Katherine (Kat) and I have been friends since the beginning of high school. This girl is gregarious, generous, kind-hearted, funny, and has an insane work ethic. A few years ago, she and her husband made the decision for him to stay home with their beautiful daughter, Riley, while she continued to work. Not only does this woman have fantastic advice as an ambitious and successful professional, but her husband, Greg, is just the coolest dad with tons of interesting experience to share, so I decided to do a joint interview to get the best of both worlds.
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If it hasn’t been established yet, I like things to be as easy as possible. It is nearly impossible for me to stop on the way to whatever event I’m going to to pick up a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine. And don’t even get me started on Saturday morning birthday parties. There’s zero chance I can pick up something during the week, and trying to buy a gift with a toddler and baby in tow on the way to the party is a recipe for disaster. (Seriously, taking your kids into the Target toy aisles is for sure a method of torture.) To make my life easier and to minimize the risk that I’ll be the a-hole that shows up empty handed to a party, I keep a little stock of grab-and-go gifts so I’m always prepared. Here are a few things I keep in the house so I have something for every occasion.
I’ve always been pretty outgoing. I’ve made friends relatively easily, and I have a large and diverse set of interests that makes it easy for me to connect with many different types of people. However, as a post-higher education adult, I have mentioned on many occasions how difficult it is to make new friends when you’re not forced into a college classroom, a sorority house, or a weekly Friday house party. But friendships are so essential to good mental health, so it’s important to go out there and forge new relationships. The problem with making friends as adults is that everyone’s schedules are vastly different. And when you work full-time, it’s exacerbated because you have so little free time to begin with. But it’s not impossible. I’m fortunate that my closest friends have been in my life since high school or even earlier, but I’ve made some truly awesome friendships even post-kids. Read on for a few tips for creating meaningful friendships even in the crazy life of a working parent.
A few months ago, we went on a family vacation for the first time in three years. And since then, we have had the opportunity to go on a kid-free trip to New York. So when my husband’s best friend gave us two months’ notice for his wedding in France, I figured due to time and cost, we’d be sending my husband alone. My parents had already agreed to watch the kids for our trip to New York only three weeks earlier, so I was confident that even if I could take the time off work, we wouldn’t have a plan for the kids. But my incredible parents agreed and we were able to buy my flight with frequent flyer miles, so off we went for a very quick trip to France.
Planning a wedding? Or an elaborate party for your child’s first birthday? Maybe a milestone birthday for your spouse? You’re probably hiring vendors either without a contract or without reading the contract before you sign. While most vendors are legit, here’s what to look for in vendor contracts in case of a disastrous experience.
I’ve read a lot of parenting articles and books in my four short years of being a parent, and I’ve concluded that if they’re (mostly) fed, (sometimes) bathed, and (generally) not in harm’s way, I’m doing an okay job.
I came across a few articles and posts about positive parenting (here, here, and here), and it intrigued me enough to consider how I could apply it in my life. There is a broad spectrum of what is considered positive parenting tactics from simply removing corporal punishment (which we haven’t used before) to super crunchy versions that include never saying the word “no” and praising everything a kid does. Everyone can find their happy place on that spectrum. For me, it was simply about trying to change some of my habits in an attempt to see if I could get a different (better) outcome. I’m not a total drill sergeant as a parent, but I’m definitely not some zen yogi patiently humming quietly to myself and smiling through my toddler’s next-level tantrums.
Adjusting to life as a mom is difficult for anyone, but for moms with a Type A personality, it can be downright sanity altering. I’ve learned to mostly laugh my way through the chaos, but sometimes it feels like my family does things just to see if I’ll break. My kids are like little torturers, testing the limits of my sanity and regularly putting a check on my perfectionist personality.
Meet one of my best friends, Julie. I met her the day after I moved to Sacramento for law school. We were on our way to an overnight whitewater rafting “bonding” trip with all the new students, and she looked nice enough, so I asked her if I could sit in the empty seat on the bus next to her. We rafted, shared a tent, and got to know each other. And we basically never left each other’s side through the rest of law school. She’s brilliant, hard-working, and she’s one of those moms who always lends a nonjudgmental ear and provides just the right balance of experience-based advice. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when she agreed to let me kick off my new series of working mom interviews with her. Read on for some of that excellent experience-based advice.
Have you ever come across your dream job on LinkedIn or been chatting with an acquaintance who offers to connect you with an executive at a company you’d kill to work for only to realize you haven’t updated your resume in about five years? Trying to update a resume in a short time is a recipe for disaster. The likelihood that it will be sloppy and include typos is high, and you’re sure to forget major projects or milestones when you’re under the gun. Don’t get caught empty-handed when an opportunity arises. You should spend at least 30 minutes once per quarter updating your resume. Spend a little time on these areas to ensure you’re not missing any important pieces when the time comes to send your resume for a potential opportunity.