Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book release recovery, friends, Mom-in-Chief on The Huffington Post

I've had a tough week. I am grateful that it's all working out, but it's been a tough eleven days. My daughter got sick the day before Mother's Day, and she was getting well but then started to go downhill again. All this started with poison ivy--on her face--which got infected and ended up being treated with two kinds of antibiotics and strong steroids. I was just glad that after three doctor's visits we got on the path that led to her getting better. It was nerve-wracking to see her wake up after five days on antibiotics with her face so blotchy and swollen that her eyelid was halfway shut. Any time antibiotics are involved, and especially when they don't work the first time, I get a little panicked. But we managed to get her better and even had a little bit of fun over the weekend. She was hyper and hungry from taking the steroids, so she baked two batches of cookies and made blueberry pancakes. (She's quite the cook for someone who is not quite ten yet!) She's finally back to herself again.

So I was very grateful when Jamie Woolf checked on me at just the moment when I needed a friend, and a writer friend at that. Jamie is the author of Mom-in-Chief, a terrific book about leadership and parenting which came out in February--I am sorry I didn't know about it in time to include it in the new Mojo Mom. Jamie and I had known each other slightly before, but we really connected when we spent time together in Berkeley in January, after each of our books had gone to press.

Jamie has a new piece out on The Huffington Post, "Female Bullying or Just Another Attack Against Successful Women," pushing back against recent "trend" pieces looking at women's workplace infighting. When we talked about it today, Jamie's perspective on this topic reminded me of how I feel about "the Mommy Wars," that these conflicts are more symptoms of our workplace challenges, rather than a direct cause. I can say from experience that working together with other women toward common goals is much more fun and effective than in-fighting, and it's sad that fighting is what gets the media's attention. (And yes, I was on The Today Show two years ago for a segment about "The Mommy Wars," but I stand by what I said when I got there.)

Since Jamie's book came out two months before mine, she's been a great sounding board about the emotional roller-coaster of the publishing process. I've observed that publishing a book can make one feel pretty neurotic. You work so hard, pour your heart out, and when you put your book out to the world it's like putting yourself out there. Your job then becomes getting the whole world to love you!

Yikes, time to recenter and remember why I wrote Mojo Mom, that it's about helping Moms one woman at a time and not just obsessing over Amazon.com rankings. The book release has been a fantastic experience, and I am trying to keep perspective. Tomorrow I am taking the whole day off and whisking away my friend and Mojo Mom Podcast co-host Sheryl for a rare and well-deserved spa day. I may blog again before then, but in any case, on Thursday I'll share any new insights that arise from our trip.

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