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.”

 

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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

 

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

It’s time to #LeadOnLeave

It’s time. We are living in the year of 2014 and it’s time that women and men in the United States have the opportunity to care for their newborn children and not worry about taking the time off UNPAID, worry about their job being the same when they return, or rushing back to work because they cannot afford the time off. The Department of Labor states; “The most important family value of all is time together. With the changing nature of our 21st-century workforce, it’s getting harder and harder to balance the demands of the family you love and the job you need. Change has yet to come to Washington, but momentum is growing in the states: So far, California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have passed paid leave laws. It’s time to update workplace policies that are stuck in the past and give more Americans paid family leave – to take care of sick loved ones and newborn children. It’s time for us to #LeadOnLeave.”

This movement is vital to working parents and professionals that value family. The #LeadOnLeave moment would not only ensure paid maternity/paternity leave but also allow for PTO when a family member is ill. Blissfulmamas supports the Department of Labor’s efforts to #LeadOnLeave and hopes that Massachusetts will be the next state to join California, Rhode Island and New Jersey in on this vital effort. You can read more inspiring stories here http://www.dol.gov/featured/paidleave/

 

2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies

Each year Working Mother puts out a list of the 100 best companies to work for.  As a working parent, you can attest to the importance of a support system not just inside the home, but at work too!

I particularly enjoyed this video from AOL regarding their working mother culture. AOL offers leadership development programs, a nationwide women’s network with mentoring circles and workshops and unlimited tuition aid. In addition, mothers-to-be are able to schedule consultations with nurses and lactation experts, take free childbirth classes and parenting courses, join new-mom, parenting and breastfeeding groups. To top it off, there is a full-time onsite child care center in VA.

Please see some additional statistics from http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/aol-6

Women managers/execs 37%

Women hires in 2013 50%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave 6

Average weeks of fully paid paternity leave 2

Average weeks of fully paid leave for adoptive parents 2

Backup child care Yes

Sick child care Yes

Management or leadership training offered Yes

We would love to see more organizations in Boston jump into this culture mindset, where women are encouraged to flourish in their career but also be present and mindful when parenting. All working parents long for the same thing; to have the freedom to work (without guilt) driving their career forward in a successful way and to also be the best parent possible, offering inspiration, love and support to their children.

Blissfulmamas strives to create a networking platform for working women to collaborate and celebrate all that they have accomplished. We are going to be releasing weekly notes with WiLab regarding career topics and look forward to your feedback.

To see the full list of 2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies List, Please go to: Working Mother http://www.workingmother.com/best-company-list/156592#

Have a Blissful Day!

Erin

http://on.aol.com/video/aol-named-to-list-of-100-best-companies-for-working-mothers-518417351/embed