At one meeting in the Washington, DC area, there were five guys in a room, and I did my pitch. I told them about the history of the company, why the future looks good, what the plan was – I’m very good at pitching. In fact, some people would say that my problem is that I’m way better at pitching a company than running a company.
At the end of my pitch, one of the partners in the venture capital firm said, “That was great. I really appreciate you coming down here. And let me ask you something: Who is taking care of your kids right now?”
I thought I was going to blush from being so angry, so I strained not to show any emotion. I remembered how my mom, on her first job interview in 1972, had to have a note from my dad that said the kids were being taken care of by a babysitter. I thought to myself, I am so sick of running a startup and I want to tell this guy to fuck off.
I said, “My husband takes care of the kids.”
This was not entirely true. I mean, he did. Sometimes. But I had two full-time nannies. It’s just that men don’t like to hear about nannies. They want to feel like I’m like them – with a stay-at-home spouse. So I imply that.
But shortly after that meeting I gave up the CEO position at my company. Not because I was sick of men asking me who is taking care of my kids. I stepped down because I felt guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with my kids.
If you have two full-time nannies, you can delegate every single thing, if you want. In hindsight, I’m not sure what I did beyond hugging and kissing them and having some meals together. I missed a lot.
So it’s a relief to be homeschooling. I like having them with me all day. I like knowing they are in the room next to me. And I like that I can work and be available to them. I know what’s going on in their lives because I make the decisions instead of having the nanny do it.
In fact, it’s working so well that I think I can launch another startup, but this time it’ll be from my house, and it looks like I can raise almost all the money on the phone, so I don’t have to travel very much.
But I was on the phone with an investor, and I said, “Hold on. My kids are screaming for me and I have to tell them I’m on a call.”
The guy said, “Oh – do you need to get off the phone?”
“No, it’s fine. This is a good time for me to talk.”
“I always worry when I hear kids in the background. I once produced a movie where a dad is working on the weekend and the little girl comes into his office and says, ‘Daddy, I wish I were one of your clients.'”
He’s criticizing me. It’s his way of asking, “Who’s taking care of your kids?”
I’m home with my kids all day. His kids are in school all day. The guilt trip never starts, because we’re a homeschool family.