Category Archives: Parenting

Decision Fatigue

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I need to work on work/life balance,” said a coaching client, stretched thin between a big job and family commitments. “I am so overwhelmed.” “How many decisions do you make every day?” I asked her. She looked at me blankly, unable to begin to quantify an answer. “What if we strategize about how ...

Networking in Middle School

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “Try not to get shot at school today,” I tell my kids every morning as they get on the school bus. “We’ll try, Mom,” they say. They don’t roll their eyes. We’re whistling past the graveyard. That’s how I regulate the terror I feel every single morning when my children leave for school. ...

The Potential Baby

Read all my Seattle Times columns “Are you using birth control?” I asked a beloved coaching client, a junior executive on the East Coast. There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone line. After a pause, she allowed that she is on the pill. She had two offers on the table: a VP role leading a ...

Garbage Happiness

I’m going to be that crazy old lady picking up garbage off the street. Middle school these days requires five volunteer hours per year to graduate – which doesn’t sound voluntary but whatever.  My 7th-grade son decided to fulfill the requirement by picking up garbage in the neighborhood. This was bliss for me. I get to go on a dog ...

The Bikini Mistake

This is a story about a mistake. That wasn’t. But it took a while to figure that out. At business school some 15 years ago, I competed in a business case competition. My idea was a woman’s swimsuit that didn’t reveal your crotch or the particular shape of your ass.  A swimsuit you could wear on a boat, for example, ...

I’ll Show You

The Colman Pool swim test loomed large all winter. If you’re a little kid, you can’t go down the slide or the diving board unless you pass the swim test. And it’s a long way. You have to swim the crawl stroke all the way across the pool and back, without stopping. My 7-year-old daughter Z really wanted to go ...

Wild Girl

“I’m tired of being good at camp,” my 7-year-old daughter said. That got my undivided attention. “What do you mean?” I asked her. We were driving to the kids’ first day of wilderness camp, one of a string of camps this summer. “I always stay by the counselor, do what they say,” she mumbled, looking out the window. “What if you ...

Mess Up Mommy

I’m coaching my 6-year-old daughter’s soccer team. This is despite having played only a year of JV soccer in middle school and losing every game. My parents came to a game and cheered the wrong girl. Anyway, the league needed coaches. How hard could it be? Taking my new soccer coaching responsibilities very seriously, I crafted a careful email to ...

Muffins

Once a week I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m. to bake muffins. I feel like a pioneer woman cooking breakfast before dawn for my family. I then get my 8-year-old son up and we head east for a day at an alternative wilderness school. I like that he’s full of warm, healthy muffins for his day of wild weather ...

Loaded Question

I read a blog post recently about asking whether there are weapons in the home before sending your child over on a playdate. (For those of you not in Seattle, two children were killed and one injured by guns in the hands of other children in the last couple of weeks.) I asked my 8-year-old son what he would do if ...

Coffee Breath

I was kissing awake my 5-year-old daughter the other morning, my heart filled with love for that sweet, sleepy, warm body. From under the pillows, the most offended little voice said, “Your breath stinks.” And then, with utter disgust, “Gross.” Z keeps it real. I could feel myself flipping through the available emotions. I picked up “hurt.” I picked up ...

The Best Thing About Mommy

I found a treasure as I was sorting through my kids’ school work. Tucked among a pile of papers was a note from my daughter. In her careful handwriting, my 5-year-old had written, “The best thing about Mommy is that she quit her job.” That’s a keeper.

The Dungeon of Spit

“Oh we don’t need stakes. It’s not going to rain.” Rookie mistake. The sound of rain pattering on the tent is a lovely sound; the sound of rain pattering inside the tent not so much. We went on our first camping trip of the summer last weekend. I’ve always wanted to go to the Dungeness Spit, a 300-foot wide spit ...

Love and Puke

My 7-year-old was up all night puking. It made me think of my dad. When I puked as a kid, my dad would hold my hair out of my face and press a cold washcloth over my forehead. I remember feeling so miserable, and so loved. As I sat on the bathroom floor at 3:30 this morning, rubbing a miserable ...

Fuck Off, Mommy Guilt

Last November, my daughter’s teacher sent out photographs of the Kindergarten Thanksgiving party. Little kids with cornucopias eating treats. I couldn’t look at the photos. I couldn’t bear it. Mommy Guilt used to ache in my heart. Aching sadness about missing great expanses of my children’s lives. Regret for the haphazard rush of our lives. It was a cost of ...