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September 19, 2006

All Hail Email

Lauren Young

Email makes me crazy. After a one-week vacation this summer, I returned to work to find my inbox teeming with more than 1,400 emails.

But email is also my friend. As careful readers of the Working Parents blog may recall, my son Leo has had six surgeries in the past two years. His latest surgery was on Sept. 7. Rather than spending the entire day at the hospital trying sneak calls on my cell phone to let everyone know how he was doing, I used an email list (which I save as a draft in my inbox)to send out an update. My colleagues, family, as well as friends are on the "Leo List," so it's a very easy way to get in touch with everyone in our world in one fell swoop. And whenever anyone asks how Leo is doing, I simply add them to the list if they aren't on it already.

When my best friend from college was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she followed my lead, developing her own email list to keep everyone up-to-date on her treatments and recovery. Another friend is married to a man with leukemia, and she's been providing anyone who is interested with regular reports on his progress.

While my reasons for sending email updates are medical ones, I've seen other mass email uses, namely when a friend has a baby.

So this begs the question, and I might even call Miss Manners to find out what she thinks: As an extremely busy working parent with little time to spare, is it okay to send an email (in the form of an Evite) for my son's second birthday party? It would make my life a lot easier than writing and addressing invitations.

If you click to the next page, you can read a Leo update I just sent out that my friends and family thought was very funny.

To everyone who has written, called, and sent gifts:

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but it turns out Leo has developed a fungal infection on his back which has made him pretty miserable for the past few days. He can't stop scratching his back--it is very red and blotchy--and he's having an extremely tough time sleeping. (Which means mommy and daddy are completely sleep-deprived.) I tried to give him Benadryl tonight to stop the itching, and he vomited all over everything. Nice!

All Leo wants to do is watch "The Wiggles"--this is clearly a subversive tactic to get back at us for putting him through all of this.

To those of you who have yet to write, call, or send gifts: Please note that "The Wiggles" have been blacklisted in our house. As the subject line suggests, however, "The Simpsons" offer welcome comic relief.

Love,

Lauren

12:21 PM

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I would be honored to be added to the "Leo List"!

Posted by: KAC at September 26, 2006 10:04 PM

I disagree with your article. My mom has been a very successful FT live out Nanny. She has had 2-5 long term jobs in over 16 years in New York City. Over the years she raised six children. Almost all her "kids" stay in contact with her into their college years. Honestly turnover of 1-1/2 years is usually an indicator of other things. It may have nothing to do with the perks you offer but everyday interaction that causes the attrition you are seeing (non verbal language used, condescending tones, etc.)Most babysitters are not native Americans and do not tolerate assertiveness as Corporate America does.. Her latest employer offers medical, lots of flexibility and their relationship is now 6 years+. Babysitters want/need the same benefits you want for your family.

Posted by: R at October 3, 2006 04:29 PM


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