Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, I have reached the exit

This weekend, I began my new role. Clearly, Owen has been waiting for this for some time. We went to the zoo and we rode the pony. He told Steve a few weeks ago that he wanted to ride the pony with mommy and sure enough, we did. I am amazed at how big he is and how grown he seems. It is misleading. It is difficult to remember that this child who is more than 3 feet tall and speaks in full and clear sentences is only ONE!

I found myself earlier in the month giving him a hard time when he throws the rare tantrum. But, now that I am completely unencumbered with anything resembling a distraction, it is far easier to remember he is only one and indeed will have tantrums. I like being present for my son and husband. It is a nice change and I am pretty sure the transition is going to be easy for the time being. There is no pressure. There is only Owen and teaching him.

This morning as my first weekday not going to work in 7 years, I was informed by the one-year-old that I am a "good mommy". Sweet, I am getting favorable reviews on my first day...nice!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reasons I am thrilled to be on the off ramp

There are so very many things in corporate america that are stupid. Here is a short little list of the things that make me completely insane that I will be happy not to see for a few years. Also, there is hope in my heart, when I come back these items will be taken care of, so for those of you not off-ramping, help a sister out, keep pushing to agenda and making change...

Old Boys Clubs
You know when we are looking into a company and you go to the About us section of their website. You click on the management team and there is either
a.) no women, or
b.) one woman either in HR or
c.) one woman who is the assistant to all the men.
I think these companies should be embarrassed to have NO WOMEN working in the highest corridors of their company. NONE. This is beyond sexism. There are millions of women qualified to be CIOs, COOs, CMOs, CEOs for that matter. And many of these companies are marketing to us. How in the world will the know what we want? Clearly, they ask the office manager.

VP of my butt
The made-up, dumb-ass, self-aggrandising job title. The 90s called and they want heir job titles back. Chief Yahoo!, Flash Ninja, Storyteller, Evangelist, I could go one, but I just threw up in my mouth. End this ridiculous practice and tell me what your GD job actual is!

Do you really want to know?
I telecommuted for two years. I grew accustomed to getting my work done as efficiently as possible with no interruptions. Out of sight was out of mind. Few people called me unless we had a scheduled call and no one would walk up to my desk (except my cat) while I was listening to music hammering out a proposal. I was busy, obviously. So, needless to say, I hate forced small talk. People, if you genuinely care about my weekend or what I am doing tonight, fine, but, I ain't buying it. Plus, most of my stories now revolve around my kid and I know from not having a kid, those stories are BORING AS ALL GET OUT! So, let's just come to work, do our jobs, form some relationships and leave the forced small talk behind us.

This is my vision for the workforce in 2012. But then again, I just read that is the year of the apocalypse, so, either way...

Short timer

Woke up this morning and thought it was Saturday. It wasn't. I guess I am anxious for Saturday and my first day in my new role full time. I am trying to get everything transitioned.

People say the nicest things when you leave a job. They should do this more when we are on the job...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Girdin' up time

One week to go and how did I kick off this scary week? By being a complete jerk. It made me realize that since giving birth, I have lacked energy and enthusiasm. I have been tired and lazy. I am slow to rise to help do things. I am embarrassed by this. I want to have energy back. I want to be enthusiastic again. I have one week to find those big girl pants so I can stop feeling scared and disappointed and start projecting confidence again. I need that energy back if I am going to live up to my next job as Owen's mom. I owe him that at the very least.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I love excitement. I love communication. I check email about 1,000 times a day and I have several accounts. I love Facebook and LinkedIn. I love people's blogs. I like knowing what is going on and what is in the news. I like being current. I like news. All kinds of news, office news, national news, personal news, you name it. Oh, I should probably mention, I was a journalism major.

I love change and excitement and new-ness. I have moved more than 1,000 miles five times. And because of all these things, I am concerned for my new job. I know there will be new things that Owen will do every day and things he will learn. I am hopeful that I will get the same charge out of them. I probably wont I will probably get a different change.

I have noticed since my notice, that I receive fewer emails both at work and personally. I have fewer IMs. I think I am being weaned from the Internet. I don't like it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Observations on Suess

Yertle the Turtle is a metephor of the Bush Administration...


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can I do this?

The word has spread at work for the most part and everyone is very happy for me. But, I think my son is the happiest. Everyday he wakes up asking if today mommy stays home? And when I say no, he says mommy says home soon. And then proceeds to tell me all the things we are going to do together. It begs the question: Are his expectations of me aligned with what the reality will be?

Think about this: For the past two years, I have gone to work and was Mrs. Momma Excitement from 5:30-8. I was the treat to go see at lunch. And now, I will be the primary care-taker. The one to manage tantrums and fits. The one to kiss the boo-boo. I hope I can live up to his expectations. I hope I can live up to mine.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Raising people

Now that I will be going from managing clients to raising a child. I see very few differences. Really, if I want a client to do something and they are challenging, I make it their idea. This might be one of my special skills. I know it sounds completely manipulative, and maybe it is, but it works and everyone feels good about the outcome.

The same can be said about our son. He is in a big boy bed now. We made it his idea. We bought some rails and played in the bed with him and when it came time to go to bed one day, he said big bed, big bed. And then he slept the whole night for like 4 days in a row (this is the current record).

The same for the potty. We bought him a potty when he asked for one. We never pressed him to use it, instead we would tell him that when he used it all the time, he would get a fish to replace his changing pad. We also told him many times as he squirmed during a diaper change, that if you don't want us to change your diaper, you can always learn to use to potty. Last week, he looked like he might have to go. I asked him and he did. He is not using it all the time, but it isn't scary or a big deal. It is his idea to use it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Truths, half-truths and lies

Is it me or are more and more healthy women having weird, difficult, problematic, or downright scary births. My pregnancy was a breeze. I didn't have much sickness, I gained 25 pounds (of which, I have kept because don't like to get rid of things), but man, was labor awful.

I was in labor for 31 hours. And every single thing they scared me with in birthing class happened to me. Not kidding. A sampling: back labor, not progressing, had to have my water broken, had to put the spring-y thin-y in Owen's head, I could go on, but I do hope to eat today. It was just hideous. I think I remember asking my husband if he would be kind enough to smother me with my body pillow, which he declined and I of course, I just continued sobbing.

Finally, I had an emergency c-section. Which is ironic because upon first meeting my doctor, I asked for a scheduled one. Seems to me, everyone would have saved a lot of time had these people just listened to me. This is a recurring theme.

But alas, I had an emergency c because Owen had determined that the umbilical chord should come out first. He must have looked at that thing and said, sakes alive, I am going to need this thingy out there!

Wild, I know, but like 10 other women I am friends with had some other crazy-ass story about their emergency c-section, or their infection afterward, or the baby had problems. Is it me, or is the medical community just blowing sunshine up our expanding asses when we have babies? They always make you think that these oddities are simply that, uncommon occurrences. Well, from my circle of friends, we are a bunch of oddities. Either that, or we are being lied to about what is normal. Or it is all that crack we smoked...

(really, no one I know actually smokes crack)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Admitting stuff to yourself

I bought this today:

Because I finally admitted that I cannot wear a bikini anymore. I am someone's mother. I am older and let's be honest, I am completely out of shape. And to be doubly honest, no one is looking at me anymore.

Luckily, I have a great, gorgeous husband, but really, my life isn't about how I look so much anymore. And what an adjustment, because it used to be! It is hard to realize that to the general public, you know, the people who we all used to dress to impress, don't see women my age anymore.

And when I finally admitted to myself that I have moved past hottie, I bought a swimskirt...and a really big hat so no one knows it's me!

Pink Rose, how cool!

So, the lovely and talented Heather presented me with a Pink Rose Award. This is my first award as a stay-at-home mom. Although, I am not quite at home yet. I am working the "notice period". So, I am getting transition documents together reading what the Internets is doing. Thanks Heather for the prize. You know how I love prizes! I would like to nominate the following:

She is a new mom who might be one of the most authentically nice people in the world. Which is why I wonder about her. I mean, who is that awesome all the time.

Cat is smart, funny and wildly creative. I love to see what is inspiring her.

Give the Pink Rose Award to those who inspire you or need to be inspired, to those who have encouraged you or those who need encouragement. Here's what to do:

1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.

2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.

3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.

4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.

5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.

6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

Now open!

I just clicked the public botton. Welcome!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Managing against lists

I am a list maker. I make lists for everything, even vacation. In fact, my grocery list is in order of how the grocery store is laid out. When my husband left our son in my care right around his first birthday, I made an exhaustive list of what we would do every day, in order, with time ranges assigned. I have control problems, or as I like to repeat to myself in hushed tones: I enjoy order.

That being said, have been known to be wildly efficient at work. One manager said I could push a watermelon through a head of a pin. I am not sure what that means, but it is one of the colorful southern expressions that make me smile. So, in making this transition from executive to stay-at-home mom, I am a little worried about this personality trait. I am curious to see how it manifests itself and I am further curious to see what my lists look like and for that matter, how long the list making lasts. I would like to set the over/under (did mention I love gambling?) on the amount of time before there is no list to 4.5 months.

Please place your bets.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So, how did it go?

I was so nervous yesterday, that I thought I was going to throw up. What makes me laugh about this is that I have quit my fair share of jobs, hell, I have quit the same company three times. But, for some reason, I was really nervous. I spoke to my manager, who rules by the way, and he was so gracious! He understood the desire to walk away for a period of time to raise a child. He saw this as a great thing for me and my son. He made no bones about it that he also saw it as a loss for the company, which was nice to hear. I also told a close office friend that I was leaving and that was far harder than telling my manager. I will be interested to see how the office gossip swirl plays out.

I am stepping away from my career in a few short weeks, and am I going out with a bang. This week, I am launching a new site, new templates for another site, a content update for a third site, oh, yeah, and I was quoted in AdAge. It's kinda like, "Good night everybody, next show's at 9:30!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Yes, despite the fact that my son is turning two next month, I still have and wear some maternity clothes. Thankfully, they are only tops, but nonetheless, it is not exactly where I wanted to be at this point. Six months before I got pregnant, I ran my last marathon. I have never been a skinny person, but I have been fit. Not so much anymore.

I am aiming to have all maternity wear out of the rotation before his second birthday. Not exactly sure how it will happen, but it has to. And then, I will try to fgure out how on God's green Earth, I will get my old pants back!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I am giving notice on Monday and I am honestly quite nervous. I hate disappointing people, and I know I will be doing that to some. I also have not told all of the people who I would call friends after I leave. I need to do that, but I am worried they will reject me. This is pretty scary to me. I know what I need to do and when I take the emotion out of it, anyone who would begrudge me for deciding to raise my son is kinda a bonehead anyway. But, my non-emotional side is not all that strong at this moment. I will post on Monday about how it goes and then I will open this site up for public scrutiny. Oye!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wheels in motion

So yesterday, I set up a meeting for Monday with my boss. I will be resigning in that meeting. I have told one person here at work about my exit. She is happy for me, but is convinced there will be sincere activity to keep me. Anything beyond 1 hour a week will be declined. I also got a call yesterday from an former manager who has an immediate opening. I guess no one is taking me seriously.

It will be very hard exiting the workforce, but I am so excited about this move. I know that my career has defined me for so many years in so many people's eyes. But, truthfully, what has defined me in my eyes in my marriage. It is my proudest achievement. Not the titles, or the P&Ls or the teams, projects or accounts, but the relationship that I forged with my husband over the last 18 years.

All that being said, I am curious to see how long I will stay home before I get the urge to take on a contract. One moment, I think it will be more than a few years, then I think I will be panicking at the 6 month mark. This is going to be a true experiment. I better get some beakers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Coming soon!

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, I am handing up my Coach briefcase, Jimmy Choo pumps and leaving the workforce to stay at home with my little boy. I plan to chronicle the transition on this site. I will take it public and market it once I give my notice next week. I very much want to encourage participation from anyone who manages to find this site. I think there are 21 million Off-Ramp Moms and former careerists who headed for the rug rat race. Ultimately, I want to build a community of moms like me to build friendships, play dates, share news and craft ideas, and maybe even line us up some part-time work if we want it.

Ok, I quit in 4 more days...And then I have maybe 2 more weeks until I get the honor of raising my son. Stay tuned.