Millennium Mom

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The "pre-vacation" planning - a flashback to my mom

While growing up, from the age of 9 my families annual vacation was to Florida each April around Easter. This was our one vacation for the year and we very much looked forward to it. We would go for three weeks, including the drive down and back (and yes we did it while the speed limit was 55 and there were no videos in the car and no mini-vans yet, so three kids in the back of a sedan).

I loved this vacation, from going to the beach and Disney, to getting a tan (which in High School was a big deal), to practicing softball on the beach with my dad and even driving back into Newburgh to see the spring buds on the trees, it was as if it had transformed while we were gone. The one exception to things I love was the stress my mom would be under before we left. Back then, and frankly up to today, my mom is not a very good planner. I think I am totally Type A and plan well in advance because I saw the stress my mom would be under the night before we left. In many cases she would pull an all-nighter getting ready.

It wasn't just packing that caused it, because to be honest we packed for ourselves. It was ensuring the bills were paid (before auto-pay), the animals taken care of, the payroll at work was done for the weeks we would be done and so forth. I think she needed the two days of driving down to unwind.

Because of this I have swung the pendulum far to the other side. I start thinking about our trips days or weeks ahead. Today is one of those times. Next Saturday we will leave for vacation. So I have six days to prepare, which is no big deal right? But then I started thinking today and realized "oh shoot" I had better get started now. Why you may ask. First there is a large chance I may need to fly up to Boston on Wed night or Thursday morning and not come back until Friday pm. That may erase 2-3 nights right there. Second, Tuesday night the kids have Cheerleading and Hockey practice, so Arnie and I can't divide and conquer, so another night out of the house. Saturday I have some time before we leave that night, but Ben may have a Football game, and we already have two hockey games that afternoon/early evening.

So, the stress began to set in. We are renting a condo so today I started packing some food to take. We like to eat breakfast and some dinners in the condo to make life a bit simpler. It can be stressful to eat every meal out with three young children, this way we can enjoy our vacation :)

When the kids go to bed tonight I will begin packing for Arnie and I. We don't use our "casual" clothes daily like the kids so I know I can pack because they are all clean. With the weather turning I need to think a bit more about what I want to bring for the kids. So my "pre-vacation" planning has started. I already got the neighbor to take care of the cats and guinea pig (yes a new addition to our family). My next email is to all the teachers to ask for homework.

The good news is they are so worth it in the end, if only we could just "pick up and go" without the stress.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A new job and behind already

I officially started my new role on 10/1, after doing it alongside my old one for over 9 months, oh...that's right, I still have my old one now. I guess I "officially" moved into my new job by packing my desk and moving it. One can say that is progress. I continue to be excited about it, New Business Creation for P&G's Beauty & Grooming business unit - think about new sources of revenue, what can we do differently from how we sell Pantene, Olay, Gillette, Old Spice, Nice N Easy, Secret, Cover Girl, H&S and other brands today.

It will be a ton of fun I am sure, I get to try to reinvent a $30B business unit, very challenging but wide open at the same time. But somehow I feel behind already. I have two direct reports who started already, of my four total (two are on maternity leave). The only issue is neither has ever worked in Beauty, so there is a lot of onboarding...and one has never worked in the US before, transferring from Western Europe. So being the coach I am I want to spend time with them and get them up to speed, but my days are just back to back to back...likely because I am down two Brand Managers and have to keep their projects moving forward.

So I am stressed. I keep bringing stuff home to do, but the kids are the priority for sure. Today Arn had to work late which meant a crazy evening. Pick kids up at Acrocheer at 5:45, off to cheerleading at 6 (and pick up carpool on the way), dash home because Claire forgot the Spirit Cone she got last week, back to cheerleading, get out at 7:10, rush home, Uncle Matt called so talk to him while trying to get dinner done, Arn gets home at 7:40, sit down to eat, talk about Ben's "longterm" project and how we will do it, research it on the web for a bit, kids head up to take Showers at 8:20 and I get online to blog while Arnie cleans the table. Now 8:40 and I need to get upstairs to help get them settled.

I will try to do an hour or so of work, as my calendar tomorrow begins at 8am and has only 1 hour without meetings, which means again no actual "work" will get done. I actually blocked 6 hours of my time on Friday to just get things accomplished, let's see if that holds or I get invites will get better I know, I just hope my two new BM's don't hate me by then.