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Childhood obesity is the fastest growing health concern today. According to The National Institute of Medicine, since the 1970s, obesity rates have doubled for preschoolers aged two to five and for teens ages twelve to nineteen. Elementary school kids have it worse, with their obesity rate having tripled. Blame it on junk food, fast food, t.v., computers, Gameboys and a culture that glorifies couch potatohood. But at the same time we are raising chubby children, anorexia is also on the rise.
Dawn's picture
Introducing . . . Hi, I’m Miriam Peskowitz, and starting now, I’ll be blogging here at I’m the author of a book called The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother. I also write a blog of my own, Playground My dreams about motherhood, parenting, and families share quite a lot with those of Kristin and Joan and the whole team behind MomsRising and the Motherhood Manifesto. Like them, I see the big picture. I’m confident that political and cultural change could make family life and work easier.
Wunder Muther, Trendy Ma, Dancing Daddy-boy . . . everyday my post-office box fills with “cool parenting” books and magazines put out by mainstream publishers. They are memoirs and how-to-be-as-cool-as-me tomes; advice journals and fashion rags. Last month a radio interviewer congratulated me for starting this whole “movement” with my zine, Hip Mama. So, how come my reaction to seeing another pile of parenting lit is to roll my eyes? These parents need to grow up, I think.
Joan Williams (a leading expert on workplace law and part of the project) was featured last night on ABC News in a story on workplace discrimination against family caregivers. "Picking on Moms in the Workplace" described the difficulties parents face in balancing the needs of their children and their work obligations.
Up online now for all to read is Chapter 3 of the Motherhood Manifesto, "O: Open, Flexible Work Options." Then after you read Chapter O, share your thoughts with others on the MomsRising forum . Contrary to what some believe, flexible work options aren't a utopian ideal. In fact, many companies are finding that when they stop managing by the clock, and start managing by work results, as Best Buy did, they see better employee job performance, better employee retention, and lower training and recruitment costs. It can be a win-win situation for all.
Kristin's picture
Debate has been heating up again in DC over the federal minimum wage. Last week a proposed amendment in the Senate to raise the minimum wage from the current $5.15 to $7.25 failed to get 60 votes - but 52 Senators (including 8 Republicans) supported it. In the House, the Appropriations committee (breaking with the Republican leadership) attached a $2.10 hike in the rate to a major spending bill - but now that bill may not see a vote until after the elections.
The perverse thing about writing and organizing around work/family balance is that it has profoundly messed with my personal work/family balance. Traveling is something I try to avoid except for fun. That said, launching MomsRising is a big deal so, as the saying goes, rules are made to be broken and I’ve been traveling quite a bit of late. I was thrilled when after I spoke at the annual Theatre Communications Group conference in Atlanta, GA some mothers and other theater directors approached me with ideas for a theater project based upon The Motherhood Manifesto. Building awareness about these issues is no small challenge. It is going to require the creativity and passion of many to make these kitchen table issues hit the main stream radar so that we have the ability to organize and supporting real cultural and political change. At The Take Back America Conference “The Men’s Auxiliary” was proposed. Awesome!
joan's picture
Just wanted to check in with a quick update from the Take Back America Conference. We previewed the new MomsRising documentary last night to great reviews - and we'll look forward to distributing it through house parties this fall. This morning Senator Clinton spoke to the conference, and highlighted the MomsRising project and the need for family-friendly policies in her speech (see pg 6) - we were thrilled by her support and that she's working on several pieces of legislation that addresss the core goals of MomsRising (children's health care, minimum wage issues).
Last week MomsRising had a great time at the NetSquared conference . I participated in a lively panel on gender and social networking, and Joan was a big hit at one of the conference plenary sessions. Joan taped an interview that should be airing soon on Link TV - we'll update the broadcast schedule when we have it.
We just posted Chapter "M", about maternity/paternity leave, online. To read Chapter "M", click here. And, we opened a new forum so you can discuss these issues with others. Check out the forum here. Join us online. Read the chapter. Tell your maternity story. Hear others' stories. Pass it on!
Kristin's picture