Diane Rogers

About ”EconomistMom” (this blogger)

I’m Diane Lim Rogers, I am a “younger baby boomer” (born in 1962)–and I am (an) “EconomistMom.”  (I know many other EconomistMoms.)  My first post, a guest column that appeared in the Mother’s Day issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, tells a lot of my recent history (or “her-story”?):  EconomistMom.com is a long-time dream of mine that my new employer, The Concord Coalition, has made possible, and even has encouraged.

EconomistMom:  I started working as an economist nearly 25 years ago (under the Reagan Administration!), and have been working continuously and full-time as an economist for about 20 years.  I have three economics degrees, from U. of Michigan (BA, 1983), Brown University (MA, 1984), and U. of Virginia (Ph.D., 1991).  I’ve worked in a variety of places, including academia (Penn State University), think tanks (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution), and the executive and legislative branches of the federal government (Council of Economic Advisers, Congressional Budget Office, Joint Economic Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and House Budget Committee).   It was during my year on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers, working on the last Clinton “Economic Report of the President,” that I got turned on to the issue of fiscal responsibility.  At the time I was already a mom of four kids, which sharpened my interest in the issue.

EconomistMom:  I’m the proud mom of four amazing kids–three daughters (born 10/1991, 3/1993, and 10/1996), and a son (born 7/1998).  I am going to have to figure out how I can brag about them on this blog without embarrassing them.  With my kids now ages 9 to 16, each with their own unique interests, our home life is unbelievably busy.  (Oh, besides the 4 kids, there are 3 dogs, 2 hamsters, and 1 bird in our home.  Not the easiest 4-3-2-1 combo.)  How have I managed to keep my economist career continuously going with all this going on at home? 

  • Number one:  I have an incredibly supportive husband, John, who is a fabulously-involved parent despite his fabulously-important job at the Federal Reserve Board.  (I actually met John at my first economist job, when we were both interns at the Dept. of the Interior in the summer of 1984.  We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this year.) 
  • Number two:  For 16 years we have been able to afford excellent child care for our kids, starting with our first in-home nanny in PA who was so great with kids that she is now a mom of five(!), and then a string of 14 au pairs (coming from all over the world) after we moved to the DC area.  (While our last one didn’t work out so well and became our last sooner than expected, we look back on our overall experience with the au pair program as hugely successful, fulfilling, and fun.) 
  • Number three:  Great bosses over the years, who while understanding that I value being a mom more than being an economist,  still didn’t underestimate my value as a professional economist on their staff.   They did give me special treatment, but I’d like to think I still passed their cost-benefit test.
  • Number four, which happened to come along with kid #4:  I stopped being a perfectionist when my son (kid #4) came along, when I finally realized I just didn’t have enough hours in a day, or physical and mental energy, to (for example) gather all the right Lego pieces to put into all the right boxes at the end of each day.  And I mean that metaphorically as well as literally.  (I have sometimes explained this to people flippantly as “lowering my standards,” but that sounds so negative.  Since becoming a “yogi”–I’m a yoga teacher, too–I like to think of it as “living in the present moment”–appreciating what I am able to do and be each day, rather than dwelling on what I’m not.)

Examining the Candidates' Proposals from an "EconomistMom" Perspective

My first post on BlogHer!  I'm a Ph.D. economist who's worked on federal fiscal policy issues for over 20 years, and I'm also a mom of four kids (ages 9 to 16).  I recently decided to leave my fairly prominent position on Capitol Hill so I could have more time with my kids before they grow up and leave home! ...more