Freeze those Eggs! A New Benefit Perk?

Check out our featured post in WiLab!

FREEZE THOSE EGGS! A NEW BENEFIT PERK?

In the Silicon Valley arms race to lure the top talent with the best benefits and attract more women to their staff , Facebook and Apple are offering to pay for the egg freezing procedure for women who choose it to delay childbearing.

With this latest announcement, comes a flurry of opinions on the matter. Does this benefit really help women in their careers take the pressure off?

Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.

This latest NBC article makes some very interesting points; although I wish they had actually interviewed potential candidates for this new benefit and gotten their take on the topic. Will people really utilize this benefit? How does this benefit change family planning / career plans? Would you consider freezing your eggs in hopes to get ahead in your career, to avoid the dreadful biological clock that most women fear? Will the process work when you are actually ready to have children? Is the process painful? What are the risks that it all together will not work?

With the great pressures on women and career, this benefit will most likely come at an important time in bringing more women into the workforce, and assisting them to reach top level executive opportunities.

From a business perspective, most want to know…will this perk pay off?

“The attitude toward egg freezing is very different,” and more positive, than just a few years ago, said Christy Jones, founder of Extend Fertility, a company that offers and promotes egg freezing across the country. Women are making the proactive decision to freeze their eggs at a younger age, and the choice is “more one of empowerment than, this is my last chance”

Will the perk pay off for companies? The benefit will likely encourage women to stay with their employer longer, cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs. And practically speaking, when women freeze their eggs early, firms may save on pregnancy costs in the long run, said Westphal. A woman could avoid paying to use a donor egg down the road, for example, or undergoing more intensive fertility treatments when she’s ready to have a baby.

But the emotional and cultural payoff may be more valuable, said Jones: Offering this benefit “can help women be more productive human beings.”

This last statement makes me cringe “help women be more productive human beings” REALLY? I didn’t realize we were all so unproductive. Regardless of your organization’s standpoint, the companies that offer these benefits, and the companies that SELL these benefits; like Extend Fertility & Eggsurance….The choice is YOURS. The choice that you make regarding your career and family planning is up to YOU and your FAMILY. Try to block out the demanding voices all around you and even in your head. When the time is right (it may never feel like the right time if you have a demanding career), but when you are ready to have a little mini you in the back of your car, sharing the joys of life  – you will find a way to make it work. And for those who struggle TTC or if you fear TTC later in life, by all means freeze those eggs!

We found the following articles published on Bloomberg Business Week  by Emma Rosenblum  to be more thought out, better presented and factual if you are looking for additional information; check out these two stories.

The Real Reason Women Freeze Their Eggs Isn’t Career Growth

Given a choice, every woman I spoke to would prefer to have had children earlier and naturally. The hindrance in most cases was their not having found the right partner at the right time. Sure, most were working hard in their careers; this was part of why, they felt, they hadn’t settled down. Not one of the women I interviewed took egg-freezing lightly. They didn’t want to have to do it. While it’s nice to have the option, I doubt that droves of young women in Silicon Valley will be lining up to collect that money.

Later, Baby: Will Freezing Your Eggs Free Your Eggs Free Your Career?

Behind this week’s coverLike many others who’ve frozen their eggs, Emily uses the word “empowered” to describe the experience. She thinks it will allow her to date without radiating the desperation of someone who has to have a baby right this very second. And now she doesn’t feel as guilty about dedicating most of her time to work. “It’s like, thank God, I don’t have to focus on having kids quite yet. I’m not in a real panic anymore,” she says. Her mother, however, would still like her to get on with it. “She said to me, only half-jokingly, ‘I’m glad you went to business school and work 100 hours a week—and don’t have time to meet anyone—so you can afford to freeze your eggs.’ Thanks, Mom.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BLISSFULMAMAS

dsc_0013Blissfulmamas is inspired by living in the moment, embracing the chaos and enjoying the crazy wonderful ride of motherhood. As working professionals, we really do have it all! Come as you are and embrace it. Families are like snowflakes, each different and unique, no two the same. The antiquated idea of the perfect roadmap to raising a family, balancing a professional job, and everything else in and between is long overdue for a make over! Blissfulmamas is a networking community for working mamas with a positive outlook, looking to collaborate with each other on career advancements, job opportunities, managing and organizing family life, without forgetting about the long overdue personal “me” time. Our goal is to act as a positive outreach for working mamas and be a place where workingmamascan collaborate & find resources, all available on the go! 
 
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You’re Invited! Our upcoming Featured Mama, Lizzy wants you to check out her Mommy Energy Group Coaching Session!!

“YOU’RE INVITED!!  Join Lizzy every month for a free-for-all Mommy Energy Group Coaching session. Her next session is TONIGHT at 9PM EST.  Want to learn more about Mommy Energy?  Come listen to Lizzy’s teleclass, “7 Reasons Why You Want More Mommy Energy” on November 7th at 9PM EST.  If you’d like to ignite your Mommy Energy book a Complementary Mommy Energy Coaching Session.”

 

Hiring a Working Mom, Myth vs. Reality

We often wonder, how did working mothers get the reputation for being unreliable?  A simple answer to this question is; too many assumptions!  With an increasing amount of mamas in the workforce today, these issues will hopefully become a thing of the past.  The best way to combat these thoughts is to stay the course, remain strong and proud and our work will speak for itself.

In a recent article published by Shannon McLay, Hiring A Working Mom, Myth vs. Reality; she shares some common misconceptions and realities about how moms approach their work life.  There is an overwhelming focus on what working moms CANNOT do; i.e. limited availability, rather than what we can do and what talents we have to offer.

 

Some of the Working Mom Fallacies noted are;

1) Working Moms Take Too Many Sick Days
2) Working Moms Can Leave At Any Moment to be a Stay-at-Home Mom
3) When Working Moms Work From Home, All They Do Is Laundry
4) Working Moms Put Their Kids Before Work

With an overwhelming focus on the negative attributes mothers bring to the workplace, how are we ever going to overcome this stereotype, or better yet -change the culture or mindset of the places and senior level directors that we work for? How will they ever accept families in the workplace as commonplace, just a part of life, reality and also as a SUCCESSFUL part of their business? How can we prove that being a mom, or having a family does not negatively impact productivity?

The reality is, we cant. But we can decide who we work for and it seems like places like Silicon Valley are getting the picture, but in more conservative or traditional workplace environments -women are getting the short end of the stick. Here are some Working Mom Realities that  were noted in the article;

1) A Working Mom Does Not Have Full Blame for Sick Days
2) Working Moms Usually Become Stay-At-Home Moms Due to Family Finances
3) Working Moms Work Harder From Home Than At The Office
4) Working Moms Prioritize As Needed

Moving forward, as working parents we can only prove our own myth vs. reality, and put forth the effort that our careers demand by also prioritizing the most important people in our lives, our family. With the most recent shifts and advancements in providing employees with better benefits packages, equal pay for equal work, family leave and flexibility -our hope is great.

WiLab’s Working Mom Series: Apple and Facebook’s New Egg Freezing ‘Benefit?’

APPLE AND FACEBOOK’S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THEY ARE COVERING THE COST OF FREEZING EGGS HAS PEOPLE TALKING.

apple-facebook-freeze-eggs-mainThis NBC News article takes the positive approach to the matter, kicking off with a quote from Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women…and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.”  NBC focuses on the positives of this new corporate benefit like leveling the playing field for a male-dominated Silicon Valley and attracting more female talent.  It goes on to quote author Emma Rosenblum  “Not since the birth control pill has a medical technology had such potential to change family and career planning.” 

The article does also touch on, only very briefly, the drawbacks to companies covering the cost of freezing eggs. Women may feel indebted to the company or feel it is perceived they cannot do their job while pregnant or a mother. However, it is brushed off by claiming “the more likely explanation for lack of coverage is simply that egg freezing is still new, and conversation around the procedure has only recently gone mainstream.”

I BEGAN THINKING THROUGH MY STANCE ON THIS NEW “CORPORATE BENEFIT” AS A WORKING MOTHER, MYSELF.

Is it a benefit or a ploy to have women be indebted to their employers and feel pressure to put off Motherhood? The line between work life and personal life is one that is quickly blurring and policies like these blur those lines even further.

Egg freezing is a huge decision and a huge cost, but one that has historically been made after a personal evaluation of your career and financials. With this new benefit a third party, your employer, joins the conversation.  Some may argue that your employer was always a part of the conversation, and that is probably true. However, your employer isn’t just a factor anymore, but rather an active contributor.

On the one hand this is a fabulous benefit to offer employees who have already or would have elected to freeze their eggs and may not have been able to afford it.  It supports women’s flexibility in choosing when they want to start a family and gives them the opportunity to focus on career now and family later.

On the other hand, this new corporate benefit can add an element of pressure that some women previously did not feel.  Before this benefit, the decision was entirely yours to make.  Now, since your employer is funding the process there may be a feeling of obligation, or guilt.  If you decide to have a child now rather than freeze your eggs for a chance later, does that put you at a disadvantage to progress in your career if you choose to return to work after maternity leave?

Dozens more questions passed through my mind on the matter. What if the company pays to freeze your eggs and later are fortunate enough to have a child when you want one, and then don’t want to go back to work, do you feel pressure to do so because your employer paid for you to freeze your eggs in the first place? What if your employer pays to freeze your eggs and then you decide you want to go to a different company?  Do you stay longer than you would have otherwise?

WHERE I NET OUT

I netted out in a place that, at the surface I think it is positive that companies are expanding the benefits they provide their employees, but companies need to do more. I came across one article on SFgate.com that focuses on the need to think about and encourage companies to offer more benefits for employees once they have a family. I certainly agree!

As stated in the sfgate.com article “They could have offered on-site day care. (Currently, Facebook offers full-time on-site day care only for dogs; Apple offers none for dogs or humans.) They could have offered to ease negotiations about flexible work schedules for new parents. Above all, they could have offered transparent salary scales and guaranteed pay equity. Women feel far better about starting a family when they know they won’t be penalized, either economically or in terms of career opportunity, for doing so.”

Rather than discuss the perception of a benefit that a company has decided to offer, we should continue to encourage people to make the decisions that are right for them and encourage employers to expand their benefits to support those decisions.  I hope to see an evolution in the way companies support those employees who choose to have a family.  Some companies already offer flexible work hours or on-site daycare, but that is far from the norm and only a start.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Timna MolbergerTimna Molberger is the Director of Analytics at Visible Measures. As a working mom of 2, Timna squeezes in as much time as she can with her husband and two children and when she has a spare moment or needs a break you will find her rock climbing, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing. Timna holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Connecticut College.

Location: Boston, MA

Read More about and from Timna: Timna‘s WiLab Profile

Are you in need of some changes in your life? Our previously featured mama Angie wants to show you how!


HAngieAndrewsFB-48ello beautiful career mamas.  My name is Angie Andrews.  We may have met before when I was featured on Blissfulmamas a few months ago. 
If we did, it is nice to see you again.  If you did not, let me just tell you a little of what I am about.  My passion and my mission is to inspire women of all ages to practice radical self-care in their lives and to develop a deep relationship with themselves.

My business, Angie Andrews Inspire, was built from personal experience.  I spent years working way too many hours, taking care of everyone in my life and leaving myself and my well being in the dust.  Through a lot of work and the support of others I have shaken up my life completely and am living a more joyful, connected life.   I want to share with the world how to move from burn out and feeling empty to feeling full of love, energy and joy.  In my quest to to reach out to those I can help the most, I have created this questionnaire.  I am trying to understand more fully what women who are juggling careers outside the home and family life are struggling with.  I would GREATLY appreciate it if you would take 5-10 minutes to fill this out.  Be honest.  Give me the not so pretty truths.  Life is messy.  We all know that!

Take Survey Here

Thank you for your time and your input.  As a gift to you for helping me out, I would love to offer you a free 45 minute clarity call.  On this call we can dive deep into how it is you want to feel and what you think needs to change.  I can help you define some small, actionable steps towards a life of radical self-care.  If you would like to take me up on this offer, please email me at angie@angieandrewsinspire.com with you contact information and we can find a time to talk.

Much love – Angie

AngieAndrewsInspires_Logo_Final

 

Round 2, here I come!

Disney Parks Moms Panel

Congratulations!

Mickey Mouse once said, “Everybody neat and pretty? Then on with the show!”

Nearly 60 years after he said that, I have the honor of paraphrasing my favorite Mouse as I exclaim, “Everybody neat and pretty? Then on… to Round 2 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search!

On behalf of Disney Parks, I have the pleasure of inviting you to Round 2 of the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel Search. From the thousands of applications reviewed by the Search Committee, yours was selected to move to the next level. There were many tough decisions made during the reviews. I salute everyone who entered Round 1, including those who unfortunately did not advance. We are so very fortunate to have such wonderful Guests.

Now, we’d love to learn even more about you!

Walt Disney once said, “I reject luck – I feel a person creates his/her own ‘determinism’ by discovering best aptitudes and following them undeviatingly.”

Those words can certainly apply to the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search. So now that you’ve created your own “determinism,” here’s what’s next:

Shocked. Surprised. Honored. Amazed. All the feelings that went through my head when I received my “congratulations” email from Gary himself! Yes, you heard correctly! After a long 6 weeks in the “waiting room”, I am moving on to round 2 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search for 2015! This past month has been nerve-wracking, but incredibly fun! There have been nonstop Twitter updates from Gary, an amazing group of MP hopefuls on Facebook, as well as some really special friends and family chEARing me on. The MP hopefuls have been unwaveringly supportive and encouraging, it’s truly the friendliest competition I have ever been a part of. It really speaks to the true spirit of Disney and its overall mission to see such positivity in action. Despite the large number of applicants and the small number of panelists chosen, I have seen absolutely nothing but pixie dust and happiness. Truth be told, I would have been sad if my ride ended at Round 1, now I just feel honored. So many talented and knowledgeable people did not move on, that I feel a strong obligation to represent them as well as myself in round 2. Tomorrow at noon, the essay questions and video criteria will be revealed, and we’ll have 6 days to make everything “neat and pretty.” It’s important to me that I remain true to my authentic self as I try my hardest to answer questions as accurately and thoughtfully as I can. As I have said previously, it remains to be seen if I have what the judging panel is looking for in this year’s group, but boy will I have fun giving it all I’ve got!
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it” JM Barrie, Peter Pan

Never give up, and never grow up!

Becky

Maggie Hill ~ Marketing Analytic Guru

Maggie Chung Hill, MBA {LION}Please meet Maggie Hill; a MBA educated marketing professional with background in sales operations, marketing analytics, voice of the customer program management, and customer experience strategy initiatives. She is experienced in managing enterprise level projects that are cross-functionally, and globally in scope at Fortune 500 organizations. Maggie is a high-level thinker who can is as comfortable mining large data sets as presenting to customers or executives.

Maggie is married to her high school sweetheart and mom to 2 boys ages 2 and 4.  She is looking to get back into the workforce, and her ambitious personality will inevitably offer a significant contribution to her future organization! Please contact her directly if you have any potential job opportunities that might be a good match!  maggiehill@outlook.com

Featured Mama ~ Catherine McCavanagh Owner/Founder of The Honest Eye

Check out our newest Featured Mama, Catherine McCavanagh, Owner/Founder of The Honest Eye!

Meet Catherine McCavanagh… A 37 year old wife and mother of 2 children (Jane, 4 years old and Walter, 2 years old).

I own an Image Consultant/Personal Shopping business called The Honest Eye. I recently started my business and have been doing it for the past year and a half. I have always shopped for friends and family, but recently decided to make it more official, giving it a name and a website, The Honest Eye!

CatherineMCareer Challenges…

Balancing the time I devote to my business and the time I want to spend with my husband and children. I realize my kids are only going to be these young ages for so long so I don’t want that time to slip away but I also am so passionate about my business and I want to devote my energies to it. It’s a common case of not enough hours in the day!

Rewards…

The most rewarding thing about being a working mother is having something for myself. Being home with children full time can be very draining as in you are giving, giving, and giving, and rarely is anyone looking out for you.

Essential ‘must have’…

My essential ‘must have’ is my mother! I am so blessed to have her close by. She is retired and is able to help me as much as needed. I realize that most working moms don’t have this luxury so I feel very blessed in that department. I also have a very supportive husband who pushes me to do my thing and will pick up the slack wherever needed.

Family Dynamic…Catherine&Jane

I have two children – Jane, 5 years old and Walter 2 years old. Jane is spunky, artistic, very independent, and absolutely loves animals, from worms to horses and everything in between.  Walter is more on the cautious side, checking something out from all angles before jumping in. He loves the typical boy things, like cars, trucks, bugs, and balls. Jane and Walter are so in love with each other, not to say though I don’t have to break up a hair pulling fight on a daily basis!  My husband Patrick is a wonderful husband and father. Playing with balls and trucks comes easier to him, but he tries so hard to give the same amount of time to Jane with her dolls, animal figurines, and art projects. Along with having a full time career in media sales he also coaches lacrosse for various local teams.

Organization tips…

I try to stay organized by writing everything down in both my calendar at home as well as putting it into my phone. On Sundays I take a look at the week ahead and try to tie up any loose ends. I try not to over commit to activities for the family because I think it gets to the point where the kids don’t appreciate it anymore and the parents end up resenting it. Along with playschool and preschool for the kids I sign them up for one activity at a time, whether it be swimming, art, nature camp, whatever I think they’re strongest interest is at the time.

Healthy Perspective…

I can tend to be a worrier but have gotten much better in the past few years. As long as I am giving my family a healthy amount of attention, and that everyone is healthy and happy, I will not stress about material things or trying to do too much at once.

Me Time..

I try to have a bit of ‘me’ time every single day. Whether it is going to pilates for an hour (I put the kids in the day care at the gym), or it’s taking a half hour to read the latest Vogue when my husband gets home from work. He will look at me sometimes when I am feeling worn down and say ‘go upstairs and take a bath’ – he knows it’s not good for anyone in the family if I don’t have some alone time! I am definitely the personality type that needs some quiet time without anyone around. As far as seeing friends, I try my best to not let slip through the cracks. It is a challenge though since we are all trying to raise families, and we all have different schedules, it’s so exciting though when we can nail down a date to catch up. It’s a cheesy saying but it’s true that it’s food for my soul. My favorite personal activities are reading, exercising, and although cliché, shopping. I wish I could paint more. I’m not the best at it, but I love the feeling of creating something that has an actual end product. I find it cathartic and rewarding.

Finding Inspiration…

I find inspiration everywhere; women and teenagers on the street, books and magazines, and historical trendsetters like Jackie O and Lauren Hutton. My essential must have for myself is fashion and décor magazines – I absolutely devour them every night before bed. My iphone is pretty essential as well. I held out for a while before I got one, but now don’t know what I would do without it.

Balance Challenges…

My challenges are keeping our house intact. I never feel like everything is as organized or clean as I would like it to be. I am constantly 3 loads of laundry behind. half the time the beds are unmade and toys are strewn all over our floors. I realize things won’t be this way forever and I try not to be too hard on myself. My kids don’t notice a messy house and it doesn’t bother my husband when he comes home to it. Once again, I just do my best and get to it when I can.

From one mama to another…

Don’t give up too quickly on working if it seems like it’s getting to be too much of a juggle. Soon enough the kids will be in school for longer periods of time, and you will be grateful that you have kept your foot in the work door. It’s so much harder to get break back in the longer you wait.

I don’t feel like I am the right person to be giving other working mothers tips. I am trying to figure it out myself, as I was home with my kids for a few years. I am now back in the game and unfortunately learning by trial and error. The only tip I can give is to try not to be too hard on yourself. Just listen to your gut and keep plugging along, everything is happening for a reason.

 

WiLab Feature; Blissfulmamas is on a Mission to Bring You Work-Life Balance and Bliss!

We are truly honored to be featured by WiLab in their most recent post; Working Mom Series: Blissfulmamas is on a Mission to Bring You Work-Life Balance and Bliss!

Check it out at: http://womensilab.com/2014/10/08/working-mom-series-blissful-mamas-is-on-a-mission-to-bring-you-work-life-balance-and-bliss/

Thanks for the love WiLab!

Have a Blissful Night!!

Erin & Becky

Working Mom Series: A Day in the Life

WiLab Logo (1)WORKING MOM SERIES: A DAY IN THE LIFE

Contributing author from WiLab, Timna Molberger

i-don-t-know-how-she-does-it-poster

When I got pregnant with my first, L (just turned 2 years old), people asked me if I would go back to work. Without hesitation, my answer was a resounding “definitely!”

For me, going to work is a necessity.

It is my sanity. I feel that I am a better mom for it. When I come home, I have more patience for my kids (not always) and I am eager to spend time with them. My time with them is precious, not daunting (although at times still difficult and constantly testing my patience). However, finding the balance between work and home is not easy. I find that I need to be extremely organized yet very flexible (not an easy balance to find or maintain). Over the past two years I have developed an ideal schedule for me that makes the balance between the two manageable.

My ideal day as a working mom of 2 (L is 2yrs old and M is 6 months)

6:30am – 7:30am – Wake up, shower, get everyone dressed and fed, grab lunches/bottles (made the night before), and out the door

7:45am – Daycare drop off (divide and conquer with my husband)

8:05am – On the train to work

8:30am – Arrive at work – emails, meetings, projects, etc

Midday – Look at pictures/videos of kids because I miss them

5:00pm – Leave work for pick up

5:30pm – Daycare pick up (divide and conquer with my husband)

5:30pm – Playground (summer), indoor play (winter)

6:15pm – Family dinner prepared the night before

6:45pm – Bath time

7:00pm – Getting ready for bed, quiet play, bottle for M

7:30pm – Kids’ Bedtime (hopefully asleep by 8)

8:00pm – Prep for tomorrow – lunches, bottles, clothes, dinner, laundry

8:45/9:00pm – Work, relax, work out, get together with friends (depending on the day)

11pm – Bedtime

Sounds pretty nice, huh?

  • These ideal days do happen, but often at least one of the following shakes things up a bit (on bad days, MANY of the following happen):
  • Tantrum about getting dressed or eating breakfast
  • Tantrum at dinner, bath time or bedtime
  • Before 5am wake up
  • Didn’t prep lunches/bottles the night before so we end up running late
  • Didn’t prep dinner the night before so no family dinner and L eats whatever we can find
  • Midday call from daycare because one of the kids is sick and needs to be picked up
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Sick days (your kid and then most likely you)
  • Too much work to do anything else after bedtime
  • Too exhausted after bedtime to function
  • Middle of the night wake up
  • And the list continues

At the end of the day…

The things that have to get done get done. You may not have as much time as you once had, to get your nails done, or relax on the couch, or even get enough sleep, but somehow you make it work, because you want it to work. The key is be flexible and don’t beat yourself up about the little things. Easier said then done, I know. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else is, and remember, your children will love you just the same if you cook them a gourmet dinner or scrambled eggs (they probably would prefer the scrambled eggs!).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Timna MolbergerTimna Molberger is the Director of Analytics at Visible Measures. As a working mom of 2, Timna squeezes in as much time as she can with her husband and two children and when she has a spare moment or needs a break you will find her rock climbing, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing. Timna holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Connecticut College.

Location: Boston, MA

Contact Timna: info@womensilab.com

Read More from Timna: Timna‘s WiLab Profile