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Gillibrand: Make Child Care Affordable and Take the Burden Off Working Parents

July 6, 2009
More parents than ever are balancing work and raising children. When I was growing up, just over one-third of mothers with young children worked outside the home. Today, it’s nearly two-thirds. The cost of quality child care is steadily increasing across New York. families across New York are paying approximately $10,400 per year for an infant, $9,100 per year for a toddler and $8,300 per year for a school aged child. As a working mother of two young sons, I understand the tough decisions these families face. That’s why I created a plan to make quality child care more affordable. First, I...
Kirsten Gillibrand's picture

What a Girl Wants: Mixed Messages in Twilight

June 20, 2009
When my daughters, now ages 22 and 25, were growing up, I knew better than to forbid them to do something. It’s the quickest way to make that forbidden activity all the more tempting. I find it interesting that Stephanie Meyer’s novel Twilight has an apple on its cover, the original forbidden fruit. Meyer’s four-novel series has captured the imaginations of the nation’s tween and teen girls, and, in many cases, their moms. It would be crazy for me to suggest we ask our daughters to not read the books or to not see the movies based on them. But I do want to suggest that we start being more...

In what universe are candy bars NOT junk food?

June 17, 2009
Which of the following is considered a junk food according to national school nutrition standards? A. Hi-C Blast - vitamin fortified sugar water B. Poland Springs seltzer water - water with bubbles C. French fries D. Candy Bars If you guessed A, C or D you'd be wrong. Believe it or not, seltzer water is the only item on this list banned as a junk food because it doesn't contain any vitamins or minerals. Yup, french fries, candy bars, and Hi-C aren't officially considered junk food. That's just crazy when you consider that children ages 6-11 are four times more likely to be obese than children...
joan's picture

Rescuing our kids from too much princess glitter and camo gear: TV

May 28, 2009
When I was a kid I wasn’t allowed to watch anything but PBS. I was completely out of the loop and constantly teased for my lameness. I will never do that to my kids! Kids loving TV is a reality for parents, and it can be a positive force. But a SurveyUSA poll of 1000 parents finds that more children are spending time with media at a much younger age and for much longer periods of time than what is recommended by experts. According to the survey, 62% of preschoolers spend two or more hours with media per day while 69% of children seven years or older spend two or more hours with media per day...

Are you working a "Second Shift"?

May 15, 2009
Does the Second Shift still apply? I’m re-reading Arlie Hochschild’s 1989 classic in preparing a syllabus for a course on 21st Century feminism. Hochschild’s findings were clear and familiar to many women: when they get home from work, many women with children work a “second shift” of domestic and child care responsibilities. Hochschild opens her book with the iconic advertising image of a together and perfect supermom with the “flying hair,” briefcase in one hand, baby in the other. She’s got it all down: work, home, marriage. Every woman Hochschild interviews knows that image, and most of...

My Day at a Legislator's Office

May 15, 2009
My name's Joan, and I live in Lynwood, CA. I've never visited a legislator's office before, but I decided to take the plunge when I got the email from MomsRising about bringing Lifesaver candies to a local member of the CA Assembly. I was a little nervous at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. My sons (ages 9 and 6) went with me to the office of Assemblymember Isadore Hall in Compton. We were scheduled to meet with Assemblymember Hall's Deputy District Director. Everyone there was very nice! (I figure that since politicians win or lose their jobs based on the approval of ordinary...

Would You Let Your Daughter Be a Green Beauty Queen?

May 13, 2009
I’ve never been a big fan of pageants. The social and gender implications are a bit disturbing to me. Add in the environmental and health impacts of conventional cosmetics and the textile and fashion industry and the whole event becomes antithetical to almost every value I hold dear. Needless to say, I haven’t been following the drama surrounding this year’s Miss USA pageant. Until today. And, I must admit, I learned some unexpected things. I know the media’s focus is on Miss California and whether or not she’ll keep her crown. But, I’d like to turn your focus to something completely...

Home visiting programs reduce child abuse in difficult times

April 28, 2009
Ruth Schubert, Children's Alliance The stress of a newborn baby can be difficult for any family. Poverty, youth, depression or isolation can make that stress overwhelming.

Ho Hos, Twinkies: Can we be healthier than children today?

April 24, 2009
Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Fritos! Given how many times my friends and I ate these goodies growing up, it is truly shocking to learn that today children ages 6-11 are four times more likely to be obese than children were a generation ago. [1] Four! What's going on!?
Donna's picture

Army Mom Shows Up for Duty with Kids -- A Stunt or Act of Necessity?

March 4, 2009
Lisa Pagan, a former active duty member of the Army and mother of two toddlers, was called up from the "ready reserves" to report for duty this week for possible deployment to Iraq. She told the Army that she had no one to care for her small children if she was sent overseas because of her husband's travel work schedule.