Jul 16 2014
There’s a little Jill Abramson in us all.
The first-ever female executive editor of the The New York Times opened up to Cosmopolitan about getting fired from her position and the media brouhaha that followed. Spoiler: Abramson was careful to dance around the reason for her dismissal, but acknowledged that the way women’s management styles are viewed “is an incredibly interesting subject.” Still, she made it clear that being fired is nothing to be ashamed of:
Is it hard to say I was fired? No. I’ve said it about 20 times, and it’s not. I was in fact insistent that that be publicly clear because I was not ashamed of that. And I don’t think young women–it’s hard, I know–they should not feel stigmatized if they are fired. Especially in this economy people are fired right and left for arbitrary reasons, and there are sometimes forces beyond your control.
We’ve compiled the best snippets from the Cosmo piece for you, but definitely read the full interview here. Read the rest of this entry →
May 21 2014
Eight years ago, I left my job as an elementary school teacher in Boston to move to Philadelphia where my boyfriend lived. I could barely get the words out of my mouth when people asked me why I was moving, sure that someone was going to come around the corner and revoke my feminist card if I admitted that I was moving, without a job lined up, for my boyfriend who I’d known for less than a year.
I did it anyway, I survived, and it got easier the more times I told people. While driving the U-Haul from Boston to Philly, I was offered a job in Philly in Jewish communal service, which I accepted, and I began my new life in a new city. I even used my anecdote about moving under unknown circumstances to counsel many young professionals through some scary life decisions. Fast forward a bit, and my boyfriend and I got married, had one kid, then had another kid, and it stopped seeming so crazy that I had left Boston “for a guy.”
This month, I have once again made the decision to leave my job because it’s the right thing for my life rather than the right thing for my career. As anyone who’s worked in Jewish communal service knows, this sector isn’t known for its work/life balance or generous compensation. Instead, we do it because we care, and what we give up in free time or money, we gain in nachas by giving back to our people. Unfortunately, nachas can’t put the kids to bed at night while I’m out creating positive Jewish experiences for my childless peers. Read the rest of this entry →
May 15 2014
Somewhere buried in my archive of VHS tapes is a video yearbook of my graduation class from college. I have never seen it, but have promised myself that I will watch it next year, at my (gulp) 20th reunion. In it somewhere is a video interview with me at a black-tie formal, sitting on my then-boyfriend’s lap, holding a glass of champagne. “Where are you going to be in 20 years?” the videographer asked me. “Happy and editor of the New York Times,” I confidently replied.
Well, at least I’m happy. And it sure looks like being executive editor of the New York Times is no good way to get to “happy”–if you’re a woman. Jill Abramson, the paper’s first woman executive editor, was unceremoniously and suddenly fired from the paper this week–and it’s entirely unclear why.
In The New Republic, Rebecca Traister’s piece titled, “I Sort Of Hope We Find Out That Jill Abramson Was Robbing the Cash Register,” exemplifies what most women, particularly women journalists, are thinking right now: hopefully there was another explanation for her firing, other than the fact that Abramson reportedly had the audacity to demand equal pay with what her male predecessors received. Equal wages for women, ironically enough, is a cause célèbre of the Times editorial board. Read the rest of this entry →
May 14 2014
Sweet face. Naughty smile. Huge brown sparkling eyes that stared straight into mine. We’re not usually at eye-level. He’s only 5.
“Will you, Mom? Get me the sunscreen? Now? Will you get it for me now?”
We were having this conversation eye-to-eye because I was sitting on the toilet. I’d been in the bathroom 30 quiet seconds before he barreled in with all his bursting, small-boy energy. It was only 8:30 a.m.–he still had oodles of it. And he needed the sunscreen, right now, immediately, now, now, now. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 30 2014
I am Iliana’s mom. That is my identity, according to all of her friends.
Am I OK with that? Hell, yeah!
I have heard many times that you lose your identity after having a child, as no one calls you by your given name. You are just “someone’s mom.” But I don’t understand the issue with that. I know who I am and I am not worried that I will lose that knowledge just because a bunch of 4-year-olds call me something else. If anything, it makes me blush. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 24 2014
It was one of those days where I would’ve been better off staying in bed under the covers. Work had been stressful. My bus home was delayed. A close friend’s actions had left me feeling hurt. And just as I was gearing up to put my toddler to bed, my husband called with the news that our car, which he was supposed to be taking for a simple oil change, would need several thousand dollars worth of repairs.
Clearly, nothing particularly tragic went down. But I was tired. I was already aggravated and upset. And yes, okay, there were also some let’s call them “prominent female hormones” at play. So when I got the call from my husband, it was that classic piece of straw that broke the worn-out mother’s back. And so I did something that I hadn’t really anticipated but also somehow couldn’t prevent: I broke down crying in front of my toddler.
Now just to be clear, I’m talking about the type of crying where you sink to the ground, your body shakes back and forth, you start making all sorts of strange guttural noises, and you generally can’t catch your breath for several minutes in a row. It’s the kind of crying you really can’t hide, and it’s the type that most adults would probably either avoid altogether or reserve for the confines of their respective bedrooms or showers. In other words, I cried like a baby. A big baby. And worse yet, I did it in front of my baby. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 27 2014
Talking to one of my fellow Jewish Marine Corps wives recently, I realized we became wives and mothers in a different culture than our civilian peers. The norms in our social groups are to stay home with our children and to support our husbands’ careers. Sometimes it seems we are more like 1950’s housewives than liberal 30-something moms.
This is not to say we lack the education, resources, or drive to work outside of our homes. Almost all of the Marine wives I know have college educations and husbands who view them as equals. Most of us expected to have our own successful careers right along side of our Marines. What we didn’t expect were the demands that a military career would have on our families and on us.
Just the moving alone makes finishing a degree program or starting a career more challenging. I married my Hillel sweetheart right out of college and proceeded to move four times in less than three years. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 26 2014
I hate the phrase “Working Mom.” I was home with my daughters for almost three years, and I promise, that was work too. But it is a different kind of challenge than working in a paid profession. I returned to my job as a guidance counselor this past September, and it’s been an interesting few months. (Read: It’s slightly insane. Moms of many and single mothers, I salute you.) But I confess, I’m doing things that I never thought I would:
1. I make three dinners.
My husband is a picky eater. Each night, my mother-in-law would come home from work and cater to her son’s “discriminating” tastes by cooking a separate meal. “Not me,” I swore. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 6 2014
After all the late-night/early-morning work I did covering the Winter Olympics (in addition to my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing), I promised my husband that I would take some time off afterwards and not do any work at all. (Well, except for my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing).
My husband didn’t believe me. God, apparently, didn’t believe me, either, because, literally less than 24 hours after the Ladies’ Long Program ended in Sochi, God decided to make certain I kept my promise to take it easy by striking me down with a case of shingles.
For those unfamiliar with shingles, it’s caused by the chicken pox virus that has been lying dormant inside you probably since elementary school flaring up and making one half of your body feel like it’s on fire. There are also some blood-red blisters (in my case along the back and above the rib-cage; but that can vary from patient to patient) that eventually erupt and scab over for visual effect. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 3 2014
I am a stay at home mom. And holy crap do I love it. I mean, wow! FOUR human beings call me mom! I am blessed, lucky, honored. In total mothering bliss! But, as being a SAHM seems to be an increasing rarity in my circle of friends, I often get asked how I manage to keep from feeling bored.
Can I tell you something? As much as I love these kids of mine, and as much as I cherish every hair on their beautiful little heads, sometimes, yes, I get a little bored. And sometimes I even start feeling like my whole identity has been consumed by my role as mother. Read the rest of this entry →