Mom Time:

Turning “No Time” Into “Go Time”

Exercise doesn't always have to be easier said than done

PDfitness

I’m a mom of four young kids, so there are very few minutes to myself in the day.  Yet I’m told I’m supposed to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Great! I’d love to! But first I have to wipe my two-year-old’s bottom, wash hands, cut up apples, yell at the kids to pick up laundry, grab water bottles, “Did you grab your bathing suits?!”, put on my on own clothes (always important and usually the last to get done), brush my teeth, “Did you brush your teeth?!”, grab my purse, check to see if I have money, go to the bathroom, clean up the sink, shoes, “Put on your shoes!!”, sunscreen–we’ll put it on there, get in the car, forgot my keys, forgot my phone, forgot to feed the dogs, lock the door, let’s go!

OK, so now I have four somewhat-dressed kids, we’re in the car, it’s already hot by the time we get out of the house, and we’re going to exercise.  But did I mention I have four kids?  So, we go to the park.

I should mention I was an athlete in a highly-ranked Division I volleyball program (Go Irish!). But I’m old now, a little saggier. A little rounder. I know what it means to be in really good shape. One year after college, I started having heart problems. My heart would start racing while just lying in bed.  I would lose my breath doing the simplest things.  My heart was racing all the time. I could feel my heart skip a beat every once-in-a-while so I knew there was a problem. I went to the heart hospital. They were convinced something was wrong because of my horrific descriptions. They put me through all sorts of tests.  Took a couples stress tests, told them every bit of my history and my family’s history.  I think the final quote was, “Uh, you are just really out of shape. You need to, I don’t know, exercise a little.”  Huh?!  (I really wanted to say something else but I was too embarrassed already — I didn’t need to make the situation worse).

So, here I am 10 years later with that still stinging in my ears, but now I’m even more removed and my body is more….different.  We go to the park. This is what I do: I play with my kids.  Way easier said than done, let me tell you.  I’m sure you’re thinking “Duh, I play with my kids all the time.”  OK.  But do you really play with them and try to keep up with them?  Honestly, I have given up even trying to keep up with them. I just try to stay active and chase them half the distance, do my little shake move to coax them back to me, and then run the other way, both out of fear and blind hope that they’ll still turn around and follow me. I play Boogie Man from under the slide. I push them on the swings.  More than push them – I push them hard, do under-dogs, and chase them back and forth.  Bottom line, I’m exhausted by the end and totally drenched. I certainly don’t look as good as the moms who sit on the side and talk on their cell phones, but I took maybe my only opportunity all day to get some exercise and also bond with my kids.

Like I said, easier said than done. I had a mom once tell me how great it is that I get out there with my kids and really dig in the dirt with them and act like a kid.  I wanted to say, “Lady, don’t you think I’d much rather sit back in silence and read that trashy magazine you have so I can escape this crazy life for a while!  I don’t do this because I like it! I do this because I already spend 23.5 hours a day devoted to other people–I might as well do something for myself!”

I, of course, did not say that.  I laughed, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,’ smiled, turned around and rolled my eyes.  Off to throw my kid in the air for my arm lifts for the day.

 

Lindsay Rosenthal is the owner of 1379 Sports, a family sports shop. Check out her site here.

Austin moms, get $20 for $40 worth of back-to-school gear at 1379 Sports with Plum District’s deal here!

From One SuperMom to Another…

When I brought my first six pound eleven ounce child home from the hospital, I did not realize I was in for the hardest job I would ever have.

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For any woman who made the decision to stay home with her children rather than return to work, I am sure you did it with the same ignorance I did.  When I brought my first six pound eleven ounce child home from the hospital, I did not realize I was in for the hardest job I would ever have.  Twenty-four hours of care for someone other than my husband.  Forget the degrees, suits hanging in my closet, or deals I had closed a month earlier…I was a mother.

Thirteen years and two more children later, I am still providing 24 hours worth of care – it just entails much more driving and oodles of patience.  The professional woman I once was has transformed into a woman that can drive three kids to three different schools every day, make 3 square meals a day with snacks in between, volunteer at all of their sports teams and school PTAs, bake 4 dozen cookies at the drop of a hat, care for 2 dogs, 1 cat, keep the laundry going non-stop, learn how to throw a Lacrosse ball, teach my 7 year old son how to wear a cup, groom and tack a horse for my 10 year old, and navigate tweenage hormones

I was introduced to Plum District through my brother-in-law who was a friend of Megan Gardner.  After talking to her, I was amazed that there was actually a job out there for me: one where I could utilize all of my talents, especially my big mouth, to make a little extra money and have something for myself while being able to work around my kids’ crazy schedules.  Something that was a vague resemblance of the professional career I once had.  Becoming a DC was a natural fit.  I love to meet new people, especially business owners.  And I love to tell all of my friends, and anyone who is unfortunate enough to stand behind me in the grocery line, about where they should go to eat, shop and play.

One of the most exciting and wonderful things that has come from my role as a DC for Plum District is the relationship I have built with my vendors.  I have made dozens of new friends.  I have become invested in their businesses and really want them to succeed.  In particular, Louise C. Clow who is the proprietor of Weezy’s Grass Fed Shed in Terra Linda, CA.  She is an amazing woman who, instead of just complaining about the fast food industry, is fixing it by providing an incredible alternative for us to feed our children.  I would have never met her if I hadn’t searched out her business.  Her spirit and determination have inspired me.

The women I work with at Plum District have become my friends. It is so nice to be able to meet women who really get who you are and where you are coming from.  I feel like I have a new extended family and we are all in the trenches of raising a family and trying to rediscover ourselves at the same time.  I really am grateful for my position at Plum District and am so excited to see where the next few years will take us!


What They Don’t Tell You About Mommyhood

In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms.

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If you had told me a year ago that I’d be working for a San Francisco-based daily deal website that catered to moms I would have laughed at you.  Well, maybe not at you, but I definitely would have been chuckling on the inside.  I mean, I have a graduate degree in French Literature.  I spent the last eight years working at Sotheby’s Auction House.  My strengths are discussing existentialist literature and explaining a Jeff Koons sculpture.  What on earth would I know about finding a deal for a birthday party entertainer, or where to get a discount on those cute shoes I saw someone wearing at the water park?  Yet here I am entering month three of being a district consultant for Plum District.  And you know what?  I love it!  It’s such a gift to work at a place that not only embraces the fact that I’m a mom, but encourages me to use my newfound abilities in a business environment.

When you stop to think about it, you really do learn a whole new skill set as a mom.   And these aren’t skills I read about in the 16 books I bought during my pregnancy, or practiced in the myriad of prenatal classes I took.  These were learned over the course of twelve months in a constant array of trial by fire situations.  I can change a diaper while my child is running around the living room holding a maraca.  I can breastfeed on a park bench while emptying my diaper bag of long-forgotten raisins and puffs.   I can do the funniest pretend sneeze this side of the Mississippi.  I can have a heated discussion about the distance covered by projectile vomit.  I mean, these are serious strengths.  But then the sobering fact hits me that I have so much more to learn.  Sometimes I feel like I have completed my first year at Mom University and while I puff my chest out about my credentials, I cower when I see the upper classmen walk by toting scooters and soccer balls and (gasp) siblings?!  I watch them from afar with star struck awe.

They say knowledge is power, but from where do you get that knowledge?  In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms.  We are simultaneously each other’s teacher and student, guidance counselor and teammate, mentor and mentee.  Plum District expands this network of knowledge by providing us all with great resources, ideas, and of course, deals.  As a district consultant, I look forward to sharing some of my education with you and your family.   And if you ever want to talk about those Koons sculptures, well that would be just fine too!

The Mommy Bind: Work, Kids, and Staying Sane

How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?

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Do you ever feel like an octopus with only two arms? Or like a piece of banana salt water taffy; every direction seems to be a stretch? How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?

We all have responsibilities to our families, our spouses, our parents, and of course ourselves – we just need to prioritize the immediate needs and non-immediate needs. I know it sounds logical, but how do we “get ‘er done” without losing our minds? Half of our problems can be handled with organization and the other half with power: I have two simple answers.

My first piece of advice is: become a list person. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me. Plus if I don’t write something down, it never seems to get done. Somehow my hand is directly correlated with my brain; my memory seems to store things I’ve written down at least once. Whether you use a Blackberry, tablet, post-it, magnetic paper list from the Target® dollar bin, or your computer, put your daily duties somewhere and start checking them off your list.

Number two: learn how to say “no”. Most of us mommies are people-pleasers – we can’t help it, seems to be in the mommy make up. We need to learn how to tell people no every once in a while. We can’t possibly attend every birthday party, every sports night, every sleepover, every function…just say no ladies. I promise, saying that one little word will free your schedule up so you can include the things that are really important. The easiest way to say yes to a calmer household and calmer life is simply by saying “no”.

Take time for yourself, appreciate the little things, tolerate the insanity and always remember to: Eat, Drink and Be Plum.


A Plum Life

“You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.”

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Many people dream of a “work from home job” – and not one of those seems-too-good-to-be-true scams.  I know I always did.

However, that dream changes and shifts, especially when you add kids into the mix.  It’s not always as wonderful or easy as it is thought to be.  I always pictured working from home to be something along the lines of being able to check my emails first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee while attending important meetings from my couch throughout the day.

Oh good – you’re laughing, too!

Then, my idea of what working from home shifted again after I found Plum District – all thanks to my husband, actually!  While I’m not conference-calling from the couch – I am working and maintaining a balanced life with two toddlers.  I really never thought it would be possible for me to able to work for a company like this with all I have going on and still able to stay home for my kids.

I’ll be honest.  It’s not easy.  It takes a lot of P’s: prioritizing, pre-planning, then more planning, preparation and patience.

It is possible, though.  I do a lot of my work off-peak hours – after the kids go to sleep, on weekends and during nap times.  If I plan it right, I can get some things accomplished during the day, too.  I sneak in emails and phone calls when I can – in between doing the household work, taking care of my kids and going out and about for errands and such.

Of course, I have those days where nothing seems to get done.  That’s when I table what I can for later, or another day and focus on what needs to be taken care of.  It can be frustrating, but I know it all gets done eventually.

However, my family has always been and will always be my first priority.  It had to be a very special opportunity for me to decide to take time away from my kids and family and I’m proud to be with Plum District.

Plum District is truly an amazing group of people that I have the pleasure to work with and for – both here in Connecticut and all over the U.S.  I love what they represent and the opportunities they provide for the businesses and companies they promote in addition to the opportunities they provide to their own employees.

So, if you’re considering a career change or are looking for some inspiration, then I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes by Oprah Winfrey.  She once said “You CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”  I feel right now I certainly have the best opportunity to have a lot – if not “all.”  I feel even luckier to have found an organization that not only recognizes that, but actually supports and encourages it.

Mom the CEO (Chief Everything Officer)

These days, there isn’t a mother who’s not juggling an endless list of responsibilities. Besides “mom,” many of you take on the titles of “Mom the Social Coordinator,” “Mom the Professional,” “Mom the Nurse,” “Mom the Cheerleader,” and the list goes on and on. But in my opinion, one of the most important titles that moms hold is that of household Chief Financial Officer. You are not only buying for your children and for your home, but also for yourself. There are actually more than 50 million moms in the US, and on average moms are in charge of 85% of household spending. Did you know that, collectively, moms spend $2.1 trillion annually, and that number may reach $3 trillion by next year? Even so, recent studies show that nearly three quarters of you feel that advertisers don’t get you, or even worse, more than half of you simply feel ignored by advertisers (according to Marketing to Moms Coalition Survey 2010).

That’s where Plum District comes in. Plum District has been built on the idea that moms trust moms and moms get moms. Whether you are asking about the latest safety products for your kids or great deals on pampering yourself, you’re hearing it from your play groups, your mom network and through your mom discussion groups and social networks online. So it only makes sense that we’ve created a community of in-the-know moms to bring you daily deals on everything from restaurants and spas, to kids and family events, to hotels and weekend getaways and other great products and services.

Since we first launched in San Francisco back in May, we’ve been growing our service to reach the moms and families across the U.S. in Southern California, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, and more through our mom sales network. Even with our growth to over 20 cities, we’re still constantly hearing from moms who are asking for us to bring them Plum deals or from moms who want to join our sales team and help build out new local districts. Today we are sharing the news that we’ve received funding by Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers and General Catalyst Partners to do just that. Their investment of $8.5 million will allow us to expand our reach into more local districts such as Portland, Dallas, and Raleigh-Durham in the coming year.

In addition to this investment, we’re excited that Aileen Lee, partner at KPCB, will join our board of directors. Aileen brings to us a wealth of expertise and experience with well-known consumer brands like GAP and Odwalla, and digital and e-commerce companies like One Kings Lane and Shopkick. Not to mention, as a mom of three herself, Aileen has a special interest in Plum District and can identify with the many moms on our team and in our membership at Plum.

And last but not least, we’re thrilled to give you a preview of some great deals to come. Best Buy Geek Squad, Drugstore.com, and eBags.com will join our list of vendors for the first time in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout!

Thanks again to all of our members and team members at Plum District. We are excited about joining the Kleiner family and about the road ahead. The full press release is below.

Plum District Raises $8.5 Million in Funding Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 26, 2011 – Plum District, (www.PlumDistrict.com), the daily deal website devoted to savvy moms and their families, today announced that it has received $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation by General Catalyst Partners. KPCB partner, Aileen Lee, will also join the Plum District board.

Now spanning more than twenty metro areas or “Districts” in the U.S., including various cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Minneapolis, Plum District’s multi-level marketing sales approach– for moms, by moms–allows the company to bring members the best local and national deals on groceries, family outings, children’s classes, restaurants, spa treatments, fashion, travel, etc. The moms that make up Plum District’s sales force find highly targeted promotions and discounts for moms and families and also network within mom communities to build viral buzz and awareness.

“The early response from our members has far exceeded our expectations,” said Megan Gardner, Plum District CEO. “The investment by Kleiner Perkins and General Catalyst Partners will allow Plum District to grow our sales network of moms and meet the demand of our members by expanding our reach beyond the twenty districts we currently serve.”

Aileen Lee, KPCB partner, added, “We are excited about Plum District’s focus on the highly valuable consumer segment of moms and families. By leveraging their large and growing network of connected and trusted moms across the country, Plum District offers the best local services and national brands that are most relevant to moms.”

About Plum District

Plum District is a daily deal Web site geared towards smart, savvy moms. Each day, Plum District sends members a deal that relates to them and their busy lives – everything from spa treatments and restaurants to family outings and kids’ activities. Plum District is unique in that it is solely focused on moms and deals are sourced by moms that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable. For more information, visit www.PlumDistrict.com.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.

See the press release on Plum District.