Newsletter editor Lily here.
It feels like forever since I noted this, but back in late January, I founded an IRL contemporary romance book club. We had our first in-person meeting roughly a week before sh*t hit the fan in New York City, and I have to say: It was a magical afternoon. Everyone got along swimmingly, and there wasn’t a single outlier in the bunch. We talked about the monthly book pick and we talked about other books and everything was fabulous.
Despite only meeting two months ago on the internet and three weeks ago IRL, these women have become a vital lifeline for me in the midst of quarantining. We trade books and reviews on a daily (and often hourly) basis via texts and DMs and Goodreads, in addition to talking about the lives we were leading outside of our apartments before all of this started and the ones we lead now.
There are a few reasons why I always plan amazing weekends for my kids. The first is that we live in an amazing part of the world. There are so many parks, so many great museums, and so many awesome day trips to take. I feel like we can’t cram it all in as is.
The second is that I only get them every other weekend, so I feel like I need to program 52 weeks’ worth of fun into 26 weeks.
The third, I’m realizing, may come from a latent insecurity I may not have realized I had.
When my kids were babies and I was totally on my own, I’d think ahead until bedtime and wonder how on earth I was going to entertain them and keep my sanity. Action seemed to be the easy-out. It became my go-to for every problem. If toddler Eli was fussy, get him out of the house. If I needed them to sleep, go exhaust them. If they were bickering, get them out and let fresh air, a change of scenery, and running around solve the problem.
I got a sobering email yesterday. Just a few weeks into California’s shelter-in-place order, the local franchise holders for my beloved OrangeTheory Fitness have laid off 80% of their staff and put the rest on reduced pay. This is one of the biggest and most successful OTF franchises in the world, with 34 locations, with five more under construction, and 434 employees. Their studios charged a premium over ones in other locations. And now, poof, it’s all gone. Or 80% gone.
OTF was such a crucial part of my daily routine, I’m still reeling from the news. Just because these people’s passion was in helping people get healthy, versus making software, they are now and suddenly out of work in one of the most expensive cities on earth.
REMINDER: Our two virtual sessions are coming up soon! This Wednesday (March 25th) at 5pm PST/8pm EST, Sarah is hosting a conversation for people running brick-and-mortar businesses trying to adapt to this global pandemic. The link to attend is HERE.
On Thursday (March 26th), our very own Catherine Connors will host a conversation about managing teen anxiety at 6pm PST/9pm EST. The link to attend is HERE. And remember to check timezones!
Onto our intro by Chairman Mom member Janelle Metzger…
Announcement: We’re hosting two more virtual sessions this week! This Wednesday (March 25th) at 5pm PST/8pm EST, Sarah is hosting a conversation for people running brick-and-mortar businesses trying to adapt to this global pandemic. The link to attend is HERE, and remember to check time zone!
On Thursday (March 26th), our very own Catherine Connors will host a conversation about managing teen anxiety at 6pm PST/9pm EST. The link to attend is HERE, and again, think about time zones!
Onto our intro…
Newsletter editor Lily here, writing to you from eerily quiet upstate New York.
I’ve been self-isolating with my mom and my brother in an apartment for the past week. Some would say that must be a tight squeeze, but my mom’s place is downright palatial compared to my apartment in the city.
I’ve seen my mom almost every month over the past five months for one reason or another. As has been established over the past two and a half years of writing these newsletters, I love my mom. She’s my favorite person. I would kill most people if I had to spend five minutes with them, but my mom and I haven’t ever had trouble just hanging out.
On nights my kids feel a little unsure, a little uneasy, a little bit apprehensive about a nightmare, they ask for “dream spray.”
Dream spray is Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Mist. As with most things in parenting, it was one of those necessity-as-the-mother-of-invention moments, like Dumbo’s magic feather. I don’t remember when one of my kids was in a total panic or why I had Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Mist on me at that moment. But here we are.
The two list the happy things in their lives they want to dream about, always ending with “and all things happy.” Then they ritualistically close their eyes, and stick their heads forth like the world’s most earnest turtles. I spritz their faces, and they wince almost imperceptibly. And with that good dreams are “locked in.”
Announcement: Per our thread, we’ll be hosting our first virtual Chairman Mom “dinner” TONIGHT (Wednesday, March 18) at 7pm PST/10pm EST. (Please note your time zone!) You can log into that chat HERE and find guidance questions at the bottom of the thread. Again, HERE IS THE ZOOM LINK.
Paul here, the mostly silent co-founder of Chairman Mom 😉
Last week, Sarah told Mama Bear readers about the launch of our new app NeedHop.
I just posted something on Facebook (here) about how we’re responding to the coronavirus outbreak, and how every CEO/founder should be treating their employees and co-workers who are still managing to do their jobs during this insane time. Sarah suggested that we should share it here too.
“Wait! Don’t come in here yet!” Eli shrieked running back and forth between my room and his room. When he was finally ready, he proudly led me back to his bedroom, where he’d filled the floor with a gorgeous, Morraccan-looking pallet made up of my favorite blankets and coziest pillows from all over the house. We were going to have a 1:1 Eli and Mommy slumber party, and he was going full VSCO girl on me.
“I’ve even brought your favorite cowboy boots, so you can just wake them up and put them on in the morning,” he said with a “don’t I ALWAYS think of everything?” look on his face. It didn’t matter that I’ve never once woken up and immediately put on cowboy boots outside of camping. He had thought of everything.
I don’t think I’ve stayed in the house with my kids for more than 60 hours straight ever. Not after I gave birth, not when they’ve been sick. Not even when I had pneumonia a few years ago. I have much more to say about some of the surprises that have come out of this period of family isolation in future posts. (Also posting a lot of the ups and downs on these various Chairman Mom threads.)
But a few things I wanted to share with you today that are more urgent.
The first is that we decided this past weekend to make Chairman Mom free for everyone for the next three months or the duration of this crisis.