POSTS WITH TAG: work

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    Any time I read about a successful and powerful woman who swears up and down it is possible to be an equally amazing worker, wife AND mom, my BS detecter shoots through the roof. Either these women are lying -- to us and/or to themselves -- or they have, God bless them, figured out a way of dropping their expectations and not feeling guilty about doing so.

    And that's why PepsiCo's CEO Indra Nooyi is my new hero. The mom of two daughters, who is obviously a hard-working and kickass woman, told it like it is in a new interview this week with Atlanta Media Company. And here's the bottom line: everything other moms say about having it all is dead wrong.

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    The Work At Home Mom (WAHM), is like devil spawn of a Stay-at-Home (SAHM) and a working mom. Though many people think it's ideal (I do), it comes with a shocking amount of guilt, a penchant for procrastination and a sprinkle of self loathing. I know, I'm making it sound awesome, right?

    We have no actual schedule and no other people in "the office" for motivation, and we have constant feeling that we need to be accomplishing many things at once to be productive - like mulitasking on crack, which is why WAHMs have a lot in common. 

    If you're thinking of us in short shorts and high sweat socks, then you're thinking of WHAM and that's a different article, though I do write a lot about being obsessed with the 80s.

    That said, I thought I would make a list of traits, thoughts and occurrences most WAHMs have thought said or done:

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    I was browsing a parenting forum the other day when I saw what appeared to be a sincere response to a stay-at-home-mom's lament that she was thoroughly exhausted. "Can't you just nap whenever you want?" the person wrote. "I mean … you're at home." Another commenter chimed in, a little angrily: "Yeah, it's not like I get nap time at work."

    The question of napping sort of stuck with me for some reason. I'm at home with my kids and I've been known to lie down on the job now and then. If they're watching their afternoon cartoons and my work is mostly done, I sometimes stretch out on the couch with a book for a while. But the ability to briefly unplug is a recent phenomenon. As anyone with very young children knows, napping during the day is virtually impossible -- and even now that they're older, it's not exactly a guaranteed side benefit of being a SAHM.

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    Mom of three boys Lisa Endlich Heffernan has an astonishing confession. She regrets being a stay-at-home mom. "Although I am fully aware that being a SAHM was certainly a luxury, staring at an empty nest and very diminished prospects of employment, I have real remorse." Not mixed feelings, not momentary flashes of doubt. She feels remorse. I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time I heard a woman admit she regrets being a stay-at-home mom. It's almost not allowed, I think.

    Heffernan gives several reasons why she feels that remorse. She worried more, slipped into a more traditional role with her husband, her world narrowed, she lost her confidence, she got sucked into more volunteer work. She's not saying she wishes she'd gone right back to her job full-time after each baby -- just that she wishes she'd found a way to keep a "finger, a toe, or a hand in the working world."

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    Kristen Bell made her big post-baby debut last night hosting (HOSTING!) the CMT Music Awards. And I guess we would be talking about how smashing she looked in her black leather dress. But you know what? This is Kristen Bell we're talking about, and she's not going to let us play it that way. Forget the dress -- here's what else she did. Kristen tweeted a photo of her breast pump, the one she used to pump milk during the show.

    "My new backstage beauty routine," Kristen tweeted, adding hash tags #pumpit #pumppumpitup #CMTAwards. I bet you never thought you'd ever see that string of words together! Oh my God, I think Kristen Bell just won all the music awards just by playing her breast pump.

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    After all the fuss about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's five-second maternity leave and total ban on working from home, she made some shocking news today. Yahoo will double its paid maternity leave from 8 weeks to 16. That's 16 PAID weeks for parental leave. Dads will get eight weeks of paid leave.

    Just to put this in perspective, Google employees get 18 to 22 paid weeks, and at Facebook, moms and dads get 4 months. New Yahoo parents also get $500 to go toward related costs. But still, can you imagine getting a perk like that? I think parents would be more likely to take that leave if it were paid.

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    Once again, science has gone through an awful lot of trouble to prove something totally obvious that we already knew. New moms on maternity leave feel totally inadequate about returning to work. If we're at home, we go for days without talking to another adult. When we return to work, we have less confidence. I mean, the whole study just paints the saddest, most demoralizing portrait of working motherhood you could ever ask for. Gee, thanks!

    Okay, so we really didn't need these researchers to tell us it's insanely difficult to get our career mojo going again after we have a baby. Here's what we DO need: Some fresh ideas for HOW to get our career mojo going again.

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    The other day a Stir reader left me the following comment: "Linda, you are not truly a SAHM." Her point, I guess, was that because I have outside employment, I don't know what it's like to be an at-home mom. Even though I am, in fact, a mom who doesn't have an office job. I also don't have a nanny, I have one child who's not yet in school, and I take care of all the household tasks, from cleaning to laundry to meals to grocery shopping to doctors' appointments.

    I'm not sure why the fact that I also work my ass off to earn a paycheck keeps me from being a "true SAHM," but I've felt this disconnect before. I work, but I'm not the sort of working mom I was when I went to an office full-time. I'm at home, but I don't quite feel like that description fits me perfectly either -- and clearly, there are others who don't believe I deserve the title.

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    As a parent, do you ever feel guilty for the choices you make? (Cue chirpy Sally Struthers voice: Sure, we all do!) But do you ever feel guilty about NOT feeling guilty as a parent? It sounds silly -- like a waste of time and energy, and also like some sort of useless glitch in the motherhood Matrix -- but reverse Mom guilt is an actual thing now.

    Reverse Mom guilt, as described by this article on Today.com, is triggered by the fact that good mothers are supposed to feel guilty about almost everything in our pursuit of parental perfection ... but there are times when we relish our supposedly guilt-inducing decisions without feeling bad about it.

    Instead, we feel a little bad about, you know, NOT feeling bad.

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    We were all envious when we heard about Marissa Mayer's private nursery. Wouldn't we all love the same thing. Well ... maybe you can. A blogger recently suggested a solution for working parents. And it's not what you think (in-office daycare). Nope, it's a "babies-at-work program." You know, a program where your boss just lets you bring your baby with you to the office, and you still work and everything, but you also take care of your baby yourself at the same time.

    Yes, this is a real thing. There's even a consulting company called Babies in Business Solutions that helps everyone sort it out. And you know what? This sounds utterly insane.

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