The Four-Letter Word We Don’t Say

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Well, if you didn’t already think so before, this post will do it for you. Yes, my friends, I’m a bit of a Pollyanna.

I believe in karma, and that you get out of the world what you put into it. I believe being kind is your greatest asset. I believe in the power of positivity. And like the great Whitney Houston sang, I even believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way (okay, maybe I’m taking it a bit too far, but you get the point.)

This is why “hate” is a four letter word in our house.

To be clear, I wouldn’t say my husband and I swear like sailors, but we do have a repertoire of cuss words that we will use when the situation calls for it. And yes, there may have been an incident where my youngest clearly said an expletive when she dropped a box of crayons in her two-year old pre-school class. You can imagine where she picked that up.

But I would rather my kids drop the f-bomb than say the word “hate,” especially when talking about another human being.

When I was pregnant with my twins, I was put on bed rest due to pre-term contractions. I was too nervous to read books and couldn’t focus on television all the time, so I would flip through magazines my mom would buy or friends would drop off each week. I remember reading an article about the influence fathers had on CEOs. One African-American business leader stated that his dad never let him use the word hate because there was no good that came out of hating anything, and by hating something, you give it more power over your life than it deserved. He went on to state that although he knew he was hated for his color at times, not returning the sentiment was liberating and enabled him to focus on breaking barriers of his own.

The idea that removing a word out of your vocabulary could have such a profound impact on your life was intriguing and inspiring. The word certainly did elicit the most negative of feelings (hate crimes, hate mail, etc.) so my first act as mom to my unborn children was committing to not use the word.

hate

Pretty early on I explained to the girls why I didn’t like the word hate, especially when it came to people. I even told them that it was a punishable offense for saying it, although I don’t remember ever having to act on that threat.  I sometimes would hear them gasp when someone said it on TV or one of them would come to me and show the “bad” word to me in a book. I would explain that other people used it, but in our house, we would not say it. It was like eating M&Ms, but in a bad way. Once you started, it was hard to stop. They totally got that concept.

As my kids aged, I realized how the word hate did impact children. When kids use the word freely, it becomes a regular part of their vocabulary, and most do not have the emotional intelligence to discern why hating broccoli is okay but hating your little sister isn’t. I also found that the kids that said it regularly were just a little bit more of a downer in general. It made sense to me.  An overuse of anything can lead to a negative outcome. This does not mean I think that parents who let their kids say it are bad, or that I dislike kids that use the word, I’m just sharing my own personal experience.

School has also helped my girls understand how powerful the word can be. Discussions about slavery, Martin Luther King, Jr.,  9-11 and the Civil War all can be traced back to the word hate. It’s all over our history.

And while I understand that I have yet to raise a teenager, I can imagine the phrase “I hate you Mom” flows out a little more freely when the word is already established in a young mind’s vocabulary. I am not naive enough to think my kids will never utter those words that will rip my heart in two, but a mom can dream that it may postpone it as long as possible.

A few months ago, a little girl was at our house to play. The girls seemed to be enjoying each other and stopped to have a snack. She had nice manners and a good sense of humor, but then she talked about how she hated her brother because he smelled. Then she hated her mom because she wouldn’t give her soda all the time. Sometimes she even hated her dog because he barked and woke her up in the morning. I did not think it would be long before this little girl started hating some of her friends for their inadequacies, or just for whatever bugged her on that particular day.

As I was debating whether or not to say something to this kid I barely knew, I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter leaned over and whispered, “We’re not allowed to say that word. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t say you hate it.”

I braced myself for a little eight-year-old backlash, but instead I heard her say, “Oh, sorry. I really don’t hate my dog. I just hate it when he barks.”

“I don’t like when my dog barks either,” my daughter responded.

Sigh. I could feel the ray of light shining down on me and the angels singing in the background. They DO listen to me sometimes. It was parenting nirvana.

I know there are a lot of parents out there who see it as just a word, or find the “banning” of any word a tad ridiculous. But I’m happy that — at least for now — my kids are using their internal thesaurus when they talk about their negative feelings towards vegetables, bed time, and their friends. I have also found that taking the word out of my vocabulary has made a little extra room in my heart for the things I love, which hate can sometimes crowd out.

A few minutes later, I heard a burp that sounded like it came out of an oversized truck driver, followed by a set of giggles. The offender happened to be related to me.

“My mom hates it when I burp!” said our little friend. “Whoops, I mean she doesn’t like it.”

Well, I can’t argue with her on that one.

What words — if any — do you keep out of your house? Please share in the comments section below!

My Top Five Worst Moments as a Mom

One of the most inspiring blog posts I have ever read was My Rock-Bottom Mom Moment Caught on Camera by Erin Zammett Ruddy. She shared a photo of her six-year old on the iPad while bottle-feeding her 2 month old. Close by is her four-year old daughter sitting in the infant carrier with a sharp pencil in one hand and another iPad on her lap. Ruddy set the stage by explaining what so many of us moms had been facing this winter — kids constantly home from school and daycare due to extreme weather conditions and our real-time work commitments continuing to pile up.

If I was in a room with Ruddy, and I didn’t think I would get arrested, I would kiss her.

She had a couple of choices after taking this photo: a) she could have not shared the picture at all for fear of being judged; b) she could have done a “woe is me” pitch for sympathy for the working mom;  or c) she could have been snarky about the whole thing daring anyone to question her parenting. Instead, she did something beautiful that we don’t see enough of in today’s world of perfection parenting — she owned it.

Said Rudder:

Bottom line: I think it’s important for moms to share the “doing-whatever-it-takes” moments as well as the Pinterest-inspired, picture-perfect ones. Would I have posted this on Facebook? Um, no. Am I proud of it? Not really. But I’m taking one for the mom team and throwing myself under the bus here so that other moms can feel better about some of their own subpar parenting. You’re welcome.

Well, let me say a big fat thank you.

Like all of us, I work hard to be a good mom. I’m an active member of the PTA for God’s sake. But my mom career is marked with some blemishes. These are things I don’t normally share on Facebook, and I certainly didn’t plan on sharing them on my blog full of strangers.

But I’ve received some great e-mails from my readers. A few of you have shared some pretty hilarious stories about your own experiences with competitive moms. I received a few messages detailing some tough situations you’ve had with your own children. And I’ve had a couple of messages that just break my heart — the ones that say as a Mom, you just don’t ever feel good enough. These are the worst of all.

Because of this, I thought I would share some of my dark secrets. These are just a few of the “imperfect” moments I’ve had as a mom. The ones I would normally only share with my most trusted friends over a (few) glasses of wine. I hope it makes some of you feel better about any mistakes you’ve made, and for those of you feeling alone out there, know that you’re not.

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So, here it goes….my top five worst Mom moments:

5. I was feeding my daughter a bottle while on a conference call with my client. My part was only 15 minutes, so I had my older two watching a video in the other room while I thought I could keep the baby quiet with the bottle (I’m an optimist.) I was answering a question in elaborate detail when I started to feel something wet. The top must not have been on tight and there was milk all over her and me. She seemed to think it was funny, but only for about 30 seconds before she started howling. I fibbed and said my nanny brought the baby into my office with a quick question and I had to hop off for a moment.  I never rejoined the call.

4.  My nanny called in sick one morning when I had a day of marathon conference calls and a new product launch I could not postpone. I set out a trough of goldfish and juice boxes, and taught one of the girls how to operate the DVD player. I think they watched six Disney movies in a row basically without a break. When they would come up to my office door (which was glass so they could see in), I bribed them to keep quiet with Hershey kisses.

3. When one of my twins was an infant, I was pushing her in a grocery cart through a parking lot after shopping. She was in her carrier in the front, which I thought was locked in. It was freezing, so I was trying to hurry. I hit a small pot hole and her car seat flew out of the cart, did a few flips in the air, and landed on the pavement. Thankfully the handle was up so she never physically hit the road. She was fine and didn’t even cry until I took her out of the car seat to check her; I am still traumatized 9 years later.

2. We were trying a modified cry-it-out method for our four-month old one evening who refused to go to sleep anywhere but laying on top of someone. The doctor had recommended she lay in her crib for 5-10 minutes each night with some soothing music in order to get her used to sleeping in it. We used one of those lighted LeapFrog music players shaped like Tag the frog in the corner of her crib, safely away from the baby. After about 10 minutes, her whimpers turned to full-scale freak out mode. When I went in to check on her, there was Tag, laying right on top of her. She had somehow pushed herself to the bottom of the crib and knocked it so they were nose-to-nose. She still doesn’t like frogs, and I think she slept on top of me for another two months.

1. When my third daughter was born, my twins were only 16 months old. My youngest was what the doctor called a “happy spitter” so burp cloths were a must. One day after feeding her, I realized I didn’t have anything to wipe the spit up. I put her all swaddled up in her bouncy seat — without buckling her in — for just a second to go to the other room to get a burp cloth. By the time I got back, one of her sisters was standing behind the bouncy, pushing it lower and lower, looking like she was going to launch the baby out of the seat like a stone in a catapult. Needless to say, for the next 9 months she stayed in the Baby Bjorn at all times. I’m not even sure how she learned how to walk.

So there it is. While I cringe just a bit while reading these, I also realize that these moments aren’t so bad after all. My kids are pretty happy, and obviously they survived my Momtastrophies. I make new mistakes all the time, and I’ll try to share those along with my successes. Because we’re all in this together.

If you want to share one of your worst Mom moments, please feel free to comment below (anonymous is fine). Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog via e-mail (just enter your address to the right) and like playdatesonfridays on Facebook.

It’s Friday peeps, so cheers!

The Day I Got my Momfidence

As an inexperienced mom of twins, I learned a lot of things the hard way — and made a lot of rookie mistakes.  I tried to keep the babies up so they would sleep longer (mistake), accidentally took off a little finger when I cut my daughter’s nails the first time (mistake), and let about four servings of valuable breast milk leak all over our refrigerator because I didn’t seal the bag right after a late-night pumping session (kind of disgusting and made me cry mistake.)

I became more confident about the care of my kids, but I started getting nervous as I watched one of my girls develop a little bit differently than the other.  As I talked about it with my mom friends, most of the women quickly dismissed it:

“My kid chewed on stuff ’til he was five, she’ll be fine!”

“My kid didn’t say a word until she was three, she’ll be fine!”

“Don’t worry so much…she seems fine to me, and I raised four kids.”

Yikes!

While I tried to squash my fears, the truth was, something just didn’t seem right. As my daughter passed the first year mark, she definitely was not saying any words and seemed extremely high-strung and frustrated. She was an early walker at 11 months, but she quickly transitioned to walking only on her toes. I often watched her play with her toys in an odd way. The rise of autism was all over the news, and of course I had been scanning the Internet trying to figure out what was wrong with my baby. My mommy instincts were going off, but I just wasn’t sure if I could trust them.

Although my pediatrician didn’t seem too concerned, I think she could tell I was. We set up an appointment with a developmental pediatrician for an assessment. Considering I was only two months away from having another baby, I was relieved to be doing something, anything, to help her.

At a neighborhood gathering of Bunco a week later, I was surprised at the response I received when I informed the group I was trying to get my daughter into some therapy. While most of the ladies just raised an eyebrow, one mom — who I really liked and admired — exclaimed: “I cannot believe you are wasting your time with this. You’ll see, right after you have that doctor’s appointment, she’s going to ask for a Happy Meal. I feel like my son didn’t talk until he was three, and now he never shuts up!”

I don’t believe she was trying to be crass or unsympathetic, but neither did I feel she took my concerns seriously. I got the impression I was going to be labeled as the “overprotective mom” of the group.

When I sought other people’s advice, I seemed to get the same reaction. I mean, she was a beautiful little girl who could be a sweetheart. Except something just wasn’t right.

The comments from my Mom friends gave me pause, and I had a long talk with my husband about it. He said the words that I wished my girlfriends would have said to me: “What’s it going to hurt? The only thing you have to lose is time.”

My daughter’s first official diagnosis was “Low Tolerance to Frustration.”  Seriously.  I am not making that up. Needless to say, I did not share that with my Bunco Group, but I did feel relieved that I was “somewhat” validated in my concern.

As she got older, it became more apparent that she had some developmental issues that we addressed through speech, occupational and physical therapies. We saw several doctors and ruled out various disorders such as Autism (she had great connections with her family, but not a lot of interest in other children), Asperger’s, Apraxia, Dyspraxia, and a host of other -isms and -axias that never seemed to fit. She was progressing, but still was not close to age-appropriate. Most of the time I was thankful I made the choice to put her in therapy when we did, as I could not imagine how far behind she would be if she did not have the support network we had established in the beginning.  Sometimes though, especially in the early years when her developmental delays did not seem so significant, I wondered if I was putting her through the ringer for nothing.

My confidence as a mother was constantly wavering.

It took an orthopaedic surgeon to tell us that at the age of almost five, our daughter had a very minor case of cerebral palsy.  In his opinion, although it did not show up on her MRI, she had experienced trauma in the womb that caused a neurological issue forcing her lower leg muscles to not function properly. This, coupled with some tight tendons, caused her to be a constant, extreme toe walker (think all the way up on your toes, not just the balls of your feet.) He explained that of course her development was delayed. Could you imagine trying to spend your life balanced on your tippy toes and then process information?

While the news was a shock, I was relieved at the same time. The peg finally fit in the hole. CP often causes issues with speech and fine motor skills, but it was non-progressive, which is why we saw so much growth in her development. I also found that I had several of the risk factors that cause a CP birth, including carrying multiples, pre-eclampsia, pre-term contractions and pre-term birth with associated low birth weight.

Unfortunately, the options for treatment of my daughter’s leg condition were not favorable.  The doctor’s first choice was a “casting” regimen that basically would put hard casts on my daughter’s legs at various degrees in order to elongate her tendons. Because of the severity of her condition, she would most likely be casted for 24 to 36 weeks, changing them every 4-6 depending on how she was responding. This did not sound fun, and it only had a 30-40 percent success rate. Not super appealing.

The other option was surgical. The doctor would go in and cut her Achilles tendons, stretch, and then re-attach them in place.  She would have casts for six weeks and move on to therapy. The success rate was about 90 percent.

Without really discussing it, the doctor, who I greatly respect and admire, set us up for the non-surgical option, which he almost always does as the first step in a case like hers. Our PT and pediatrician agreed that it was the right path. Most of our family seemed to agree, but I wasn’t so sure.

My daughter was crotchety and easily frustrated. Her communication skills were not strong, and I was concerned about the impact the casts would have on her other motor functions. Additionally, the casts could cause skin problems, which further lengthened the time of treatment. And the liklihood of it working was less than the liklihood it wouldn’t.  I did not like those odds.

I went online and did extensive research on the surgery.  I read message boards of patients who had went through it.  I asked my PT to put me in touch with some parents who had completed the procedure with their kids.

I made a decision. A big one. I had found my Momfidence.

Although both the head nurse and doctor tried to talk me out of it, my husband and I decided to pursue the surgical option for my daughter. There is always a risk when you opt for surgery, but the worst case scenario would be if we tried the non-invasive approach and it failed, leading us to the operating table anyway. Of course it was bittersweet when the doctor came out to tell us that she had one of the most severe cases he had ever seen, and that the casting probably would not have worked.

Since that day, my daughter has completely flourished. She reads above grade level and is great at math, participates in activities, rides horses, and thankfully, has a few great friends.  We couldn’t be prouder.

I hope one day if she reads this, she is not mad at me for sharing what really is her story, but I will forever be grateful to her for helping me find my momfidence to guide her, and her sisters, through the rest of their beautiful lives.

Have a momfidence story to share? Please let me know in the below comments section!

Cheers!

Leave those Pinterest Moms Alone!

Valentine’s Day.

It reminds me of the Wild, Wild West, as it is the ultimate showdown for Moms. I often imagine two women on opposite sides of a tree-lined cul-de-sac, one holding pipe cleaners, construction paper and a smoking glue gun, the other holding the formidable Target credit card. The music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is playing in the background.

Okay, that may be a little too dramatic, but it’s not that far off the mark.

Valentine’s Day seems to be the ultimate time when moms can prove what they are made of. Are you the mom that delivers the Pinterest-type container worthy of posting on Facebook, or are you the mom that can barely wrap paper around the shoe box? My husband described it as the woman equivalent to whose Johnson is bigger. I’m afraid he may be right.

Now, my kids never had a chance. I am seriously craft-challenged, and would rather stick pins in my eyes than spend all day creating a Valentine’s Day box.  If I judged what kind of mother I was based on this, I would get  a big fat F.

Fortunately, what I do know how to do is shop, and for $5 my kids got an entire kit to decorate their boxes, thanks to Tarjay. The instructions recommended wrapping a shoe box in white paper and then decorating it, but I did one better.  A silver Nordstrom box would make their box stand out, and I wouldn’t even need to worry about wrapping it.  It was genius and a huge success. My kids were able to complete their boxes almost entirely on their own, and they were pretty cute too.

One of three amazing Valentine's Day boxes put together by my children.

One of three amazing Valentine’s Day boxes put together by my children.

Apparently not all the moms felt that going to Target was the way to approach this project. The boxes started appearing on my Twitter and Facebook feeds about four days prior to Valentine’s Day, and this year they were cray cray.

Minions, crocodiles, handbags, iphones, hockey arenas, cakes and more.  I didn’t even know you could turn shoeboxes into some of this stuff and makes me feel like I’ve been underutilizing my stash sitting in my closet. There were carefully painted wooden boxes, perfectly coiffed plastic containers and I even saw one that was about three feet tall (I’m guessing that kid didn’t ride the bus that day!)

On the other side of the equation was the cult against the Valentine’s Day Box Craze. These rebel moms proudly stated that they reused a box from last year, had a kid decorate a box with stickers or my personal favorite, the mom whose son just wanted to cut a whole on the box his inline skates came in because the box was already “cool.”  I believe it had a very romantic skull and crossbones on it.

This great divide between the crafty moms and the ones that aren’t is probably the most ridiculous one we deal with on a regular basis. As the daughter of a crafty parent, I do feel pangs of guilt at times when I know that I do not have the patience or MacGyver-like skills to create a life-like dog out of cardboard, glitter and a single roll of twine.

But what if instead of resenting these moms, we instead just say “Great job!”  And meant it.

It seems like more is more in today’s culture. Things like the Elf on the Shelf, Easter egg decorating, and yes, even the age-old Valentine’s Day box are becoming more of a statement of how involved or dedicated you are as a parent as opposed to what it is supposed to be: a fun thing for the kids. We have all seen the science fair project that clearly an eight year old could not have put together, or the over the top craft project that little Susie did with “just a little help” from Mom.

Yes, I agree, quite often we do things in the name of our kids, as opposed to for them (see my post on Why I Support Wine at (My) Playgroups.)  But who cares? There are moms out there who neglect their kids, beat them, turn a blind eye to abuse or simply just don’t love them, and this is what we’re focused on?

Damn you Pinterest moms.  You’re just awful.

Maybe my kids are different, but they did not come home after their V-day parties telling me how awful their day was because they didn’t have an elaborate box made from scratch. I’ve never heard them say, “Mom, you suck. I wish we had spent hours making a Valentine’s Day box like Mary’s mom did. That’s really how I want to spend my time.”

Instead, they went through all their cards — the home-made ones and the character-based ones bought from the store — with the same appreciation.  They then told me about the other boxes they saw that day without an ounce of jealousy or disdain, even for the little boy who just got back from Disney the night before and — gasp — only had a white paper bag for his Valentines.

I have heard stories about kids who have loved the artistic process of Valentine’s Day box development, and also the horror stories of moms who stayed up all night to make sure their kid’s box was “just right.” They post these photos proudly, while other moms seethe with resentment, thinking they are showing everyone else up.

I say whether you are a regular on the Valentine’s Day box circuit, or you just had one triumphant craft experience, you pin, tweet, and post away.  You see, I don’t think you’re trying to make me feel bad about myself. I like to think that these moms just want to do something special for their kids. Maybe they can’t volunteer at school as much, or be at every game like I can.  Maybe they don’t like to read together as a family or get to cook meals together like I do.  Or maybe, just maybe, they like to do this stuff.

Pinterest moms make the world a more beautiful place. I believe their kids do feel special when they unveil Shrek, the Valentine’s Day Box Ogre. And that’s okay, because everyone should feel special sometimes. It’s our job as parents to find out how we can make our own kids feel that way, in our own way, and most importantly, learn to appreciate it when they do. It may not be with fancy Valentines, but there’s nothing wrong with that if it is.

Also, as a mom who volunteers a lot at school and other activities, I also have a special place for these moms in my heart, as they are often the ones painting scenery, sewing costumes or cooking amazing baked good for a sale.  I think it’s just what they do.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think we all need to remind ourselves of this whenever we see another mom’s success, whether it is them running a marathon, baking gorgeous cup cakes, succeeding at their job, or even, just creating the perfect Valentine’s Day box.

Maybe they just want to feel special too.  And shouldn’t we all feel that way sometimes?

Cheers!

Your kid is not a leader. She’s just a brat.

I’ve really enjoyed the conversations being held about women and leadership the past two years. As the mom of three daughters, I think quite a bit about the words I use and the messages I convey:

“You can be whatever you want to be.”

“You can have a family and a career or focus on just one or the other.”

“Work hard, and make your dreams come true.”

“Help others and they will help you.”

While there are many schools of thought on how women can continue their path for equality, renowned author Elizabeth Gilbert’s recent article in The Shriver Report really hit the nail on the head for me: “There has never been a better moment in human history than RIGHT NOW to be a woman…Get out of your own way, Women!” Read the entire article here.

That’s why every time I see this quote from Sheryl Sandberg on a Facebook eCard, on twitter, or someone regurgitating it on television, I just cringe. “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.”  The quote was actually from early 2013, but it seems to have a life of its own and continually appears in my news feeds.

Now, I have nothing against Ms. Sandberg.  She clearly is dedicated to advancing women’s position in the workforce, and I believe her passion is genuine. I agree whole-heartedly that there are not enough female CEOs, top-level corporate executives, political leaders or industry heads.  I also like that she has re-jigged her messaging quite a bit since her initial controversial book launch to be more about empowerment and collaboration, as opposed to putting the onus more on each individual woman to take more risk in the workplace and “push” her way to get a seat at the table.  I’ll lean in to that.

But Sandberg has gone on to say that a lot of the inequality stigmas we face in the corporate world begin when our kids are young.  Like when a young girl tells all the other kids what to do and we call her “bossy.”  To me it’s an extension of the Barbie effect. What we are exposed to at a young age then defines us for the rest of our life.

This is where she loses me.

There is a reason why the word bossy has a negative connotation, both with little kids and with adults.  I did a very scientific study of what the word “bossy” signifies to children (and by “study” I mean I asked my three kids in the car on the way to school) and without any prompting, they all said that bossy kids make them sad, mainly because they made playing “not fun.” One of my daughters also said, “When a kid is bossy, I feel like they don’t listen to me.  It makes me feel like they don’t like me.”

In my terms, that just meant the kid was acting like a brat.

I also asked them about adults and when they acted bossy.  The dialogue was fascinating, and I was shocked at what my nine-year old said. “Sometimes an adult, like a teacher or a coach, has to tell us what to do, and we don’t always listen.  I like it when [her teacher] gets our attention in a fun way or when they give us rewards when we do something right. Then it doesn’t feel like we are being told what to do all the time.”

I may have been out of the corporate workforce for a while, but that sounded a lot like team building and delegation mixed in with a bit of inspiration and performance-driven management.  Pretty strong leadership skills to me.  Out of the mouths of babes.

I often worry that as we are growing our next set of women leaders, we are forgetting the very qualities that we want in our own “bosses.”  Yes, it is important for women in the boardroom — or any business situation — to have control, keep their emotions in check and be focused while also being strategic; but we also can use our strengths to our advantages as well.  Most women innately are passionate, adaptable, strong communicators and purpose-driven.  These are skills that I’d like to see my daughters cultivate and use when they enter the workforce.  In fact, these are skills I’d like to see my kids use to get through life.

While I think we need to encourage our daughters to dream big, we also shouldn’t change the type of people we want them to become.  Do I want my daughter to be a CEO? Absolutely, if that is what she wants to do.  Do I think to have leadership skills she has to be bossy?  Not so much. I’ve worked pretty hard the past nine years to try to get my kids to realize that being kind and compassionate trumps everything else, so if that’s what it takes to have my kids be part of the women’s movement, we may be missing that bus.

I like to think there is a major culture change coming.  More women are graduating from college than men, many with advanced degrees in male-dominated fields.  There are more dual income families and stay-at-home dads than ever before.  And while it’s not enough, there are more women CEOs and executives of Fortune 1000 companies than ever before.

The opportunities my daughters will have our endless.  I thank Ms. Sandberg and other top women executives for doing the hard work, including taking the brunt when being confident and assertive gets you the label of “bossy” and other not-so-nice superlatives.

But it’s my hope that my girls can be the type of leader that doesn’t get labeled as “bossy.”  I hope when people talk about them, they use words like inspiring, driven, collaborative, hard-working and confident.  These also are the same adjectives I hope people see in them in their younger years.  And if they throw kind and compassionate in there as well, I know I did my job well.

As my daughter was about to jump out of the minivan, I asked her one last question: “What do you do when someone is bossy to you?”

She responded: “It depends.  Sometimes I stand up for myself, but sometimes I just go along with it.  Sometimes people are just having a bad day.”

Out of the mouths of babes.