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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Google childcare gaffe

Given that my husband works at Google, I have been sitting on the New York Times piece from July 5, called, On Day Care, Google Makes a Rare fumble. My mind has been stewing over how even fewer employees will have access to the new in-house childcare and how only the richest of the rich will be able to afford to send their kids to the elite program which will cost upwards of $57,000 per year for two kids, according to the NY Times article.

When Father in Chief started at Google almost two years ago, I was excited to know that there was an in-house childcare program, even if it did have a long waiting list. If it was run by Google or even if it was Google-approved (as its program was), then it had to be worth waiting for. In the meantime, we searched out alternate programs run by the same company called Children's Creative Learning Center. Preschooler in Chief has been in the CCLC system for about a year and a half and we have been completely impressed with the teachers, the facilities, and the overall experience. It seems to be a top-notch program and we feel fortunate to have found it.

But now that Google is moving away from CCLC to its own privately run school following the "preschool philosophy called Reggio Emilia," according the article, I believe that Google has done a huge disservice to its employees. Moreover, it has done a huge disservice to Silicon Valley, and to corporate America in general. Why? Because at a time when every company wants to be more like Google, Google could have come up with a comprehensive plan that would have demonstrated that affordable, quality childcare can be provided to all employees. They could have done it. They could have shown the world that it was not only possible, but worth doing. It would have been the ultimate way to contribute to the greater good. To value all employees at all income levels.

Yes, the food perks are great. The bikes are great. The solar power is great. The cookies at 3pm are great. But more than all of that, employees need a safe place to put their kids during the day so that they can work.

No it isn't Google's responsibility to provide me or anyone else with solid, affordable childcare, but they could have done it. And that is what makes me the saddest. Because deep down I have always believed that Google really does care about its employees. It really does want to do the right thing. It really does want to set an example for the rest of the world that this is how things should be done and can be done. But I guess I've just been drinking too much of the organic, in-house cool-aide.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Attention ladies...

When you are on the dance floor, do not squat so that your booty is a few inches from the floor and then bounce up and down with your knees out in a 90-degree angle. You do not look like sexy kitten. You simply look like a frog. Not. A. Good. Look. I'm not against all squatting dance moves, just those reminiscent of Frogger.

And while we're on the topic, do not let your dance partner pick you up and carry you around while he bounces up and down. Horrifying.

Let's dance with a little dignity, people. Thank you for your attention in this important matter.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A little more for me

Perhaps sometimes you must crash into the rocks before you realize that you have been falling.

With small kids in the picture, it is easy to groove away from the lifestyle that includes spontaneous adventures, occasional pampering, lounging uninterrupted on the couch with a book, and extra longs weekend naps for grown-ups, and groove into one that fails to stop, reboot, and recharge.

That is exactly what had been happening to me. It happened in slow motion. That is why I didn't realize it was happening at all. That was, until the cold sharp corners of despair and uncertainty started to eat away at my stomach lining and made my brain race with the power of a centrifuge, whipping from one thought to the next. When I was no longer able to eat or sleep, then and only then did I start to acknowledging that something was wrong. What I have learned is that I have been sorely neglected.

Yes, yes, parenting involves lots of sacrifices. I know all about that.

But if I am not a healthy, thriving person, everyone loses. Therefore, in an attempt to salvage myself and my well-being, I'm starting off with the promise to do more stuff just for me. I'm hiring more babysitters, going on more adventures, and NOT apologizing for doing it. A recent example include a fabulous show at the Berkeley Theatre (which I'd never been to) to see Thievery Corporation (a band I'd never heard of). Tomorrow, I'm hiking over the Santa Cruz mountains to town of Capitola--just to see some live music near the beach and because I've never been there. I don't need a special occasion to enjoy these things. I was also inspired by some dancers in the Fourth of July parade, and I decided to sign myself up for some bellydance lessons. I used to love those classes, and I'm sure I'll love them again.

I deserve a lot from this life, much more than I've allowed myself to take. And there is no time like the present to start living more, enjoying more, and taking advantage of all the opportunities around me. As for my kids, they're going to be just fine. There are a lot of great people looking out for them and loving them. That includes me, but I don't have to bear the bulk of that responsibility all of the time.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

MIC's secret identity

To conquer the day, I decided to try and tap into some super human powers that just might be harnessed in the simple threads of thrift short tee shirt.

While I fully acknowledge that my attitude recently has been less than super, today I'm going the route of dressing for the job I want, not necessarily of the job I have. Or at the very least, I'm striving for the attitude I want.