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Herd feelings

June 2, 2010
Working mothers are not crackheads. Having children is not just another lifestyle choice. If we want to keep this little human experiment going, then we need a sizable chunk of the population to keep having children.
Katrina Alcorn's picture

A mother of a day

May 11, 2010
I can't think of a better way to say this. I had a truly crappy Mother's Day this year. I think Anna Jarvis would understand. Inspired by her own mother's life, she started a campaign in 1907 to recognize mothers for their contribution to society. She was successful in making Mother's Day a national holiday, but then spent the rest of her life fighting its commercial exploitation. She died in an asylum when she was 84. A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then...
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Paid Sick Days: Everyone But Us

May 7, 2010
Earlier this year, the nation of Kuwait passed a law ensuring paid leave to all workers in their country, even in their first year of work. In passing this basic, common-sense legislation, Kuwait joined a community of 145 other nations – including 19 of the top 20 most economically competitive countries in the world – that guarantee some form of paid sick days to workers. Who is left out of this group? The United States of America. Just as we share with Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland the dubious distinction of being the only countries to the world to offer women no paid maternity...

If you give a mouse a Prozac...

April 9, 2010
For six years, I "balanced" a demanding job, a commute, and raising young children. All things considered, I thought I was managing really well until just before my last child turned one year old. Then, the stress and exhaustion I'd been holding at bay engulfed me. I could barely get out of bed, or eat, or think.
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Champion Real Workplace Flexibility

April 6, 2010
The White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility has generated an energetic buzz in work family advocacy circles across the nation. As a longtime advocate for family friendly workplaces, I am thrilled by First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama's keen interest and commitment to build and promote flexible workplaces. I also commend the many businesses that are genuinely trying to create workplaces that reflect the current needs of America's working families. But I am cautiously optimistic. For, I am also aware of the many "fake flex" policies that force workers to "flex" their lives...

Pay Equity and Sick Leave

April 5, 2010
Re-posted from Working Mother Magazine's Blog (see link at bottom) National Pay Equity Day will be held on April 20, 2010. While paid sick days are important for all workers, this benefit is even more important to working women and working mothers who typically are the main caregivers of their families while also being most deeply affected by pay inequity. Currently, women in the United States typically make only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. In Connecticut, that number is even lower at 76 cents. Earning 20 to 30 cents less for every dollar a man makes may not seem like much but over...
Michelle Noehren's picture

Michelle Obama: "It doesn't have to be this way"

April 2, 2010
"Many folks don't have access to any kind of family leave policies whatsoever, no flexible working arrangements, many people don't even have a paid sick day. So they are struggling…scrambling to make things work…As we all know, here today, it just doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to be that hard…" Sound familiar? No, it's not a quote from last week's email from MomsRising; it's First Lady Michelle Obama talking yesterday at a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. Yes! Brava! The policies that she lists in her speech are exactly what we all need to meet the demands of today's...

Sick from Child Care?

March 11, 2010
When Ashley's son started going to child care, he started bringing home more than macaroni art and cute little scribble pictures. He also brought home colds, the flu, pink eye, and a weird unidentifiable rash -- all things that meant Ashley needed to miss work to care for him. "I didn't realize that child care was such a petri dish! It's pretty ironic that my son goes to child care so I can work, but then he gets sick so often and I have to stay home with him anyhow (and then I get sick too)." Ashley explains. "It all starts with just one sick kid. I know that sick kids are coming to child...

Time to Stop Free-Riding on Families

February 10, 2010
For generations, our country has been free-riding on families. Our economy is built on the invisible and free labor of millions--many of them women--who provide essential care to their families, whether it is the education and socialization of the next generation of workers or the comfort and care of the elderly. We have taken for granted that women will shoulder the lion's share of unpaid care work, even as they dedicate increasingly more hours to paid work. Although 70% of children are growing up in families headed by either a single working parent or two working parents, our workplace...
Phoebe Taubman's picture

Wake Up! This Is the Reality of Work/Life for American Families

January 21, 2010
We work long hours. We work multiple jobs. We can barely afford healthcare, or we’re doing without. We’re stitching together childcare, or we’re sending our kids to school with H1N1. We exert ourselves to be good spouses, sons and daughters, parents, members of our community, friends - in snatched moments from being good but insecure employees. And while we may talk amongst ourselves about hard it is to manage it all, perhaps we feel that this is just life and try to muddle through as best we can, on our own… …leaving the professional media to define the outlines of America’s work/life story...
Gloria Pan's picture

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