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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.
If ‘the best things in life aren’t things’ as the plaque (ironically, another ‘thing’) on my desk reminds me, then why do I have so many things? Why do my children have so many things and why do I continue to buy things? I’m sure I’m not alone in asking these questions. Especially at this time of year, when we are more inclined to buy ‘things’.
I must admit to feeling somewhat conflicted when trying to discourage myself, and others, from buying things. I know that buying and selling is what makes the world turn. If things weren’t bought, then lots of people would suffer, least of all the receiver.
Nevertheless, it’s a good idea from time to time to take stock of what we have, and what we really need.
I often hear parents talk about how unappreciative they feel their children are, and how little time they spend with an item before tossing it aside and looking for something new and exciting to keep their attention. Often it’s the latest technological gadget. Sometimes it’s the most up-to-date piece in the fashion world. Sorry parents, but I think we have ourselves to blame for that. Our children don’t come into this world wanting for anything other than our love and attention. It’s up to us to put the brakes on sometimes, and live with the consequences of saying no. It’s up to us to help our children learn the value of what they have by modelling this for them.
I guess it’s time for me to take my own good advice!