Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Have you seen this MomSense Video by Anita Renfroe?

I love this video. I love everything about it. The comedian, the William Tell Overture, the lyrics. But what I love the most is the accuracy. I heard myself, my friends, my own mom in it. And I laughed. And laughed some more.

Anita Renfroe is hilarious. Check out more from her at www.anitarenfroe.com. And if you do visit? Make sure to watch the video in its entirety on the first page....she does DadSense.

Enjoy your chuckle for the day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Need a Wife

As I enjoyed my 3 day weekend (and by enjoy, I mean I had an extended amount of time in which to complete household tasks and errands instead of the usual weekend crunch - just wanted to clarify lest you think I actually did anything recreational), I kept thinking to myself that if only I worked part-time, I would enjoy my life more. But that's not true - and upon further reflection, I realize that what I really believe is that if I had a true partner to split household tasks and errands, I would enjoy my life more. If only I had a wife.

My husband is an incredible partner. I have zero complaints. But he is, after all, my husband, a man. Which means he will never lose a minute's sleep over getting birthday cards mailed on time, or wonder almost daily if rearranging the living room will open it up. No, his worries are far different than mine. My husband fulfills every need of mine that requires a husband. What I need is a wife.

Actually, this has been an on-going joke with my business partners. As we toil through our mountains of to-do's and commiserate together, we dream wistfully that someday our org chart will have "Personal Assistant" (read: Wife) under each of our names.

Imagine my surprise and delight to find this article today. Dr. Nüsslein-Volhard just became my new favorite woman. I'll be following this throughout the year and imagining the day when this is available to women worldwide. In the meantime, I'm off to buy stamps.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Working Mom's Guide to Calling Out Sick

I’m at home today with my 4 year old who has the flu. And this is my third day in a row out from work. Usually, my husband and I do well at splitting the burden, but he is training someone all week. This bout of illness falls quickly on the heels of our strep throat bout a mere three weeks ago, where all three of us had it and I was out of work for an entire week, save about 3 hours when I was able to dash in and get things off my desk.

But here I sit. Alternating between checking my email and voicemail and administering more medicine and rearranging pillows because they are purposely bothering him. Oh wait, one more thing I’m doing – worrying. I’m worried about being out of work so long; worried what my boss thinks; worried what crises are building; worried that my coworkers are having to step in; and worried that I am a heartless mom because I seem to be more worried about what is going on at work than I am about what is happening at home.

I do accept that as a working mom, I have more people depending on me than just my family, and I live up to that responsibility. But you just can’t truly control getting sick (you can bet I’ve googled plastic bubbles). And although I work full-time and have a pretty demanding job, my husband still “out-ranks” me, making it harder for him to call out sick, so it usually falls to me. And I’ll bet dollars to donuts it falls to you, too. And you, too, fill up on the worry and guilt.

Every time I'm out, I feel massive guilt. Just add it to the pile all working moms carry, I guess. It's bad enough we don't stay late every night with the rest of the gang because we have to do silly stuff like pick up kids, but when we're out on sick leave, we're just positive we can hear the snickers and see the eye rolls through the phone lines.

As I’ve had my fair share of guilt-laden sick days, I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I’ve gained.

Top 5 Tips to Calling Out Sick

You need to call out sick - whether for you, or one of those cute little people that live with you. You can minimize the effect of your absence by remaining professional and demonstrating your commitment level to both your boss and your coworkers. Here is a short list of tips to keep in mind as you make your way through yet another box of tissues:

1. Alert your boss the minute you know you will be missing work. Even if it's three in the morning and you're hoping against hope the tide will turn and you'll make it in, still make that call. The date and time stamp will a) let your boss know that you were up all night and b) let you avoid an actual conversation that you will inevitably bungle in your attempt to ensure she knows you're not faking. (But don't avoid your boss — do call when you get a chance just to touch base and update them on your prognosis.)

2. Call several of your coworkers, too. Sometimes the boss doesn't let everyone know, and your coworkers can unwittingly magnify your absence by asking everyone repeatedly if they've seen you. If you had any client meetings scheduled, if possible, cancel them yourself.

3. Change your voicemail message to reflect your absence. If you'll be calling in for messages, indicate that as well so callers will have a good sense about when they can expect a return call. If possible, also put an auto-reply on your email.

4. Unless you're hospitalized or dealing with a major illness, try to call the office at least once. Make up a reason if you have to, just talk to at least one person on a work-related issue to show you may not be there, but you're still in the game, so to speak.

5. When you return to work, after a one-day absence, or a several-day absence, make sure to personally talk to your coworkers individually and give them a brief run-down of why you were out. Yes, it's none of their business, I agree, but if you're already taking some heat for being out, talking one on one tends to break down that tension and get coworkers on your side. And if there are any particular coworkers that took up the slack in your absence, you owe them lunch and a public thank you (definitely in front of the boss and preferably in front of as many other coworkers as possible).

These tips are helpful whether it's you that is sick, or your kids. Although I still feel guilty for being out, remaining on top of things work-wise gives me some peace of mind and allows me to focus on getting well.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hi! You found us! Welcome to the MomCheck Blog! I'm honored to be the first contributor to post to our blog, and you'll find I will probably be the most frequent. While each of us will bring our own voice to the blog, our common thread, besides being moms, is working. The majority of our posts will be aimed at moms (or parents in general), and a large portion of those will also be of particular interest to working moms (working outside or inside the home).

My particular blog, From the Desk of Mom, will try to have at its core basic snippets of info for working moms - how-to's, links to good sites, commentary on the state of working motherhood today, etc.

Odds are that you won't find this blog for many months and will then bookmark it and begin enjoying current posts, but eventually in your spare time, you'll journey backward to see how it all started; thus, the first post is nonessential other than having the distinction of being the first post. Therefore, for my first post, I thought I'd just repeat my Bio and add a few more thoughts to it.

Who am I?

I am a mom who kisses her precious one goodbye every morning and heads to an office for a day full of adult conversation and spit-up-free clothing. For this, I receive the title of Employee, and a paycheck.

I am also a mom who looks at the world and says, “I can make it better,” and heads off to the home office in the wee hours to talk marketing strategies, and how to attract VC’s. For this, I receive the title of Entrepreneur, and a percentage in a (future) successful startup.

And last, I am also a mom who cares for, teaches, disciplines, and unconditionally loves her child, waking him up each morning and reading him stories every night. For this, I receive the biggest reward of all – the title of Mommy, and unlimited hugs.

And in my spare time I juggle feral cats.

Just kidding, but my life is sometimes just as treacherous. I am proud of all my titles. While I may not be juggling feral cats, I am juggling all of my roles. At any given time, one must take priority over the others, and from my desk, I keep close tabs on things to ensure I always have all three up in the air, and no balls have dropped.

Wish me luck, but more importantly, come along for the ride.