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Elisa Batista's picture

Cross-posted at MotherTalkers.

Glad to see we have a first lady focused on the plight of working families.

In a recent speech before corporate executives, Michelle Obama addressed the internal conflict faced by many working parents trying to have it all -- or simply make ends meet -- and why family-friendly practices in the workplace make good business sense. From the Washington Post:

"During her 10-minute speech, Obama advocated for sick leave for parents, flexible work hours for employees and on-site child care, which she said 'is something that keeps many of us up at night....You're just wondering where are we going to put our children where we feel like that they're being safe, that they're safe and being loved. That will relieve many of the stresses that parents feel on the job throughout the day.'

Obama said she personally knows the challenges of balancing work and family 'trying to do a good job at both -- and always feeling like you're not quite living up to either -- and trying not to pit one against the other, really trying to balance.'

She called herself someone who strives to do more than 100 percent at work. 'If people here are like me -- I call myself a 120-percenter. If I'm not doing any job at 120 percent, I think I'm failing. So if you're trying to do that at home and at work, you find it very difficult and stressful and frustrating.'"

Obama said she found that giving her own employees flexibility actually increased their productivity.

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