Friday, April 24, 2015

Millennials ruining the workplace?

In the middle of a training on staff development millennials kept coming up. Truth be told, it wasn't very positive each time they did. To be clear this generation  is usually referring to anyone born between the early 80's and early 2000's. That would make me a millennial (or someone on the cusp at least).

The gripes folks had about mille's is that they're often entitled and spoiled. They didn't want to work traditional hours and are too connected to electronic devices. Also, mille's are starved for validation and needed to hear thank you every 10 mins. Now, I don't know that I identified with that completely but I definitely saw some of this in me and in millennials I've worked with. 

As the conversation went on it became less a matter of 'those young folks' and more a matter of every generation is different and every generation has value. In this discussion folks kept calling this group kids. And finally one person who wasn't a millennial bravely spoke up. "These aren't kids." These are thriving, energized, walking marketing agents. They're hardworking, constantly boasting about the great work they perform on social media (a walking commercial for their workplace), and creative high-energy employees. They're a key sector of our new and vibrant workforce.

Millennials aren't all that bad, but the perception of them can come across as such... 

Like with everything there's two sides to every coin and truth be told not everyone can be put in a "generational box." As my hubby put it, "we're always going to have that older generation slightly ragging on the next all: oh-well-in-my-day". But this isn't a matter of younger vs older people at all. This is a matter of working with varying professionals of all walks of life and personality types. 

The key question as leaders and co-workers: do we know how to effectively work with different types of people regardless of when they were born?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mom Received Angry Letter From Friends: Stop Posting About Your Baby!

Jade Ruthven of Australia has a beautiful 6 month old baby at home. Like a lot of new moms she enjoys sharing pictures of her daughter with her friends on Facebook. Recently Jade received a letter from her "friends".


I have got together with a few of the girls and we are all SO OVER your running commentary of your life and every single thing Addy does. Look we all have kids that we are besotted with- guess what- every parent thinks their kids is the best ever. But we don't ram it down everyone's neck!!! She wears an new outfit- well take a photo and send it PRIVATELY to the person who gave it to her- not to everyone!!!! She crawls off the mat- we DON'T care!!!!! She's 6 months old- BIG DEAL!!!! Stop and think- if every mother posted all that crap about their kid- I'm sure you'd get over it pretty quickly. 

We can't wait for you to get back to work- maybe you won't have time to be on Facebook quite so much. 

Addy is gorgeous and we all love her, but our kids are great too. 

I guess you are just pissing a lot of people off with all your "Addy this and Addy that"-we all thought it might ease off after the first month, but it hasn't.

No everyone is interested as you are about what Addy does so give us all a break. 

We're doing this to let you know what people really think. 

Wow. Just wow.

Okay I can see both sides of this. I know people who post pictures of their kids constantly. Also I am one of those people who posts pictures of my kids constantly. I imagine there are some people out there who are so over seeing picture after picture of my kids, but they are polite enough to keep it to themselves.

Oversharing thorugh social media is a real thing. People do it all the time and people are annoyed by it. But most people are probably smart enough to find the Unfollow button on Facebook. You can still be Facebook friends with a person and remove their updates from your feed. What a simple solution.

The fact that this woman took the time to compose and send out this letter says so much about her. She comes off as bitter and mean. In the letter she states that she doesn't care when baby Addy crawls off her mat. When a friend of mine has a new baby, especially if they are a friend I don't get to see often, I am thankful for Facebook because it allows me to watch these babies that I adore, hit new milestones. I want to see when they first crawl, when they eat solids for the first time, when they get their first tooth.

I hope that Jade has reevaluated her "friendship" with these women. Geez!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mindfulness and why everyone's talking about it...

My husband got to go to a work retreat on Mindfulness last week hosted by UCLA and it was full of experts helping folks embrace mindfulness principles? Heard of those? Sure you have... Seems like the concept of mindfulness is everywhere these days.
  1. Mindfulness is "the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment", which can be trained by meditational practices."
What does that even mean, right?

Mindfulness in practice could be defined a few different ways: meditation, presence, and the resting of our minds from relentless thoughts. 

According to here's a bit on how to accomplish mindfulness... 

Mindfulness meditation practice couldn't be simpler: take a good seat, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return. By following these simple steps you can get to know yourself up close & personal.

How are you feeling? Meditation gives us a chance to entertain that question at a deeper level. It can give us the room to fully experience an emotion for what it is. 

Mindful movement gets us out of our heads and into our bodies—and into the world around us. It can be as simple as a series of movements and posture options you can use as part of a sitting meditation session—or anytime.

What do you think about this concept... helpful or fluff? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

She-Sheds: Womens Answer to the Man-Cave

Everyone deserves a space of their own. We have all heard of man-caves. They are the equivalent to the "No-Girls Allowed" clubs little boys made. Man-caves are typically filled with big screen TV's, overstuffed recliners and maybe a deer head trophy on the walls. There is a new trend, women's answer to the man-cave and they are calling them a She-Shed. 

Women are taking the free standing sheds that you can buy from Home Depot and turning them into these beautiful spaces. 

Women are making their own spaces to do things that they enjoy. Some have made a craft room, a reading nook, a sewing room, a yoga studio or even a home office.

I love this idea! If I could have my own She-Shed I would have scented oils and a big cushy chair with a mexican inspired print. There would be Frida posters and an altar with lots of paper flowers. Of course I would have a great sound system. I would love to have a space to retreat to, to read or crochet quietly for an hour or so. And of course there would be a sign that says...


posted on the front door.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quarantine Me: Surviving Flu and Cold Season

My family has been sick for what feels like over a month. First an endless bout with stomach flu took four of five of us down (I came out unscathed), then cold symptoms took over. In fact, I am home today with not one but two sick kids. This is torture, for all involved.

Every year I feel will be different and that I'll magically get my family out of flu and cold season minimally impacted. Every year, I am wrong. What's a mom to do?

According to WebMD surviving this season is totally doable. Here are the basics (if only I had researched sooner):
  • Wash your hands: So common-sensical right? And still we don't do this enough. Have a handy hand sanitizer pump (out of kids reach) so you can quickly grab and squirt. Make sure it's safe for kids.
  • Catch symptoms early: child eating or sleeping less? Do they seem overly cranky. Look out for the other tall-tale signs such as runny or stuffy noses.
  • Get your medicine cabinet ready: best way to battle the early signs is to ensure you have all necessary essentials. Stock up on flu meds, thermometers and healing meds that will bring comfort to your child (e.g. saline drops for stuffy noses). 
  • Keep Sick Kids Home: they need rest and recovery and not a trip to school or daycare where germs may be running rampant. This may be tough, but enlist a relative to take on your kiddo while you're working.
  • Don't share eating utensils: better yet use disposables to curb lingering germs. We tend to get three bottles for our three kids and with a large sharpie write their names on each to ensure they don't share. 
  • Pump kids full of liquids: feed them their favorite soups, smoothies or other drinks. Hey maybe even yummy popsicles. Whatever it takes to keep kids hydrated. 

These are just some helpful tips we know, but all too often we overlook. Then suddenly colds and flu season attacks take us completely down for longer than ideal.

Good luck moms and dads and may happy healthy days be just around the bend! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

40 years of Marriage

It's been said that rain on your wedding day is good luck. I think it must be true. On April 5th my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. That's right it's been 40 years. In 1975 my then 19 year old Mom and 21 year old Dad married in the local Catholic church on a rainy day.

According to statistics only 65% of those married in the 70's made it to their 15th wedding anniversary. But 40 years later my parents sat at a restaurant surrounded by their 4 children, 3 son-in-laws, and 5 wonderful grandchildren because 40 years of marriage is something to celebrate.

Growing up my sisters and I were the strange kids at school because our parents were still together. We didn't mind being the odd man out when it came to not having divorced parents. My parents gave my siblings and even my friends an example of what marriage could be and should be about.

My parents almost never fought, they worked through rough times together, they always had fun together and they were always a united front when it came to us kids. They made marriage look fun and effotless. Now that I have been married for 9 years I now realize that marriage is hard work, an ultimate commitment, and totally worth it.

I asked my mom, Mercy Gomez, what she has learned after 40 years of being married to my dad, Felix Gomez.

She also added....

I am so grateful for the hard work and commitment my parents have put into their marriage.  They have given us a solid foundation and great example of marriage.

Happy 40th anniversary Mom and Pops. Cheers! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are organized sports ruining your kid?

Okay, ruin is a strong word. I just needed a title to express what I felt when my kid was told "not to cheer" after he scored a 2nd goal during a recent soccer game. Granted he and another kid practically did back flips and simulated fighter jets as they celebrated, but is this really reason enough not to cheer?
Here's the coaches' reasoning: don't cheer because other kids may feel bad. What???? So my kid should contain his excitement to not hurt the non-scoring kids' feelings and this for kids on both teams. Isn't that a bit much? I mean a kid works so hard to score. They get that one moment of elation and to tone that down in the name of fairness seems nuts.

I say: let them cheer!

To be fair, cheering goes both ways. You better believe I am okay with my son losing and having to watch other kids go on and on celebrating their win and personal goals. I mean why not? Bottom line I want my child to work hard. I find that creating this illusion of chronic fairness doesn't breed realistic expectations of life. Life has winning and losing sides. The corporate world isn't all fairness and equality. College won't be an experience of "everyone gets an A" just like everyone gets a trophy at the end of  soccer season. He has to work for what whatever he gets in life.

I fundamental want my child to feel the natural highs and lows of winning and losing. I don't want his feelings spared out of fairness. Other parents clearly see it differently and this includes my kid's current coaches. Great guys so I respect their calls, but moving forward, I'd actually seek out a different organized sports entity that cares about winning and losing, keeps a tally of wins versus losses, and encourages kids to  obnoxiously celebrate their goals!

My son recently played basketball where every point mattered. Kids made it to playoffs and the value they placed on winning was acceptable as well as a realistic part of life. They cried through some tough losses. I saw the character and bond that built within them individually and as a team. Celebrating was important and I was the biggest cheerleader in the stands. Parents sometimes even gave me snarky looks, but why should I, or anyone, back down from celebrating hard work and wins?

This isn't to say we shame a team that loses. Winning gracefully is key. Sportsmanship is still critical but to minimize the value of a win and celebrating goals/wins shouldn't be considered standard out of so-called fairness.

What do you think? Agree with this HerMama's point of view? Why or why not?