Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Connecting

I sometimes see things through the eyes of my preschooler these days. Orientation for the "Ocean Room" was today and it was interesting to watch the interaction amongst the people. The teachers who where experienced as both parents and teachers, were nervous. Very nervous. Obviously more accustomed to talking to 3-year olds than adults, these ladies stuttered as they gave us parents seated in chairs designed for 30 pounders with tiny bottoms, information about the months ahead.

It made me think about how people who are nervous in public, make others around them feel. The room was not full of scary people. The 5 people under 4 were all rather oblivious to the instructions about start times or leader days. The adults, eager for information, sat uncomfortably, just as much or more so than the teachers.

It means to me, that as an introvert, I have an obligation to the people around me to pull myself together, be confident and relax. I need to be more like my son, who walked into his new room, filled with new people and was at ease immediately. He made friends, laughed and played. He was confident in who he is and his comfort made those around him comfortable.

Maybe all extroverts are like 3-year olds... free

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Business of Writing/Parenting

I am in the business of writing. Am I a writer? I don't know.

That is what I told the kid who was selling magazines though. Here is the story:

Skinny kid clearly not from my neighborhood comes to the door. Gives me canned and nervous speech about how he is from the inner city, looking for a way out of his underprivileged life. He wants to know if I will buy a magazine. "Help him" he says. He says he knows I don't need magazines.

He sees my hesitation. He asks me what I do for a living. I notice he is taking in my hair, dress, house. He says "let me guess... full time mom."

I could have killed him. He lost all possibilities of business at that point.

(Sales Tip of the Day: Go ahead and make assumptions about the people you are selling to, but never, under any circumstances tell them what those assumptions are.)

I said, dead pan..."I'm a writer"

So why did it bother me? Well, for one, I have always hated the term "full time mom." Even parents will partial weekend/holiday custody are not referred to as "part-time parents." Parenting is work... but is it a job? That could be debated. It sometimes takes the place of a job. Sometimes it is in conjunction with a job. I do my "job" of writing, often while doing the "work" of parenting. Or at least I do the writing while my son sleeps, take conference calls while my son is in school and dream up story, blog and content ideas while driving the delightful preschooler to day camp/grandmas/chick-fil-a.

I am a full-time mom. All moms are full time... all dads are full time. It could be argued that mothers and fathers are not often full time I suppose... but "moms" and "dads"... semantics perhaps. That kid has no idea.

Maybe I just don't like that I look like a "mom" at all. Perhaps that is why that bothered me. He figured I looked "mommish" -- ug.

I did not buy any magazines. Although I gave the kid a soda as I told him "no". Thinking back, that was a pretty "mommish" thing to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back to School

Here in Charlotte the kids are getting ready to go back to school -- something that seems crazy to me. In NY we never went back til after Labor day -- and yet here the go back like next week. I guess Aug is really hot and in a way it gets the kids in the AC, and they do get out earlier in May/June than we ever did...but wow.. back to school time means end of summer. ug. But then, here in Charlotte the weather is warmer and I am really looking forward to the extended and warmer Autumn.

But..as long as I don't have to get locked into a classroom myself when the sun is shining and summer is still here I am ok with it! (Sorry kids)

- hmmm can't wait til my little monster starts school in a couple years!

Monday, August 13, 2007

balancing -- aka juggling

I have talked with a bunch of people recently who are completely overwhemed with life. They each have so much going on they can't seem to focus on getting anything done. Problem with not getting anything done... well it is still there, mocking you and being that one more thing proving you have too much going on.

I know that men (must)feel this way sometimes. But I hardly ever run into a woman who doesn't. What is it about women that we are all juggling a million things. We have the care-taker/mom thing... we have work and the house - because like it or not women will tell you they take on more housework & childcare than their mates. (I have also noticed that we have higher standards and do this to ourselves.... so we can't blame the guys entirely).

There is work, there is the yard, the house, the laundry, the kids, parents, the christmas shopping and the thing-that-comes-up-last-minute-that-you-have-to-take-care-of-that-you-didn't-see-coming. We have businesses, finances, our biolgical clock ticking/not-ticking/glass-ceiling/mommy-track/...menopause...Oh... and when are you suppossed to have sex?

So many of us just have too much going on. And the truth of it is we do it to ourselves. We could let things slide but we choose not to. We could have less demanding jobs, or make peanut-butter sandwiches for our kids every night for dinner. We could hire someone to clean our bathrooms or just let the laundry pile up until Saturday. But we don't. Somehow we are empowered by the thought that if we got it all done we would be SUPERWOMAN!


The problem is we rarely do get it all done. And so we feel overwhelmed.

And why should we be overwhelmed by the fact that we didn't get the hand painted cookies done in time for the dance recital? Or the vacuum run before guests come?

Somethings NEED to happen. We NEED to sleep. We NEED to eat and make sure our kids eat. (Nothing in the marriage vows require us to cook for hubby however... although it is nice once in a while and works as a motivator when you need help folding that laundry). We do NEED to be healthy, keep our kids healthy, clothed, taken care of, we NEED to have our finances in order and bills paid. Beyond that - getting that book read, (or written), dusting, catching up on a TV show or surfing the net are not things we NEED to do. Get the priorites done, and if you have time at the end of the day to do something else, do one of them. ONE. Put the dishes away and go to bed and be done with it. Because tomorrow is another day and getting one "extra" off that do-do list will be one less thing to worry about then. Well, at least until breakfast.

(Which leads me to a topic of discussion for another day -- delegation of responsibilities and chores - running your home like a business....)


***please note - I know I made a bunch of generalizations here and probably offended a few of you men. Suck it up -- no---just kidding. Now, I know that *you* are different, that just because *you* are a guy, doesn't mean *you* are a slob and don't take care of the kids. I know *you* do more than you get credit for. Really. But just *you*. The rest of them really are slobs. But *you*... *you* are wonderful.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Meg's Vacation Photo



ok - so here is the promised picture of me from the vacation -- So many great pics were taken thanks to my family's facination w/ technology but not a ton of me. This one sis Erin took and she did a wonderful job. Don't I look relaxed!

oh oh! Better get back to blogging

Ok, so now total strangers are starting to tell me I am not blogging enough! It used to be just my mom, but I logged on today to find comments on several of my blogs. Sorry guys - I will try to be better. As an introvert I think that sometimes we forget that there is a bigger world...

I am fresh off my vacation and If I figure out a way to post a picture or two, I will. Vacation was wonderful. Time with family, sisters, my niece. It was great.

Vacation brain is still clouding my ability to get things done, but I have been doing a bit of research on how to get my book on amazon to rank better. It seems there are a lot of SEO-ish ways to get a better ranking - and the better ranked books come up higher when searches happen and generally sell better. Which -- then in turns brings the ranking up (or in fact "down" as a lower number is better).

One way to get a better ranking is for people to write reviews about your book. And if those people have reviewed before, the ranking increase will be better, especially if their other reviews were voted "helpful". The ins and outs of that is a little nutty and probably a bit more complicated than Google in some ways.

Now, Amazon won't let anyone write a review unless they have bought something on Amazon before - or vote for helpfulness or "tag" an item either. I think this is probably to disuade people from creating reviews falsely. Which, as annoying as it is as the author, is respected.

Anyway the SEO-person in me is enjoying the challenge of learning as much as I can, and the author in me obviously wants my book to be ranked as best it can be.

So I am actively soliciting reviews as a starter, and learning as much as I can about getting those rankings up.

This week I cave company in, so I will try not to avoid my updates here, but, given my track record, I can't promise anything.... :)