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Thanks to Sheryl Sandberg and her recent book, Lean In:  Women, Work and the Will to Lead, women are engaging in critical conversations on work and motherhood like never before.  While I like the expression “Lean In,” I must beg to differ that this catch-phrase will work for most real women.  After 15 years of clinical practice, working as an in-house therapist to various workplaces I feel pretty confident that I can report out on which direction everyday women are “leaning.”  For the sake of keeping up Sheryl’s proverbial compass, I argue that most women are in a perpetually diagonal, navigating a constant see-saw pull between work and home life, and trying very hard to do it all, and have it all, in whatever way that means to them.

In my grandmother’s era, women were told to lean out of the work arena, and focus entirely on motherhood, and matrimony.  In my mother’s era, women were told to lean into work, but only in certain career trajectories.  In my era, I was told to reach for the highest star professionally. But once motherhood entered the picture my feminist pioneers’ messages seem to fail me and I felt quite frankly that I had been sold a bad bill of goods.  As a full-time worker and mother to twin boys, how can I have it all, and do it all, all the time?  I have learned to lean out, for various reasons including the fact that I am not a superhero (despite my herculean schedule) and I need to give myself a break.  I have spoken to thousands of ordinary, yet extraordinary women nationwide who have concurred that modern motherhood comes with a slim margin for error, meaning we are all just one child’s strep throat, common cold, or call from school away from needing to lean out again, and again.

“Lean In” is part of a great book title.  But seriously, women today are so tired of being told what to do, and how to do it.  I truly believe our feminist pioneers’ greatest gifts to us was giving us choices.  As long as we continue to flex our choices, we are far from stalled in moving feminism forward, and our own sense of leadership.  Choice empowers us with options on how to live, and this sense of choice is our modern day birthright.  The dizzying choice most women seem to be making today looks like a lot of leaning in and out, and out and in.  Mothers have told me of their struggles, fatigue, and ever-present guilt.  I have heard a cry-out for support, validation, normalization and voiding judgment.  Hats off to Sheryl for creating motherhood buzz.  Now we need to keep the topic on center stage, and honor the many directions we choose to lean.



Dear almost seven-year-old daughter,

I am writing you this letter because something you asked me weeks ago has had me thinking for weeks.

You turned and looked up at me with your sweet smile and those big, beautiful, brown eyes with those eyelashes that women like me wish they had: “Mommy, do I have any play dates after school this week?”  At first, I was worried that you were on to me.  As a mom of four, I’m outnumbered, and it’s often frankly hard enough to keep track of you and your brothers and where I should be taking any of you at any given moment, or who I should be picking up and when (and, for the record, yes, I once did forget your oldest brother at school.   It was only once, and I assure you he will never forget it, and more importantly, nor will I).   Lord knows I have my weaknesses, and I admit I am certainly not the best at scheduling play dates, and certainly not so far in advance.

But you weren’t asking me because you were somehow telling me I was a grossly-inadequate-poor-play-date-arranging-mom, you were asking me for a specific reason.  You wanted to know when your friends were coming, so that you could plan ahead.

Plan ahead?” I asked.   “Plan ahead, for what?” I asked in my very curious, forget everything else, mommy tone.  You know the one you wish I used more, instead of the all too familiar half-paying attention voice of a mom being distracted by chasing your toddler brother, deciding what to make for dinner, and helping one of your brothers study for a test.

You, my sweet still six-year-old girl, told me something that will probably stick with me forever.  You told me you wanted to have time to “hide your Barbie dolls and Hello Kitty stuffed animals in the closet.”   You were adamant about having time to hide two of the things you love to play with most, when not playing a favorite app on your iPad or coloring, or watching American Idol, or playing piano, skating or playing soccer, or playing with your collection of American Girl dolls.

You explained that some of the girls in your first-grade class had told you “Barbie dolls were for babies.”  Really?  I could hardly imagine babies playing with Barbie dolls.

Nevertheless, it got me thinking.  I said some of this when we spoke, but I want to say these six things now, in writing, before you turn seven at the end of the month.

1) You don’t need your friends or your classmates or anyone for that matter, including me or your father or brothers who adore you, to tell you what you should or should not like.  If you like Barbie dolls, and want to play with them until you are 40, so be it.  I’ll be honest here – most of my friends talk about the days spent at The American Girl café and store with their daughters for weeks.  While it’s a highlight for many of your friends, it may perhaps be an even more memorable day for their moms and grandmothers too.  It might be because we know, far too well, from our own lives, just how fleeting this time is – the time when you want to put on a dress, hold our hand and run into a store full of dolls and every doll accessory imaginable. And, for the record, I’m going to enjoy every second of it before it’s gone.

2) And, this might be worth sharing with any of your friends who are the “oldest” in their family.  You will grow up before you know it.  I’ll close my eyes and you won’t be six anymore.  You won’t want to cuddle in bed with me, turn on Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen and dance like crazy with your baby brother in the kitchen.  You won’t want me to stay at a “drop off” party with you (even though all the other moms leave), you won’t reply to my “I love you” with an “I love you more” and you probably won’t want me to pick out your clothes one day in the not too distant future.  My sweet girl, you will grow up all too quickly.  You are already well on your way to becoming a remarkable young woman.  I know time passes too quickly because your oldest brother is almost 12 and it seems like yesterday I went through a drug free delivery (something I never chose to repeat again, mind you) and became a mom – a life-changing day.  I know this because I have 11 ¾ years of motherhood under my belt – granted, it’s a slightly larger belt than my 29 year old waist demanded, but who is measuring?

3) And, please understand that Mattel isn’t paying me a dime to say this.  Barbie dolls are cool.  And truthfully, listen carefully – anything you think is cool is – so long as it doesn’t hurt you or someone else.  It reminds me of the book Purplicious, which I read to you over and over again years ago.  Remember how Pinkalicious loves the color Pink, but all the girls at school like black?  They tease her, saying that pink stinks and pink is for babies.   Sound familiar?  Remember how we talked about how cool it was that Pinkalicious remained true to herself?  It was equally cool that  in the process she discovered that pink isn’t just a pretty color, but also a powerful one.  Remember how it turned the blue frosting into the perfect shade of purple?

4) I guess what I am trying to say is this.  Be your own person.  Don’t let others tell you what you should like or wear or say or most importantly of all, feel.  Now, before you go off dying your hair bright purple (my favorite color by the way, but not for hair), understand that I am not suggesting you go out of your way to be totally different either, as that isn’t going to make growing up a walk in the park either. But, what I am saying is you are special, you are you, you light up a room, you make your family and friends laugh, you have a big heart, you my sweet rose, are certainly not a wall-flower.  You are that perfect blend of girly-girl meets tomboy.  You roll down hills with your brothers and don’t mind getting perfectly muddy.   You fit in seamlessly with your large posse of male cousins.  You enjoy building legos at recess with boys in your class (with three brothers in the house, of course you do).  You enjoy getting your hair done at “girly” parties (and by the way, I like that you don’t always want your make-up done – as fun as it can be, it’s just so impressive to me that you can decide you don’t want to do something despite the fact that 20 other girls your age are doing that same thing).  I really hope you will always take that fierce sense of independence with you as you grow up.  You are courageous and adventurous and amazing.  At six you have skied down mountains, learned to ice-skate far better than I every could, and each time you fall, which you often do, you get right back up and usually do so with your great big smile.   You’ve played piano in concerts with kids more than twice your age without missing a beat, and gone off to a summer camp where you knew no one but your brothers, although most of your friends were going to a different day camp.  Keep your confidence and always be true to you.

5) Your true friends will like you, even if you like to play Barbie dolls, and they don’t.  And, if they don’t, they probably aren’t really your friends.   It reminds me of that great quote by Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”  As you will learn as you get older, and I truly hope these life lessons aren’t so difficult to handle, your friends will change through the years.

6) Understand that I will gladly sit on your carpeted floor (the one with all the marker stains on it), next to the tufted ottoman in your lilac painted room and play Barbie dolls, anytime you want, so long as someone makes sure your 20-month-old brother isn’t swinging from any of our chandeliers, and one of your older brothers takes out the garbage, while the other sets the table.

I love you and your vast collection of dolls.

I love that you while you grew up watching iCarly and love to watch Victorious, you also have a soft spot for TV shows intended for younger viewers, and will even gladly watch Elmo with your brother too.

Soon enough you will be out of first grade, no longer eagerly donning a red and white hat on Read Across America day, and like your oldest brother off to middle school.  It will happen in what I imagine will seem like the blink of an eye.  You will leave your Calico Critter townhouse behind without looking back, perhaps a Barbie doll hidden in the back corner of your closet, beneath your too small skates and collection of camp spirit week t-shirts, much like the toys from Toy Story 3, and will be asking me to help you pick out your bedding for college.  I so hope you will ask.  And, for the record, I am tearing up at the very thought of it.

I’m certainly not rushing you.

You will grow up when it’s your time.

In the meantime, enjoy playing with your Barbie dolls and being six-year-old you, even if, on occasion you think you need to hide a doll in your closet when a certain child comes over for a play-date, if I ever get around to actually scheduling one.  I am enjoying being the mom of my 6  11/12 year old girl.  And, for the record, I love you more than all the Barbie dolls in the world.


Love, your very proud MOM

As a mommy of four, I’m often looking for lessons to teach my children, amidst the chaos of reviewing homework, packing lunches, scheduling play dates, chauffeuring them to school, basketball, dance, gymnastics, acting and the like.  I love it when I find a lesson or two or four in the least expected places.  Last night, while watching the Super Bowl with my family, I thought of a few good lessons worth teaching.  My kids were happy to play with their cousins, and didn’t focus much on the game until the half-time show.  To be honest, the first half wasn’t very exciting from my perspective either.

My 5-year-old daughter loves music and has fun dancing around to the latest Top 10 single.   My 8-year-old son usually keeps me current by asking me to buy a song on iTunes, albeit from an artist I’ve often never heard of.  My 10-year-old son loves to act, sing, play guitar and perform. How fabulous then that Madonna’s Roman-themed half-time show included some “classic” hits from my youth – “Like a Prayer,” “Vogue” and “Express Yourself,” as well as help from some younger pop music performers, like Nicky Minaj, M.I.A. and LMFAO. (On an aside, I’m just glad my kids didn’t ask me what LMFAO stood for.  My brother and sister-in-law had a good laugh over the fact my husband didn’t know.)

The Material Girl appeared like royalty when an army of muscle men lifted her throne across Lucas Oil Stadium to the stage for her opening song, “Vogue.”  So what if Madonna appeared to stumble later.  She moves better than I could ever have dreamed of at 25, and the Queen of Pop is now in her 50s.  Listen up kids.  Lesson #1 – when you constantly reinvent yourself to keep up with the times (while always remaining true to who you are), you will NEVER, and I repeat NEVER go out of style.

Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, and is recognized as the world’s top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records.  Say what you want about her singing, pushing the envelope kind of performing, acting, personal life, etc., but remember this, in 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna as number two, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, behind only The Beatles (yes, The Beatles!), making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the Billboard chart. That’s right kids. That same year, she was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Time has also considered her to be one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” for being an influential figure in music.

The other great take-away from Super Bowl XLVI – Lesson #2 is this – even those with a rough start and the odds stacked against them can go on to become Champions.  The Giants, a team I used to love watching as a little girl in the dead of winter with my dad in good ole East Rutherford, NJ during the Phil Simms days, sure taught our children that lesson this year.  Big Blue almost didn’t make the playoffs, needing plenty of help at 7-7 with two games left.  They were the first team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after having been outscored by their opponents in the regular season.  With a 9-7 record, the Giants became the third NFL team to win fewer than 10 games in a non-strike season and reach the Super Bowl, but became the first nine-win (or 9-7) team to win the Super Bowl.

Eli Manning, Giant’s two time Super Bowl quarterback, taught yet another lesson (Lesson #3) about the importance of remaining calm under pressure when he completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown, without throwing any interceptions despite being pressured enough for three sacks by the Patriots.   Manning, the team’s Most Valuable Player also sent out a message, Lesson #4 to our sons and daughters, about how no team ever won a Super Bowl based on one athlete’s game – instead demonstrating the importance of teamwork. A MVP quarterback’s pass (as amazing as it might have been) is perhaps only worth talking about the day after a Super Bowl if a receiver manages to catch it solidly and keep both feet inbounds in a move (with two defenders around him) that might have some prima ballerinas impressed (nice play, Mario Manningham).   As Manning said: “There at the end when we had an opportunity in the fourth, quarter, we’d been in those situations and we knew that we had no more time left. We had to go down and score and guys stepped up and made great plays.”  That, they sure did.

At the end of the half-time show, Madonna disappeared in a puff of smoke as the words “World Peace” were projected onto the field.  What a powerful ending with a wonderful message.  That said, I wish for my children and our youth – world peace, Manning’s grace under pressure, and the knowledge that practice, discipline, perseverance and above all, perhaps, belief in one’s self – can make champions out of even those with the slowest of starts.  I also would like to remind my kids that if Madonna still has it going on in her 50′s, the rest of us moms, who can sing her lyrics by heart, aren’t necessarily out of touch either, even if we didn’t know who MIA was until you asked us to download it from iTunes.

As we pulled out of our driveway to embark on an 8-hour road trip up to Canada, my husband announced to me that our sons are “too old to go with Mommy into the bathroom.”  He will be officially “on-point” for all bathroom breaks.  “But, they are only eight and a half years old,” I argued.  “They are hardly aware of gender differences in the potty.”   I was also concerned that he would go crazy if he, and he alone, has to go every time one of our twin boys announce that he has to go potty.  After all, it is a long drive, and a long week ahead.  My mind also raced to a future “what if” question:  What if there is no male grown-up around to take my sons to a public potty, do they still go on their own?     

My first emotional response was sadness.  There’s something sort of sweet about my little boys accompanying me into the “Ladies’ room.”  This is intimate time.  We have always shared the tasks of daily grooming with ease, and chatter.   

I was also struck by my singularity now.  As a mommy of boys, I would no longer have any company.   I felt lonely at this thought.   I will be on my own, alone, while the three of them go together.  I will be missing out on time together, on simple but still connecting conversations.  Like being left out of an inside joke, I would go my own way.     

But, my husband would not budge on his strong opinion that it is time for our boys to be in the Men’s room only.  None of my arguments were taking hold here.

An hour later, it was time to pit stop.  Another hour later, another one of our boys had to go.  Two hours later, it was lunch time, another opportunity to go.  My alone-ness was for real.  But, then it was also sort of free-ing.  I was no longer on-point for this particular physical need for our kids.  I was free to even “rest” at a rest stop.  I had time to get a coffee.  Do I dare admit that it was even relaxing?

As the week went on, there were so many bathroom stops, too many to count, and each and everyone became “my time,” my own down-right giddy downtime.  My husband spent a lot of time shuffling one or the other of our sons to the potty.  His task was tiring.  But, supportive glances were all I could offer, the tide had turned.

A turning point indeed in my mothering has occurred.  A separation imposed by gender, and social constructions has amassed in my maternal world.  With this change, comes worry that others are not far behind.  Will we soon need to practice increased modesty around our home?  Will our gender differences rear other less obvious separations?  My head has certainly started spinning about these separations and individuations up ahead.    

But, for today, this change has also freed me up in one dimension.  And I have started to enjoy my new found potty-liberation.  I am no longer jumping up every time one of my little guys needs to go.

When I was in college, I loved driving in my Pontiac Sunbird convertible down a winding road, top down, listening to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” at a louder than necessary volume.  I can still picture my hair blowing in the wind as I listened to the lyrics:

You got a fast car / I want a ticket to anywhere / Maybe we make a deal / Maybe together we can get somewhere.”

That was then though, and this is now.  Years later (too many to note), I’m now a mom of four in suburbia, who drives a minivan (and isn’t afraid to admit that while it may not be the most fashionable vehicle  - I LOVE IT – complete with its plethora of cupholders,  and all the room it has for my brood and their stuff).  These days, I don’t start working until my three oldest children are safely at school.  Often, when I park at my daughter’s Kindergarten, I have my baby in tow.  After lifting the infant car-seat out (with baby in it, sigh), getting the stroller attachment, my iPhone, 5 year old and her backpack that’s slightly bigger, and perhaps heavier, than she is, off we go in a parking lot full of moms, babysitters, dads or grandparents, all anxious to get someplace.

I hate that rushing and fast cars are fixtures in many a school parking lot.  I get that many of us have jobs that we don’t want to be late to.  I get that many of us have obligations we don’t take lightly.  And, I get that many stay-at-home or working from home moms only have 2 or 3 or 5 hours to themselves, and have a list of things to do that could easily take that long - grocery shopping to getting the oil changed, a doctor appointment to picking up dry cleaning, or going to the post office or buying another birthday present, having a prescription refilled, doing another load of laundry.  And, of course no one ought to challenge how one spends their time.

A quick glance at the way so many moms dress in my daughter’s school parking lot reveals that many are rushing out of the parking lot to squeeze in some exercise – whether that’s a quick run, or getting to a yoga, pilates or barre class that starts in five minutes, or heading to the gym to hop on the elliptical machine or do weights.  I challenge none of that.  In fact, as a proponent of “Positive Selfishness,”  I laud these moms and the lessons they are teaching their young children about the importance of staying fit and healthy.

Where I frown however, is in the way some moms rush out of the parking lot, forgetting the danger involved with backing up any vehicle, especially a minivan or SUV.  A rear camera can’t always see a stroller that a mom is pushing in front of her, as she weaves her way through the arsenal of Honda Odyssey’s, Pilots, Yukons and Escalades.

And, amid the myriad of bumper stickers, I see the look of rushing on so many morning faces.  It’s worrying to say the least.  Caught up in the moment, does anyone recognize that rushing can lead to poor choices, less critical thinking and less thinking about the blind spots?  I know that the lives we lead aren’t going to get less hectic anytime soon, and I know how important it is to be on time (although as my friends & family will tell you, I’m habitually 4-6 minutes late).  I also know that walking through the parking lots of this suburban school, like the city schools near and far, are our future – toddlers, pre-schoolers, Kindergartners, grade schoolers.  Each one precious, all with a story to tell, and all equally unsuspecting of a mom or dad or grandparent or babysitter driving a Fast Car.


Real Women Talking is here to frame, honor and validate the multitude of issues facing women today. “Being a woman today is exhausting.” “Life is like the staircases at Hogwarts, always shifting.” “Life is like being on a unicycle. You hope you don’t drop a ball or fall off the bike.” We have heard a resounding chorus tell us that life is not so easy.

Hundreds of women have revealed that they feel completely drained, kind of like a cell phone beeping at the end of the day, battery on the verge of being wiped out. So, given what we have heard, it is time to unveil what we have created as a mantra, to honor what so many women are saying they need, and to offer some much needed aid in this arena. Real Women Talking is excited to present a mantra for self-care: called “Positive Selfishness.”

These days, selfishness gets a bad rap in our society. And, it’s easy to understand why. But, we are not talking about being devoted to, or caring only about oneself. Rather, we are speaking about the tried and true adage of doing for self, so you have some energy left when all is said and done. Without this adage, we deplete and aren’t good for anyone, let alone ourselves, so we have heard, since the inception of our research.

So, what exactly is Positive Selfishness? It’s about making yourself the star of your own life, the main character in your own novel. Unlike the selfish person who is concerned only with his or her own interests, benefits and welfare, regardless of others, one’s needs and others’ needs are not mutually exclusive in the Positive Selfishness paradigm.

When we asked women what they did for their own Positive Selfishness: we received a flood of responses via e-mail, texts, our website and facebook page. This question struck a chord with women nationwide and sparked the quickest response from our surveys yet. Some women simply wrote back, “self-care, what is that?” Others answered, “does wine count?” Regardless of the answers women gave, one thing remained abundantly clear – there never seems to be “enough” self-care, or at least not consistent self-care. And, the reasons for that ranged from lack of time, cultural ideologies, lack of resources, and for some of those moms out there, lack of spousal support to boot.

With regard to the time factor, we are fully aware that the last thing women in America have, us included, is “time.” That said, it truthfully doesn’t take much time to make it work. It can be accomplished in small chunks of time. It can become part of your daily routine, much like the morning newspaper or a cup of coffee, tea or just a few minutes of quiet before the rest of the house wakes up. Before you go to bed at night, ask yourself: “what did I do for me today?” Answer it honestly ladies, and if the answer is nothing, or not nearly enough, then step it up tomorrow. Remember you are living your only life. What are you waiting for?

Positive Selfishness isn’t just about “doing” things, but is also about “thinking” about one’s self, or at least being kinder internally. One can practice Positive Selfishness without “doing” a thing. Real Women Talking has received numerous responses about “needing” to be less self-judgmental or critical. We also heard that even the act of “not doing” anything at all, can be an act of Positive Selfishness. As we’ve heard, “Something as simple as letting the dishes pile up for the sake of getting more sleep, unwinding and decompressing after a long day has been surprisingly effective in ratcheting down my stress levels and letting me enjoy some of the down time I didn’t realize was there.” “Nurture mind, body, heart and soul,” in your own way.

We dream of a day when women will have no hesitation but to practice Positive Selfishnes. Practice after all, is the key to success, as anyone lucky enough to play at Carnegie Hall can tell you. It’s equally true, that when you search high and low, and find the time and do more for yourself, you’ll have more deposits in your savings bank, and in turn you’ll have more energy to do for all the others who fill your world. And, talk about a happy world that would be.

We’d love to know what you really think… and while you are at it, what can you do for yourself? Or, tell us what keeps you from practicing Positive Selfishness… join us as we keep the dialogue open and very real.

  • Today, my soon to be 8-year old twin boys played Animal Idol.  I must admit it was pretty darn cute.  “Cuddles” the big brown bear won and “Blue Puppy” came in second place.  While I listened to them play the roles of judges and contestants, I started thinking that there was a lot to learn from watching American Idol.

    My one son started off as the “mean” judge, “I am sort of like Simon,” he said.  My other son corrected his brother’s misbehaviors every step of the way, reminding him (and the animals of course) that “everyone is good in their own way.”  And “trying out for American Idol is really hard; it takes a lot of guts.”

    The animals went through some tough moments, moments of heartache.  Ah, the pain when “Squeaky Dolphin’s” dream was squashed.  “Yellow Duck” hardly made it past his first chorus.  In today’s culture, wherein every kid gets a trophy just for playing in the league, rejection is rare.  This might be my boys’ first real glimpse of non-sugar coated life.

    While I certainly don’t want my kids experiencing the real rawness of this rejection, at least not yet, I am seeing that the parallel process from this show has merit.  While one of my sons made sure that none of his animals were “laughed off the stage,” he processed all the related feelings.  

    We read and talk about “building resiliency” in our youth today, but we work hard to shield them from the very experiences they need to build their calluses.  I know that I am certainly guilty of safeguarding my little boys from so many of life’s pains.  So for now, I guess the least I can do to expose them to the good, bad and ugly of the world, while also seat-belting them in every which way, is to let them watch American Idol.

Real Women Talking author and psychotherapist, Jennifer Finkelstein, has heard women across the country talking about the ways in which they are part of a “new generation” of women. Jennifer has heard women talk about being socialized to ’want it all,’ and ’have it all,’ in whatever way the ’all’ means for each individual, in a dramatically different way than their mothers and grandmothers. Many women have shared that their mothers were limited to very few career trajectories, and were socialized to be mothers and wives, as their primary life focus.  

Today, women are given a different script. One respondent in Philadelphia shared that she was “taught to reach for (her) highest star, and pursue (her) own dreams, without the mere mention of couple hood or motherhood planning.” Many women shared that, before they had children, they truly enjoyed their liberating and empowering choices. But, once children entered into their life balancing acts, choices were not the same blessing, but rather their choices led them into an often crazy-making, stress/guilt inducing life cycle.

Choices are creating a serious, everyday rub because our modern workplaces, fast-paced culture, and our partners are not doing a great job of fully supporting our choices. Too many of us are suffering: operating like a whirling dervish from activity to activity and from work to kids, and back again. Choices will only serve us if others are supporting our choices, free of judgments, free of socialization’s limitations, and with incredible flexibility and co-parenting.

Real Women Talking needs to keep talking so we can figure out “how” we can engage in our choices, without trying to be some kind of super-hero. We are a new generation of women indeed: motivated, smart, educated, conscious, busy, empowered and liberated like no others before us. But without too many role models, we will need to be each other’s champions and cheerleaders. Join our think tank. We would love to hear how you are navigating your choices….

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