Dec 5 2014
Now that I’m over the shock of having been laid off right around the start of my third trimester of pregnancy, I’m trying to stay positive and focus on my family and health for the next couple of months. It’s been a pretty big adjustment. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a job with official working hours. Rather, I’ve been staying home full-time with my toddler and squeezing in whatever freelance work my schedule allows for. I’m also starting to tackle my seemingly never-ending list of household projects, or at least the ones that don’t require a ton of lifting, bending, and maneuvering.
There are definitely some benefits to having been laid off when I did. I can now spend more time with my son, get more sleep (I was previously waking up at 5:00 a.m. daily), and give my body a break from my formerly grueling two-hour, multi-step commute.
But I guess there’s a downside as well–namely, that I feel like I’m completely in limbo. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 24 2014
I started to get an uneasy feeling at work sometime back in September, when things began changing in my department and I found myself increasingly excluded from meetings, decisions, and major projects. But every time I confided in a family member, friend, or coworker, the response was the same: “You’re pregnant; they can’t get rid of you now.”
I tried taking comfort in the legal protections offered to pregnant women but I knew deep down that something was brewing nonetheless. And sure enough, one day I was called into an HR meeting and informed that my position was being phased out and redistributed among other employees.
I can’t say the news was particularly shocking, but I still walked out of that meeting feeling angry and betrayed. After all, I’d been a dedicated employee for over four years. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 1 2014
After almost three years at home with my daughters, I returned to my job last fall. It has taken time for me to adjust to the change in rhythm. I’ve made mistakes along the way. But the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur itself hold a promise: No matter how grievous our sins, we can ask forgiveness and start again.
As I think of the people I may have offended or wronged this year, there is one name that keeps popping up. I have ignored her needs. I have harshly criticized her. My expectations of her are impossibly high.
Of course, that woman is me. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 10 2014
When I’m not mommy-ing or writing for Kveller, I am writing other forms of comedy or performing stand-up.
I was recently asked to shoot an episode of an online comedy show called “Headline Punchline”–a talking heads showcase where five comics are given five headlines the night before filming and are asked to write up punchlines for them. It’s very fun, and very stressful. But hey, I’m one of those sickies who actually works well under pressure.
The day of shooting, my wonderful husband took an extra-long lunch so that I could make myself look like a person presentable for the camera and less like a walking napkin. I did my hair and makeup and found clothes that weren’t covered in toddler-mess. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 26 2014
After nearly a decade of practicing law, I embarked on a journey to become a writer, causing a 180-degree shift in my life. I had to juggle being a mom to two little humans and a canine, a wife, a lawyer, a daughter, a friend, and now, a writer.
Having no clone to delegate to and not being an octopus myself, something had to give. I’m good at multi-tasking, but I’m no superhero. And, I don’t have a nanny. My husband and my body were telling me to slow down. So, I sat down and looked at the sobering reality of my existence:
1. I’m a wife. That will never change, unless I kicked my hubby to the curb, and he’s not going anywhere. Read the rest of this entry →
“Sisterhood: A Documentary” is a lovely short film about friendship, self-reflection, and what it means to be in your 30s.
When she received tenure from her job as a professor, one Pittsburgh woman decided it was time to celebrate her accomplishments in a meaningful way. Watch what happens when nine smart, accomplished ladies get together to enjoy a day of pampering and glamour:
Elizabeth Craig from John Craig on Vimeo.
(H/t Tamara Reese)
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Aug 11 2014
You might say that family business is my family’s business. My great grandfather owned a five-and-dime store, one of my grandfathers owned a bowling alley, and my other grandfather owned a few grocery stores and fast food stalls. So it’s not very surprising that my father is also an entrepreneur. Though he got a PhD in economics, he soon after moved his family back east and returned to the family business, which at the time was fried chicken–the very best fried chicken.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are from my time behind the counter, greeting customers and later selling fried chicken, biscuits, and western fries. I vividly remember “pulling plugs” (separating the livers from the gizzards before frying), which perhaps had something to do with me becoming a vegetarian in my early teens (and for a long time after). I also learned a lot of life lessons being part of this family business. I interacted with people from a different world than where I lived and went to school (which was probably at least 90 percent Jewish), I learned what hard work really is and how hard some people’s lives really are, and I saw how a family can go through both good and bad times and still stick together.
My family’s business had some highs, but it also had some very low lows. We opened several stores, and we had to close some stores. After closing the stores, my parents took a hiatus from entrepreneurship and worked for others. Read the rest of this entry →
Max Schireson (Facebook)
Why are only female CEOs asked how they balance the responsibility of parenthood with work?
This is the question posed by Max Schireson, 44-year-old CEO of the software company MongoDB, in a personal blog post titled “Why I’m leaving the best job I ever had”:
Earlier this summer, Matt Lauer asked Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, whether she could balance the demands of being a mom and being a CEO. The Atlantic asked similar questions of PepsiCo’s female CEO Indra Nooyi. As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.
While the press haven’t asked me, it is a question that I often ask myself.
Finding no satisfactory answer, Schireson stepped down. He no longer has to commute from Palo Alto to New York regularly to run the billion dollar company, and is instead transitioning into a normal full-time position as Vice Chairman. Now he has more time to spend with his three kids, ages 14, 12, and 9, “skiing, cooking, playing backgammon, swimming, watching movies or Warriors or Giants games, talking, whatever.” Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 7 2014
One of the great things about summertime is the abundance of toddler-friendly programs available in my area. From junior swimming lessons to nature tours to farm outings, these programs offer little kids and their parents a chance to get out, have fun, expand their horizons, and maybe even meet new friends.
Unfortunately, my son and I cannot take part in any of these, because they’re only available during the week. Like many families, both my husband and I work full-time, and our ability to take part in such activities is limited to weekends alone. Yet the vast majority, if not all, of these programs are not offered on Saturdays or Sundays, which leaves families like ours out in the cold.
Back in the spring, I tried signing my 2.5-year-old son up for swim lessons. My efforts, however, were only met with frustration when I learned that there were no local weekend swim classes for children my son’s age. (Actually, there was one program–an expensive one–that consisted of two classes per week on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. When I inquired about the possibility of only coming for the Saturday classes, I was told that I’d still need to pay for the full program, which includes the Wednesday classes. In other words, pay full price and only get half the lessons–no, thank you.) Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 24 2014
Job hunting with a new baby is a stress that no woman should have to experience. But there I was, on the hunt for a new legal gig, in entertainment law no less.
I had networked and sent out hundreds of emails in a flurry of excitement, nausea, and hope that one of them would land me a new job, and if not, at least an informational interview. Being on maternity leave with my older child in day care and my husband working full-time, I didn’t have last minute babysitting arrangement to rely on if an interview should come up. But, when an email landed in my inbox with an offer to convene with someone about my job search, I jumped at the chance to schedule a time to meet. With two weeks notice, I had plenty of time to arrange for someone responsible to mind my child, lose another 10 pounds of unwanted baby weight, and find the perfect outfit without any spit up on it.
The night before the meeting, with my child sensing the impending separation, I got no sleep. Instead, my perfectly sleep trained baby decided to sing and cry all night long, ensuring that the only way to offset the dark blue bags under my eyes was if I wore blue eye shadow on my lids. Of course, my husband slept through this command performance. Read the rest of this entry →