I recently wrote a review of Daddy & Co’s Camo Backpack. I’m pretty jealous of the amount of pockets in the diaper bag. I love pockets. I love to compartmentalize. Keys here. Phone there. Binkie separate from all other germs. It comes especially handy for travel, and dad who shirk at carrying a florally purse-shaped diaper bag can reclaim their manhood with this bag.
A few times since having my son, we’ve had to fill out forms asking for Emergency Contacts should we not be available. Growing up, my emergency contacts were an easy line item – my grandmother and aunt, both of whom lived exactly an 8 and 6 minute drive from our house, respectively.
But, my son’s grandmother and aunt lives a painstaking 33 and 30 hour drive away, respectively. Great for visits, not good if he gets a bee sting and I’m in an all-day conference.
It shouldn’t have to be such a complicated question, staring at me on his preschool renewal form. But the sad truth is that I can’t even remember who, in a last minute haste to finish it, we put down last year — and those were people I would apparently trust my child to!
The implications of living far from family really comes to light in these kinds of situations. Who do I trust to drive my son in their car? Who would care for him enough to bring him to a doctors if, for some reason, my husband and I were incapacitated at the very moment he had his own emergency at school? Who even knows him well enough to know where his doctor’s office is located? Certainly not anyone we may have listed last year.
You don’t realize how much you need to trust in strangers and loose acquaintances, or if you are lucky, colleagues, until you move out of driving distance from family to a city where you know no one except your spouse. I find that because of this, I sometimes forced to make decisions that I would otherwise not make because I have exhausted all other reasonable options.
From walking our dog when heading out of town to visit that family that lives on the other side of the country to having children and filling out an Emergency Contact form, it almost forces an annual review of the friendships and bonds we have established in our new city. What new friendships and bonds have we made over the last year? Have any of our friendships or relationships continued to grow and strengthen or have we gone separate ways?
And who on earth can I list as the 3 emergency contacts on this year’s form?
Before the holidays, I started as a contributor to the fast-growing mommy blog, MommyHotSpot.com. I hope to bring my insight of entrepreneur meets motherhood, how to balance the two, and the challenges of raising a child when far from family. Here are my first few posts… Enjoy!
Bucking national trend, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced this past week that the company would no longer allow staff to work from home or from remote locations. Approximately 10% of the US workforce has cut the commute out of their life and now work from home. This is certainly unusual for the industry where internet firms, and the companies that support them (think design, ad agencies etc.) have often pushed the limits of what the word “workspace” means. From massages to free lunch to creativity pods. Just watch this sketch from Portlandia for the epitome of this.
There are numerous reasons why working from home is a good thing. With those additional cars off the road, it is kinder on the environment. Families get to spend more time together since mom and dad are no longer tied up in the car or train. And less time in endless meetings can mean more productivity.
Of course, working from home doesn’t work for everyone, or every employer (though I haven’t heard of too many going back on their decision, especially not company-wide). To work from home requires immense discipline and a quiet space away from the family to work and hold conference calls. Just because you work from home does not mean clients or colleagues should be subjected to cartoons on the TV in the background when you are trying to conduct business.
Some people thrive better around others, while some need the quiet and solitude to think and produce. Having worked both in offices and at home at various points in my career, I am a bit of both. I love the interaction and sharing ideas you get being around other people, but when it comes time to sit and write articles, proposals, or churn out reports, I need to head into isolation.
Since my son was born, working from home has been the best situation for me. He gets to play with his babysitter from the comfort of our home while I get to retreat to my office to work. And the best part is that I am also a part of his day. I can pop in to see how he is doing, what the babysitter is feeding him for lunch, and making sure he is taking a nap early enough during the day. When I need to be around other people, which is often, honestly, I head to a Starbucks or local coffee shop and work from there. The ambient conversation, chitchat with the baristas, and the caffeine are important parts to making me feel like I am not a one-woman man island some days. The balance isn’t always easy, but working from home absolutely, without a doubt in my mind, helps.
As the CEO of a company in need of a significant retooling, I understand Marissa Mayer wanting to take control of the situation, so I hope that the virtual working ban is a temporary measure until they get back on their feet, for the sake of all those parents trying to make both ends of their life work as smoothly as possible.