This week we have a special guest on the SavvyBlog, Kathy Buckworth. She’ll be replacing Minnow’s ‘Five Things’ with five interesting perspectives on current parenting topics. Having just published a new book, I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8-Step Guide To Giving Your Family The ‘Business’ which is on sale March 26, Kathy is well positioned to comment on anything revolving around being the boss, bossing people around or simply being ‘boss.’
1. Sheryl Sandberg: She’s leaning in…way in. And weighing in as well, about what it takes for women to succeed in business. The CEO of Facebook (and worth a reported $500 million, pulling in a $30 million income), has two young children as well, so certainly seems to embody what it takes to be a successful woman. She offers no apologies and suggests women need to ‘think like men’ and manage the time they spend on mommy guilt to as low a level as possible. I agree with her. It’s not realistic to expect that we can automatically eliminate who we are, or how we think, as we pursue careers. But what we can do is acknowledge it and make our decisions as to whether we want to lean all the way in, or find our own sway comfort level.
2. Marissa Mayer: The CEO of Yahoo found herself being attacked on the blogosphere for disallowing her employees to telecommute, or work from home. I think she’s making a mistake too, but not because I feel it’s discriminatory for moms who are balancing work with family. I feel it’s back to an old ‘time clock’ model of measuring a person’s work-worth by the time they spend, versus the work they produce. Is working from home productive for everyone? Absolutely not. But working in a cubicle isn’t the ideal solution either. A blanket policy like this makes me wince. Not unlike the blankets Mayer has in the built-in nursery for her baby, adjoining her office. She’s found her ideal solution; she needs to let others find theirs.
3. Dad Bloggers: The Globe and Mail ran a story about how ‘hands-on dads’ are still being maligned, or seen in some ways to be unusual and perhaps a tad ‘soft.’ So the handful of dad bloggers that do exist banded together and wrote about how they are fighting against this stigma. It’s ironic, given that many of the moms who complain about ‘owning’ it all on the home front are some of the first to exclude or diminish the dad bloggers in the mommy blogger community. I say, let’s call for a parent blogger environment. Maybe we all need a performance review on this topic.
4. Spring Break: We’ve all just survived March Break in Ontario, and the count is already on for ‘summer vacation.’ For many full-time working parents, a true ‘break’ never comes, but this time does remind us that the kids get a well-deserved recess from routine. Something that makes a control and structure advocate (not ‘freak’) like myself a tad nervous. I believe in keeping most rules in place—regarding bedtimes, meals, getting dressed before noon—but an occasional week-night sleepover or sleep in on a week day makes everyone feel as though they’re on a vacation from their ‘work.’
5. Tax Time: With tax time looming, Canadian families are looking at their finances and trying to find ways to save more money. A recent study by President’s Choice Financial shows that Canadians are basically a nation of savers, even in tough financial times. 84% of Canadians have some form of savings, and most are expecting interest rates on savings accounts and investments to stay the same, while predicting interest rates on lending products will rise. 68% are curtailing expenses (like looking at no fee banking products and credit cards), with 67% expecting to be in a better financial position next year. We’re all taking charge when it comes to smart financial planning.
It’s an honour to be guest blogging in Minnow’s Five Things spot this week, as she’s off on vacation with her family. As co-founder of SavvyMom, I used to do a lot more of the writing than I do now (half of everything we published, to be exact). With the growth of our company, my time has increasingly been spent on the fun stuff like finance, accounting and our technology ‘stack,’ so it was good to pick up the pen this week and share what caught my attention:
1. As a student of grammar and punctuation (I still reserve the right around Savvy HQ to make the final edits on all our writing), I was intrigued by this report out of SXSW this weekend that stated that ‘e-mail’ is not cool. I was initially concerned when I read this headline because we put a lot of effort into our series of newsletters that we lovingly send to our readers’ inboxes, but I was relieved to read, however, that email (sans hyphen) is totally cool. And apparently digital types are still seeking the perfect short form for WWW. I think I will start trying out the term ‘twiple,’ as offered by one of the readers of this article. Say ‘twiple.savvymom.ca.’
2. Apparently there are now over 750,000 apps just in the Apple App Store, so it makes sense that we now need an app just to find apps, because it’s too time-consuming otherwise. A few of us in the office have been using AppHero, which uses your existing app preferences and other insights it picks up from your social media interactions to suggest other apps for you. I usually love to quiz other iPhone users about which apps they recommend but this is a fun way to discover new apps you want to try.
3. Speaking of apps, there’s even one now to let you know as soon as the new pope is named, which you can sign up for at popealarm.com to be alerted to the Habemus Papam! as soon as it happens. (As I write this, the conclave has just started so it’s hard to know when the new pope will be named but I found this interesting infographic full of good information on how the voting process works.)
4. If you know me, you know that I do almost all of my shopping online—from office supplies for SavvyHQ, to groceries for home, to clothing for my kids and myself—so I was very excited to learn this week that Everlane is looking at entering the Canadian market. The online-only retailer specializes in beautiful, high-quality basics, but by cutting out all the middlemen of the typical fashion business, they are able to offer amazing wardrobe staples like cashmere sweaters and classic tees for much less than usual. To test the market and finance their initial marketing costs, they launched a crowd-funding campaign entitled #CrowdFundCanada where you can support them at different levels, from $15 to $7500, as they attempt to raise $100,000. I signed up right away at the $200 level, which offered me a $200 credit and free shipping to Canada for life. They’ve raised about 80% of the goal amount so far—I hope they make it so I can start buying all the basics for the adults in our family there.
5. The ISU World Figure Skating Championships are on this week in London, ON. While I have never been into watching figure skating (unlike my mother, who is Kurt Browning’s biggest fan), I was intrigued to view CBC Doc Zone’s Ice, Sweat and Tears last week when it aired. It chronicles the difficult training schedules and often dangerous situations faced by some of Canada’s top figure skaters. Even my tough-on-the-ice, hockey-playing son who watched it with me was impressed by the physical and mental challenges these amazing athletes face. Definitely worth a watch with the kids—no matter what sport they’re into—just to see the hard work, commitment and determination these athletes display.
That’s all from me—I’d love to hear what caught your attention this week.