Yahoo! Boo Boo? Attacking the Working Mom?

I’m late to the party on this one, but I really wanted to throw in my two-cents re: the end of Yahoo! employees’ ability to telecommute.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Photo Credit | Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Photo Credit | Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

The long and short of it is that Yahoo!’s newest CEO, also a brand new mom who built a nursery in her office, put a universal ban on the work from home option. Most critics cry “NO FAIR!” on the privilege of having her child in the office, but I’m assuming that nursery comes stocked with a team of nannies. Also, this is Corporate America where there is still very much a hierarchy that comes with perks. Note: Yahoo does provide employee childcare options.

It’s hard to find a “just the facts, ma’am” article on this change, since by now everyone’s thrown their opinion into the mix, or else I’d provide one. There has been speculation of rampant abuse of the telecommuting option by Yahoo! employees and Mayer seems to have recognized it and acted accordingly.

Keep in mind that Yahoo! is currently a “sinking ship” and may be trying to model mega-giant Apple’s requirement that everyone be under one roof (Google also strongly encourages it).

Being someone who now  works primarily from the comfort of my couch (and bedecked in my pajam-jams) I will be the first person to advocate for working outside of the office.

In this instance, though, I think it’s a good idea for Yahoo! to try every avenue they can to get their company off of life support.

In all of this, Mayer has been accused by many of attacking the working mother (or parent) by taking away their option to work while simultaneously caring for their young children.

I think that’s bunk. And this journalist also happens to agree with me (check out this article–she takes the words right out of my mouth). Here is its crux:

“Marissa Mayer is a CEO first and a woman second. Indeed, she is a role model for many precisely because she made it to the top job. And as a CEO, her first job is to save her company. If she fails in that, the employees she is insisting come in to the office will have no jobs to come in to.”

I only want to address the part where people are accusing her of assaulting the sensibilities of family-focused employees:

Being a former live-in, full-time nanny (as I’ve mentioned multiple times, previously) has me convinced that there is absolutely no way one can effectively work an office job from home while wrangling rug-rats younger than school-aged. I can not imagine having to juggle the two. Well, I can imagine it, but it ain’t pretty. Here goes:

Wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy…wait, no, just kidding. Wake up in the morning feeling like crap because your 1.5 year old is teething and refuses to sleep in more than 3 hour spurts. Instead of getting dressed and joyfully dropping little Johnny off at daycare, you’re bracing yourself for a day from Hades as your partner makes a B line for the front door. You feed Johnny and his 3 year old sister Katie, do full diaper changes and bottom wiping, and make sure sippy cups are filled. By now it’s 8am: time to get to work.

8:01: Johnny has a blow-out-diaper that’s quickly inching up his back. Take a moment (at least 15 minutes) to clean him up.

8:21: While you weren’t paying attention to Katie, she’s gone and played a solo game of tic-tac-toe all over your office memos and the client contract you were supposed to fax…yesterday. Redirect her attention, re-print all of the documents, break up a fight over who gets to play with the blocks first.

9:00 am: Put Johnny down for his A.M. nap and try to convince an ultra-clingy Katie to look at some picture books by herself.

9:10am: You’re getting nowhere with this negotiation so you promise to read just one book to her that quickly turns into 8.

9:40 am: Plant Katie in front of the T.V. because, darn it, you need to do some work! But not before you throw in a load of laundry and clean up the mess you left in the kitchen from breakfast. Might as well prepare lunch while both kids are occupied.

10:15 am: Sit down at your computer and wonder where the morning has gone. Send the belated fax, read your newest barrage of emails, check in with your manager and start your day.

10:20 am: Except, you don’t because Johnny is getting to that age where he’s giving up his morning nap and he wakes up earlier than expected screaming to be rescued from his crib.

10:40 am: Johnny is isolated in his playpen and it’s time for round three of ‘Dora the Explorer’ for Katie. “Would her time have been better spent in morning preschool?” you begin to wonder.

11:00 am: You’ve just signed-on to an ‘all important’ conference call when Johnny’s molars decide to rear their ugly enamel. Screams to rival a banshee shatter your eardrums (as well as everyone else’s on the phone call) and you shamefully bow out.

11:30 am: The teething gel kicks in and Johnny is finally quiet. Back to work? Nope–it’s lunch time. And there goes your productive morning–out of the fashionably draped bay window of your home office.

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 


Baby-Making Class for Babies: Chicago’s Sex-Ed for Kindergarten

Photo Credit |

Photo Credit |

If you were looking for your daily dose of Knee-Jerk-Reaction, you’ve come to the right blog.

Just a few moments ago, I read an article on ABC News that details the Chicago Public School System’s newest bright idea: introducing sexual education to Kindergarteners. This program is apparently based upon one used in Scandinavia; however, I’d posit that comparing the US to relatively peaceful and homogenous Scandinavian countries is akin to comparing apples to oranges. Or æble to appelsin.

Part of the program, I agree with entirely: the part that deals with children fifth grade and older. However, this program would introduce children at the ripe old age of 5 to topics such as basic anatomy, inappropriate touching, and reproduction. As in sexual reproduction. As in sex.

My first reaction: “No…No, no, no, no, no.”

My second reaction, after having considered the circumstances a little further: “NO.”

First and foremost, I think it’s important for children to know the distinction between private parts and neutral areas. It’s crucial that they know that there are certain “no-no” places on their bodies that people other than their parents, caregivers, and themselves are not allowed to touch. It’s also important that kids learn to respect the bodies of their peers and others.

I personally feel it’s the duty of every parent to train their child in these matters, but realize that sometimes teachers do step in when an occurrence may happen at school. Being a nanny and a former teacher, I admit I’ve been groped by tiny little hands before and I’ve always handled it with a “No, thank you, that’s my private part and I don’t like to be touched there.”

Apparently, boobs are magnets for kid-sized hands.

That’s not the part with which I take issue.

Should little girls and little boys be introduced to the penis and the vagina at such a young age? Why not? Most have siblings that they bathe with or have parents of the opposite gender that they may have seen naked. An easy distinction is: vaginas are what girls pee with and penises are what boys use.

Fine, I personally don’t mind. But there is a plethora of conservative religious people utilizing the public school system that I’m sure won’t want their small children introduced to this topic at such a young age. That’s their right and I think the public school system has to respect that.

Lastly, and this really raises my hackles: sexual reproduction class for Kindergarteners.

It should be the parents’ right, and privilege, to introduce their children to the birds and the bees when they feel their child is able to comprehend such subject matter.

Traditionally, schools wait until the 5th grade (when children are roughly 10 years old) to have “the talk”. By that time, if you haven’t instructed your child on the ways of men and women, I think it’s fine for the school to take matters into their own hands. By then, the students are generally mature enough to handle the subject matter and are nearing puberty (some are early bloomers, I realize, but chances are, if you start your period before then, you’re parents are going to help you out).

But 5 years old is a whole different ball game. If I was one of those parents, I wouldn’t want the threat of my child’s school outracing me to teach them about sex. In order to ensure that they are the ones having this extremely personal conversation with their child, every Chicago Public School Parent will need to preemptively teach their 4 year old about baby-making. I guess they’ll have to sneak that dialogue in between nap time and Yo Gabba Gabba.

I realize a lot of these measures are being put into place because some parents don’t ever take the time or effort to talk to their children about such topics. Yet, I don’t think responsible, communicative parents should be robbed of this special moment with their children because of the negligence of others.

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 

I’m Ready to be a Housewife

I am ready to leave the American workforce.

My two jobs, 7 days a week are finally getting to me, and this single gal is ready to throw in the towel.

I am growing weary of the first dates and the stress of the constant “will I ever get married” mantra scrolling through my brain [to be fair, it only flutters in a couple of times a month now, but for drama’s sake, we’ll say it happens every hour].

Let’s get this girl settled in a homestead, already!

Disclaimer: I know being a homemaker and a stay at home mom is hard work––I do. No. Really, I do! I was a full-time, live in nanny of three children under 5 in a former life. That’s like being a SAHM, minus the conjugal duties and the ability to make decisions about how the children should be raised (which is tough when you’re a primary caregiver).

So, I’ll add that I don’t JUST want to get hitched–I want to marry a billionaire. Because I think rich housewives have got it made. Screw the bachelor’s degree I am still paying off, I’m ready to be a woman of leisure And here’s how I’d live my life:

  1. After ensuring that my three full-time housekeepers have everything they need to scrub my house from top to bottom, I’ll pour myself a mimosa–giving orders takes a lot out of you. Don’t worry, I’m compensating them well above industry standard because I know how hard they’ll have to work to clean my mansion modeled after Windsor Castle.
  2. I’ll be the primary care-giver for my children because I won’t lose my maternal instinct and love for kids just because I’ve got piles and piles of filthy cash. However, I will have an army of nannies “on-call” just in case I need to go to the bathroom in peace (something almost impossible to do while watching an ankle biter) and eat a meal without someone asking me if they can have some. Beyond that, I’m homeschooling and raising my kids to be geniuses. I’ll spend a fortune on tutors to train my kids in Math (the hard kind), Classic and Modern Languages, Art, and Sudoku (because I am really bad at that). I’ll sip on champagne while they work. 
  3. Which car will I drive (Lamborghini or Maserati?) to take a luxuriant trip to the public library? I know, not everyone fantasizes about spending time among stacks of moldy books, but I can’t imagine that gaining money will automatically change my abhorrence of shopping and spas. I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine in those hallowed halls. Everyone’s gotta “Treat Yo’Self” once in a while.
  4. Speaking of “Treat Yo’Self”, I will have every television, one per room, set to loop episodes of the hit NBC show, Parks and Recreation. That show is my Reason for Life and if it ever gets cancelled…I don’t even want to think about it. Hopefully, it doesn’t get cancelled before I’m rich. When I have briefcases full of greenbacks, I will pay NBC to continue airing it indefinitely. And by “indefinitely” I mean FOR ALL ETERNITY.
  5. I’d give half of my wealth to charity–but only for the tax write-off. That’s just standard protocol for people that have stupid amounts of money. But, HEY, I’m giving to charity! I’ll toast them with a glass of port (because apparently, my mental imagery of the incredibly wealthy also coincides with people who have issues with alcohol).
  6. I’d buy a fleet of horses, but never ride them, as I’m terrified of getting thrown (even though I did take a couple of lessons in western riding–never fully conquered that fear). It’s just a known fact that rich people have an impressive collection of animals and such. Maybe I’ll trade in the horses for white siberian tigers. Well, maybe not, we saw how that worked out for Siegfried and Roy.

What’s that, you ask? What about my husband? Well, obviously, he’d be my love slave and give me whatever I want, and always agree with me, and not care that I don’t like to shave and never lost the ‘baby weight’. Because as long as I’m in this fantasy world, I’m goin’ all out.

A perfect example of a "Desperate Housewife" | Photo Credit:

A perfect example of a “Desperate Housewife” | Photo Credit:

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page.