Mojo Mom -- Amy Tiemann
Blog Post List
March 31, 2010
As someone who has worked with MomsRising.org for years to accomplish the goal of securing healthcare for all American kids, I am cheering the news that we have taken a step closer toward achieving health care for all. I could write as a Mom and share plenty of emotional stories, such as going to the playground when my family visited France, and being moved to tears by realizing how amazing it felt to know that all the kids playing there had health care. But in addition to being a motherhood writer, I am a publisher and entrepreneur. That influences my view on health care just as much as...
August 28, 2009
This week, our Triangle MomsRising group made office visits to speak with Senator Kay Hagan's staff and Congressman Brad Miller in Raleigh, NC. It was my first Senate office visit and I was blown away by the powerful stories that our members shared. It definitely made an impression on Senator Hagan's staff that many of us brought our kids along to the meeting. Just getting in the door through security was quite a task, but worth it, to make the point that our kids are their constituents, too. (I could not post photos here, but event organizer Jessica Burroughs has shared photos on the event...
May 1, 2008
I wanted to point you to Sue Shellenbarger's latest Wall Street Journal column, "How Stay-at-Home Moms Are Filling an Executive Niche." I participated in the project at UNC's Kenan-Flagler business school that Shellenbarger writes about as a win-win-win for the school, MBA students, and mothers who were recruited and trained to serve as managerial role players and assessors. The brief, intense experience allowed mothers to hone their work skills, step in to an executive role, and earn some income in a flexible work situation. I wrote more about this experience on my Mojo Mom blog. One of my colleagues called us the SWAT team -- Smart Women with Available Time -- and we were able to assemble on short notice to fill important teaching roles for the business school. It was a fascinating project and I hope this business news coverage will remind employers that mothers are a fantastic resource to call on.
April 11, 2008
Great news this week -- thanks to your hard work, New Jersey is poised to become the third state in the nation with paid family leave. The NJ State Senate passed the bill 21-15 after receiving over 63,000 (yes that's 63 THOUSAND) letters as part of a major MomsRising campaign. That's what I call "naptime activism" in action! Learn more about the campaign behind this success story here on MomsRising.org, and I also wrote about it on my Mojo Mom blog
November 27, 2007
This breaking news story from Charlotte, North Carolina has me truly outraged and ashamed of my home state: a Brazilian woman was jailed in Charlotte on Friday for immigration charges, and has been denied the opportunity to pump breast milk for her son, who is younger than two months old. You can imagine what it means for a breastfeeding infant and mother to be separated and needlessly denied the opportunity to at least pump her milk to be delivered to the baby. The Charlotte Observer reports that Danielle Ferreira's baby Samuel is "crying incessantly and keeps spitting up baby formula." I feel intensely angry about this situation, but rather than compounding that with helplessness, I am doing what I can to at least magnify the awareness of this situation. I have reached out to local advocates and my legislators. Now that you know, is there anything you can do to help?
August 27, 2007
Today on All Things Considered, NPR featured a moving piece about the two sides of Hurricane Katrina evacuees relocating in Houston. Some of the 90,000 people who have resettled in Houston are doing well; two years later, others have still not found security. Mothers in particular seem to be suffering. Lorenthia Richardson is a former nursing students and store manager who is sharing an apartment with three female relatives and their 14 children. NPR reporter Wade Goodwyn's summary of Richardson's situation caught my eye: "Richardson knows how to dress and act for the professional world. That's not her problem. Her problem is that she is a black, single mother from New Orleans. For two full years, Richardson has been unable to land a job, despite more than 50 separate attempts."
August 8, 2007
MomsRising has been on the forefront of the effort to remove lead from kids' toys. Read the MomsRising petition to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Following the latest Mattel/Fisher Price recall this issue is really heating up. How ironic is it that lead paint is banned, but the toys themselves can be made of lead? Today's episode of the Diane Rehm Show covered this issue in admirable depth. This show is an absolute must-listen and is available free online from WAMU radio's site, or as a free podcast from iTunes.
May 24, 2007
A number of new books have revived the conversation about the "opt-out" phenomenon of women leaving the workforce to focus on family caregiving, and their efforts to build "on-ramps" back to work. I appeared on The Today Show right before Mother's Day to discuss this issue, which has been relevant to my work as Mojo Mom. It was a challenge to get my message out on a large panel that included New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin, The Feminine Mistake author Leslie Bennetts, and psychologist Gail Saltz. I am proud to report that I accomplished my major goal of endorsing MomsRising.org on air. Watch the video I acknowledge that "Opting out" is a controversial topic, for good reason. Even among married mothers of preschoolers, the group we'd peg as prime "opt out" candidates, 70% are in the workforce. It has been argued that the minority of privileged women who take "off-ramps" receive a disproportionate share of the media spotlight. MomsRising is aware of this dynamic and is consciously striving to make our Open, Flexible Work platform widely applicable to all mothers. The quality of the opt-out discussion has been elevated by several recent books and articles that I'd like to recommend. [more]
May 14, 2007
The Today Show segment I appeared on this past Saturday flew by in an instant, but I was proud that I did get to mention MomsRising.org. Preparing for the segment gave me a chance revisit everything I've been reading and thinking over the past few years. I wrote a blog post today to pull it all together. I want to give credit to all the brilliant women who have been writing about motherhood. We are all busy working it out for ourselves as we go along and now we are gathering into a movement here at MomsRising. I do think there is a significant generational shift, which is what I write about in my blog post Cracking the Privilege Code. It was interesting to come away feeling that the path we are carving out is more radical than I had realized.
April 24, 2007
When I invite guests on "The Mojo Mom Podcast," I try to choose authors and newsmakers who would be interesting to MomsRising.org supporters. As far as I know, my show is the only podcast to focus on the intersection of motherhood, power, work and leadership. The next three episodes shows feature new interviews you won't want to miss, starting with this week's guest, Leslie Bennetts, author of "The Feminine Mistake." [continued...]
April 9, 2007
Leslie Bennetts' new book "The Feminine Mistake" has generated a lot of controversy and discussion. I expected to be the last person to defend her, as I was personally offended by Bennetts' overly critical characterization of stay-at-home Moms. She operates with a sledgehammer rather than a scalpel, but her core message is unmistakably important: A man is not a financial plan. Every woman needs to wake up to this reality. The cost of being caught without a personally-constructed safety net is a stiff penalty. I am not surprised that a book as polarizing as "The Feminine Mistake" has generated a lot of love-it-or-hate-it reactions, but I have been taken aback by the willful financial denial voiced in some of the Amazon.com reader reviews. A woman calling herself Starbaby says....
March 15, 2007
Today's New York Times features an important article: "Stop the Presses, Boys! Women claim space on Op-Ed Pages" profiles Catherine Orenstein, a writer and activist who teaches women the techniques of editorial opinion-piece writing. Orenstein says of editorial writing, "It's a teachable form. It's not like writing Hemingway. You show people the basics of a good argument, what constitutes good evidence, what's a news hook, what's the etiquette of a pitch." Many women are never taught these key structures and formulas, yet we need to learn them if our voices are to to be included in media coverage of all the key issues of the day. The Times feature shares enough of Orenstein's tips that you'll learn just from reading this piece.
March 6, 2007
MomsRising is a dynamic and growing community of mothers and allies working for significant social change. How can we enlarge this circle to bring in women who might not already consider themselves to be activists? My website MojoMom.com is partnering with MomsRising.org to create a new "on-ramp" for women who are just beginning to think about working for social change. Together we have created the new "Naptime Activist" Edition of the free Mojo Mom Party Kit . Getting together with friends to watch The Motherhood Manifesto documentary film is a perfect first step for women who want to learn more, do more, and join the community of people working to build a truly family-friendly America. You can read more about this partnership on my blog and hear my interview with MomsRising activists Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann on this week's episode of The Mojo Mom Podcast.
February 22, 2007
MomsRising.org received fantastic coverage today in The New York Times. The feature focused on MomsRising house parties to watch the DVD, a topic that is near and dear to my heart, as I will be encouraging all of my MojoMom.com readers host a party to watch The Motherhood Manifesto documentary in the near future. Let's work together to give this coverage "legs"--attention and longevity. If you are already a registered New York Times website user it is easy to do so. If you visit the article's web page, you will see the option to email it to friends through the Times' website. We should all send it to as many people as possible, both because it's a great story, and if it gets emailed enough, it will show up on the Times' home page in the list of Most Emailed Stories. As I am writing this, the article has just cracked the top 10 list! This will get even more people to read it. Read my full post for more thoughts on why I think MomsRising is such a valuable asset to the motherhood movement at large....
February 20, 2007
This morning I was writing a post "Little Princesses and Disillusioned Moms" on my Mojo Mom blog, commenting on a new Alternet article, "The Big Corporate Motherhood Conspiracy" by Janina Stajic. One of my points was to trace a line connecting the earliest princess fantasies we sell our daughters, to the marriage fantasies and motherhood fantasies we are sold every day as adult women. As I was writing this piece, I received an email from The Right Start marketing their "Think Pink Shop" with 70 pink products--"gifts to pamper your little princess." Just in case I needed a reminder about the powerful marketing machines that churn around us--gender stereoptying is alive and well and most definitely starts before birth!
January 4, 2007
Who ever decided that motherhood and politics should be kept separate? I find this very frustrating in Moms' groups. Many groups have stated policies that political views and discussions are not welcome within the confines of the organization. The mandate to be "nice" is holding us back. There seems to be a fear that it's more important to "all get along" than to allow an open dialogue. Mothers aren't going to get political power unless we act like we want it, and in fact demand it. That is why I am so drawn to MomsRising and "The Motherhood Manifesto." The facts are aired and the stage is been set for real discussion. Sure, we won't all agree, but as mothers there is a whole lot of common ground we can cover together.
December 10, 2006
If we want to understand the wage gap between mothers and others, we might need to start by looking at the way we treat our kids. A new University of Michigan study, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, reports that boys ages 10 to 18 are more likely than girls to be paid for doing housework, even though boys spend an average of 30% less time doing chores. According to the WSJ, Professor Frank Stafford, who headed the resrarch, speculates that "Boys may be handling more of the kinds of chores that are regarded as a job that should be paid, such as lawnmowing. Chores such as dishwashing or cooking, often regarded as routine and done free, may fall more often to girls."
December 1, 2006
Buried on page 10 of my morning newspaper was a brief article stating that the Labor Department is seeking public comment about the Family and Medical Leave Act, the federal law that grants eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for a newborn or sick family member, or because the worker herself has a serious health condition. My MomsRising radar was immediately activated! It is not immediately clear what the Bush administration has planned, but we should create an action to support the FMLA. As one of two main federal laws that grants any kind of family and medical leave, we need to speak up to support not only the FMLA but to insist on even stronger family leave laws.
November 20, 2006
In the wake of the Delta Airlines anti-nursing discrimination incident, I was very unhappy to learn today that we are about to lose one of our only public images of a nursing mother. The Sacagawea coin is going to be retired next year and replaced by conventional designs of U. S. Presidents. Does anyone else share my feeling that losing the Sacagawea dollar is a real shame--a cultural loss that we should raise a ruckus to defend?