Career & Professionalism

Frumpy No More

When I got married 10 years ago, I moved from New York City to a rural little upstate village where a livestock feed store is the main attraction. I brought with me my nearly life-long fashion sensibility and tried, in vain, to keep rocking my 3-inch stilettos, wedge heels and tight jeans. I hobbled along, even in the grocery store, where I ignored the sidelong glances from women dressed in (what looked like to me) pajama bottoms and shoes I’d wear as slippers.

And then I got pregnant. And for the first time in as long as I could remember, I stopped holding in my stomach and discovered the mind-blowing comfort of elastic-waist pants. Part of the reason I loved being pregnant, besides the absolute joy of growing my daughter, was being able to wear whatever I wanted and not caring one single bit about my protruding belly. I put away my high-heeled shoes and strutted around in slides and flip flops. I wore my husband’s old button-down shirts and t-shirts and happily tossed on grandpa cardigans when I was chilly. I never felt freer or more comfortable in my life – it was glorious. [Read More…]

Having Faith as a Mother

Scout and WalterLately, I’ve found myself internally struggling with the same two questions:  “Is motherhood all that I dreamed it would be?”  Yes, and then some!  “Did I ever imagine, in a million years, I would feel as blessed and as challenged as I do now?”– No, never!

This year, I have experienced more challenges as a mother than I ever have in the past. For example, in the past three days I’ve gone from the exhilaratingly proud moments where my son sings out his praise to God unabashed and passionately on the school’s stage to frustration and defeat when he is in the throes of a temper tantrum of epic proportions.   [Read More…]

GEMS for Working Moms

Is your life an endless cycle, revolving around work and taking care of the kids? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent study by the Families and Work Institute, ½ of American women say they don’t have enough time to spend on themselves and for the activities they enjoy. We all know that saying ‘yes’ to more responsibility can make us feel safer with the boss and help us avoid conflict in the family. But too often ‘yes’ is our default mode with just about everything. [Read More…]

Gray Matter

dhaI’m of a certain age (okay, I turned 50 last August) and have been battling gray hair for at least 10 years. It all seemed to start innocently enough … a few hairs here, a few there, and then before I knew it, it was much more than a few and I didn’t think twice about coloring it.

There are two camps when it comes to the gray hair thing: those that embrace (and rock) it and those that well … don’t. I’m definitely in the latter. I look fairly young for my age (really! I’m the lucky recipient of great genes and plumpy skin) and am sure gray hair would age me. And the thing is, I just don’t want to look older. I have a seven-year-old daughter and even though I usually am the oldest mom at the park (I once had the lovely realization that another mom was exactly half my age), I’m vain enough that I don’t want to look like the oldest mom at the park. [Read More…]

A Midlife Mother Defines Success (A Commentary)

All the recent media-hype about Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In has got me thinking again. Thinking like I did last year when Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece
Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” (Atlantic July/August 2012) hit the newsstands and the airwaves like an IED. Thinking like I did years ago when another, more senior, female partner tried to dissuade me from dropping to part-time status after the birth of my first child, arguing in part, “the men won’t like that.” Thinking again about my daughters, about their pasts when I put aside work to nurture them and their futures when they may or may not have a chance to lean in and have it all. Thinking again about the ultimate thing to think about: what it means in life to “have it all,” to be “successful” and to be a woman and a mother. [Read More…]

Mr Mom: A Mid-Life Career Change

You might think it unusual that I read parenting magazines; that I know women by their children’s names; and that most women who speak with me are grandmothers – around my own age! However, what you don’t know is that at age 52, I’m actually the mom (The Baby-Daddy) of the household - not what I expected to be at my age, but one that clearly enhances and supports my family unit. [Read More…]

Journaling in the New Year

By now you’ve likely made your New Year’s resolutions or aligned your energy with your deepest intentions. Want to know the best way to stay on track? Keep a journal. This process can help you create a personal plan and develop the tools to actualize it. [Read More…]

Babies on Hold…

New CDC birth data confirms that the U.S. birthrate dropped 1 percent to reach an all-time low in 2011, extending the downward trend begun with the recession in 2008. Put down your knee-jerk fears about smaller population. This drop is a good sign, foretelling not a diminished but a strengthened workforce down the line. [Read More…]

Why Midlife Rocks Your World

In my career and executive coaching, I work with hundreds of women each year going through major transitions. Recently, I was speaking with a fascinating client of mine — let’s call her “Carol” — who shared with me her views about midlife BEFORE she had arrived there, and then what happened when her 40s came. [Read More…]

The Storm Before The Calm

The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us.  It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos. – D. H. Lawrence

I work with kids who have attachment and trauma issues.  Big ones.  And until a few weeks ago, I honestly didn’t know what they were feeling.  Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I have experienced more of an understanding.  In my case, I call it menopausal anger disorder. (Maybe they will put that in the new DSMV to go along with shyness and some other ridiculous new psych diagnoses.) [Read More…]

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