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Woman With A Plan - Issue #9

“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; o

Woman With A Plan

December 8 · Issue #9 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”  - Michelle Obama

What Goes Around
I have a confession. Before I had children of my own, I wasn’t very kind to working moms. I dove straight into a corporate career after college, full of confidence and ambition. As I grew familiar with office life and my various colleagues, I regarded many of the working mothers as boring, frazzled, or woefully outdated. I rolled my eyes at stories of parental mishaps, feigned interest in baby pictures, and checked my watch when women dashed off early to attend to a child. What I lacked in experience, I made up with hours logged at my desk – a competition I could always win as a single twentysomething. More than anything, I was absorbed in my own bubble, which rarely involved anyone under the age of 21. Of course, karma had a solution to that problem – three of them, to be exact. Now it’s my turn to explain why a 7 am meeting doesn’t work with the school bus schedule, or why my sick child is watching Ninjago in the conference room. I know that happy hours and daycare hours are mutually exclusive, and bleary-eyed mornings are the result of fussy toddlers with the “wrong” blanket in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wonder how I must appear to my younger co-workers. Am I now boring, frazzled, and outdated? Do they appreciate that what I lack in availability, I make up in experience and leadership? Are they indifferent to my presence, or does it reassure them to see a woman with a fulfilling career and a family? Maybe it doesn’t matter what they think right now as long as I leave a trail for them to follow. Many thankless women did the same for me. 
Okay ladies, now let's get in formation 💪
Media Diet
Poor California! These fires look terrifying. My heart goes out to our west coast brethren. 💔
Speaking of environmental disasters, let’s all join Patagonia to take action against this shameful move.
Bravo to Time Magazine for this bold choice. And Bravo to John Oliver for speaking up about sexual harassment during this tense interview with actor Dustin Hoffman. This is EXACTLY how men should hold other men accountable.
Senator Al Franken has chosen to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and while it reflects an unprecedented degree of accountability, this response perfectly illustrates the limitations of our so-called progress:
It sometimes feels as if we’re in the midst of a cultural revolution where the toll of sexual harassment on women’s lives and ambitions will finally be reckoned with. But the revolution is smaller than it first appears. So far, it has been mostly confined to liberal-leaning sectors like entertainment, the media, academia, Silicon Valley and the Democratic Party. It hasn’t rocked the Republicans, corporate America or Wall Street…because these realms are less responsive to feminist pressure.
Check out this incredible NPR piece on a group of Bay Area high school cheerleaders who took it upon themselves to kneel during the national anthem (even as their football team was banned from doing so). Stay strong, ladies! ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
This may be the most adorable story of the year.
Lindy West has long been one of my favorite writers since her days at The Stranger here in Seattle. I’m so happy to see her thrive as New York Times columnist, and this recent Fresh Air interview makes me love her all the more (though it doesn’t do much to improve my opinion of Terry Gross).
via @newyorkercartoons
Open Tabs - Holiday Book Edition
Every winter, as we unpack treasured Christmas decorations, I look forward to the return of our holiday book collection. Without further ado, here’s a Top 10 countdown of our family favorites:
10. Olive, the Other Reindeer, by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold - a modern classic about a sweet dog with a hearing problem.
9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Suess (along with the equally excellent original recording).
8. The Tall Book of Christmas, by Dorothy Hall Smith - a collection of quirky holiday stories passed down by my great-grandmother.
7. The Nutcracker, by E.T.A. Hoffman and Maurice Sendak. We also like this version by Susan Jeffers.
6. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg - I particularly enjoy changing the outcome of this story when my children are misbehaving. It’s very sad to discover the North Pole is empty because no one deserved toys this year.
5. Christmas in Noisy Village, by Astrid Lindgren - a charming story of Swedish holiday traditions. We love all the books in this series
4. Hilary Knight’s The Twelve Days of Christmas - this version by one of my favorite illustrators never gets old with intricate details in every drawing.
3. Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, by Russell and Lillian Hoban - followed shortly by my favorite Christmas movie
2. Father Christmas, by Raymond Briggs - my husband and I both read this as kids and loved its unconventional depiction of Santa Claus.
1. Peter Spier’s Christmas - this book is exactly what Christmas in New England looked like during my childhood. Reading it with my children always reminds me of traditions I hope to continue.
As I pulled this list together, I was sad to see many of these selections are now out of print. I suppose it’s all the more reason to treasure them each year. 
What books do you enjoy reading during the holidays? I’d love to hear any suggestions! 🎄🎅🏻
Visions of sugarplums dancing in his head. ❄️❄️❄️
Have a Holly Jolly Weekend.
Woman With A Plan is weekly newsletter by Sarah Richey, a Seattle-based working mom of three feminists in the making.
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