Betsy Mukamal- Age 48
From Larchmont, NY
Real Estate lawyer, chauffer, youth sports team manager, dog walker, homework consultant, garbage collector, head microwave operator and family CEO
Two girls Harley (13) + Payton (11)
Don’t worry. Be happy. Pay attention when walking down stairs
In my classes, we teach young girls to create a Friendship Recipe of traits they are looking for in a true friend. What characteristics would be in your friendship recipe?
Must be able to make you laugh and keep a secret and must always have your back.
We believe strong family values and consistency are important in creating confident kids. What was one of your favorite “family traditions” from your childhood and what is a (new or old) tradition that you do with your own family now?
As a child, my family traveled all over the world – meeting different people and experiencing different cultures. This is something we love to do as a family with our own children.
At the Girls Leadership League, we teach our girls the importance of accepting oneself even when you don’t feel so sparkly. How do you respond when you receive a compliment?
I would like to say that I just say “thank you” without making a self-deprecating joke…but that would be a lie.
We believe pursuing a passion is a great way to build confidence for girls. If you had free time to pursue a “passion project” what would it be? (i.e. something outside your regular work and leisure activities like learning to knit, building a piece of furniture, etc.)
I would write comedy and – if I could manage to stay up later than 9pm, I would do stand up.
An important skill we teach our girls is how to identify how you feel about a situation and ask for what you need to make it better. How good are you at communicating with others what you feel and asking for what you need?
When I really need something, I am pretty good at saying how I feel and what I need from others. I tend to take on and do too much on my own (see job description above).
Social Media is now a fact of life. Social Media … Love it or Love Hating It? What do you do to help balance your “digital life” and your “real life”?
I actually love it. I recognize that society is paying many high prices as a result of the explosion of social media, but I love that I have been able to reconnect and stay connected with people from my past. Also, there are some crazy people posting hilarious things on social media – I get at least 10 good chuckles a day from random posts…even when I have to scroll through 40 cat videos to find them.
What do you do to help balance your digital life and you’re your “real life”? Any tips to share?
I am 100% guilty of abusing my phone and doing EVERYTHING that the experts say NOT to do – so are my children – so I am probably the last person to give out tips on this subject. That said, I find that when we have things that have to get done, we all manage to disconnect to get it done.
When you look out into the world, who do you see as great role models for girls?
There are so many great role models for girls. To name a few: Michelle Obama – she is brilliant, classy, and an inspirational speaker. I hang on her every word. Ellen Degeneres – she is kind, generous, funny and she risked her career to be true to herself. Ruth Bader Ginsburg – she has been a tremendous advocate for women’s rights and she paved the way for women in law. Amy Schumer – she is a smart, hilarious, not afraid to be herself and I want to be her best friend.
We teach girls to embrace making mistakes. Can you think of a mistake that you made that led to great things – from learning something important to changing to a new direction in life?
I make mistakes literally every single day. I own them; I learn from them and I try to laugh at them. I am still waiting for one of my mistakes to lead me to greatness. I’ll let you know when that happens.
We see fear as normal and a sign that you are pushing yourself to grow. Do you have any tips for pushing through fear?
Bite down, suck it up and go for it – life is short. That said, if there is a snake anywhere near me, I’m running for the hills!