as told by Butterfly co-founder Bradi Nathan
|Guilty. My daughters slice of cake was a tad bigger than my sons. Guilty. My son got to sit on my lap for a half of a second longer than my daughter. Guilty. I inhaled my kids dinner before they were actually finished eating. Lifes not fair I tell them ~ thats what my mother told me. I dont even know what the definition of fair is in my house but I do know that if you dont eat grilled cheese fried in butter fast enough it is fair game!
My house needs, not a dog or even a third child rather, a judge.
Someone to yell, Order in the house! Someone to decide whats fair in the, Who had more play dates in a given week than the other? What I am trying to say is that I need Lisa Bloom to shack up in my guest bedroom for a bit. Lisa Bloom, is an attorney and award winning journalist. She is the host of her own national live daily talk show Lisa Bloom: Open Court, on In Session on truTV (formerly Court TV). Lisa covers the hottest trials and crime and justice stories in the news. Solving sibling rivalry should be a breeze In an exclusive interview with Butterfly (which is a proud personal moment for me, considering Lisa has been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, and Larry King to name a few), Lisa shares her journey of fairness and family:
BN: How has your own mother, Gloria Allred, been a role model and inspiration to you?
LB: My mother raised me on picket lines for the rights of union workers, women, people of color, and gays and lesbians. It was always astounding to me that some people thought they were born superior to others in this country, and it still is. My mother has always thought for herself and unflinchingly stood up for what she believes in. I try to live my life the same way. My philosophy of life can be summed up in one word by the old IBM motto: think.
BN: Did you always know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
LB: Negative. I still dont. So far Ive had two careers: attorney, for almost fifteen years, and television analyst, for eight years. I am sure there are more to come. I think very few of us fit neatly into little career pigeonholes. I have a friend who is a lawyer/Bollywood dancer, another friend who is a real estate developer/design show host. My best friend is a jazz singer/intellectual property lawyer. All the interesting people I know have slash personalities and careers.
BN: At what point in your career did you have children?
LB: Like Octomom, I always burned with the mad desire to have children. As a teenager, I knew I was too young. In college, I realized I had to finish school first. In law school, I was read to pop a few out then and there. But unlike Octomom, I knew I had to be responsible, and wait I could financially support the little bundles of joy and until there would be two parents there.
Once I was working as an attorney, a few years out of law school, I was ready. I had my children young, in my 20s, much younger than any of my friends. And I am glad I did, because I get to share more of my life with them!
BN: How did that alter your schedule?
LB: My husband quit his job and stayed home with the kids, and I worked full time. A few years later, when we got divorced, I worked part time, reducing my schedule so that I could mostly be with the kids when they werent at school. We never wanted to have nannies, we always wanted to raise our kids ourselves. So through a complicated juggling act that many parents do, one of us took the kids to school, one of us picked them up, and sometimes a friend or other family member stepped in. Extended care after kindergarten was a godsend for which I will always be grateful.
BN: Were there any emotions that challenged you in returning to work?
LB: I am much more suited to working than staying home with kids. I missed my kids after maternity leave, and I especially longed to be there for milestones: first solid food, first step, first time my daughter bashed another kid over the head in the playground. I was, actually, there for all those. (I could have lived without the last one!)
When I went back to work after my first three month maternity leave, I thought, wow, I can go to the bathroom whenever I want to! If I want to step out of my office, no one bursts into tears! This is so much easier than caring for babies.
BN: How are you a role model to your own children?
LB: Youll have to ask them. I hope they know I live my values. No matter how crazy my schedule (I host my own morning show every day, I often appear on the CBS Early Show and CNN prime time as well), I always try to make a nice homecooked dinner and sit and talk with them at the table. I think thats important.
BN: What do they want to be when they grow up?
LB: I dont think they know yet. But my daughter is a communications major at the University of Pennsylvania, and I know shes interested in media. My son is graduating high school this year, and hell be attending George Washington University. He loves creative writing and politics. I am very proud of both of them for being bright young people of character.
BN: I learned that youre an outdoor enthusiast. How do you find the time to train for a marathon and climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
LB: A well balanced life is important. Body, mind and spirit. I exercise nearly every day. Running, yoga, swimming, hiking, you name it especially where I can be outside and breathe fresh air. I cover human evil. Murder, rape, genocide, domestic violence. I need a counterpoint to that, and stretching my legs and noticing the seasons change in Central Park really helps.
BN: How do you personally strive to achieve work/life harmony?
LB: Efficiency is key. When I moved to NY to take the job anchoring at Court TV (now In Session), I chose my kids school first, then I found an apartment right around the corner from the school. They didnt even need to cross the street! This eliminated a chore for me: driving them to school. I was also grateful that the tuition included lunch, eliminated another chore for me: making those brown bag lunches that my kids never ate anyway. I also live only a few miles from my office, so commuting time is minimal.
I work very early in the morning until late at night, but I always try to make my kids a priority. My daughter and I talk frequently. When she calls me from college, I will almost always stop everything and take her call. When my teenage son wants to talk to me, I stop in my tracks and listen to him. Nothing is more important. Kids need an adult to talk to, even if they act like they dont.
BN: What advice do you have for moms who are also trying to do it all?
LB: Accept offers of help! When someone says, Hey, youre a single mom, looks tough, can I watch your kids sometime and give you a break? Dont say, Oh, sure . . . Say, Yes, every Wednesday night from 6-10 would be great. My mother used to take my kids every Sunday morning, a blessed time during which Id go to the gym and do my shopping. It was heaven, and she also forged a strong relationship with her grandkids during that time.
Yes, she may have done things differently with my kids than I would have. So what? Who cares? Its good for kids to be exposed to different ideas.
BN: How do you look to others for support?
LB: Oprah inspires me. She is wise. I do whatever she says. I read the books she recommends, and they are nearly always terrific. I love her magazine. It is serious and grown up.
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