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Feb 25 2014

A Tale of Two Olympics (Now with Kids!)

By at 10:58 am

Figure_Skating_Venue_in_Sochi

I worked my first Winter Olympic Games in 1998, as a member of TNT’s production team (where I immortalized one skater’s costume as “She looks like she was mauled by a lion while escaping a brothel.” I noted it off-handedly, but commentator Rosalynn Sumners liked it so much she repeated it on-air. It was like the movie, “Broadcast News.” I say it here, it comes out there….).

I spent close to a month in Nagano, Japan, working 28-hour days with no weekends, and came home so exhausted that I proceeded to spend the next 48 hours near-catatonic in front of the TV, catching up on all the shows I’d taped. (This was before Tivo or downloading or watching on demand, so I actually had to pre-program my entire primetime line-up weeks in advance. All on a tape that could only record for eight hours. Truly the dark ages, kids.)

My oldest son was born in 1999. And though I tried to continue working in figure skating production, his refusing to acknowledge my presence after I’d returned from yet another business trip when he was 18 months old pretty much put the kibosh on that plan. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 11 2013

How I Relaxed & Learned to Love a Snow Day

By at 3:28 pm

snow days

The true mark of adulthood is not age: it’s whether you react to a snow day with despair or delight.

“Thank you, God!” my 4th grader yelled, as he hopped from foot to foot in a spontaneous variant on the hora with his 3rd grade brother (I had thought the school superintendent was responsible for making the decision on calling off school on account of inclement weather, but never mind). My 2-year-old, upon learning she would not be going to school, promptly burst into tears.

I totally know how the 2-year-old felt. With less than two weeks until the interminable winter break–I mean, that joyous time with no school, when babysitters all have better things to do than hang out with your kids–all work for the work-from-home parent needs to be taken care of today, if not yesterday. Having three kids at school was essential in order for me to accomplish anything, whether that “anything” was work, newborn baby gift thank you notes, or simply sitting down.

I’m also the kind of parent who sees snow as something best viewed through a window or in an Ansel Adams photo. I see snow and I start thinking of snow scrapers, rock salt ruining my shoes, and moving to California. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 14 2013

What the Opt-Out Generation Really Wants

By at 10:59 am

working mother with babyI am a non-practicing lawyer, a freelance journalist, an aspiring novelist (where does the time go, anyway? Let me look in my 10-month-old’s mouth to see if she ate it like she eats everything else) and mother of four, soon to be five. I work from home when I can, in scraps of time salvaged between carpools and Mommy and Me classes and library time and cooking. I suppose that in the macro scheme of things, I have “opted out.”

I am not on a partnership track. I do the proverbial hustle for new assignments as often as I can and that in and of itself is full-time work. There are no lockstep promotions or bonuses in being a work from home mother. There is also no guarantee that at any point, you will be able to work outside the home again, in an environment where a 2-year-old doesn’t carefully water your computer keyboard with a sippy cup or where you don’t have to pry open the 10-month-old’s mouth to retrieve your letter “l” key (seriously, she eats EVERYTHING). Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 10 2013

The Best Ways for Busy Parents to Occupy a 5-Year-Old

By at 3:48 pm

I’m lucky that Ronia loves to have books read to her, and on Shabbat you’ll often find the three of us curled up on the couch reading from a stack of our favorite children’s books.

She’s also recently gotten into chapter books, and is loving this gorgeous illustrated edition of The Arabian Nights so much that we read two thirds of it over one Shabbat. But we’re busy people, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to sit and read to Ronia. I have to make dinner, or do 15 minutes of work, or focus on the drive to Trader Joe’s. So we’ve developed an arsenal of games, activities, and things to listen to that keep Ronia happy and allow her dad and me to take care of business. Read the rest of this entry →

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