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

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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…

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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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A New Year, A New You?

It’s a brand new year, a clean slate, a fresh start and time for new year’s resolutions.  I have to be honest and say that I am not particularly fond of this ritual.  I feel that each January we think back on all of the negatives of the previous year, we focus on what we did wrong rather than right and we make a pact with ourselves that this year will be different.  I’m not denying that I make them, I do, I want to exercise more, eat better, spend more time with family, friends and my husband blah, blah, blah.  But rather than focus on how imperfect each year turned out to be, how about focusing on how to further maximize all of the positives of the previous year!  The traditional dropping of the glittery ball in Times Square signals the start of the new year, but for me sensing the need for change and really visualizing what that means for me, was what prepared me for the start of this new year.

I am a Mom to an almost 4 and almost 2 year old and I commute to Boston 3-4 days per week where I am away nearly 10-12 hours each day.  Needless to say, my focus has been survival for the last couple of years.  Now that the boys are getting older and I’m settling into my roll as a working mom, it feels like the right time to put the focus back on other areas of my life.  I feel ready and open to put more focus on me.  It feels like a new phase is developing and I’m accepting and excited to see it through.  Recognizing that need, going with it, letting it happen, that inspires me!

It’s difficult as working moms to think about putting anything ahead of our children, aren’t we already leaving each day and heading off to work, how could we think about adding even more to that already overfilled plate?  Because it’s necessary and healthy.  I am really excited for 2015. I will be celebrating a decade of marriage, turning 35, by making the finals to the Disney Parks Moms Panel last year, I have a Fastpass to Round 2 of the search this year, my grandmother turns 90 and I already have 2 amazing trips planned!  For some reason, this year doesn’t feel forced or overwhelming, it feels like a natural transition, and I’m loving it!

I encourage all my mama friends to do what feels right and what makes you happy in the new year.  I don’t think we always need to strive for life altering goals and aspirations, sometimes just to really live in the moment and let your life play out is an adventure too, at some point you have to stop and take a moment to enjoy where life has brought you.  Focus on your authentic self and what feels right for you and your family.  When unexpected twists arise on the road of life, I challenge you all to not be afraid to acknowledge them, embrace them and prepare to change the course.  Sometimes things not going the way we want is exactly what we need!  So wherever you are now, ready to start a new adventure or just taking an opportunity to really be where you are, I wish you happiness and love.  Have an amazing year!

~ Becky

 

2015/01/img_4339.png Photo courtesy if http://www.wdwinfo.com

Featured Mama ~ Liz McGrory, Owner of Coach LizzyMc, Working Mom Coach

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COACH LIZZYMC, WORKING MOM COACH ON A MISSION!

My name is Liz McGrory and I own Coach LizzyMc ~ Working Mom Coach.  I am all about getting Working Moms to ignite their Mommy Energy.  I am a Certified Professional Coach and was voted Rookie Coach of the Year in 2013 by the International Coach Federation New England Chapter. I am a blogger, speaker and author of “Igniting Mommy Energy” which came out on the first day of summer in 2014.

Prior to starting my business I worked in IT which was male dominant.  When I spoke with customers they were often surprise to hear a woman’s voice.  When I became a Working Mom I felt alone.  There were a few Working Dads who were there for me, but it was still lonely.  I overcame these challenges after being coached by a Leadership Coach.  I discovered how to make brave work/life choices such as starting a new career path (aka start my own business) where I’d work with only women.

My children have seen me as a Corporate Working Mom and now as a business owner.  They know that I’m working on something I deeply care about and that I’m helping people.  I am tickled pink to be contributing to my family’s wealth while doing something that I love.

CAREER JOURNEY

When I first became a Working Mom, my supportive manager at the time said, “Lizzy, you just need to find balance and you’ll be all set.”.  This was the first time I had heard of this ‘80’s term.  Since I didn’t know what that meant I dove back into my career.  When I left for my second maternity leave I thought I’d return to a promotion (which I truly wanted because I was burnt out in my current role).  Well, the promotion wasn’t there.  Instead I learned multiple life lessons which resulted in starting my own business. I experienced how coaching changed my world and I want to give that same opportunity to others.  My services include Mommy Energy Coaching Sessions either one-on-one or group via Skype, GoogleHangouts, or phone.    In addition to coaching I’m also a professional speaker speaking at local companies about time and energy management.

FAMILY

I am happily married with three young children.  My oldest son is 6 years old, my oldest girl is 4 years old and my youngest daughter is 1 ½ years old.  My husband and I discovered early on that co-parenting works well for us.  Most household chores are split between us, but now that the kids are older they want to earn an allowance (yes!!).  We hit soccer games on the weekend and practice and dance class during the week.  My son is in first grade and my oldest daughter goes to pre-school three days a week.  My youngest naps in the p.m., so two days a week I can focus on marketing my business and on Friday’s I relax.  Quiet time is a must on Fridays so that I can tackle the fun things on the weekend.

ORGANIZATION

I have an 8×10 planner that keeps my life and biz in check.  Every Sunday night I plan out the week according to personal and professional goals I want to tackle.  Goals keep pushing me forward (otherwise I’ll procrastinate and that will make me feel awful).  Every morning I aim to complete 3 personal things and 3 biz things that are beyond what is already scheduled for the day.  For instance, this survey was on the list today, but so wasn’t building a scarecrow/volunteer work, hitting the school fall festival, getting the kids off to soccer, which is where they are now while the baby is asleep, then dinner tonight to celebrate my husband’s new job.  Yes, busy day, they aren’t all like this. Having only three things for personal & biz is manageable for me.  If I don’t complete all six goals, I figure out why.  Was I low on energy?  Was there too many things scheduled on the calendar?  Was I dealing with many emotions that day?  This is a great learning opportunity.

Groceries used to be a chore for me.  I’ve never been a big fan.  Once I became organized about food prep food shopping wasn’t a big deal.  I have an excel sheet that maps out my supermarket by aisle.  I have a binder of recipes.  Getting meal prep organized has made my grocery trips less stressful!! Bills are something my husband does.  I have enough on my plate and don’t mind delegating.

DOWN TIME

All-in-all we have been homebodies and just enjoy hanging out around the house and yard.  In the summer we swim in the pool, go for bike rides, play hide & seek and hang out with the neighbors.  We are blessed to have many young families around us.  We attend some meet-ups that are hosted by a Mom’s Group I belong to.  My husband and I are very close to our parents so we visit them often or vice versa. We try to do date night and the kids will sleepover at the grandparents.  Before our 3rd child this happened once per month, but now it’s probably once every three months (three kids overnight is a bit much). In the summer, we take a vacation down on Cape Cod.  We’ve discovered that vacation is about creating fun memories not for relaxation.  We will have plenty of time to relax later on in life!

COMMUNICATION 

I don’t know how I functioned without a smartphone.  I love my iPhone.  I used to use Google Calendar for personal use, but now I’m back to paper, but I do use it for business meetings. We talk.  A lot.  I guess I could say “open communication” but that sounds too formal.  We just talk a lot.  Mostly about love.  If someone isn’t treating someone right, it all comes down to love.  “Is that something you do if you love your sister?”  “Is that showing your brother how much you love him?” “You are lucky to have a baby sister who you can teach everything you know about love”.  It all just comes down to love.  It’s as simple as that.

ME

It’s sad that after becoming a Working Mom I “lost myself”.  One time my coach asked me what do I like to do.  I replied, “I like to cook, have a clean house, and take care of my children”.  He said, “Liz, those are things you HAVE to do, not things that you LIKE to do.”  Sadly, I didn’t have an answer for him.  So my “homework” that week was to rediscover what I liked to do.  So I LOVE to read, run, crochet, and garden, but not in that order.

INSPIRATION

Twitter.  I enjoy searching for the hashtag #workingmom and reading what other working moms are saying.  There are so many of us out there crushing it and/or losing it.  I enjoy being there for them, talking to them, seeing if I can help in 140 characters or less.  It’s fun and it’s quick! Another thing I have found inspirational and motivational is working out with friends.  I don’t live close to my friend I’m running the half marathon with.  So we created a private Facebook group to check in and we also follow each other on the app Map My Run.  It’s been great using her as my inspiration & motivation.

TO BALANCE OR NOT TO BALANCE

Don’t strive for balance; it’s a term that was created back in 1986.  It’s time for us to move on from this phrase.  I like to focus on each decision I make about work and life.  This way I can celebrate mini-triumphs often.  If I have a setback, it’ll only be a minor one because I know that I made the choice based on what I thought was right in that moment. Every day is something different, which is the complete opposite of how my working life used to be.  I love it but keeping my priorities straight can be challenging.  To keep myself on track I write down my goals for the week, then break them down into daily goals, like I said before.  Distractions can sneak up on me quickly so I keep a copy of my weekly goals up on the fridge.  I have one of those clip magnets so I can easily take my list down and travel with it.  Across from the fridge we have the family white board calendar so in the mornings I can see what’s planned for the day and then choose what goals will be my priority.  There are days when this ritual doesn’t happen (aka I fall off the band wagon), but it is what it is!  If I don’t have the Mommy Energy to get things done then my body is telling me that my health, either mental or physical, should be my priority that day.

STRATEGY

I don’t want to do it all all by myself.  I’ve learned that trying to live life that way is just no fun, especially when we kept adding more children to our family.   Having a strong and loving support system has helped me create all that I’ve wanted to do for my family, business, and personal life.  I follow the 5W’s when I ask for help.  I know who I can count on, they know when & where I’ll need help and with what, but the most important is the why.  Declaring the why made me feel vulnerable at first, but then I learned that it DOES take a village to raise a family.  When my support system knows ‘why’ I need help they know what’s expected of them.  This makes them feel competent that they can truly help me.

 

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.