Top Ten Reasons Work At Home Moms Love Business Trips (In No Particular Order)

So yesterday I was sitting and chatting with a fellow blogger, and since we both traveled to the Red State Gathering in Charleston, we started talking about airplanes. Yeah, traveling these days is a pain in the hiney, but once I’m sitting on the plane, I can get my laptop out and work my fingers off until the battery dies.

“Really?” My (single male) blogger friend asked me. “I just can’t work on planes. How do you do it?”

I laughed. Just like any work-at-home-mom would. Because the idea that we can sit somewhere for a few hours and just work, without getting up every few minutes to pour juice or wipe noses or break up sibling squabbles or make pbj’s for lunch and then telling your children they can choose to starve if they don’t want sandwiches … well it’s kinda amazing.

Working from home is a both a blessing and a curse. I get the best of both worlds. I’m home with my kids, to play with them, care for them, kiss their boo-boos, and make sure they practice the piano for twenty minutes a day. Yet I still have a job that I love, interesting and engaging people I get to interact with, and maybe the best part: A paycheck.

Of course the flipside to that is that I also have the downfalls of both worlds. Are my kids getting enough attention? Is my work good, or is it disjointed because I literally had to jump up 47 times in the course of writing a single 500-word article? Am I going to lose my ever lovin’ mind?

One of my favorite parts of my work is traveling. I really, really love business trips. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. The Peace I know it sounds crazy, since conferences and various meetings always seem to go a mile a minute, but to us moms, this pace is nothing compared to our everyday lives.

2. The Cool Factor What am I doing this week? Oh, just jetting off to South Carolina to chat with Governors Nikki Haley and Rick Perry. Did you hear Rick Perry might be our next president? Yup, I’ve met him before. We’re buds. Probably.

3. The Legitimization I have a real job, even though I don’t have a real office. I do not just sit and play on the internet all day. Ok, maybe I do, but that’s my actual job, people.

4. Maid Service That is all.

5. Face Time When you freelance, it’s important for people to remember your face, and more importantly, what you can do. Conversely, it’s good to connect with people that can help you grow professionally. I have contact info for dozens of experts in different fields that have saved me huge amounts of time in research by rattling off some resources for me just because I asked.

6. Eating Whatever I Want At home, I have to watch myself. And the bag of chips in the cupboard. And the ice cream in the freezer. And the block of pepper jack in the deli drawer. When I’m on a trip, opportunities for eating are few and far between, so when I finally do sit down to eat something; I don’t have to worry about the calories so much. You can eat a lot if you use your day’s worth in one shot. ;-)

7. Room Service See #4 and #6.

8. My Friends Due to the nature of my work, I have fabulous friends that live all over the nation. I don’t get to call up Ashley in Texas and see if she’s free next weekend for a girls’ night. But we got to lay out by the pool yesterday before the conference started in the evening. It was lovely.

9. Airports Where else can you have a beer and people-watch at 10am without any judgment?

10. Coming Home As much as I love traveling, there is something so sweet about coming home, with two little blond heads running full force toward me screaming, “MOMMY!!!!” And then there’s that guy I kinda like, the one I share my life with, the one that always picks up the house before I come home, the one that kisses me right there next to the baggage claim because he missed me so much that the regular PDA rules don’t apply.

So thanks, Red State, for hosting this annual gathering. I’m thrilled to be here.

Last Night At the Bar

Mercury. Almost as bad as falling whales.

Last night I went super undercover to infiltrate a crowd of Netroots people at a bar in downtown Minneapolis. Netroots is like RightOnline, except totally not as cool, because while we have people like S.E. Cupp and Michelle Malkin, they have Al Franken.

So there you go.

Anyway, my friend Dave Spady dragged me invited me to chat with some of our lefty counterparts wearing pink womyn shirts and saving the children from whales and trees falling on them and stuff. Because if a whale falls you, you’ll probably die. Plus it would hurt.

So in we went, where we met up with this guy named Daniel from LA. That’s Lower Arkansas, not Los Angeles, in case you were wondering, which is strange to me since I wasn’t aware that Arkansas had an upper and a lower. As you’ve probably guessed, being from LA and not LA, Daniel is on our team.

The Planned Parenthood chick from DC? Not so much. Can’t get more left than that. Unless you’re an African-Chinese- American lesbian, and while DC Chick may have loved her some girl love, she was definitely a white girl. We did talk about race though, since it was a liberal event, so it was either that or dead babies fetuses.

DC Chick decided to reference The Shawshank Redemption, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies. Seriously, I could probably quote the whole thing. I. Freaking. Love. It. Anyway, DC Chick brought it up for some reason or another that I’m sure made sense her head but not in reality.

“You know that … that … black guy in that movie? He’s like black and stuff. You know, the black one? What’s his name?”

“Morgan Freeman?”

“Yeah! He’s so black! And it’s so weird because I shouldn’t call him black, but you HAVE TO categorize people. You just do.”

And there you go. Conservatives see people, and liberals see voter blocks.

Thanks DC Chick, for your prodigious insight into the liberal mind. It was quite a trip.

Motherhood and Political Activism Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Last Sunday, in honor of Mother’s Day, my friend Dana Loesch wrote a great piece on why she believes that motherhood is political. She says:

The nurture and protection of your children isn’t limited to monitoring their dietary needs, their educational needs, their emotional and spiritual well-being. I speak out because I don’t want my children saddled with debt. I don’t want my children’s generation to be the first generation that comes out of the gate with a lower standard of living because of our recklessness.

This pretty much echoes my thoughts on the matter. I feel like I owe it to my children to educate myself on Constitutional rights and limitations. I want others to love our country as much as I do and understand what makes it special. Like Dana, I want my kids to grow up in a phenomenal America, where if you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Working to protect the freedoms we enjoy in America flows seamlessly with our hopes and dreams for our children to be better off than we are. It makes perfect sense that moms are getting politically active, because we’re the ones with the most to lose: Our children’s future.

In response to Dana’s article, some chick piped up criticizing every mom in the country. Apparently, us mamas are not worthy to participate in politics because we choose to be a womb instead of study politics. Stay-at-home-moms are the absolute worst, because we’re lazy un-American do-nothings that leech off our partner’s salary.

Someone needs to call her mother and apologize.

This 23-year-old law school student has no idea what it means to be a mother. Our brains are not (completely) hijacked for 18 years when we give birth. We have every ability to read, listen, learn, write, and speak about any subject — including politics.

Motherhood and political activism are not mutually exclusive. It’s easier now than ever for moms to educate themselves and get involved with the conversation. Anyone with an Internet connection can find the Constitution online, download the text of laws like Obamacare, read the news, and find and share opinions on blogs.

Moms are awesome multitaskers. We take care of our kids, our husbands, and our homes. We learn new recipes, new technology (have you seen kids toys these days??), new stain-fighting tricks, and about the embalming techniques employed by the ancient Egyptians (that one might be just me).

We are smart enough to know that we can use sites like MomThink.org as a jumping off point in developing our political points-of-view. I love this site because of its straightforwardness on issues that will undoubtedly affect our children in the future. I love the encouragement to join Twitter or Facebook groups, where we can mingle with other moms over a virtual soda or glass of wine and share thoughts and even engage in friendly debate. I love that it makes me feel empowered, rather than inferior, to be a mom.

Motherhood is political. Anyone that’s ever navigated a playgroup or PTA meeting knows that.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss in Egypt

Here’s the gist of it in Egypt:

  • President Hosni Mubarak has been in power for 30 years.
  • The people of Egypt don’t want Mubarak to be president anymore.
  • It’s illegal in Egypt to protest the government.
  • The Egyptians protested anyway, using social media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to coordinate their efforts.
  • The Egyptian government promptly shut off all Internet and cell service in the country, shutting its citizens off from the world and each other.

I am not going to speculate on whether or not the Egyptians have a right to protest, or even if they should protest. I have no opinions to offer about the relationship between the United States and Egypt, because I’m not fully educated on the subject. A great writer once said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

I do know that Egypt is supposedly one of our allies in the Middle East. Mostly because our mutual distrust of Iran unites us. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or something like that.

The people of Egypt probably aren’t too keen on the United States right now, since their government is trying to end their protests partly with tear gas made in the USA. Ah, nothing like using American-made products to quell protesting citizens. No one better give Barney Frank any ideas, mmmkay?

I don’t know exactly what the end goal for the Egyptian protesters is. I get that they don’t like the current regime. But what’s their ultimate goal? Remember the Bolsheviks? They violently overthrew a corrupt government ‘for the people of Russia.’ That didn’t turn out so well … Remember Stalin? Super evil dude.

On the other hand, the Boston Tea Party led to the American Revolution, from which emerged a new nation that became the greatest and freest country in all of history.

I don’t know if the Egyptians are Bolsheviks or Patriots, and I would be an idiot to speculate. Of course I hope they want a truly free society, instead of replacing one oppressive government with their own oppressive government, but hope is not truth, and to blindly assume that the people of Egypt are purely good while the government is purely bad is naïve.

What I can speculate on is the power of social media and networking, and the danger of letting government regulate it. Whether or not these protesters are protesting for actually democracy or just another regime change is irrelevant to this point. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are basic human rights (we in America have legal rights to them as well, but the rest of world isn’t necessarily as lucky), and protesting one’s government falls under the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ thing.

The people of Egypt used Twitter, Facebook, emails, texts, and more to coordinate their efforts. The initial manpower didn’t have to be huge. They didn’t need to send people out to knock on doors and share the information. They did it from home, blasting it to hundreds and thousands of others, who joined their ranks. They worked together, quickly and efficiently, to get the protests organized and to rally the people. Every person in the chain of communication felt like part of something; they might be just one link, but that chain needs them.

This is what we’ve seen over the past few years in our own country. A sense of camaraderie and partnership formed over the interwebs that was near impossible even just a decade ago. We have a free-flow of information and dialogue; first-hand accounts of events live-tweeted, speculated on, compared with other accounts, related to the past, and used to make predictions about the future.

Social media has been an integral component of the conservative uprising we’ve seen in America. We are no longer isolated – we have found each other and realized that there are more of us than the mainstream media wanted us to believe. We have organized rallies, we have cheered one another on, and we consoled each other when Jerry Brown was reelected Governor of California.

Watching the Egyptian government take away its people’s ability to communicate rapidly and efficiently makes me grateful to live in America. And fearful to ever let the authorities have any power to regulate our online access. The government should fear its people, not control them.

All Profeshenal an’ Schtuff

Look at me taking notes on appropriations from Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. This IL (Republican!) Representative sits on the House Ways and Means Committee (those tax-writing people) and is vice-chair of AmericaSpeakingOut.com. Congressman Roskam was very gracious in inviting us MomThink.org bloggers into his office and answering our questions about the national deficit and debt.

I tried to look smart by writing down stuff he said so that I could share it with you.

Too bad I left my notepad* at the hotel this morning. D’oh!

Taking Notes in Congressman Roskam's Office

Photo by Ms. Blissdom herself Allison Worthington

*Update: My uber fabulous fellow blogger and roommate Molly Teichman picked up my notebook and is sending it to me. She’s my hero today.

‘No Labels’: A Label for a Post-Partisan Political Movement

The No Labels movement was launched this week in an effort to move beyond partisan politics and work together for a more effective government. The statement of purpose reads:

We are not labels – we are people.

We must put our labels aside,

And put the issues and what’s best for the nation first.

A promising future awaits us.

The goal of the centrist group is to provide a home for ‘moderate’ Americans who are turned off by both ends of the political spectrum. No Labels wants to put offices in each of the 435 congressional districts in America and build a network of citizen activists to call out lawmakers that align themselves too closely with their party’s ideology. They will also establish a PAC to help fund candidates that would make Charlie Crist, David Frum, and Kirsten Gillibrand proud.

It all seems a bit hoity-toity to me. What’s wrong with having core values and principles, no matter what end of the spectrum you’re on? I may disagree with hardcore Liberals on a lot of issues, but I can respect people that have developed their own political beliefs and aligned themselves with the party that most closely matches their values.

Read the rest at The Stir

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0027

Jenny talks about the new immigrant law in Arizona, Ned Ryun of American Majority joins to share the low-down on Post Party Summits, conservative chick chat with Brittany Cohan, and cocktails with Mike G.

Enjoy!