MetroKids March 2014 Preview

Lean, Tween Mommy Machine

Back when I was 14, I watched my stepmother step away from a thriving law career to stay at home with my newborn sister. “Women can have it all,” she told me. “They just can’t have it all all of the time.”

MK Staff Picks: What We're . . .
Reading: All Joy and No Fun. That’s not how we feel about raising our kids, but we appreciate the provocative debate sparked by Jennifer Senior’s book about
the disconnect between the expectations and day-to-day reality of parenting.
Making: Arm-knit cowls. If kids can manipulate those fiddly little Rainbow Loom bands, they can certainly twist yarn into funky, chunky accessories with a few waves of their arms (like this adorable kids' version from Learn how to do it at
Eating: Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats whips up into a quick-cooking oatmeal so rich, you won’t miss the gluten that’s not there.

I took that caveat out for polishing a year ago, when I leaned back in after stepping away from my own career. I’d spent 13 years as a work-at-home mom when I came on board at MetroKids last March, the very month that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg released her Lean In manifesto to the world. It was a call I was ready to heed.

And indeed, while I feel cozily settled in workwise, the ripples of the transition still greatly affect my family. “Big” middle schoolers or not, my boys still tell me they wish I were home after school, to help them with homework, make a snack, get them to hockey practice — just be there, as I was when they were the age of the preschoolers now enjoying so many terrific advances in early education trends.

Given this context, our Women’s History Month package feels very personal to me. I’ve adopted the tactics of our “Leaning Back In” article and feel a strong appreciation for and solidarity with the local mompreneurs whose work/family balancing advice we feature on p. 6. In a related vein, we also give good advice on how we can best foster the next generation of savvy entrepreneurs, including a “Stock Pick Whiz Kid” who lives right in our own backyard.

Not counting the sheer amount of time I was physically available to my kids, the one thing I miss most about my work-at-home lifestyle is the ability to get to the gym every morning. The lack of a regular workout makes me super-conscious of every bite I eat and every sedentary hour I spend in front of my computer. “Lose Weight in Your 20s, 30s, 40s” tracks the trajectory women of different ages should be aware of concerning this often fraught issue. And “A Child’s Road to Weight Loss Surgery” looks at whether weight loss surgery for minors is a lifesaver, an easy out — or both.

I could, of course, get to the gym after work, but that cuts into precious family time. Pretty soon, this ridiculous winter will be over and my husband and I can resume our nightly walk, trailing the kids as they circle on their bikes. That’s not too long to wait for a taste of it all, even if it all comes just a little bit at a time. —Cheryl

Categories: MK Memo