a Mother’s Day not-to-do list

You know that scene in I Don’t Know How She Does It, where Sarah Jessica Parker is lying in bed running through The List . . . to-dos, to-buys, to-calls, to-check-ons, to-look-ups, to-remembers? Yup. That’s my life. Being a working mom means being a master of lists. When I’m organized and things are running smoothly, it’s always easier to find the time, energy and frame of mind for all the much more fun and more spontaneous parts of #momlife like snuggles, movie nights, bike rides, cooking experiments and pillow talk with my sweet 7 year-old Miss Girl.

But for all my lists of things I need to remember to do, I is also have a list of things I need to remember not to do. That one also makes life a lot easier, and it looks something like this:

Don’t Chase Perfection

I wish my life looked like Pinterest. I do. But it doesn’t. And it never will. And the moment I accepted that I’m not the kind of mom who makes adorable bento boxes for lunch, that a store-bought cake for the birthday party is fine and that kid clutter will never be contained in her bedroom or playroom, I gained the clarity to focus on the stuff that really matters.

Don’t Stress

As long as everyone is healthy and alive, everything else can be worked out. Couldn’t deal with the grocery store? Gas station milk works just fine. Laundry isn’t done? Nobody cares if she doesn’t wear a school uniform one random Tuesday. When you stop striving for perfection and apply some creative problem solving to daily tasks, you gain the confidence to handle the chaos in stride.

Don’t Compare

Nobody has their shit together. I promise. I know because I have actually been accused of it on a couple rare occasions. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. That mom you see at pick-up who’s always impeccably dressed and arrives on time in a car that doesn’t have smileys drawn in the dust on the back window or an explosion of toys and trash when she opens the door is probably grabbing take-out (again) on her way home to catch up on work while her kids watch Nick until way past their bedtime. Again.

Don’t Judge

And the flip side of making comparisons, which usually only make you feel bad about yourself, is to have an opinion about moms you think aren’t doing it as well as you (which can feel good in a totally superficial, not-your-best-self kind of way). Maybe Always Late Mom, whose kids are always disheveled is working extra hours because her husband was laid off and she has even less time for all the stuff that has to get done than you do. You never know.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the other working moms out there — you’re all killin’ it in your unique way!

(this was originally set to be part of a collection of Mother’s Day perspectives on being a working mom for my work blog, but only 2 of us contributed, so we decided to scrap the whole thing. lucky for me and this much-neglected blog!)

A Day Without A Woman: a conflict of privilege and duty

y’all. i feel like i have spent almost every moment of the entire past 46 days resisting. i’ve marched. i’ve flown my flag. i’ve called my Senators and signed all  the petitions. i’ve read and watched every bit of MSM and everyother news i can find. i’ve tried to be judicious in social media posting, only sharing the well researched and truly outrageous, while also calling out even the liberal posts that stretch the truth about what is going on in our government. it is honestly fucking exhausting. and, beyond some brief/tangential involvement in bolstering the Jon Osoff campaign, i admit am a complete slacktivist. this shit is utterly confusing, demoralizing and hard.

so that brings me to today. A Day Without A Woman. the next big opportunity to protest and show the current administration that women are a force to be reckoned with. don’t pass us over. don’t tell us what to do with our own bodies. don’t marginalize us by speaking over us. don’t devalue us by paying us less for the out-of-home work we do or assuming the work we do raising the nation’s children and providing a stable, positive home life is easy. Continue reading

not one step back

womensmarch_atl

this past Saturday in Atlanta, we woke to a monsoon. the sky was a deep shade of charcoal that never lightened from the time i went downstairs at about 7:00 until at least 10:00. our backyard was flooding. it was clear that the $2 plastic ponchos i’d so uncharacteristically bought from Amazon as a precaution were not gonna cut it. i realized Spy, Miss Girl and the neighbor who’d asked to go with us the night before could well bail on me. but hell or high water (much of which certainly was collecting), i was going downtown to be a part of the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women. with our new president having just insulted one of the greatest living civil rights leaders and having falsely and cruelly dubbed my city falling apart and crime-infested, i was determined that a little rain wouldn’t stop me from being part of the crowd standing up against ignorance, lies and hate. Continue reading

the 5 days you’ll meet working from home

Cup of coffee and pen on notebook with calendar planner on wooden desk background, top view

nine months ago, i started a new job. we have a Buckhead office for occasional internal and client meetings, but for the most part, everyone works remotely. it’s totally cool, but (like most things in life) it’s not exactly how i thought it would be.

before i started, i imagined that my life would suddenly transform. obviously, i would automatically be transported to the magical world where lifestyle bloggers live . . . where life is clean white and stylish with the warm glow of a scented candle and a sweet doggie curled up quietly by my side as i worked. i imagined that through the magic of time shifting, i would be a beacon of productivity on the work front, while also maintaining an immaculate home, effortlessly preparing a balanced and interesting meal every evening at a reasonable hour and definitely being in the best shape of my life, thanks to daily workouts in between conference calls . . . Continue reading

THIS is what the F happened last night

hillaryinwhite

two years ago, after the disappointing midterms, i started this post: why Hillary can’t win. TWO years, y’all. before 20 Republicans, before Bernie Sanders, before Donald Trump and Russian hacking and pussy grabbing and 650,000 emails and James-effing-Comey and, actually, before all of the whole damn circus. (screen-shot proof below.)

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i didn’t get very far and never finished the post for a variety of reasons. at the time, i hadn’t really gone political here and wasn’t sure i wanted to. and honestly it was hard to write and really examine how i felt about the whole issue. then life and feeling the Bern and a bunch of other things got in the way. lately, i tried to pick it back up, but honestly began to feel afraid i would jinx the whole thing if i wrote about it. and it was just too important for me to be the one to screw it all up. Continue reading

Friday favorite

only one favorite this week, because the one is just perfect. this literally just made my day, y’all. i have watched it like 8 times and kind of can’t get enough. messaging and execution, completely on point. i honestly don’t think this could have been cast, scripted, shot or edited any more perfectly. bravo, Lane Bryant and Laird + Partners!

have a great weekend, everyone!

writing the perfect storm

hurricanematthew

i had planned to write a post about something way more work related today — specifically, some musings on the home office. but as i’ve sat here in my home office all week, listening to my constant MSNBC soundtrack in the next room, i couldn’t help but think of so much more important things happening in the world that i had to say something about.

for the past couple days, as Hurricane Matthew has solidified its course toward a direct hit on Florida, there’s been a gradual shift in content of the neutral-accented commentators’ reports wafting from the next room, from presidential campaign disaster to natural disaster. the shift was completed in full today, when 100% of coverage turned to the hurricane. and honestly, as much of a political junkie as i am, it’s been a nice break.

last night, unable to sleep, i finally said out loud to my husband what i have been thinking for days since Matthew came on the radar and i’ve been on the edge of my seat about how everything will turn out: no one could write this shit. he told me to calm down and go to sleep, which i did, after thinking about how i might actually write this story if it were a treatment for a TV series.
Continue reading

ready to run: how not to panic when everything seems crazy

beachBMW_katespade

photo: Kate Spade

this is me. in my happy place. with my sweet vintage Beemer, a jaunty Kate Spade (i think i actually do have that one) and the freedom of some amazing journey sans any set schedule or responsibility ahead of me. i’ve been going here in my head a lot lately in light of a kind of insane set of circumstances and deadlines at work and a ridiculously full schedule at home, to boot. more and more often, lately i catch myself thinking about how we can sell everything and just move to the beach or wondering how globe-trotting celebrities educate their children, you know, because clearly, we are on the cusp of winning the lottery and will want to follow suit. Continue reading

what is your reach?

Diverse People Friendship Togetherness Connection Rear View Conc

it’s been a crazy couple weeks with work and i have pretty much let everything else go: no writing, no workouts, stress eating, a sink full of dishes and a personal to-do list a mile long. i’m so grossed out by my own self! so this morning, i vowed to get back on track. the very minimum i can do is write a response to The Daily Post, right? i usually hate their prompts and today is no exception, but after i got over hating for a minute, this one actually got me thinking.

reach. it’s something i talk about a lot in my work life as an advertising professional. helping clients extend their reach and maximize the number of eyeballs they can hit with their message is as important as actually creating that perfect message.

but what about your reach? not as a blogger or in terms of your personal brand, but in terms of you as a person? how many people’s lives do you touch and impact on a daily, weekly or yearly basis? probably a lot more than you know.  Continue reading

5 ways to make Mondays suck less

here i am at 4:00 on Sunday afternoon . . . working. ugh!

actually, a really exciting opportunity has come up for my company and i am hard at work brainstorming and laying the groundwork for a proposal for a big, interesting, international (!) project that i’m totally psyched about. Spy and Miss Girl have gone to a movie, allowing me some peace and quiet for this and giving feedback on another project that is happening. going in, i already know this week is going to be insane with this proposal due Friday on top of 2 sets of deliverables due Monday, proposal housing one of those due Tuesday and moodboard through final design due on the other, yes, also Friday. oh, and an all day team offsite on Tuesday sucking precious time for actual work.

unfortunately, this is not the weekend i won the lottery. so that plan for avoiding the week is not happening. but i have gotten over being totally pissed off about the whole “everything is a priority” scheduling and am looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment i’m sure to have after i get through it. and i’m trying to do what i can to make it suck less.

so just then . . . PureWow sent me an email with this as the lead article. i’ve already decimated way #2, but other than that, i think it’s totally solid advice. check out their 5 Ways to Make Mondays Suck Less and make the most of the next 8 hours or so of Sunday, y’all! hope everyone has a great week!

5 Ways to Make Monday Suck Less