If you know me, you know I take goals and New Year’s resolutions seriously. One of my big ones this year was to take control of my weight again. Unlike the last few years, nothing could stop me. Not pulling my knee early in the year running and having to cut out everything sinful to keep from getting derailed. Not new flare ups from my asthma that kept sending me to the pulmonologist. Not a fall of near-endless travel. As I get close to the end of the year, I haven’t lost the whole 30 pounds. But I’ve lost 20 on the scale, and likely more than that in fat. But that’s not the only way I’m measuring progress.
Category: General (page 1 of 15)
That’s what VC and all around good guy Micah Baldwin said on Facebook after I posted yet another photo with my growing Seattle badass posse. I went from having basically never gone to Seattle to doing three trips this summer/fall and making—no joke—at least 20 close female friends, almost all of whom I didn’t know last year.
I met a lot of these women through the Chairman Mom community—Seattle has become a definite cluster of amazing on the site. We had a holiday dinner for about 20 of these women last night. It’s amazing how deeply I feel like I know Chairman Mom users, even though I don’t know many of their real names, what they look like, what they do for a living or any other surface-y things that most social networks trade in.
I went to school with a stunningly brilliant woman named Joann Self who would wind up becoming a stunningly brilliant documentary filmmaker. (She’s also an active member of the Chairman Mom community!)
Her current project is called Juvenile and it tells the story up close about how the criminal justice system across America is failing our children. Children who make mistakes. Children trapped in systemic racial injustice in America. Children who weren’t given legal representation in some cases. Children who couldn’t navigate a justice system that adults struggle to navigate, and spent their lives paying for it.
Her journey to leave her cushy legal job started with maternal bias, where she got passed over for a promotion once she became a mother. And this week she has had a two amazing announcements: She is pregnant with her fourth child and she has raised a whopping, gigantic $20 million Series A.
Raising a $20 million Series A is a lot for any founder. It is a gigantic feat for a female-led company, with a first-time CEO…who is also pregnant. It’s monumental when you consider that Nelson is outside the Silicon Valley echo chamber and going up against the heavily funded WeWork/The Wing juggernaut. Just to add: VCs hate funding real estate plays.
Nearly two years ago, we were first talking about building Chairman Mom. We’d spent months talking to people about why they quit women’s and moms’ groups online, trying to deduce what made so many women’s communities go sideways.
Our belief—which most of the world still does not believe—is that the Internet doesn’t need to be toxic for women. That women don’t naturally one want tear one another down. That it was actually engineered into software in the earliest social networks, and we could engineer it out of software. (The hope of course is that we can also help engineer that out of society…)
Do you guys have a whole cohort of people who have similar names to you, whose email you constantly get? There’s a Nextdoor Group in another state I can’t seem to get unsubscribed from. Then there’s poor Grace from Texas, whose mom must have a similar name because I get all of her progress reports and report cards from school. I don’t read them, by the way. Because I feel like somewhere poor Grace would be mortified if the other Sarah Lacy or Stacey Lucky or whatever her name is did.
Sometimes I go to the effort to unsubscribe. Sometimes sites won’t let me, and sometimes I just have so much spam that comes in my inbox everyday, I just passively delete this kind of thing along with it.
I think I know how we are all feeling right now. And I can majorly relate. I feel so much pressure to get all my year end business goals completed by the end of the month and that effectively comes early for me because I’m taking my kids to see their grandparents the week before Christmas. (Yay! Divorce schedules!)
I feel like I am stalking the hallways of Silicon Valley, yelling, “Still there???? Can I talk to you about Chairman Mom????? Helllllo????????”
It is not your imagination. I learn everything about family dynamics from being at hotel pools.
Earlier this year, I wrote a newsletter about a scene I witnessed between a dad and his sons playing a gigantic Connect Four by a hotel pool. It confirmed every instinct I’ve ever had in wanting to go live on a Wonder Woman island. The obsession with winning at all cost being modeled for the kids, the fragile male ego when a child beat the adult at the game. All of it the cliche of watching fragile masculinity being passed from father to son, seeing what happens when when that fragile male ego takes over the White House, and good lord, the species is doomed isn’t it?
Yesterday, Lily asked my opinion on this article on our Slack channel: “The Controversy Over Parents Who Eat Lunch With Their Children at School.” The fact that my response was, “I didn’t know that was an option!” and Paul’s response to that was “IT ISN’T” probably says a lot about the dynamic in our home…
The article is about parents who are so involved in school they show up to have lunch with their kids everyday. Let me say in advance: I DO NOT DO THIS. I am not going to do this. I agree that kids need their space at school. I purposely picked a school that doesn’t have any required volunteering and generally likes parents to stay at home. I believe it’s healthier for the kids, and in case you didn’t notice, I also have a pretty demanding job.
“Mama…remember that beautiful lady on the blue book you were reading while we were in Palm Springs?” Eli asked me the other day in a Lyft on the way home from therapy.
(Let’s pause for a moment to let it sink in just how California my life has become…)
“Michelle Obama?” I said.
“I guess,” Eli said. “Did Donald Trump ever bully her?”
“Yes, Donald Trump and a whole lot of other people bullied her.”
“What’d they do?”
“Well, she writes about it in her book. They questioned whether she was a woman, whether her husband was born in our country, they said a lot of things that were really just code for being racist. Men in our government even made fun of her butt.”