Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Easy question, easy answer. No! I never shop on Black Friday as that's my day to relax and recuperate from my marathon Thanksgiving cooking. But maybe I should have as then I could've escaped all of Black's emails that arrived in my Inbox since she works on Thanksgiving and Black Friday (that seems appropriate).


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I have always worked on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but I do shop online on Cyber Monday. Even pre-pandemic, I try to minimize my in-store shopping for the holidays. Too crowded, too time consuming, too inefficient.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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My kids, and probably Black too, would argue that for me, every day is "Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day" except for pre-pandemic days when I'd "dress up" if we had a meeting or speaking engagement. But, since I work from home, I always wear something comfortable to work. I think of it as casual, workout-inspired clothing – leggings or athletic shorts, long sleeve tee-shirts, that sort of thing. And yes, while technically that isn't pajamas, I've been known to wear something similar to bed at night. Though depending on the season, I might substitute a tee shirt for the long sleeve shirt.


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Many people are working from home due to the pandemic, so are already wearing pajamas "to work" on a regular basis. Or, given all the Zoom calls, maybe just PJ bottoms and dressing professionally on the top. (There have been epic Zoom fails when people either inadvertently stand up or the camera angle shows more "below the belt" than they realized.) Personally, I have always loved men's style pajamas which can be very stylish (I remember more than one season when they were shown as high fashion daywear). So, I would love the opportunity to wear a great pair of PJs with a classic blazer and high heels. Maybe next year …
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Design by Sawyer Pennington


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My children are no longer young. My younger daughter is now a teenager, so between her friends and social media, she's bombarded with different messages and information. Luckily, ever since she was young, I made sure she felt comfortable coming to me with questions or even just her thoughts. (She still does.) So, I think besides making sure your explanations are age-appropriate (I used to have a tendency to provide way more information than necessary), I think it's critical that your child knows not to bottle up any emotions or confusion about information they're seeing. I usually could tell when there was something bothering them, and if they didn't say anything, I'd gently try to start a conversation. The most important thing you can do is let them know they have a "safe space" with you to discuss what they're feeling and thinking.


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First, to address the elephant in the room, we fully appreciate the topics of discussion will be different for people of different races, but that does not change the fact … Communication is absolutely essential.

Although I do not have children, I believe that children are born as "clean slates" with no preconceived beliefs or opinions. However, I also believe that children are sponges and "learn" from everyone around them. Especially people they look up to and trust. That means you need to be very careful of what they may hear you say – not only when you talk with them, but also out loud to yourself (if you are like me, and sometimes talk back to the computer screen) or to another person. Children will parrot their parents and others they see as role models, in both words and actions.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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I'm guessing this is due to the pandemic, but before that you could substitute "children" for "partner" so I'll give you my "mom" perspective (although dealing with children may be easier). Anyway, when the girls were young and "driving me crazy" I decided to follow Black's advice – rather than trying to be the "perfect mom" all the time, I just did a timeout. For me, not the girls! I'd find a way to take a short break from them. The same was true when my husband got fired and was home all the time. Then I'd escape with a magazine to Starbucks or, even better, a movie. With the pandemic, you might not be comfortable with those options, so maybe a walk? A very long walk if they're driving you really crazy.


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As Red noted, being around people (even those you love) "too much" is not a new phenomenon – the pandemic just brought it home to so many people (sorry, could not resist). Find some space when you need it – and accept the fact you and your partner might need space at different times. I suspect that you are driving your partner crazy, too. Do not take it personally, and recognize everyone has very different coping strategies. (Red likes to default to her theater degree and get emotional, and I have learned telling her to "calm down" only makes it worse.) Try to have a quiet conversation to acknowledge the situation, talk things through, and, if possible, laugh about it. But you may want to position it as, "I need to figure out how to be less cranky when I get overwhelmed" versus "You are driving me crazy!"