HarvardHomemaker

By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:00:00 AM in About Me
Tags: mom tips,  photography,  harvard graduate,  harvard,  four daughters,  daughters,  mom,  blog,  organization,  four kids,  mommy blog

About Me

photo credit: my 10-year-old daughter :)

Welcome to my blog!  I'm so grateful you stopped by! 

As you can probably guess by my header on this site, I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who's living (and loving!) the domestic life.  (For more on the title of this blog, please read this post where I open up a bit after a reader harshly criticized me for "wasting" my college degree by choosing to be a stay at home mom--her two choice comments can be found down below.  I think all women might pause for a moment or two when reading my response to her criticism.)  

I grew up a small-town Midwestern girl in some seriously cold weather, and I now live in the suburban South with my husband and four young daughters where the winters are much kinder.  I'll admit that I've turned into a bit of a weather wimp at this stage in my life.  I used to be so tough!

I am an eternal optimist, and I try to teach my girls to "choose to be happy" each day--we look to find the positive in everything at our house, as hard as that may be at times.  With two older brothers, I grew up playing sports; and now in my spare time, I'm still very active--I work part-time as a fitness instructor, play tennis and golf (although I haven't picked up a club in ages!), and enjoy photography.  I also love "projects" of all kinds, and I would bake every day if I had the time (and if calories didn't count).  I don't claim to be a wizard in the kitchen, but I can follow a recipe, and I promise not to share any here with you that I haven't tried--and had luck with--myself.  We're all short on time these days, so most recipes will be quick and easy--and more will be healthy than not.

While I love party-planning and details, I am far from Martha Stewart.  Life is short, and I try not to obsess over the little things.  Unless we're having people over, my house is typically scattered with piles of papers and half-finished projects that I will eventually get to.  I will be knee-deep in something, and then one of my girls will need me (or my family has to eat!), so that project is forced to wait... sometimes for months (or longer) until I finally get back to it!  Despite my piles, I do love to organize, and I'm always striving for a better "system" so that our family has less chaos in our lives--which means more time to enjoy one another!

Since I have four daughters across a 10-year span, looking at them is a like a snapshot in time for me. My oldest is a reminder of where they're all going much too quickly.  My youngest is a reminder of where they all once were not so long ago.  And the middle two remind me of all the fun steps along the way. All together, they teach me to live in the moment because time is going much faster than I'd like.  This blog will serve not only as a creative outlet for me and a way to share my ideas with all of you, but I also want my girls to have this as a resource for themselves.  One day I hope they'll appreciate all of this and think their mother had some good things to say.  :)

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

~ HH

P.S.  That's us below... this is the picture I used to create the header for this site!  Thanks to Aubri from Pink Sky Photography for capturing this moment.  I could just about cry when I look at it!  I even turned this photo into a huge canvas we have displayed in our home--see the entire wall gallery I had made.  I just love how it turned out!  (and I highly recommend Canvas on Demand where I had the canvases created--I was so impressed by their quality and service!)

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Comments

  • I love it! You are truly one of the best Moms that I know... and you make every single part of being a Mom look so easy, and more importantly, so fun! Thanks for giving us all a glimpse into how you do it... maybe some of it will rub off on me! xoxo

    Well, if that's not the nicest thing you ever could have said to me! I love the story of how you first described me to your hubby and he was sure he was going to meet Mary Poppins! :) Little did he know what he was in for--ha! Thanks for following my blog and helping get the comments started--you're the best!

  • Hi!! Great idea!! You always have such super creativity and style and NOW I CAN SEE HOW YOU DO IT!!!! haha!!! Also, I'm so glad that I can at least FEEL like you aren't all the way across the country!!! Happy Belated Birthday, btw!! Can't wait to see what all you come up with on here!! :-)

    Thanks for following my blog and helping get the comments started--I appreciate it!! I will try to come up with some good stuff for you to read. :) It's been a really fun venture for me!

  • Hi. I need to bring something to your attention. You have obtained a Harvard education and you are using it to be a homemaker and fitness instructor.
    Let's look at this in three ways.
    1. In what way is your Ivy League education going to help you find missing socks? I see that you did not specify the degree which you obtained, so it could have very well been associated with organization and management of a household. If so, awesome, but I think it's a little pretentious to brag about an education of which you do not take advantage.
    2. You run a house with four young girls and you still have time to play tennis, golf, and be a fitness instructor? It sounds like you have some help. There is nothing wrong with this, but I find it misleading to write to a public audience which believes you are taking care of your children while organizing at the same time. It's no wonder you can get all of the planning and sorting done without children demanding your every free minute.
    3. There are so many people who would kill for an education like yours. I'm sure you are probably very bright or you wouldn't have been accepted into such a prestigious institution, but think about what you are actually presenting in your blog. I'm sure it gives you something to do in your "spare time" (a luxury not experienced by many mothers), but you are contributing to a culture which values a woman's ability to sort laundry rather than have an enriching career with the education she's pursued. Do you honestly think the Harvard Admissions Committee would have accepted your application if you had written "stay at home mom" in your career ambitions?
    Honestly, this really isn't meant to become another Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft, but associating yourself with an education for which you have no use is an annoying concept. It's almost as if you went to Harvard just to say you went. You squandered an education that was either very expensive or gifted to you through scholarship.

    Please see the irony in the title of your blog.

    Thank you.

    I appreciate your honesty, and I'm actually glad you left this comment despite the fact that you attack me personally at various points which I thought was unnecessary--you don't know anything about me other than the little (and I mean little) that I have chosen to share with the world here on my About Me page. However, I think this raises an important issue that every college-educated woman struggles with--do we give up our careers to stay at home with our children? Is that enough for us? Is that enough for those around us? And what about those women who work simply because if they didn't, they would feel as if they are "squandering" their education (your words)? So they continue to have an "enriching career" (your words) when their heart is telling them to stay at home. Luckily for me, my family is supportive of my choices, and I have the confidence to shake off comments like yours because I know that being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job there is. I know that life is short, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be at home each day with my kids--it's truly a privilege that many women would give anything to have. I know an education is never wasted, no matter how you choose to use it. And I know my job as a homemaker is much more than being a laundry-sorter. (But thanks for reducing it to that.)

    Let me ask you this--if I were a teacher, would that do Harvard proud? Or do I need a high-powered corporate job to be worthy of this Harvard degree? I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for here. If you think I'm somehow misrepresenting myself or in any way unqualified to write this blog (with all the help you assume I must have), let me just say that I'm one of the most hands-on moms and do-it-yourself homemakers you'll ever come across. (Every single person who knows me personally will back me up on that.) Not that it's any of your business, but my children can come with me when I teach my fitness classes because there is childcare available--that's one of the reasons I love that job so much. I do have my own hobbies and interests (I hope all homemakers do for their own sanity!), but note that I say that I enjoy those things in my "spare time." How much spare time do I have? You have no idea, do you? Perhaps you love to travel--if you wrote that in a blog post, would I assume that you travel every day, every week, or even every month? No. I would know that you're saying it's something you like to do, and you travel when you get the chance. And you know what else--I would think, "Good for you. I hope you're finding time for things you enjoy." Period.

    I went to Harvard, yes. I don't brag about it; I simply state the fact in the blog title and in my description (to explain the blog title). It's part of my history, and it's a huge part of the person that I am today (despite what you seem to think). When I was first trying to come up with a name for this blog, we all agreed that "Harvard Homemaker" was catchy, and it really does sum up who I am at this stage in my life. While many of my former classmates are sporting impressive titles, I'm (just) a homemaker (in your mind), and you know what? I'm fine with that. Have I always been so sure that I'm doing the right thing with my life and my degree by staying at home? No. Do I think I could have worked my way up the corporate ladder by now if I had stayed in the work force? You're darn right. You don't know what I did before I had children, and you don't know what I'm going to do going forward--but I promise that I'll try to do Harvard (and you) proud.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, but I'm sorry that it seems like it's not a good fit for you. Take care.

    I am extremely offended by this post because i am a well-educated woman who decided to stay home with my children too. Nothing irritates me more than when someone thinks they know what is better for someone else (especially when they do not even know that person). Why can't women support one another for their choices instead of trying to knock them down? There were many personal attacks in this comment along with a couple of comments that are uncalled for and totally untrue.

    The first statement that made my skin crawl was when you stated that HH should have chosen an "enriching career" instead of sorting laundry. Do you even know another stay-at-home mom? It doesn't sound like it because if you did, you would know that being home with your children can be one of the most enriching careers that one could ever have. Enriching means, "to make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding.". How can raising children not encompass this definition more? Children make us fuller by seeing life outside of our selves. They add meaning to everything we do because our choices not only effect ourselves but the future of our children. Our lives become more rewarding because we have an additional purpose (other than our schooling or career) that makes us feel successful in a different way.

    How do you view success? Is it by the number of promotions you have had? Well, not everyone sees success through this narrow lens. Success can be seen through your academic achievements and career path for sure. But, success should also be seen by how you treat others, by how you show you children and spouse love and affection, by taking care of your self (through aerobics, photography or learning a new language), by how you stay in touch, learn and grow from your friends.

    The other sentence that irked me was when you asked how HH associated herself with an education for which she has not used. Her education in psychology actually ties in pretty well with everything that she does. Child development comes in pretty handy when you are raising four girls. The study of behavior has helped HH control herself in this situation with grace and class. I am sure that she learned about cognitive, social and emotional intelligence which has helped her create this successful blog. Oh, and she can write too!

    Not many of us can say that we love what we do but HH has told me numerous times that she does and she does it well. I believe that you are not angry at HH because she used Harvard in the title of her blog. I think you are upset that she has somehow managed to "do it all" while taking care of four young children with love, creativity, humor, grace and brains!

    Thank you so much for your kind words--they mean so much to me, and I appreciate the support more than you know... from one (happy) homemaker to another... xo

    Ok, well this whole rant and tearing into the author really just made me laugh. I need to bring something to vrj60770's attention. The author is fully aware that she has obtained a Harvard education and that she has chosen for her next steps to be a homemaker and fitness instructor.
    Let's look at this in three ways:

    1. Being a homemaker isn't about "finding missing socks." The author is not bragging about receiving an education of which YOU FEEL she did not take advantage. She's giving her background. Heaven forbid someone elaborate on who they are and their journey to where they are now. It's not pretentious. It's not bragging. It's information. Your PERCEPTION is that it's pretentious and that she's bragging. It's the MEANING that YOU specifically attached to what she said. It does not mean that that's what she was conveying when writing it.

    2. Just because running a house with four girls and still having time to play tennis, golf, and be a fitness instructor sounds like a dream only the wealthy with nannies can afford, doesn't mean a woman can't do it on her own. What you believe to be YOUR limitations are not the limitations of others. Your disbelief of the ability to do this, doesn't make it unable to be accomplished. Children do certainly demand your every free minute, but that's doesn't mean you're obliged to give it to them. Enlisting them to help out or entertain themselves is part of their education.

    3. We all have a set of values that are specifically our own. When we act according to them, we feel fulfilled. When we don't, for whatever reason, we feel stressed, insecure and unfulfilled. What's amazing is that our values change, sometimes yearly, sometimes monthly, sometimes even daily. When the author applied and was accepted to Harvard, it may not have been in her highest values to be a homemaker. At that point in her life she might have been focused on law, or medicine, or education, or science. The truth is, we don't know. For anyone to assume that she went to Harvard with the intent to become a stay-at-home mom is asinine. But for the sake of argument, let's say she DID apply and attend Harvard knowing full well she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom; let's say she pulled a "Mona Lisa's Smile" move. Who the f&%k cares?! Who are YOU, or I, or ANYONE, to be presumptuous enough to think that WE have the right to even insinuate that if a person won't be doing with their education what WE think is valuable, then they've wasted that education. "Spare time" is afforded to those who CHOOSE to take it. If you don't have "spare time," it's a direct result of your choices: doing what you value instead, or doing what you don't value but are doing anyway out of fear or guilt. Your statement about the author "contributing to a culture which values a woman's ability to sort laundry rather than have an enriching career with the education she's pursued," is small-minded, fear and guilt-driven thinking. Motherhood, however a person chooses to experience/live it, is the MOST enriching career that a woman can have, regardless of the education she's pursued. Unless you are a member of the Harvard Admissions Committee, I would suggest you leave your assumptions about their actions/reactions to yourself, as it could turn into a libel lawsuit should it be brought to their attention. Your comment, "...associating yourself with an education for which you have no use is an annoying concept. You squandered an education that was either very expensive or gifted to you through scholarship" is (again) the meaning YOU have attached to what the author has chosen to do. In short, you are pushing your values on her, rather than appreciating her for living according to her own values. And again, even if she DID go to Harvard just to say she went. Who cares?! Does it annoy you because you weren't accepted? Or didn't have the grades? Or the funding? Or a scholarship? That is YOUR issue, not hers, and no matter what you say, or do, or how you feel, nothing will change that.

    I don't know you, mysterious anonymous poster, but what I will say is that, to loosely quote George Bailey, you sound like nothing more than a warped, frustrated old woman. You sound like you are unfulfilled in your current occupation, and that your frustration with that stems from either not having a grasp on what your TRUE values are, or not living according to them due to fear or guilt...or a combination of both. As a result, you appear to lash out at those who are doing possibly what you dream of, because you have allowed yourself to feel guilty over doing something else. This is the meaning that I personally attached to your words, and I would humbly recommend that if you are tired of feeling unfulfilled, tired of feeling guilty, tired of feeling fearful, that you figure out what it is that you really want to accomplish in this lifetime, regardless of what friends/relatives/peers/society tells you you SHOULD be doing, and you do it. And if you can't seem to figure it out, then reach out and get the help so that you can.

    And, as a means of full disclosure here, I am a college educated mother of 2 under the age of 6. I have successfully been running my own business since 2007. I send my 4 year old to a very expensive private school. I home school my 6 year old. I also work from home for a very successful media auditing company making better money than most people do trudging to work all day and knocking out 40-60 hour work weeks doing a job they hate. (For the record, THAT was bragging...you know, so you can see the difference.) I also take care of the house, do the dishes, make the meals, wash and put away the laundry, pick up and clean, take care of, walk and train the dogs, kiss the boo-boos, tuck the kids back in after midnight potty times, chauffeur to school, throw the memorable handmade Martha Stewart birthday parties, keep up the 5 large flower gardens and the vegetable garden, etc., etc., etc. BUT, I also find time to have coffee dates with friends, and horseback ride every Saturday morning, and throw bbq parties and game nights and enjoy life.

    What can this woman NOT do, you ask? Well, the list IS pretty short, but I'll be the first to admit that I still can find the damn missing socks.

    For some reason I missed this comment earlier--this was not one to miss! :) Thank you for saying so many things that I was thinking... would you believe that my mystery reader actually left a comment on the post I wrote and apologized today? Such a pleasant surprise! Maybe notes like yours helped her see things in a new light. You are quite the writer--you remind me of a friend of mine. She has a similar writing style--and in real life, that girl is just plain awesome. I have a feeling you are, too! :) Take care and thanks again.

    Thanks :) (If you're referring to blnatale, it's because we're sisters. If not, still awesome!)

    That's pretty beautiful that she apologized. It takes a lot of courage and humility. I do hope she finds what she's looking for...in a blog and in life. I'm certain your unapologetic belief in yourself and your life path has had an impact on her, and who knows where the waves of that butterfly effect will ripple, but what an amazing thing to contemplate.

    You guys are sisters?!!! Get out of town! That's awesome. You both were born with a gift to write, that's for darn sure.

    Love your second paragraph above. So well said.

    Can't wait to check out your blog!!

    Greetings,
    As I began to read your comment I thought to myself that you are a person that is well educated in your writings but you are very uneducated with regards to life and the fact that there is more to life than commenting about where others went to school,whether it is Harvard,U of M,Stanford,Community College it is all the same degree just different school name. The choice you make after college is up to you and if you have the opportunity to stay home which doesn't mean eating bon bons and watching TV it means taking care of the ones you love then so be it. Her education will never be taken away from her and if she chooses to she can utilize it in the future when her kids are grown or use her education to help raise 4 young adults to be strong and make a difference in society. At no time is her education ever brought into the great advice or projects that is offered, so again I ask you where does she brag about her education? As for spare time who really has any regardless of your occupation. When entering Harvard you brought up the question would Harvard accept you if you put on your application "stay at home mom" I bet they would of,I am sure here grades and ACT and SAT scores is what caught there eye and upon entering Harvard she had no kids. It sounds as if you are perhaps upset that some mothers are able to stay at home and raise a beautiful family but again that is a wonderful thing to be able to do. We all have the right to our opinions but only a coward hides behind not putting a name at the end of there words. Stop being so negative in life and enjoy it, its so short if you don't like a blog than just find another.

    God Bless,

    Nicole

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice comment. I'm so glad you seem to be seeing the "real me" as I intend to present myself in this blog. I agree that life is short--there's no time to worry about what anybody else is doing. I have a hard enough time keeping my own life together! :) Take care, and thanks for reading!

    Wow.... Unnecessary... And highly offensive... I have to say, this post made me very cross. So much so that I can't help but respond (which is something I rarely do...). I really have no idea why you thought it appropriate to attack her in this way....! It is utterly ridiculous for you to say any of this...! To suggest that being a stay at home Mum is anything less than courageous, inspirational and ruddy hard work, is entirely ignorant and narrow-minded. I applaud this woman for her care and love for her children and husband, and am very inspired by her attitude and her obvious intellect. I am not a stay at home Mum, a Mum at all, or a Wife. I do however have a degree, and one that I worked desperately hard for. But when the time comes and I find a man to marry and spend my life with, and God willing, I have children, if i'm in a position to do so, I will be proud to give my career up for them. It's an honour! Don't put people in boxes, and don't judge a perfect stranger for being a dedicated Mum and Wife, as well as being proud of a degree she will have worked hard for and earned. It's not your right to do that...! And one other thing..... If you don't like her blog, keep the heck off it. No one asked you to read it! Keep your offensive and narrow minded attacks to your self next time please. I'm pretty sure we'd all be incredibly grateful for that. Ridiculous.

    Thanks so much for your comment--I appreciate you taking the time to write it, especially since you typically don't respond. It means a lot to me to hear you say that you're inspired by the attitude with which I live my life. Truly it does. Hearing things like that is what makes this blog worth writing--I'm so glad you found me!! Take care--I'd love to hear from you again sometime so I can keep up with where life takes you! :)

  • This wasn't meant to be an attack on your personal life, I'm sure you are very happy with your choices and you are a great mom to your kids.

    I do think that anyone, regardless of gender has the option to stay home, whether it be to take care of the home, children, or both. If your heart told you to do that, by all means, listen to it. However, if you really believe that being a stay at home parent is the "hardest job there is", you need a serious reality check.

    Also, you are bragging. I am also from the midwest, and I went to a smaller, yet highly competitive university. If I were to write the hypothetical travel blog you reference, would I use my Division 2 university's name in the title of my blog to make people think I was more qualified to write it? No. You, on the other hand, used your education so as to convince people of your credibility because you graduated from HARVARD.

    By the way, I was simply commenting on the fact that you associate your education with your occupation as a homemaker. In what way did going to Harvard influence your title as a stay at home mom? How does having an esteemed degree from the perhaps the most prestigious school in the country make you more qualified to do your job as a homemaker? That is what I was looking for. If you are going to tell me that Harvard had a large influence on the person you are presently, maybe you should enlighten your readers in your About Me section.

    Really, I should tell you I got on your blog because I was excited to find out how other people handle education, careers, and children. I was interested to see how a higher education can influence your daily life if you choose to get married and have kids. You say nothing about how your college experience has affected your life, yet you title your blog after it. The title of your blog is misleading and pretentious. If you are going to personally identify with the titles "Harvard graduate" and "Homemaker", then please point out any blog entry that draws upon the relationship between the two.

    Thanks.

    I'm sorry you don't like the title of my blog. Take care.

    Ok, it's pretty simple really: if you got on HH's blog expecting one thing, and didn't find it, move on. She's not going to change who she is, what she writes about, or how much information she chooses to share just because of you. If you're going to hop around being critical of what others choose to share, here's a tip: start your own blog on how you handle education, a career, and children....or are you finding it difficult, and that's why you're looking around?

    Regardless, you may consider making the following your personal motto before you go around pushing your values on others: shut up or nut up.

    P.S. Anonymous poster: I also blog about children and home schooling. Stop on by and give me an earful about how I'm doing it all wrong.

    You are awesome. :) What's your blog address?? I need to check it out! Thanks for your message and your support--I appreciate it! :)

    My home schooling one is still a major work in progress, but do feel free to stop by :)

    mum-in-real-life.blogspot.com

    I love your resilience in the face of adversity. What a fabulous role model for not only your children but everyone whose lives you touch. Never stop doing what you're passionate about; you're an inspiration.

  • As a follower of this blog, albeit one prone to read and not post, I am compelled by the vitriol of your anonymous poster to share my perspective.

    I came to this blog with no expectation (clearly the opposite of the other poster)- but mere curiosity (via the catchy title), which has expanded to include a sense of

    1)gratitude (that a strong, well educated woman is willing to celebrate and embrace her role of mother, wife, homemaker, etc., and record & share her journey and creative juices with others).

    2)joy (at the gentle humor and self deprecation that is a genuine part of each post, allaying any inferred sense of inferiority by readers)

    3) and at times, a boost of confidence... that my decision to stay home, (after 17 years of private schooling), does have value to myself, my family & my community.

    Quite the contrary of your previous poster, I have never sensed an ounce of pretension regarding HH “college days”. One could argue that to pontificate on the myriad ways a prestigious degree influences the sanctity of motherhood would be the epitome of “pretension”. Rather, I find it generous & thought-provoking that a well educated woman is willing to own her past & her present, giving folks a glimpse into her own world- and her perfect imperfections-- especially considering the negative social judgments and pressure placed on highly degreed women.

    To take out your disappointment on a blogger, over your own misperception of what this blog “should be”, through bitter assumptions, and judgmental interrogation is misguided at best and arrogant at worst.

    It is your own misguided sense of the collective responsibility of educated women that you must come to terms with, and it is unfortunate that whatever you are grappling with in your life has tainted your willingness to embrace all women- regardless of what they choose to do with their life & their degrees.

    Thank you HH, for being proud of what you have chosen to do with your life, and embracing/sharing it with a sense of grace & a side of humor :)

    I have no words--what a thoughtful and well-written post. I am so glad you found my blog, and you seem to be taking from it everything I am intending and hoping for. All I can say is thank you. xo

  • My friend shared this article with me today. It's the cover story from New York Magazine this week--The Feminist Housewife. There is no judgment passed here in the article--it simply states that women today have the power to choose their own path, and that's a beautiful thing. I am quite happy with my choice to stay at home, and I'm grateful to those who came before me and broke down barriers so I could figure out exactly where I am meant to be.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/retro-wife-2013-3/

  • Clearly this anonymous poster has never met you. I haven't known you too long, but anyone that meets and knows you, can see you are anything but pretentious. Most people don't know you went to Harvard {including myself until you started the blog}. You don't wear it on your sleeve, and I never see it in your posts. It offends me as a fellow blogger and friend that someone would attack you personally and your choices just because of your blog title. Who cares what college you went to. I think it's pretty awesome that you went to Harvard.
    You are an awesome mom and person all the way around and a degree from "such a prestigious school" is not going to change or define who you are. I enjoy your posts and always look forward to the helpful tips you give. You've got great ideas and you are very creative. And just because you don't "use" your degree in the workforce, you use your degree in all sorts of ways being a homemaker. Rock on!
    Furthermore, did I miss the poll you took on what you should name YOUR blog? I seem to get all your other posts.
    It sounds to me like this poster could learn a lesson from my mama..."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

    Amen! :) Love the Golden Rule. I appreciate your kinds words more than you know. Thanks, my friend.

  • While I'm trying really hard to understand your point of view, I feel your comments are way off base and a bit out of line. Let me break it down for you in 3 ways:

    1. First of all, no degree can prepare a mother to find those missing socks. I have the folks at Quantico on speed dial for tough cases like that one! :) I have known Harvard Homemaker for quite some time and I can distinctly remember occasions during her college years when she was asked about where she went to school. Her humble answer was "I go to school on the East Coast" so as not to sound pretentious by saying "I go to Harvard". I always found this interesting considering if I had been in her shoes, I'd be shouting it from the rooftops had I been worthy of attending such an institution! So, to say she is "bragging" by using Harvard in her blog title could not be further from the truth. She went to Harvard and she is currently a Homemaker. What is so insanely wrong about combining those two aspects of her life? It is part of who she is. Is there some statute of limitations on when and how we use our college degrees? I happen to know that in the years prior to having children, HH did hold a high profile job in NYC and later started her own business. Does this suddenly make her current existence more legitimate? To you it might, but HH does not include those credentials in her About Me page because she doesn't like to brag! Who is to say that once all four of her girls are school-aged and a bit more independent that she won't re-enter the world of work outside the home and quickly climb the corporate ladder? But who is also to say that this is what defines a woman and makes her more credible or brings her happiness? One of my favorite lessons for life comes from the Indian Proverb "Never judge another until you've walked a mile in their moccasins". I hope you find value in that thought, too.

    2. If by "help" you mean reliable babysitters and a husband who plays an active role in raising his daughters, then yes, HH does have help that allows her to break away from time to time and do things that she enjoys. I didn't realize folks with a Harvard degree were not allowed to have hobbies and interests that bring them pleasure and allow them to relieve stress. Another reminder of the fact that I clearly was never Ivy League material. You make it sound as though she spends every day, all day indulging in her own personal interests while a nanny stays at home to care for the children and she takes all the credit. While that does sound lovely for a brief moment (at least to me), it's just not the reality and HH would not want it to be. The primary reason she is currently "squandering her education" is because she does not want someone else raising her children for her.

    3. I'm not convinced our culture values a woman's ability to sort laundry, but I am convinced we live in a nation that values providing a stable and loving environment for our children. I am an educated woman with an advanced degree, who for some time made it my mission to educate others by becoming a high school teacher. I worked in the teaching profession for over 10 years and then stepped away from it to raise my two boys. I now work part-time from home for a non-profit organization so that I can continue to be the primary care-giver to my two young children. Am I squandering my education by no longer using my teaching degree even though every day I find teachable moments with my boys? Absolutely not! I second the motion that being a stay-at- home mom is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world. My husband is a pediatric oncologist/hematologist. One would think that might be one of the hardest jobs in the world - who wants to tell families that their children have cancer on a routine basis? But if and when my husband is trying to get work done at home, he doesn't last more than 10 minutes. He looks at me, shakes his head, and says, "I don't know how you do it. This is impossible." And he's not even trying to cook dinner, stop the bleeding on a skinned knee (even though he should being he's the physician and all), and look for those missing socks all at the same time while trying to get his work done!

    I really don't understand how you honestly believe your initial post was not a personal attack - not only on HH but also on many women, no matter their level of education, who choose to stay at home. It is a shame that you seem to think so narrowly about the varying and valued roles of women in our society today. All I can say is that we all make decisions based on what makes sense in our lives at the time. If you ask me, an education is never wasted. HH is an amazing mother, wife, and friend that in my mind is representative of many women out there who make sacrifices every day in order to find balance in life to focus on the things that truly matter. At the end of life, I doubt you hear too many folks say, "I wish I had used my college degree more than I did" but you certainly hear them say that they wished they had spent more time with their families and those they love. I think HH is onto something here.

    On a final note to HH, in your response to this post, you said "If I was a teacher, would that do Harvard proud?" Technically you should say, " If I WERE a teacher, would that do Harvard proud? See, we stay-at-home moms still use our degrees! :)

    You are awesome!! Loved every bit of your comment, but this part was my favorite: "At the end of life, I doubt you hear too many folks say, 'I wish I had used my college degree more than I did' but you certainly hear them say that they wished they had spent more time with their families and those they love." Amen, sister. We only get one little life to live. We have to find our own happiness, whatever that may be.

    By the way, I quoted you in this post (my response to these hurtful comments):
    http://www.harvardhomemaker.com/don-t-be-a-hater-support-your-fellow-women/

    As for my grammatical error--dang it!!! Was your mom (and your grandmother) an English teacher or something?! :) I went up and fixed it... feel free to proof my other posts! xoxo

  • Wow. Someone is trying to read way too much into the title of your blog (which I happen to think is cute and catchy). As for all the hoopla about you using your alma mater in your title, the bottom line is you went, you worked hard and you earned a degree from there. You are entitled to use said degree in your title whether you're a surgeon or changing a diaper. However, my biggest issue with the bitter hate that came from Vrj60770 is why do women feel the need to attack other women? If we can't support one another how will any of us succeed, whether it's raising our children or starting our own company?

    I agree completely. Thanks so much for your note and support. I'm not sure if you just stumbled on these comments, or if you read the post I wrote today in response to all of this. If you missed the post, I think you may enjoy reading it:
    http://www.harvardhomemaker.com/don-t-be-a-hater-support-your-fellow-women/.
    Take care, and thanks for reading. By the way, I love your sassy user name!! I always use boring stuff--I'm going to come up with something snazzy like that the next time it's needed! :)

  • I follow you on Twitter! Just read your response. Bravo!

    Thanks. :) By the way, I'm still figuring out the whole Twitter thing. I called it a "twit" once instead of a "tweet" and my husband just shook his head--ha! Take care!

  • HH, HH, HH -- EVERYBODY knows that college educated people make TERRIBLE full-time parents, ESPECIALLY when that education comes from a prestigious school (I didn't go to a prestigious college, I went to one of them-there public colleges, so I'm #1 - not wasting my education by staying at home, and #2 - really lucky to have spell checker so I know how to spell "prestigious").
    Really though, whenever I'm personally attacked by someone (or what I perceive to be a personal attack), I break it down in my mind and remember that what people say/write always says more about the person saying the words than it does about who they're talking about.

    I work hard to teach my six children that we all make choices everyday and each choice we make helps define our character. Every word we choose to use or not use, everything we choose to do or not do, whether we choose to build each other up or try and break each other down, etc.... All those choices shape "who" we are. So, while there's always room for constructive criticism when it's aimed at eradicating a problem or improving a situation, so-called "harsh criticism" is usually just plain ole mean and no one is better for it.

    All my blah, blah, blah aside - my main point is, in my view, HH, your character is rock solid. Keep on, keeping on sister!
    :)

    Oh, and, if she thinks "Harvard Homemaker" sounds pretentious, just wait until she reads my up-coming blog "University of Wisconsin-Superior SuperMom -- Life tips straight from the armpit of America" (working title, of course) It will BLOW.HER.MIND!
    (...my character was long-ago defined by sarcasm, unapologeticly )

    :)

    You, my dear, are just plain awesome.

    Thanks so much for the note--I agree that each day we have the choice to be supportive of those around us, or we can tear them down (to make ourselves somehow feel better perhaps?) I know I really try to see the best in everyone, and I'm trying to teach my girls to do the same!

    I laughed out loud at the "prestigious" part. (And by the way, I had to pan up to your comment to make sure I was spelling it right, too!) Six lucky kids to have a mom like you... that's all I have to say! And for what it's worth, if you truly ever did start a blog, I have no doubt that you'd have plenty to say--I'd read it! :) Take care. xo

  • The women of history fought tenaciously for equal rights and opportunities; so that women could choose the paths to create their lives as it fit their passions, interests, and intellect, not to force all women into the workforce.

    This “inside-the-box” mentality that educated women must choose career over family or vise versa is detrimental on so many levels. It strips the value of the role of stay at home mother. [Why do couples scour all available daycare/sitter/nanny options? To ensure that their child is nurtured in a way that aligns care giving and early education as closely as possible with what the parents would provide (were they willing or able to do so).]

    This mindset also chains us into thinking that the choice we make is a final one. Why do women such as this poster feel that HH’s education is squandered while she is at home with children? Is it not naïve and short sighted to assume that HH may not have other plans once her children are all school age? Even if she does not return to the “traditional workforce”, that Harvard education and experience affects who she is as a person and as a mother, not to mention what she may contribute to her community & society. Her girls will eventually recognize the value in her education, aspire to fulfill dreams of their own, and be comforted in the knowledge that they have...choices!

    If we can think outside the box, perhaps we can come up with opportunities for women who choose to stay at home to remain partially engaged in the workforce. I know many at-home mothers who would love to fit some type of work into their life but the traditional options of full/part/flex-time does not fit their schedule. Wouldn’t that be something? Harness more of the knowledge, passion, energy & experience that so many women possess but do not have the 8-5 schedule to share. How many more are eager yet anxious to re-enter the workforce for fear of being questioned by their own kind for daring to step off the corporate ladder to raise the next generation of America?

    That HH would use her Harvard degree in her blog title is nothing more than great marketing! It works and people click. To read it as anything other than a “hook” is silly. Yes, a blog opens one up for comment and criticism, but readers also much recognize that bloggers have control over what they do and do not publish about their lives. This particular blog, in my opinion, is an outlet for someone who 1) is intelligent, creative and driven enough to put a blog together, maintain it, and continue to drive its success 2) cares enough about her role as a wife and mother to try and do things that make her family’s life more enjoyable, more enriched and frankly, more “family-centered,” something that is lacking in many family units today 3) wants to share her ideas to help make other moms lives a bit easier, a little more organized, or a little more fun.

    That HH is comfortable enough with the irony of her education and current “career choice” as a stay at home mother to use it to defy type-casting and bend societal expectations in a Positive way is fantastic. If women – and surprisingly (?) most of the vitriol comes from women - could stop the in-fighting and understand that success means a little something different to each of us, our collective burden of guilt, second-guessing, and inadequacy would lighten significantly…and we could actually celebrate one another’s success, rather than tear it apart. Whether a woman works outside or inside the home, as a Mother, her work will never truly be done.

  • Thank you so much for your intelligent, thoughtful post--amazing on so many levels. As you said, it really is so ironic that women are often the ones tearing each other down--whether it be judgment over working/staying at home, parenting choices, or even topics such as our bodies or the clothes we choose to wear... wouldn't it be wonderful if we took that energy spent on judging others and instead just focused on minding our own business? :)

    Thanks again for your sharing your views. I appreciate it! xoxo

  • Well I love your blog! Shame on that negative person. Your response was perfect!

    You are too sweet. Thanks for your comment. :) I appreciate your kindness--take care!

  • I know the person who left this comment already apologized, but it was so wrongheaded I want to rebut it anyway.

    We as a society manifestly do NOT value the care of children and family. Oh, all sorts of lip service is paid to the idea of motherhood and all that, yet doing any kind of domestic service, i.e., anything traditionally associated with women, is still seen as a lesser choice. Anything that men have traditionally done is a higher choice in this ideology. Hence, the accusation that you're wasting your degree.

    The really radical idea I'd like to bring to her attention is that doing so called woman's work is just as worthy as anything happening on Wall Street. Just because as a society we devalue it, and demean those performing it, doesn't change the intrinsic value of the work. And it is work.

    So stuff it, lady.

    Thanks for your comment--I completely agree that as a society we undervalue the importance of raising children. They are the next generation after all--the ones who will take care of us someday! Growing up, my mom (a homemaker) always answered, "Yes!" when someone asked her if she worked. She worked her tail off everyday taking care of my brothers and me--and it's funny, really, when we are called "stay at home moms" because none of us really stay at home. We're always running someplace as well as volunteering within our community. I know the moms who work full-time are so grateful to women like me who are able to do things like help in the classroom, create the school yearbook, and make holiday parties at school special for their children when they aren't able to do so--I know many of them would like to be in my place, wearing sneakers instead of heels and making cupcakes for the class instead of heading to lunch with a client they may not enjoy... When I volunteer at school, I often take a few students aside who are struggling with certain skills and work with them individually. I know their parents are very appreciative of the time I'm able to give their children. It really does take a village to raise kids, and I'm more than happy to do my part. :)

  • This is for VRJ6770: Oh my gosh. You have a SERIOUS chip on your shoulder!! You might wanna try to lighten up a little! Harvard Homemaker is the catchy title of her blog; why must you read more into it? And even if she was bragging, she has EVERY right to do so. Who are you to tell her how she can write HER blog?!? Wow, you really, really need to pull the stick out. Only someone who is very judgmental and insecure would feel the need to write an OUTLINE of how "wrong" they think someone writes their blog. Again, WHO are you that you think you have the right to bash someone else's blog? I wouldn't be surprised if you don't even have children....all of us parents know without a doubt that parenting is the hardest job. Going to work would be a piece of cake compared to dealing with moody, hormonal teenage girls all day.

    You seriously need to lighten up. Why do you feel the need to analyze the title of someone's blog? It's a catchy title, not a pretentious brag that she is better than the rest of us because she went to Harvard. The fact that you read SO much into it makes you sound like you have a bit of jealousy hidden under that chip on your shoulder

    Thanks for the note of support... I really appreciate it. It's not easy to have someone come at you (even just via computer), but the dialogue that has resulted from the negativity has definitely been the silver lining in all of this. I'm glad so many women (and men) have been touched by all of this, and it's prompted so much discussion... there's always a positive if you look hard enough, right? :)

    Take care and thanks again!

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