Divorce mediation is sexist AF

Today’s intro is from our contributor Amanda Munday, who’s the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir.

I said it. I’m not sorry. I just wrapped up my seventh (maybe eighth?) divorce mediation session with a couples counselor. My ex-husband and I are working together to build a separation agreement to avoid some money in an expensive divorce. I am not convinced this approach is working.

We are both accountable to the disillusionment of our marriage. I am queer AND our marriage was over long before I figured that out. Every Wednesday afternoon, I sit in this virtual counseling session where I listen to a mediator describe the ways we are “both wrong.” For instance, yes, my ex is incredibly defensive, invalidates “everything I say,” is dishonest, doesn’t contribute to every day tasks, and doesn’t ask what I need (she said it, not me). I have contempt, a ton of anger, use shame to get what I want, and eye roll too much. Read more...

“The first two words that come to mind are racism and stupidity, so let’s start there.”

I am still buzzing about our amazing virtual event with Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton last night. In a wide ranging two-hour-ish conversation, Arlan talked about the duality of good and bad, progress and setbacks, and hope and anger in the venture world and beyond. 

It was so intimate and real that Arlan’s mom even chimed in at one point to confirm the story of how she gave Arlan her name: Arlan’s dad was running late while she was in labor, so her mom named Arlan after an ex-boyfriend to make a point. “Petty LaBelle” Arlan dubbed her mom in return. And basically the entire Zoom said they wanted her mom to write a book about the benefits of being petty.  Read more...

I don’t believe in jinxes

I am witchy as all get out. I love astrology and talking about the universe and all sorts of things that make a lot of folks roll their eyes. 

But I do not believe in jinxes. I do not knock on wood. 

It makes me mad that when someone is excited about positive developments in their life, someone tells them immediately to knock on wood or says, “Careful! You’re gonna jinx yourself!” 

Think about this widely held superstition for a minute: The majority of people I’ve ever told about something great in my life believe there is a mystical F-you force in the world that will suddenly send a plague upon me if I say I’m having a great day? What an absolute a-hole the universe would be if that were true! Read more...

It’s about damn time

Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton doesn’t look the typical VC part. She doesn’t act the part. She doesn’t talk the part. She doesn’t particularly try. 

In a world where so many people born with a lot more advantages and privileges than Arlan, dress in flip flops and hoodies or Steve Jobs-style turtlenecks or other superficial markers that they “belong” in Silicon Valley, Arlan simply took it by storm on her own terms, with endless curiosity, hustle, and incredibly hard work. As her book subtitle notes, “being underestimated [was her] greatest advantage.”  Read more...

What even is empty nesting anymore?

While so many things feel overwhelming during these times, a lot of things have also slowed down because we can’t busy ourselves with plans and travel and IRL stuff. I don’t buy clothes anymore. I don’t go to lunches or coffees or drinks with anyone. I can’t remember a time in my adult life I didn’t get on a plane for six months. (!!!)

I’ve taken this moment to get deep into my midlife crisis and I am loving it. I am embracing how different a midlife crisis is when A) you are excited about aging and this next phase, and B) you are a woman.  Read more...

“There’s nothing cute about financial ruin.”

Oh hell no. I was already cringing at the term “she-session,” which was applied to this recession because it is so disproportionately hitting women.

And then this past weekend, The Financial Times wrote an article dubbing it the “pink recession.” 

Let’s put a stop to this right now. The catastrophic loss of jobs—even whole careers—and a reinforcement of systemic injustice is not some “must-have” fashion accessory for the fall. It is not cutesy. It is not something to wink about.  Read more...

We’re going to be okay

Yesterday I posted a graph showing how much screen time respondents to our survey on pandemic mothering said their kids were getting before the pandemic. One of my friends on Instagram momentarily panicked because she didn’t realize at first that it was a graph before the pandemic. It momentarily made her feel way out of step with the world. 

This sort of says everything about this survey and our event last night on how we might take the pandemic as a reset on all of our expectations on what “good parenting” is.  Read more...

I mostly quit social media for 90 days

Today’s intro is from our contributor Amanda Munday, who’s the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir.

In June, I was dealing with some pretty vicious mean Facebook Mom group bullies. They attacked my queerness, they said I was opportunistic (ha), they said I wasn’t really gay. That’s a post for another week.

I’d had enough of their bullshit, but fighting back required way more energy than I have available. Without thinking much about it, I deleted Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from my phone. I hid. Since I run my own company, and usually do all the marketing myself, I outsourced The Workaround’s social media to a paid social media manager who is also a member, on an agreement that she would immediately take over all the accounts for 90 days. Thank goodness she’s talented and way more on the ball than me. In one 15-minute phone call, she received the following instructions: “I deleted the apps. I need to be off social media for the summer, and I need WA to not suffer because of it. Can you take over on a paid contract starting now?” Not the ideal direction for a new client relationship. Yet Amy simply said “I got this. Go. Rest.” Then she took over like I never left. I could have cried. I did cry. Read more...

Have you changed your parenting standards in the last six months?

Even before COVID, working mothers were too often trapped in a double bind.

Bind one: To be a “good employee” meant being 100% beholden to her boss at all times. Bind two: Being a “good mom” meant being 100% beholden to her kids.

The result: If you want to work and have kids and are a woman, the only option is failure. The only question you have to answer is if you want to fail in both spheres or just one.*

But, as it turns out, those were the good ol’ days. When schools were in session, when women had a chance to put in a full workday. Maybe we couldn’t go to networking drinks after work, maybe we got punished for leaving at 5pm, maybe benevolent sexism denied us the promotion we’d earned. But at least we had the 9-to-5 to focus on work. Read more...

The quest for truth

This past week I had one of those days where the crushing reality of the world was too much, and I was having trouble finding a good, solid reason to get out of bed. 

Of course, I don’t actually have that luxury. My alarm went off at 7am and I had to go through email and Slack and the other morning basics and then get my kids awake and fed and in front of their Zooms by 8:15. But while my body was up doing all of that, my soul was hiding under the covers. 

Later that night, I decided to take a long bath (I hadn’t actually showered in a few days) and read When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron, a suggestion from Gayathri in the Chairman Mom community.  Read more...