Makeup Monday with D'angelo Thompson: 3.31.14

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Fix It
by:D'angelo Thompson

A secret beauty weapon in my kit is MIST & FIX by Make Up Forever that's especially great for a big event or performance. After make up application, spray MIST & FIX about 10-16" from your face and, voila! You're set! 

D'angelo Thompson
Make up, groomer, beauty educator, blogger and author
www.dangelothompson.com
www.DTProCrew.com
dangelo@dangelothompson.com

Top 10 Reasons I Should Live in a Hotel

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We just came back from an impromptu family weekend away. I had the opportunity to bring the boys along to an incredible event with my day job, so we arranged for extra homework, early spelling and math tests with their teaches, then swept them off to the airport after school on Thursday. The event was awesome,  the boys' behavior divine...that is until we stepped back into our own home on Sunday afternoon.

What is it about vacation that brings out the best in my family (including me), and why can't some of that relaxed-well-behaved-goodness rub off on our day-to-day craziness? I'm convinced that it must be the hotel. So, I've decided that we should just say screw this whole mortgage thing and move into a hotel. Permanently.

You think I'm nuts? Well, take a peek at my Top 10 Reasons I Should Live in a Hotel and YOU be the judge:

10. Even if the room looks like it was hit by a tornado in the morning, it's all military corners and soft music playing on the radio by dinner time - and I didn't have to lift a finger

9. Everybody knows that vacation mom is WAY more fun than regular mom

8. Two words: Room service

7. If you run out of toothpaste or toilet paper in the middle of the night, there's always someone there to bring it to you

6. Every day, someone else cleans the bathrooms and feeds my kids

5. My kids seem to magically follow directions and behave less like wild animals when we are away from home

4. If I make a ridiculous or seemingly impossible request, the concierge always smiles and comes back with a solution. When I try this at home with The Hubs, he just looks at me like I'm crazy

3. I always wanted a swimming pool in my back yard...but never wanted to clean it

2. Breakfast in bed is so much more appealing when someone else is there to fish the crumbs out of the sheets

1. Hotels have wine. Lots and lots of wine...

Mama Mentors

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I’ve been blessed to not only have an incredible mother, but a number of strong mama mentors in my life. With the exception of the tumultuous teen years (when estrogen repels estrogen like the world’s largest electromagnetic field…or something more scientifically accurate than that), my mother and I have had an incredible relationship. She has been a cheerleader, motivational coach, voice of reason and swift kick in the ass when needed. As I entered the wild and wacky world of motherhood, she continued to provide advice, support and an incredible example of what it means to be a great mom.

The one part of my journey that Mom has not been able to provide a roadmap for is how to balance motherhood with my career. While Mom worked for the majority of my childhood, my career involves a number of different variables that were simply not a factor for my parents. When I was a kid, mom or dad picked us up from school every day at 3pm, dinner was on the table by 4:30 and we were all in the bed by 9.

My family life looks NOTHING like that. Business travel, a long commute and variable hours make every week a jigsaw puzzle of drop off and pick up coordination, before and after-care, delivery or leftovers for dinner followed by a rush to finish the bath/books and bed routine by a decent hour. There are days that I leave the house before my kids wake up and get home well after bedtime. My life didn’t fit into the model of my childhood, and my peers at work either had no children or had children much older than mine. I needed a mentor – a model of a woman who was passionate about her career while equally if not more passionate about playing an active role in her children’s lives every day.

One day, I was having a particularly brutal work-mom moment. My youngest woke up with a fever, so daycare was out of the question. I had a number of time-sensitive issues on tap at work so I didn’t have the option to completely disconnect. In particular, I had a weekly conference call with my largest client. The baby fell asleep in the car on the way back from the pediatrician’s office, so I parked and took my call from the car.

My client, Kelly, was everything that I wanted to be as an executive. Polished, professional, powerful, strategic and empathetic. And a mother of two. While we had a strong and friendly professional relationship, I had never been comfortable talking to her about the challenges of working motherhood. Like many women, I was uncomfortable admitting to anyone (especially a client) that I didn’t have it all under control. That I was anything less than the perfectly polished professional that I presented to the working world.

That day, everything changed.

When Kelly answered the phone, instead of jumping into our agenda I nearly broke down in tears. I asked her, struggling to keep my composure, how she did it. How she could raise her children and keep up with the crazy pace of her job. She then blessed me with an explanation of how she and her husband chose to design their lives in a way that allowed them to both play an active role in their children’s lives while maintaining hectic careers. She told a story of sacrifice and lost sleep, strategic career “plateaus” and a constant juggling act. But in the end, her story gave me hope because it was one that I could identify with. Here was a woman that I admired – a woman I whose career I hoped to emulate – who had found a way to have her career and be the kind of mom that she wanted to be. 

I was fortunate to work for another mama mentor for a number of years. Leigh Anne is a force of nature. Driven, optimistic, fiercely loyal. A leader in her field, extraordinary mentor, friend and mother of two. Leigh Anne gave me the single best piece of working mother advice that I have ever received. When I asked how she balanced career and motherhood, Leigh Anne laughed and said that balance was about choosing who you needed to be on any given day. Some days she was a great mother and crappy executive. Others, she was an incredible career woman and absentee mom. You can’t be all things to all people each and every day. The balance is in the choice, and making the choice for the right reasons – YOUR reasons. These are words that I continue to live by to this day, and share with each and every working mother who asks me that very same question.

We’ve all heard that one of the secrets to career success is finding strong mentors. I believe that this applies to motherhood as well. None of us live the exact same life, so no single person can provide the roadmap we need to successfully navigate working motherhood. But if you make the effort and take the risk of reaching out to mothers that you admire, you can learn from their journey and help write your own definition of parenting “success”.

Makeup Monday AND Giveaway with D'angelo Thompson 3.17.14

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Technique is Key
by D'angelo Thompson

I can give a million product suggestions, but I think understanding technique and how to apply it are the most important! Six lucky BadAssMama Chronicles readers will win a set of my beauty technique cards, focusing on skin, foundation, blush, bronzer, eyes, cheeks and lips.

To enter, follow The BadAssMama Chronicles on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment describing your morning beauty routine for a chance to win. Six random winners will be selecteda nd announced on Monday, March 31.

I Want it All...

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It’s time to change the conversation on working motherhood.

As far as we have come in equality on many fronts, working mothers – particularly women executives – continue to face undue scrutiny and battle the perception that they are not as committed to their careers as their male or childless female counterparts. If you avail yourself of a company’s flexible work policy by working from home one day each week (or even once in a blue moon), you have to fight the perception that you’re coasting. Stay home to care for a sick kid and risk the perception that you’re not reliable.

I’ve had endless conversations with female executives who’ve had to put up with passing comments from colleagues questioning their ability to continue to climb the corporate ladder simply because they have children. The comments vary from pseudo-helpful to downright infuriating:

·      You travel so much for your job. Don’t you miss your kids?
·      It must be so hard to have someone else raise your children
·      Why did you even have kids if you’re never going to be around?
·      You seem to have a lot going on. I don’t think you’re ready for that new job
·      Aren’t you the one who has to stay at home if your kid is sick?

The challenge with these type of comments is not just that they are discriminatory (when’s the last time someone asked a man any of these questions?) It cuts both ways. As working mothers, the perception of our professional potential may be minimized simply by having children, while at the same time we are criticized for not being even more “motherly”, more accessible to and present with our children.

Now don’t get me wrong. We’re not all angels. There are some working mothers out there who spend more time on the phone arranging the next PTA meeting than actually doing their jobs (just like there are childless employees who spend more time planning their dinner parties than working from 9 to 5). But the biggest hit to working mothers is that whether the perception is true or not, once it has taken hold anything we do can feed into the myth. Take a day off to attend a special event or mention almost anything about your kids in a professional setting, and you run the risk of reinforcing the perception that you are more “mother” than “worker”.

A dear friend of mine shared an incredible article from The Harvard Business Review last week that addressed this very topic. Titled “How Female Leaders Should Handle Double Standards”, its core premise is that while a double standard does exist, women should focus on kicking ass rather than changing these deeply-ingrained-though-wrong-headed perceptions. (see http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/02/how_female_leaders_should_handle_double_standards.html). While I agree with the innate rationality of this argument, I can’t help but be pissed off that were still having this conversation. Women – including working mothers – have risen to the rarest of air in public, private and corporate America. Yet we are still having this conversation. If anyone suggested that there was a “perception” that I was not as accessible as my colleagues because I am a black person, most people would scream discrimination. But, make this assumption about a working mother and no one bats an eye.

As a female executive, I want it all. I want the corner office, a fulfilling family life, healthy body and mind, time with girlfriends as well as a loving relationship with my husband. I am a writer, a blogger, executive, coach, sister, daughter, wife, friend and mother. I will not be limited to just one thing. I want it all, and I will not settle for less. True, I may not be the best at all of these things, every day – but no one is. Male or female. Parent or not.

It’s time to change the conversation on working motherhood.