If you ever worry what it will look like when your kids take over your life, this is it: lunch at my investor’s favorite restaurant to discuss my son’s cello lessons. Me getting there two hours early because one son has an orthodontist appointment and one son has a cello lesson and my husband is taking cows to market, so even in a family with two cars and a nanny and a driver, there is no way for me to get to my meeting on time unless I’m two hours early. Read more
After three days of silence on the cause of death for Dave Goldberg, the New York Times has changed their story in the span of seven hours, some mysterious source said collapsed while exercising. Then a leak to the Associated Press said head trauma. If we were in an Agatha Christie mystery, I’d say heart attack. Read more
I intuitively knew to hide my kids when I started having them, because I had already had a rip-roaring career where I steered clear of women who doted on their kids. (It’s always women, even today.) The kids were annoying to me. I couldn’t understand why the women would lose focus on their jobs to get stupid about their kids.
I made sure to stay in male-dominated departments so as to not get sucked into the kid thing by proximity.
Even with all my precautions, my editor suggested that instead of writing a workplace column I should write a women’s column.
That suggestion pissed me off — but I just vowed to hide my kids more.
I am at O’Hare flying to Pittsburgh to give a speech. I try to never give speeches. Actually I try to never leave my house. Because I think I will regret any time I spend away from my kids.
Well, definitely I will. Here’s how I know:
Because I chose to live in abject poverty in NYC because I didn’t want to leave my kids to work in an office. So I started building a freelance writing business on $25 articles. We ran out of food a lot, and I thought I’d look back and be horrified that my kids did not have beds. (We all slept on the floor because we had no room for beds.) Read more
Here’s the problem men have today: They understand how bad it feels to be raised by a dad who is never around.
Those boys are grown up now, and they are dads. And they don’t want to be like their dad. They want something different.
Seth Godin just published an e-book about education called Stop Stealing Dreams. He talks about how schools stink, but that even though homeschooling appears to be a rational response to terrible schools, homeschooling is inefficient and unrealistic for most parents.
When I first saw this, I was stunned. Seth has built a career on telling people how to push past the status quo. In his book The Dip, which is my favorite, Seth taught us all how to do something really difficult. In his book Linchpin, Seth asked us if we are doing something that really matters or just talking about it.
I can’t help thinking that Stop Stealing Dreams is his description of why homeschooling requires going through a dip, but he doesn’t want to do it. So instead of being a linchpin for homeschooing, Seth will be a naysayer. Seth is advocating the status quo: Lame-duck parent activists who delude themselves that their activism is meaningful. And people advocating for large-scale school reform without any blueprint whatsoever for how to educate such a wide range of students on such a large scale. This discussion is parental escapism. No parent, not even Seth, will solve the school problem before their kids are out of school. Read more
Divorce is always on my mind because I got a divorce four years ago. Not that I wanted to. In fact, when I thought we were going to a couples therapist we were actually going to a divorce mediator. And then, when it was clear that we were going to have to get a divorce, and I had all the money to fund it, my lawyer finally said to me, “If you drag your feet any longer, you’re going to have to get a new lawyer because I’m retiring.”
So we got a divorce. I hated it. (And of course, I blogged about it the whole time.) Subsequently I have become a vocal critic of divorce. I think it’s an incredibly lame and selfish route to take. Here are five reasons why:
1. Divorce is a cliche among people in denial.
I see divorce in every story. For example, as soon as I heard about the school shootings in Chardon, OH, I got stuck on the fact that the kid’s parents had just gotten a divorce and left him with his grandparents. I blame the parents.
Armstrong supports her family with her blog, dooce.com, which is about herself, so of course, I watch her really closely. In her post announcing that she had asked her husband to leave, she said the two common, and delusional things we hear from divorced parents all the time:
“I can’t be a good parent if I’m not happy and I’ll never be happy in this marriage.”
“The kids are doing so well. Kids are really resilient.”
I’ve heard those things so many times. From parents who are getting a divorce who are full of shit. Read more
If I look back on my blog, I can see that each year there were one or two ideas that just blew me away and ended up dominating my thinking. For example, 2011 my year to be obsessed with school – homeschooling and higher ed, 2010 was my year for disillusionment with happiness research, 2009 was when I started writing honestly about how unglamorousstartup life really is.
1. Nature vs. nurture
An important book came out at the end of 2011 that got very little play in the media: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, by Bryan Caplan The title of the book is just awful. Which is probably why it has been roundly ignored. The title should have been Why Nothing You Do As a Parent Matters. That title would have gotten a lot of media coverage, but who would have purchased the book? Read more
The best way to understand earning power—no matter what your age—is to understand the factors that go into it. For example, most people who have careers that are plateauing usually have a learning problem that manifests itself as an earning problem.
And for parents, schooling discussions are really earning discussions. Because you can say that kids with a love of learning are lifelong learners (essential for workplace success today), but truly, who wants an unemployed Ph.D candidate? You don’t want a lawyer who can’t get a job because of poor social skills, you don’t want a kid with perfect SAT scores who marries for money because supporting oneself seems too hard. Every parent wants to raise a kid who is capable of supporting himself and capable of finding engaging work for a stable life.
Here’s how schooling affects earning power. Read more