Why I Love Being a Boston Commuter

Please check out Becky’s first post on Boston Mom’s Blog!

Why I Love Being a Boston Commuter

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Patricia Arquette Speaks Up for Women at the 87th Annual Academy Awards

Please see the release of this story on WiLab!

 

Regardless of your income, regardless of your race, regardless of your gender; you have the freedom in America to voice your opinion. The 2015 Oscars were bland to say the least, that is until Patricia Arquette stole the show with the resounding plea for equal pay for equal work.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she announced. “It is our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America!”

Some gather that her speech was fueled by the most recent email leak at Sony Pictures that revealed a stark pay gap between female and male executives at the studio. Others (including many women to my dismay) discredited her statement as just another rich woman, not worthy of the complaint because of her current wage success. Emma Watson’s involvement in the He for She Campaign has sited that without the help of men, we cannot progress to a culture where feminism is accepted, not shunned and when women speak about equal rights, they are praised, not criticized. But what about women standing up for other women who fight for gender equality?

Here are a few of my favorites…

jlo animated GIF

My plea for the day is; speak up for your daughters and teach your sons to support women. I want my children to grow up in a world with self respect, cognizant of their self worth and compensated for their efforts on an equal pay scale to those of the opposite sex. We at Blissfulmamas applaud the effort of Patricia Arquette, as a woman, a mother, an actor, and an activist who utilized her 30 seconds of honor to honor us all and to speak up for women’s rights to equal pay for equal work.

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! Blissfulmamasis 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 working mamas can collaborate & find resources, all available on the go!

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Read more about and from the author: BlissfulMama’s WiLab Profile

Sheryl Sandberg and Speaking Up in the Workplace

Please see the release of this story on WiLab!

Photo from http://karlynpercil.com

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant have been authoring a four part series for the NY Times called Women at Work and it’s been eye opening to say the least. If you’re familiar with Sheryl, you know she is the fearless leader of the Lean In movement. She strongly encourages women to lean in, understand how they are held back, and how we hold ourselves back from achieving our professional goals and advancing on to take on leadership roles in the workplace.

Speakup

In the recent article in the NY Times; Speaking While Female,  Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant write on why women stay quiet at Work. As working career mothers, it is easy to relate to the descriptions of what women face in the workplace. There have been instances where our opinions and input were deemed as trivial and despite years of experience, we’re dismissed.

“When a woman speaks in a professional setting, she walks a tightrope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive. When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciation for his fine idea. As a result, women often decide that saying less is more.”

The article speaks mainly to the response of men to women speaking up in the workplace, but what about the response of women? Is the problem that we as women are unable to deal with other women speaking up? I have heard experiences of many women in the workplace, unable to support each other or recognize good intentions when presenting a new idea. It is often other women in the work place who cut each other down, whether it be for another promotion, needing time off for family/leave, or just a simple idea. Women need to start supporting each other if we want to be effective with change.

When male employees contributed ideas that brought in new revenue, they got significantly higher performance evaluations. But female employees who spoke up with equally valuable ideas did not improve their managers’ perception of their performance. Also, the more the men spoke up, the more helpful their managers believed them to be. But when women spoke up more, there was no increase in their perceived helpfulness.

It becomes a game on when and where to speak up, often leaving women feeling that their best attribute is to hold there tongue and speak at the right moment, a sort of twisted strategic plan. Women who speak their mind are often seen as aggressive and forthright, not creative and innovative. It isn’t easy to figure out (which is a vast understatement), but if we initiate conversations and improve upon an accepting culture in the workplace, women will speak more freely and speak their minds, offering well intended value to their organizations.

The long-term solution to the double bind of speaking while female is to increase the number of women in leadership roles. (As we noted in our previous articleresearch shows that when it comes to leadership skills, although men are more confident, women are more competent.) As more women enter the upper echelons of organizations, people become more accustomed to women’s contributing and leading.

Positive Parenting this Winter: Keep Sick Kids at Home

Please check out the release of this story on WiLab!

mom-with-sick-baby

Winter Woes. 

With all the recent snow in the Northeast, it is not easy being a career mama and trying to get to and from work, manage school closings and then on top of it all, potential illness in the family. Most companies only offer a limited amount of PTO, and Massachusetts this year has passed new law to include an additional 40 hours of “Earned Sick Time” that can be used for yourself or an sick family member, which will help in most cases attempt to battle the long drawn out winter woes of managing a family and career on top of a multitude of variables. This will be effective July of 2015, and hopefully will make a difference for most of next winter. It is to say the least, a step in the right direction.

Until then, do us all a favor, and keep your sick kids home! I have been at the other end of the spectrum and I agree that it is totally annoying to have to miss another day of work when your child is sick. It comes full circle, your kids are sick, you get sick, you miss work, your kids go to school and other kids get them sick, you miss work, everyone is healthy —and round and round you go again.

My advice is, get over it!

We send our child to daycare and posted on the walls are a variety of potential infections in the school; strep throat, stomach bug, flu, etc. It is horrifying to think that parents are having their infected children attend school or in general, bringing them to the grocery store, playgrounds and other public places! Most schools require immunizations, but with the recent influx of parents claiming that it is their right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children, claiming non-medical exemption and/or religious reasons, the gap has widened to a real dangerous situation.

It is not your right to infect our children. 

I was a new parent once, and I get that the link to autism and vaccines is a scary thought. I asked my pediatrician for advice and she was outright angry at my question. I did my own personal research and determined that the risks outweighed the rewards of not immunizing my child. These diseases are REAL and DEADLY. We changed pediatricians to a family friend (the same Doctor that cared for me and my siblings when we were young). The entire tone changed when we discussed immunizations, and there was a sense of trust. We just went for it, and  immunized our son with the MMR shot. Unfortunately, he was the 3% of the population to exhibit Measles symptoms of a temp of 103+ and spots all over his body for 2 days straight.  I can remember his fast breathing and nursing him with a cool cloth throughout the night, scared $h!tless at what was happening before my eyes. But the truth is, it was a MILD version of the full blown disease and it was scary! I cannot imagine denying him the immunization with potential for contracting this deadly disease later in life or even worse, spreading it to other children who have not yet had immunizations. He just received the 2nd round MMR vaccination this past week with no issues.

Vaccinating the Baby, From a sketch by Sol Eytinge. Photo from the holdings of Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine—Harvard Medical School.

Immunizations are essential to a healthy community & society.

Cynthia Leifer, is an associate professor of immunology at Cornell University and a 2015 Public Voices Fellow at the Op-Ed Project. In her most recent article in CNN, she explains a valid point;

The unfortunate reality, however, is that more and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children for nonmedical reasons. Some refuse vaccines on the grounds of religious beliefs; others refuse on the repeatedly disproved argument that vaccines contribute to autism. Their high-risk decision not to vaccinate endangers not only their children, but also those who can’t receive the vaccines, and even those of us who have had the vaccine a long time ago, and depend on herd immunity.

Regardless of the reason why parents choose not to vaccinate their children, it is important for the rest of us to realize they are making the choice for all of us, too. By not vaccinating their own children, they increase everyone else’s chance of getting a preventable childhood disease like measles, whooping cough or even polio. Just last week, a 25-day-old baby died of whooping cough, which, like measles, is also spreading unnecessarily in the United States due to the decrease in vaccine rates.

Just like the drunk driver who makes a socially irresponsible decision that can endanger not only his life, but also the lives of the other drivers and passengers on the road, parents who choose not to vaccinate their children put everyone else at risk.

We can each play a part in protecting children by making sure parents understand their responsibility to vaccinate their children and the potential consequences on all of society if they don’t.

Positive Parenting.

We often look for simple solutions when parenting, managing a career and trying to coordinate childcare. Throw deadly diseases in the mix and it can seem daunting. Blissfulmamas outlook is to remain positive when trying to “balance it all” but we are realistic in understanding that we can’t be positive at every moment, and all the time. We can however, make positive choices when parenting our children. I personally have made the choice to immunize my children and keep them home when they are sick to reduce the risk of infection for others. To me, its a no brainer.

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! Blissfulmamasis 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 working mamas can collaborate & find resources, all available on the go!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | WordPress

Read more about and from the author: BlissfulMama’s WiLab Profile

Boston Mom’s Blog!

We are proud and honored to announce that we will be contributing to the Boston Moms Blog, part of the City Moms Blog family!! The official launch date is February 18th, but in the meantime please “like” Boston Moms Blog on Facebook! We’re so excited to be part of this fabulous group of local moms and look forward to sharing more details as they come!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and Blissfulmamas!
Much love,
Erin and Becky