It’s little wonder I turned out the way I am.
I am the youngest of five kids, and my mother fully relished both being a mom and being a teacher. I only heard a story that spoke to the latter recently from Kim Scott — yes, the famous entrepreneur and author of Radical Candor (and Chairman Mom member) — who also had my mom as a teacher in high school.
Scott’s class was once asking my mom about why she felt she needed to go back to work after I was in Kindergarten. She told them that something inside her felt like it would become…malignant if she didn’t work. “It was like she felt like she would get cancer,” Scott told me at a fundraiser recently.
“Cancer???” I screamed. I wish my mom had told me her pull to work was this strong. I had her as a teacher and I knew how much she loved it and how good she was at it. But I never knew the imperative to work was so strong after birthing five kids that she felt she’d have the equivalent of a disease if she didn’t. There are times it would have made me feel more normal. This is one reason I think it’s so important to introduce my kids to women I know professionally. You can see you parents through others in a way you never will 1:1.
What was clear to me growing up was how much my mom adored being a mom. Once again, her students frequently told her they had never heard anyone talk about motherhood the way she did.
This I hear all the time too. That I felt so differently about motherhood than I was told I’d feel is why I wrote my book. And the reaction I received — that indeed, many others felt stronger and more badass after having kids — is why I started this company. But still, I get this feedback sometimes.
We are rapidly approaching one of my families’ absolute highlights of the year: Eli and Evie’s dance show. I was blown away by five-year-old Eli and his classmates performance last year — so much so that we watched the video 50 or more times over the course of the summer. And this year, Evie gets to be part of it too. The other day when Eli told me his tap dance number was to “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” from The Aristocats, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
“Don’t get too excited!” he cautioned.
“TOO LATE!” I screamed.
And then he burst into tears.
I have to throttle back my excitement about the dance show or it upsets Eli. There are limits on how many “woo’s” I can project at him from the audience, and how many times I can tell him he was awesome after it’s over. (Just once.) I’m not a stage mom. I don’t care that either of them perform flawlessly. I’m just so proud of them.
I am forcing myself not to talk about it for the next week and he enters dress rehearsals and his nerves ratchet up. But that means I have to talk about it to everyone else. I was telling someone about this the other day, and this person said I was the first parent they’d ever heard not complain about attending their kids’ school performance.
That can’t be true, can it? Am I really that much of a weirdo? I can’t imagine anyone watching their baby tap dance to The Aristocats in an amazing costume on a large dark stage without any adult leading them all on their own would complain about it…right?
Either way, if that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
Here are our questions of the day:
- Bouncing Back from Being Fired
- Has anyone here successfully minimized their stuff and/or done a capsule wardrobe collection?
– Sarah Lacy