Chances are you associate her last name with the mega-Facebook empire that’s taken over so much of your free time. But, Randi Zuckerberg (she’s the sister of Mark Zuckerberg and former marketing honcho at Facebook) is much more than what meets the eye. For starters, Randi is the CEO of Zuckerberg Media and Editor in Chief of Dot Complicated, a new lifestyle community. This month the savvy businesswoman will add published author to her resume with the publication of two titles–Dot, a children’s book and Dot Complicated, a book about how technology influences and frames our daily lives. To top it all off Randi is mom to two-year-old Asher. We recently spoke to Randi about her life as a working mom, her new children’s book and what we’d find if we took a peek inside her bag.
Tell us about how the idea for your children’s book “Dot” came to be.
I have a two-year-old son who can navigate my iPad with baffling ease, loves to ‘cheese’ for a picture whenever he sees my phone, and believes he can see his grandparents at any time of day through Skype or FaceTime. Our children are the first generation of digital natives that have grown up immersed in technology. And we’re the first generation of parents that are figuring out to be parents (and role models) with all this technology around us. How much screen time is too much? Is it too soon to let my kids play on a tablet or phone? How do I instill in my kids a healthy love for active play and the outdoors? I hope that spunky Dot can teach kids (and adults!) the beauty of unplugging, a lesson I want to keep close to heart in today’s digital age.
Can you fill us in about what your typical day looks like? Are there any family rituals baked into your daily routine?
In the mornings, I love waking up to the sound of my son Asher singing to himself (amazingly, he has never been a fussy riser). My husband and I take turns driving him to preschool throughout the week, after sneaking in our favorite morning cuddle with him. Then, we’re off to a busy day of work – though no work day is typical. I love those days that are booked with a mix of everything – from meetings to team brainstorms and new project discussions with clients. We make it a point to try to eat as a family as many nights as possible. We always look forward to Fridays, where we join other families from Asher’s preschool for traditional home-cooked dinners.
What’s your idea of an ideal Sunday with your family?
Checking out a new exhibit or festival with my family. Recently, we went to the brand new Star Wars exhibit at the San Jose Tech Museum – a hit for the entire family! Asher loves trains, and we’ve been to quite a few train expos and parks. My favorite part of any Sunday, though, is the lazy morning spent with just the three of us at my favorite restaurant in Los Altos for brunch, Bumble. After Asher is in bed, my favorite weekend indulgence is to relax with a cup of coffee and browse some of my favorite shopping websites: ModCloth, Stella & Dot and Sole Society, to name a few.
Any advice for working moms who are trying to “do it all”?
I feel like a lot of parents are trying to “do it all” – and I’ve realized how much pressure I put on myself just trying to fit everything in. So, I’ve stopped trying to do it all in one day. Between family, work, fitness, friends, and sleep, I choose three things each day to focus on doing really well. There’s no way to do all five perfectly in one day, but this way, I find that I’m able to balance what is most important to me over the course of each week.
Do you have any rules when it comes to letting your son have access to technology? At what age will you let him sign onto social media?
Since he’s so young, my tech ‘rules’ for my son are pretty simple. I limit his tablet screen time to when we’re outside the house (to distract him on a long flight or waiting at a casual restaurant, for example). He enjoys playing actively at home and outside. As for social media – who knows what new norms will be when he grows up? The legal age restrictions for each platform will guide us in making decisions for each situation independently.
What are you most looking forward to doing with your family/son during the holidays?
I’m looking forward to sharing Thanksgivukkah with Asher this year. Thanksgiving and Hannukah fall on the same day once every 70,000 years! It’s going to be quite a celebration in our household this year. Sweet potato latkes? Cranberry-sauce glazed brisket? Yum! It will be such a special family time.
If we opened your purse, what would we find?
My polka-dotted wallet (because I’m wearing polka dots every day in celebration of my book releases), hand sanitizer (trying to stay healthy for book tour), Starbucks app on my iPhone, an extra phone charger for those long flights, and a nutritious KIND bar.
If you could tweet or Facebook one thing on your mind right now, what would it be?
Here’s a tweet: “Feeling appreciative of all of your support as I release my 1st books. Let me know if I can do anything for you this Thanksgiving & beyond!” And on Facebook and Instagram, I would post a photo of polka dots: “Wearing lots and lots of polka dots on my book tour! #FeelingDotty #dotcomplicated”.
If you had to ask Randi one question what would it be? Fill us in below!