POSTS WITH TAG: working moms

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    I've been a work-at-home-mom for seven years, but it wasn't until pretty recently that I had regular childcare. For the most part, I fit in my work during nap-time and late into the evening, which seemed like a really convenient situation, but in actuality, was not ideal at all. 

    Whether you're thinking about working from home or you're doing it already, heed my advice: Get childcare. Here's why I think it's so important.

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    Hey working moms, would you like to hear something that'll make you feel a little bit less guilty? I have something for you! A new study shows (don't you love it when that phrase, "a new study shows" leads to good news?) that day care may reduce the risk of emotional problems -- that is, for kids who are at risk for having emotional problems.

    Yeah, that's a pretty big caveat. The researchers focused on the children of moms suffering symptoms of depression -- that depression is what puts kids at risk for emotional problems. (I think we all know that's a whole lotta moms.) And surprise, surprise, those kids are better off hanging out with other children in daycare than hanging out with mom. They showed less separation anxiety, social withdrawal, and fewer emotional problems in general.

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    I begin this column with a heavy sigh. And then a kick in the butt, because it’s time to man up. After 10 months of unemployment, I’m returning to the workforce. I’m excited about my new career, but like millions of moms and dads everywhere, I miss my son already.

    As I prepare to re-enter the race of rats, I think of the things I will miss most about him.

    Spontaneous visits. My “office” consists of a blocked-off yet wall-less part of the living room. (He and I are looking at it in the photo to the left!) My son is usually on the other side of the living room. When he wants to visit me, and that can be 10 times an hour, he simply walks around the barrier. I may be deep in thought crafting Hemingway-like prose, but am always happy for his drop-bys, which will now require a subway pass and knowledge of New York City geography that he just doesn’t possess.

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    Here's the progression of pretty much every Take Your Child to Work Day:

    1. Wake up brimming with excitement to see the magical things you or your spouse does.

    2. Watch the magic happen for like 10 minutes, when they realize your job is boring as shit and they vow to NEVER grow up -- and if they must, they will do something exciting like race cars or be famous. (*If you're already famous, they'll think your job sucks too and vow to be something totally amazing like the check-out person at the grocery store who gets to swipe things over the cool scanner.)

    3. Spin in your office chair for 30-60 minutes because that's awesome and clearly the real magic of your job. They will then question why you don't spend more time spinning and make a mental note that you'd probably do better in your job if you spun more.

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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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    Tina Fey is one of the coolest moms on the planet. It's not just because she created one of the coolest shows in TV history (30 Rock) or the fact that everything that comes out of her mouth leaves us ROFLOL. No. We LOVE the fact that she tells it like it is. Take her action plan for when sweet, 7-year-old daughter Alice turns into a moody teen: "When she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it," she wrote in her bestseller Bossypants. Gotta love it. Every mom to a future eye-rolling, midriff-baring girl can relate! Now starring in Admission (in theaters March 22), she cracks us up as a college admissions counselor who meets an applicant that may be the son she gave up for adoption. Tina sat down with The Stir to chat about her new role and share more on life in Mommywood. Check it out.

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    I actually felt a little bad after I criticized Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for only taking two weeks of maternity leave. I thought maybe I should have been more supportive of her choice, even if it did send a pretty messed up message. Only now, she's gone and taken away a big choice for her employees, and I don't feel bad at all criticizing her for this one. Because to be blunt -- it sucks. Big time.

    Last week, she announced that employees will no longer be permitted to work remotely. All Things D got a hold of the internal memo, which read in part: "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

    And with that -- one more big, huge slap in the face of working parents.

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    We've all had our fair share of "Mean Mom" encounters, haven't we? You know the type: Those Mothers Superior are always lurking around the playground and/or the pediatrician's office and/or Open House at the elementary school -- any and everywhere they can find moms to criticize and judge and generally look down their noses at. Anything you can do, they can do better -- so don't even bother trying to defend your way of parenting when they're on the attack.

    Mean mommies are convinced they know best -- at the very least, they know better than you -- so if ever you should find yourself cornered, your only hope of escape is to say something so bizarre and unexpected, it'll throw that Mean Mommy right off course (long enough for you to escape, anyway!).

    Here are 5 comebacks to try when Mean Mommies attack ...

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    Imagine being a junior in college and finding our your dormmate would be -- a 4-year-old. No, this toddler wasn't so brainy that he was admitted to New York University super early. But he did have a mother who was also attending the prestigious college -- and she was assigned Shasten Snellgroves as a roommate. Shasten was aghast to learn that her roomie was a mom and that, according to school policy, she'd be able to bring in her young son into their dorm room as many days of the month as she liked, and up to six nights a month.

    Shasten complained to school officials, but was merely told she'd need to "compromise." Finally, she wrote a letter and made it public. There, she said, "I don’t feel that it is just for me to be facing consequences related to her life decisions." Ahh, youth. Still under the impression that they can live life in a bubble of their own making.

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    You'll never guess who was voted Celebrity Mom of 2012! It's ... oh, you guessed: Jennifer Garner. Got it on the first try, too! Probably because, well, of course Jennifer Garner got voted celeb mom of the year. The 40-year-old actress has 3 adorable kids (Violet, Seraphina and baby Samuel). Literally every photo ever snapped of the family show them doing something wholesome and fun and enriching that makes the whole lot of them smile their big, dimpled smiles and laugh and frolic and AWWWW. So, congrats to Garner on the prestigious award! And to her runner-up, Reese Witherspoon.

    Seriously, I don't begrudge these ladies their good mom gold stars, but I do have to wonder ...

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