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Entries in MOM (3)


Being a mom, no matter what

While this is a fatherhood blog, Mom’s are also very imoprtant.  This particular blog post, by Karen Ocean, is particularly touching and a nice post for the 4th of July.  Gary.

I often wonder what it would be like to have as many kids as you’d want, because to me the more the better.  I wanted to have a family with lots of kids, they could learn from each other, they’d be friends, they’d work things out, they’d learn to fight over the food that was given, the one who learned to fix something the others couldn’t would help them, the one who was good in one subject would help the others, etc.  Then something clicks in you and you say, wow I’m on overload, they are a lot of money, who knew there would be so many challenges, how come other families who had lots of kids when I was growing up seemed to be doing so well.  Then there is the unknown of the health of your child, even though you might think you know, you just never do.  No matter what the challenge, a mom gets through it!  No matter what!!

My 10 year old is a stroke survivor, having had her stroke when she was born.  She was having seizures the first hours of her life, she was treated after about 15 hours.  It was not the birth I, and my husband, had hoped for.  She had seizures and stopped breathing for the first 3 days of her life.  She remained on medication for months.  At 4 months old, she was still limp when she was held, even then I didn’t think much of it – I loved her no matter what!

Having a child with a physical, emotional, academic or other medical challenge is difficult.  But moms do it no matter what!  Just like moms of typical kids.

Today, my daughter does so many amazing things.  She smiles and I know no matter what I love her!  She may walk on her toes all day, she may have an emotional outburst that may take an hour or more to get under control, she may not follow each conversation or understand all her homework, but she does it!  She reads more books than my immediate and extended family combined in a single week, month or year.  She can’t play sports like typical kids, but she has fun.  She gets headaches and moves on with her day.  She plays video games and I know she’ll beat me when I play with her.  Aren’t we all to rise and shine each day - having fun, sharing experiences and things, seeing the greatest things and learning new ideas?!

If you see someone having a hard time with their child, please remember there may be more to the situation than meets the eye.  Please remember when your acquaintance, family member, or close friend says my child is having difficulty in school or at home or both, know it is a tremendous challenge for a parent.  Be a listener and supporter, but don’t intrude.  Most of all when you see a child and you think they look “just great” remember there is always a back story.  Believe and respect the mom!  No matter what!

There are days when I wish I could have a family full of many kids and then I know the ones I have are just great!  I will love them all no matter what!!


Guest Post: Kids home for the weekend? An alternative view

I wrote a post about how happy I was when all the kids are home.  It makes me feel nice.  It touched a nerve with guest post author Karen Ocean who submitted this perspective.

Want to know what a mom thinks? 

Let’s start with what brought them there?  Was it all the things we hear about – dirty laundry, the movie channels we have at home, the “mommy” food, the $20 bucks you have in the cabinet for whatever and the child grabs it and says I’m going to get a pizza and I’ll be back. 

Really are they home to spend time with their family or are they needed a respite from the constant goingAs a mom, I think that’s what they are looking for.  They just want to be in a comfort zone!  I know when my 20 year old comes home, it’s all about “chillaxing”.  It’s not about catching up with me or anyone else in the family.  It’s about familiarity and the ability to just be – without all the “constant going”.

For all the years I parented her and guided her. I now let her guide me into the world she lives and sometimes it makes me think, didn’t I teach her that or talk about that with her when she was younger?  Oh good, she was listening.  Then there are the times I think why did she do that, what was she thinking why she didn’t talk to be about how difficult that course was that semester.  Why did she hide it?  And then there’s the friend that’s a boy  – NOTE – not boyfriend.  We all know what’s going on there and did I teach her enough about that?!

So I go back to the idea of sit back and let her teach me and I know that when she really needs me, I’ll listen, help as best I can, give advice when asked – okay, can you tell my own mother taught me that?  And just be there for her, her mom - that reliable person who did so many things for and with her for all those years.

What will you do when your kids come home – no matter what age they are?




Morning Operations Meeting

“Nothing productive ever happened in a meeting,” a friend once stated. He is a thoughtful guy, and his comment was not one to be idly dismissed. As you ponder this during the next meeting you attend, consider the value of a daily touch base on operational issues.

DAILY? Surely you jest.

Whether in crisis or not, a daily session is imperative in any well run operations area. And believe it or not, the meeting can be accomplished in under 10 minutes! It’s all about predictability and preparation.


When running meetings like this, use a conference bridge with the same ID each day. Attendees shouldn’t have to search around for the contact information. Use an acronym if you can (the Morning Operations Meeting can be referenced as MOM. A conference bridge of CALLMOM (2255666) is easy to remember.

If there’s a critical mass of people at one location, try to use a conference room at that location to run the meeting. Far flung attendees participating by conference bridge is one thing, “locals” can come attend the meeting (rather than sitting at their desks reading emails!)

Pick a time when everyone can attend, based on your business day. Financial services companies will want to have the meeting well before the US stock market opens at 9:30AM (8:00 AM is a good time). If you are a retailer with stores opening at 8:00AM, an earlier time may be more appropriate.

Start the meeting on time each day. Nothing ruins the attendance and contributes to time creep than a meeting where the start time waffles. To do this, a backup chairperson should be in place to start the meeting if the chair is delayed.

The meeting should have the same agenda each day:

  • Roll call

  • Area by area review of any major (customer impacting) issues over the past 24 hours, with an emphasis on any active issues

  • Follow up on prior action items

Minutes should be captured, and emailed to each of the areas.


Preparation is another key to this meeting. Since the agenda is the same each day, the “areas” for review can be pre-populated on draft email. Over the 24 hours from the last meeting, Operations and the Help Desk should “contribute” major customer impacting issues to the draft. So when the meeting actually happens, the Chair is following a script of the meeting (literally reviewing a draft of the “minutes”.)

As the meeting is held, the chair can “prompt” speakers if certain issues are glossed over or missed. In this manner, major issues are not missed.

Details are not covered in this status meeting. If the issue is still active, it is placed on “follow up,” and brought back to the meeting. The chair has discretion for cutting off a discussion.

Once the meeting is completed, a brief Summary should be added to the email (suitable for reading on a BlackBerry) and the send key pressed. A wiki can also be used for this.

With predictability and preparation, the meeting will flow smoothly. Plan the meeting will run long the first week or so as people adapt to the meeting style.

Once the minutes start being read, it’s common for people to start wanting the “edit” the minutes after the fact. Some will want immediate retractions issued. My recommendation is to offer to add a “correction” section at the bottom of the minutes and issue as a part of the daily cycle. Do not get into multiple MOM minutes.

Savvy areas will want to review the “script” in advance. Why not? It allows the overall product to be stronger provided the information is factual.

And one last fun suggestion. Play into the MOM (as Mother) theme. “It’s OK to tell MOM anything. MOM is here to help.” It allows a subtle mindset shift.

And remember, you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool MOM.