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Monday Musings ~ May 2

May 2, 2016

Happy Monday!


1. I just returned from a conference designed for moms, media and marketers that was all about empowerment and having a voice through content channels. The conference’s theme was “redefining motherhood.” There were many things I really enjoyed about the conference: I attended some great sessions (heard the producer of “Spotlight” speak!), met new contacts and spent time with great friends. Yet the content and great company was a bit overshadowed by my observations that women continue to perpetuate stereotypes and resort to “othering” each other.

Let me give you an example. I was listening to a panel of super-successful women. And by successful, I’m referring to an executive at Twitter, CEO of a philanthropic foundation, founder of a cross-border investment platform, president of an elite special events company, and an astronaut (yes, an astronaut). I felt honored to be in the presence of these amazing women. Yet the moderator spent quite a bit of time asking them about their relationship with their spouse, and strategies for making time for date night.

Granted, I’m NOT knocking date night. But I couldn’t help but think: If this were a panel of men, would they even be asked these questions?

Further, one of the panelists answered that instead of focusing on date night, what works for her is focusing on spending quality time together as a family. But that answer didn’t fit into the gendered norm and she was shamed for not making time for the traditional date night. I was really bothered by this. Here I sat a conference designed to empower women to have a voice and redefine motherhood. Yet the mom who was honest about her family’s choice was criticized in front of a crowd. I’m not blaming the conference organizers for this. It just reminded me of how far we as women and society still have to go.

Well, that was more of a post than a musing. … If you’re still reading, thank you. And let me continue on with my thoughts.

2. Remember the Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars”? I was reminded of that song when I read this article and this one about what people would do with a big tax refund. I did not get a tax refund (quite the opposite!). But I always think about that song and wonder what I’d do if I suddenly had a bunch of cash. First thing I’d do is hire a maid service and buy a new car with functioning air conditioning. What would you buy?

3. I was laughing out loud as I read this Scary Mommy article about how family road trips have changed since my childhood. My family would spend a week each summer driving to and from Lake Tahoe and San Diego. There were no snacks or bottled water. Entertainment was reading a book and listening to my parents’ favorite cassette tapes. This is perhaps why I refuse to buy a car with a DVD player (much to Sophie’s dismay).

4. Finally, I’m in LOVE with The West Wing Weekly podcast! “The West Wing” is kind of like comfort food for me. Anytime I feel down or need a pick-me-up, I re-watch episodes and I feel better. It’s still one of my favorite shows. Watching television shows in 1999 (when the series debuted) was so different than today. You had to wait every week for a new episode. There was no DVR, binge-watching or spoilers to find on the Internet. So waiting for the next podcast episode is almost like reliving those early days of “The West Wing.”

What’s going on in your life? Tell me what you’re thinking about this week.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2016 4:04 am

    I find your observations about the conference disturbing– why would they be so rigid that family time isn’t as important as date night? Family time are dates too. Women can be their own worst enemy sometimes and I agree, I doubt they’d ask men the same thing. Seems a real waste of the professionals’ time as well as the attendees who may have been looking for something more substantial.

    • Leah permalink*
      May 2, 2016 8:41 am

      Luckily that was just one session and the overall conference was not in that same vein. But yes, we are our own worst enemy!

  2. May 2, 2016 4:48 am

    Interesting observations from the conference. That is disappointing to hear, though like you said, a reminder of how far we have to go. Hopefully others noticed this too. It’s easy for us to fall into the same traps we are trying to move past. On another note, did you see Allison Janney show up as CJ to the White House press briefing? She had a serious message to share, but I loved all the West Wing references!

    • Leah permalink*
      May 2, 2016 8:41 am

      I did see Allison Janney to the press conference! I loved it, of course!

  3. May 2, 2016 7:26 am

    Isn’t the West Wing Weekly podcast the best? I am hooked on the show all over again (and failing completely in their guidance not to watch ahead…can’t help but binge watch!). I cracked up at the SM piece, too — I can still feel my legs stuck to the vinyl car seats as we sat in traffic, windows down. And thanks for linking to my piece on what to do with fun money — it’s fun to dream. 🙂

    • Leah permalink*
      May 2, 2016 8:40 am

      I’m the same with re-watching The West Wing. I’ve done a terrible job of not sticking to watching the upcoming episode. I just get hooked! And yes, fun to dream!

  4. May 2, 2016 8:43 pm

    Such a good point about the date night question and all that. You’re right, they would NEVER ask a male exec that.

    • Leah permalink*
      May 2, 2016 9:10 pm

      Exactly! Drives me crazy. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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