that list and it’s not a coincidence that the single most common question in my family is:  “have you seen my glasses?”  that or “anyone seen my keys/phone/wallet?”  And the predictable answer, “if I could find my glasses I’d help you look.”  Nic thinks all of this is hilarious and has taken to falling on the floor in feigned horror when either of us ask, our voices suggesting the panic we are already feeling, no matter how many times in a single day this occurs.  That both his parents seem so completely incapable of keeping track of these everyday items does not portend well for either of our children, but at the moment this thought hasn’t occurred to them and we aren’t planning to mention it.

Em (wearing her favorite hat) made it out of the house this morning in one piece…




The Art of Negotiating – Get Them to Beg

“Go to Natural History Museum with just Daddy,” Emma announced this morning.

Because of the Jewish New Year it’s a four-day weekend.  Richard took Em to the museum yesterday.  Today is my turn to hang out with Em, while Richard spends the day with Nic and his friend Masiah.

“I know you do love going to the Natural History Museum with Daddy,” Em said as I came over to her.

“But Em, I’m going to spend the day with you.  What do you want to do with me?”

“Emma loves Natural History Museum with Daddy.  But they wants Museum of Natural History with Mommy.  I love playing elevator game with Daddy.  Emma loves BioLife.  Emma loves…”

“Em, what do you want to do with me?  Daddy’s staying home today.  I can take you to the Natural History museum.  Is that what you want to do?”

“Go to Toys R Us with Mommy, then Natural History Museum with Daddy!”

“No Em.  It’s just you,” I pointed at her, “and me today,” I pointed to me.  “What should we do today?”

Emma whispered, “Go with Daddy!  Oh I know you want to go with Daddy.  Say bye-bye Mommy!”  Then Em made fish lips at me.  Meaning she puckered her lips together and pretended to be a fish.  This is what she does when she really, really wants us to acquiesce.

I began laughing.  “Em.  I will take you anywhere.  Anywhere you want to go.  I’ll ask Daddy to explain the elevator game so we can play it together.  Or you can show me how.”

“Go with Daddy,” Emma said very quickly and in a mischievous voice.  Then she whispered again, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, just Daddy!”

So I sidled up to her and whispered back, “Emmy.  Can I take you to the Natural History Museum?  Just you and me?  Please?”

Emma grinned and nodded her head.  “Okay, okay!”

When both the children were toddlers I took them to the Natural History Museum every single day, one memorable day we even went twice.  After a few years of this, I announced to Richard, “I hope never to set foot in that museum again.”

“Uh-huh,” Richard said.

“Ever.  Seriously.”

“Yeah.  Got it,” Richard answered.

“Never.  For the rest of my life.”

“OKAY!  I hear you,” Richard said with a touch of annoyance.

So for the last few years Richard has taken Em whenever she has asked to go.  I think I’ve gone once, maybe twice in the last several years.  That I now find myself  literally begging, BEGGING Emma to take her, is just another example of Emma’s brilliant negotiating skills.

If Emma ever loses interest in being a singer, I feel confident she will find any number of career options available to her… diplomat, anyone?

Emma – Autumnal Fairy

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