Living With Kids: Leslie Degenhardt

You’re going to enjoy meeting Leslie this week. She and her husband live in New England with their two kids and an adorable dog. They found a home in their dream neighborhood that needed a ton of love and attention — and with the help of YouTube tutorials and whole lot of hard work, they have turned it into a beautiful home with loads of light and open living spaces.

Leslie and her husband also juggle a tricky schedule so that they both can work while the other one stays home with the kids. She’s got a great perspective on parenting and making things work when the kids are small.

Welcome, Leslie!

You’ll love all the sweet details in this home. Keep reading!

Peace, Justice, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A few thoughts:

1) Dr. King did not call for peace at any cost. He called for non-violent direct action, and he sought to end all injustices that hold up inequality. In his words:

“If peace means a willingness to be exploited economically, dominated politically, humiliated and segregated, I don’t want peace.”

“If peace means being complacently adjusted to a deadening status quo, I don’t want peace.”

“If peace means keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil, I don’t want it.”

“Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but the existence of justice for all people.”

Come discuss peace and justice with me.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did you have a good week? We’re deep into protest season at our house. This morning, we marched with OUSD (Oakland Unified School District) Teachers, and our four youngest kids, to demand better wages, better resources, and smaller class sizes. We wore red (#redfored). Tomorrow, there’s the 3rd annual Women’s March. And Monday, Olive will be participating in an MLK march.

Also on the schedule this weekend? We’re doing a shift at ECAP (Emery Citizens Assistance Program) where we help serve meals and distribute groceries to anyone in need. Oh, and we’re joining friends for a delayed Christmas Eve party to welcome home their daughter — she just returned from a mission to Washington.

How about you? What’s happening at your house? I hear there’s a huge snow storm coming to the East Coast and more rain coming to the West Coast. Stay safe everybody.

If you need some good weekend reading, don’t miss the last few blog posts — tons of great comments about cussing, about the things we inherit, and about sexual desire (or the lack thereof). Plus, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

Twelve links. Really good ones. Come see.

Cussing For Ladies

Last week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib used a curse word when she referred to the President. It was big news. In fact, by Friday, her cussing had received five times more coverage on cable news than Rep. Steve King’s questioning of why white supremacy is considered offensive. I have a few thoughts:

1) When I read things like that my first instinct is to swear more. It’s clear to me that expecting women to be “ladylike’ often just means we expect them to not speak at all. I think women need to speak more, and if cussing means they get heard, then I say cuss your heart out.

More thoughts ahead. I’m curious to hear your take.

Have You Ever Heard of HSDD?

A couple of years ago at a conference, I met Cindy Eckert when I moderated a panel she was on. I could not have been more impressed. At one point in her life, she comprehended the huge disparity between men and women when it comes to getting treatment for sexual dysfunction. She set out to shed light on this problem, and to help affected women find treatment. The website Right To Desire focuses on this topic, and over the next few months, I’ll be working with them to host discussions about sexual dysfunction in women, and to help spread the word about the medical condition behind it.

Let’s start with the stat in the graphic above. One in ten women suffer from HSDD, which stands for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Don’t confuse HYPO with HYPER. Hyper means too much, and hypo means too little. We’re talking about hypo — women who have little to no sexual desire.

HSDD is a defined medical condition. It’s the most common form of sexual dysfunction in women, and it’s been recognized in medical communities for nearly half a century. But it’s an easy bet that you’ve probably never heard of it. I certainly hadn’t. Because of our society’s very longstanding hangups around women’s sexuality, this common condition isn’t known generally, doesn’t get talked about, and isn’t treated. Female sexual dysfunction is approached as taboo, or worse, trivialized — and society reinforces those ideas in a thousand ways big and small.

I hope you’ll keep reading. I want to discuss this with you.



Design Mom is all about the intersection of design and motherhood. I'm Gabrielle Blair (some people call me Gabby), a designer and mother of six. I think you're going to love reading Design Mom.

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