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Motherhood's Enlightment

November 10, 2009
As a mother, I have felt the burden and struggle of raising a family, pursuing a career and making ends meet for a very long time. I am not alone. As a nation we must step down off our “family values” soapbox; listen to mothers; and get real about creating and enforcing sustainable and effective policies that support the importance of the family unit. Then and only then will true enlightenment be attained.

Paycheck Jobs, Paycheck Feminism

October 30, 2009
I’ve been on a one-woman campaign to resurrect the phrase, paycheck job , used by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique forty years ago. Friedan was referring, of course, to jobs outside the home for which people receive money. She recognized that the unpaid job of caring for children and home was also “work”—as do most people today. But by placing the adjective “paycheck” in front of “job,” she implicitly elevated the status of stay-at-home mothers’ (and fathers’) equally important job. Words have power. Now Karen Kornbluh and Rachel Homer write in Ms. Magazine that we need “Paycheck...
Nanette Fondas's picture

Follow Valerie Jarrett's Lead this Halloween

October 30, 2009
Why is it so hard to tell our bosses we have to leave for family reasons? What if all the dads where we worked did it more often? Leaders like Valerie Jarrett show that being committed to your kids and your job are not mutually exclusive -- and employers win when they recognize that. Maria Shriver's report A Women's Nation offers fresh ideas for opening up more common-sense conversation - like adopting UK "right to request" rules that allow parents to get some control over their hours and still produce great results for their employers.
Sharon Meers's picture

What Should Companies Do to Retain New Moms?

October 30, 2009
I was at the Working Mother Work Life Congress this week, which showcases the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers and also provides workshops and discussions for people who work in the field unfortunately called “work life.” Companies were asking: What should we do to retain new moms, and to keep them engaged and energized? I’m throwing it out there to you, because the numbers speak to a huge need to keep us. Sharon Klun from Accenture noted that the touch point for women is three for five months after they return from maternity leave. That’s when women are often in crisis, thinking, maybe...

Early education our kids deserve, in 140 characters or less

October 23, 2009
Earlier this week, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid was photographed wearing his MomsRising pacifier pin—evidence of exactly how powerful moms can be. When enough women come together and make their collective voices heard, politicians will listen. With so much at stake for women, families and children on the national and state levels, we in California are also trying to get the attention of policymakers. As part of Preschool California’s advocacy work, we know we must reach out not only to the policymakers here today, but also to those who will be in office tomorrow. That’s why we’re engaged...

Who Loves Working Women More? Playing the New Political Football in Virginia

October 15, 2009
Well, here we go again. Virginia seems to be stuck rehashing the culture wars of the 1980's in their Governor's race, but with a new twist. Instead of one side demonizing working women, both sides are loving us up (although one could argue at times it's still a bit patronizing). Seems that Republican candidate Bob McDonnell said some unfortunate things in his 1989 graduate thesis , including calling working women "materialistic" and this gem opposing tax credits for child care: "Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is...

Sex, Love and Labor Statistics

September 28, 2009
On NPR this week, I was asked if there’s any good in the new statistics showing that women now outnumber men in the work force. Maybe. If it lets us embrace women as breadwinners, I said, that would be healthy. Even healthier: If men do their part at home and free women to keep the kinds of jobs that pay well. Listen But, like many things, this all comes down to love and sex. Some people get uneasy when women make more money and men do more childcare. Why is that? I’m guessing it’s the same reason that, until we wrote our book, I’d never heard these two facts: 1) Growing your earnings power...
Sharon Meers's picture

Part-time Lover

September 16, 2009
“Are you a stay-at-home mom?” It’s a common question when I’m at the local playground with my two kids, yet I’m finding my answer to be more uncommon than I ever expected.

Affordable, quality preschool and childcare---yes please!

September 15, 2009
In a moment of maternal defeat, I decided that my son's future wife will just have to deal with his attachment to pacifiers. Yes, we all have our early challenges. And some, like affordable quality preschool and childcare, are bigger than others. So, it's music to my ears that Congress just introduced the new Early Learning Challenge Fund to Address some key early learning challenges.
Sarah Francis's picture

A mom and an advocate for high quality preschool

September 15, 2009
As an advocate, I want to see the millions of vulnerable children realize their potential. As a mom, I want my son and daughter to grow up with other kids who share their love of learning. By raising the quality of our nation’s early childhood education programs and increasing access to them, we can fundamentally change not only our children’s future, but our nation’s as well.

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