I wake up Wednesday at 4am to a phone call: The Guardian, in London, asking for an interview about my miscarriage twitter. Then a half-hour later, an Irish radio station. And then the phone kept ringing.
I tell Now Magazine (I think it's basically People magazine for the UK audience) to call back after I got the kids off to school. I ask my housemanager to come early because I can’t handle the sleep deprivation and the early-morning interviews and school lunches all in one morning.
I block out the morning to write a thousand-word essay for the Guardian to justify tweeting about my miscarriage. Which the Guardian wants done in the next 20 hours.
Now magazine wants to know if they can send a photographer to take a photo of my kids.
Or the Farmer?
What about if their faces are blurred?
No. (But this at least makes the Farmer laugh.)
The Today show called Tuesday to see if I could be on the show on Thursday. I said yes. They call in between the Guardian and Now magazine to ask if I can fly there.
The first thing I think is that my kids were so sad that I was not taking them to school as usual that I promised to pick them up after school, and I don't want to break the promise.
The only reasonable flight to NYC is at 3:08. I decide that the only thing to do is take my kids with me. I can't bear to simply be gone when they come home from school. I did that so much last year. I don't want to do that anymore.
So I tell the Today Show that I can make it only if they will fly my kids and the nanny with me. And pay for two hotel rooms.
The Today Show says yes. They start booking tickets. I finish interviews and the nanny starts packing. She calls the school to get the kids ready to leave early. She cancels violin lessons and cello lessons and a reading tutor.
I call the Farmer to offer him one last chance to go with us. He doesn't answer. He doesn't take the offer seriously because it is so far from anything he'd ever do. He says he can't believe I'm taking the kids on a trip again when the last business trip I took them on turned out so bad that the police came.
He has a point, but I tell him that I'm taking the nanny along this time.
Then the new CEO of Brazen Careerist calls. He's concerned. I have given a one-hour interview with a tabloid that was not recorded and it's being taken out of context all over the UK.
So we have a two-hour phone call about the Brazen Careerist brand. Should it be tied to me? Is miscarriage a workplace issue? What drives people to sign up at Brazen Careerist anyway?
Wait. Can you just go sign up at the site right now so the CEO can see that a post like this does not hurt the brand and I should just write what I want on my blog?
Okay. So the nanny is decked-out in black, with blown-out blond hair, and she almost looks a little New-York-y for her first-ever visit there, when the Today show calls to say they need to move me to Saturday.
This is what I thought: Is there enough time for me to get really drunk on junk wine in the fridge before I have to go pick up the kids?
I say no to Saturday.
Later, I get a death threat. This is not new. I have been getting death threats all month but today's death threats are different. They are from the UK, and then from the Australian Christian Coalition. No kidding. Three calls in a row.
This all might be the end of me catering to mainstream media. But. Wait. I'm so happy to be in Inc magazine this month where Max Chafkin wrote a great list of top bloggers. And Max was so easy to deal with. He scheduled a call. We had a nice conversation. And he wrote an intelligent article. He's so good, and considerate that he's almost like a blogger.
But for now, I'm exhausted. And I am thinking that dealing with mainstream media just isn't worth it. I get my own story out, the way I want it, on my blog. I have a smart, engaged audience that is fun to talk to and, when there's something really good, they tell their smart, thoughtful friends. I don't think I need mainstream media. And I know I don't need the ridiculous way they’ve been talking with me.
(Hi, Penelope Trunk? This is Steve from the early show —
What? What early show?
It’s the morning show on CBS.
Can you tell me how you justify your tweet?
Just quickly. I'm going into our 4pm meeting and I need a summary of your position.)
So, mainstream media, here’s my position. More than feeling compelled to justify myself to your audience, I feel compelled to protect my schedule and my family from your intrusive calls and seemingly random deadlines. I feel an urgent need to separate a sane online conversation about women at work from an insane media that is doing exactly what destroys women at work: Making it extremely difficult for me to have a manageable schedule for parenting.