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Am I letting too much of my mom identity come out at work?

Categories: Career Talk, Uncategorized, Working Women Issues

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I was on the phone with a business contact earlier today. We were having a great conversation and he suggested that we meet in person. Since he is based in a different city, I responded by saying something like: “That’s a great idea! I am going to be there on (such and such) date and would love to meet. I try not to travel too much because I have a young daughter and if you have free time, this would work out well.”

As soon as I said this, I’d realized that I probably made the mistake of outing my mom-identity too soon in our professional relationship. After all, this guy has an important job with an important company that could help Work It, Mom! in the future. And here I was, saying that I don’t like to travel too much because I am a mom.
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Do we have too much time?

Categories: Balancing Act, Career Talk, Uncategorized, Your life

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clock.jpgI’m the first person to complain about not having enough time. My to-do list is ALWAYS getting longer vs. shorter, I don’t read enough, paint enough, see friends and family enough, and oh, sleep enough. If I could just add an hour to my day it would make a difference.

Well, this is what I usually think. But I recently had a strange experience: A working day without interruptions. My husband took my daughter to school and picked her up. The babysitter (who comes after school for a few hours) met them outside and stayed outside to play with my daughter, removing even that brief usual interruption in my day when we get home from school and do the “transfer”, as I call it. I was feeling sick so I skipped my daily workout and it was snowing, so I didn’t go for my daily half-hour walk. In other words, I had a full 9 hours to work, uninterrupted.

I’ll spare you the details and get to the punch line: I got less done than on a normal day.
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Work It, Mom! Weekly Roundup

Categories: Uncategorized, Work It, Mom! Latest

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If you have a few minutes to catch up on what went on at Work It, Mom! this week, we’ve got a few links to get you started:

Maternity leave was a big topic this week: Members discussed their own experiences, Lee Thrash offered up tips for keeping your foot in the office door, and the Work It Mom! Team rounded up the best ideas for what to ask at the hospital before you have your baby. Wondering how the celebs return to work? Sara takes a look at tennis star Lindsay Davenport and how she juggles work and new motherhood.

Our kids are being awfully generous with their germs right now, and members are looking for ways to cope. I wondered whether to give cold medication to my 3-year-old, Lylah at The 36-Hour Day pondered the pros and cons of “Presenteeism” (and decided that there are no sick days in parenthood), and members offered up the natural cough remedies that have worked for them and their kids.

In our Entrepreneur Moms group, members shared their best business moments, talked about why they started their businesses, and exchanged marketing strategies. Jessica, of Kerflop fame, offered up some more of her blog advertising expertise, SingleMa debuted her 5 Secrets to Fabulous Financials, and members traded stories about their first jobs.

And, speaking of jobs, if you’re thinking about starting a business from home, Wendy Piersall’s article on all the internet home business options out there is a must read.

Is the economic downturn hurting your job and flexibility?

Categories: Uncategorized

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woman-in-suit-with-bottle-and-briefcase.jpgYesterday I heard a show on NPR about recession-proofing your job. The expert they had on the air was asked for tips to hold on to your job if the economy continues to be rocky or gets worse and here were a few that he mentioned:

  • Be as visible as possible at work. Make sure your boss sees you working and working hard.
  • Come in earlier and leave later — put in some face time.
  • If you telecommute, make it a point to be on more conference calls with your boss and even consider coming into the office more frequently.
  • Stay busy — or appear to be busy all the time. Perceived slackers will be the first to go.
  • Have a great attitude. Firing decisions are often subjective and no one wants to work with someone who is difficult or is always a downer.

I think keeping in mind the current and likely-to-get-worse economic situation, this advice is not misplaced. But what struck me is how unfriendly some of it is to working moms who value flexibility. More face time, less telecommuting, coming in earlier and leaving later — it’s the opposite of what most of us want to see at our workplaces.
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Work It, Mom! Weekly Roundup

Categories: Just For Fun, Uncategorized, Work It, Mom! Latest

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woman-drinking-coffee-computer.jpgThe holidays may be over, but for many of us, the stress levels are still high. Learn how to switch off the mental chatter, and decide how to handle it when you’ve taken on too much. What do you do to relax? We asked, members answered — check out the discussion and share your tips!

Many of us have switched into high gear for the New Year, and now we’re trying to make our New Year’s resolutions stick. Work It, Mom! has plenty of advice on achieving your goals, avoiding failure, and dealing with change. Need a little support to reach that first small goal? You can find it here!

Moms with infants, listen up! Members have been chiming in about their experiences with breastfeeding and pumping, Relaxnsmile wrote a great article with plenty of tips and information for those heading back to the workplace with pump in hand, and Lee Thrash offers some sage advice to freelancers who are getting ready to go on maternity leave.

Only got a minute? Take a picture of what’s in your bag and upload it to our CareerBags Group here at Work It, Mom! for a chance to win a fabulous fabulous Veronica London Business Tote courtesy of CareerBags.com. Details are here, contest ends on January 20th.

Would you marry for money?

Categories: Money, Relationships & Marriage, Uncategorized

12 Comments

piggy-bank-on-top-of-cash.jpgIf you said no, then you’re in the minority, according to a new poll. A wealth research firm (I had no idea these existed) polled more than 1,000 people nationwide and asked them this question:

How willing are you to marry an average-looking person that you liked, if they had money?

Two thirds of women and half the men said that they were extremely or very likely to do it.

Are you surprised? I have to be honest, I was. I know no poll is entirely accurate and the way the question is stated it doesn’t necessarily mean that money would be the only or even the primary reason to marry this person. (Hey, I know many marriages where two people who liked each other and were reasonably good looking decided to tie the knot, and neither had much money.) But it does suggest that many women and men feel that money is a good reason to marry someone.
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Speak Your Mind: Winner and new topic

Categories: Uncategorized

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Thank you to everyone who contributed an essay for our Speak Your Mind Contest! We were thrilled to get so many honest, thoughtful, and often, surprising, contributions.

And now it’s time to announce our winner, who will receive a $50 gift certificate from Spafinder.com:

(drum roll here, please - c’mon, use your imaginations!)

Thordora, get those kids to a sitter because you’re off for some pampering!

Congratulations!

—-

Here’s this week’s Speak Your Mind Question:

Have become less ambitious about your career and personal goals since having kids?

Write your answer as a short essay and submit it to Work It, Mom! (Yes, you have to join the site, which will take just a few seconds, and our online article submission form is extremely simple. Plus you will have an article published with your own byline, which - ask any blogger or author - is a good thing.) Then post the link to your submission on your personal blog or email it to your friends and ask them to vote for your essay. The author of the essay on the weekly topic with the highest number of votes will win a $50 gift certificate from Spafinder.com!

If you’re a member of Work It, Mom! you can submit your essay using our quick online submission form. Your essay need not be long and what you write is entirely up to you!

If you’re not a member, join Work It, Mom! by clicking here, and then submit your article using this link.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, July 5.

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We’re eager to read your submissions! If you have any questions about Speak Your Mind, please post them as a comment so everyone can see the answer. *Please be sure to put the topic of this week’s Speak Your Mind in your submission.*

—-Fine print—-

Anyone who submits an essay on the weekly topic to Work It, Mom! is eligible to win, but you can’t win for 3 months after you’ve already won and not more than 3 times per year. Why? Because we want to spread the goodness!

If you’d like to post your submission in full on your personal blog, go for it. (Just include the link to your essay on Work It, Mom! to get more votes!)

 

Are you teaching your kids to be too polite?

Categories: Uncategorized

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Thanks for Sara over at The Juggle for a thought provoking post she titled “Raising a Demanding Kid: Are There Benefits?” In her post she raises the question of whether in teaching our kids to be polite we might not be doing them a favor. She writes:

“I want to make sure my daughter will grow up to be assertive and, in certain situations, demanding — without always worrying she might offend someone or seem “unfeminine.

I have a 3 year-old daughter and this resonates with me - it’s something I think about often. I am, what you might call, a demanding and assertive woman, and I usually ask for what I want.  But I can also be reticent and have had to put a lot of effort into learning to communicate more assertively in the workplace. For example, earlier in my career I would position a statement as a question - until I learned that this is exactly the opposite of what I should be doing.

But just because I am assertive does not mean that my daughter will be. And whether she chooses to pursue a demanding career or do something much more laid back, I want her to have the ability to be strong, ask for things, and take a stand on issues she believes in - in her personal and work life. After reading Sara’s post I first thought to myself that good manners and being assertive don’t need to be exclusive; in fact, both are important for career and life success. But then I realized that while I teach my daughter to say “Thank you” and “Excuse me” every chance I get, I rarely teach her how to ask for something. When someone takes away her toy on the playground, I encourage her to go and politely ask for it back, but if she doesn’t, I don’t insist on this. I prioritize good manners over her being assertive and I think there needs to be more of a balance.

What do you think? Do you teach your kids to be assertive and demanding as well as to have good manners? Do you think it’s important to do at an early age? Do you think this is more important for our daughters or equally important for boys as well?

Do you feel guilty when you’re away from your kids?

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family, Uncategorized

3 Comments

A few weeks ago my husband, daughter and I moved from New York City to Boston. Our primary driver to move out of New York was the insane expense of living there and the nightmarish school situation. Our primary driver for moving to Boston was the fact that my and my husband’s parents live here, within 10 minutes from each other. We wanted to live closer to family and we thought that since we both work - and quite a lot - it would be a bit easier to juggle if we had a bit of help.

But here’s the kicker - because our parents are still fairly young, they all work, and so most of the help they can offer is on weekends. For the past two Saturdays my parents came in the morning to take our daughter to hang out with them for most of the day. She loves them, the look on their faces when they are with her is priceless, and my husband and I get a few hours to unpack (yes, we’re still unpacking three weeks after we’ve moved) and get the house organized. This time is the luxury we did not have in New York, but I feel really guilty that I am missing almost a full weekend day with my daughter. True, since we’ve moved and left our full-time nanny behind, I’ve seen her more than ever before and have juggled work around her schedule. But I still cringe with guilt when my parents drive away with her on Saturdays.

Do you ever take time away from your kids on weekends? Do you feel guilty when you do this since you work during the week?

It’s the thought that counts

Categories: Uncategorized

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(or last minute Father’s Day gifts you can make with your kids)

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday. You’ve got your presents wrapped and a cute card, made by your kids, ready to go. You rock.

Or you’re like most of us, still scrambling because this was a crazy week at work and end-of-year activities at your kid’s school are back to back, leaving you no time for much else. If your kids are young, you’re in luck - you still have time to make a cute gift together with them and it’s guaranteed to make dad smile on Sunday. (You can then order that book/gadget he really wanted and surprise him later, as a post-Father’s Day present.)

Here are two ideas for simple gifts you can make with your kids for dad in about 15 minutes:

Decorated Frame: Find a simple wooden frame at your local craft store (many drugstores also carry a selection of frames now.) Get some stickers to decorate (foam ones are great, but any will do) or if you’re really feeling creative, use dry pasta and glue it to the frame with regular Elmer’s glue. If you have a photo of your kids handy, put it in the frame - if not, take a photo together with dad on Father’s Day and then put it in the frame later.

Hand-print Card: Finger paints work really well for this, but pretty much any type of paint will do. Let your kids choose their favorite color and cover one of their hands with it (suggestion - use a brush or a sponge). Get a piece of construction paper, fold it in half, and let your kids imprint their hands on one of the sides. Decorate around it with stickers or let them go wild with crayons. Write a nice message inside and you’re set to go.

Do you have any to add to the list?

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