The Need for Increased Public Funding for Early Childhood Care

Jan 20, 2015 by

There was a great article that recently printed in the NY Times, entitled, “Why U.S. Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind.”

In the article, the author points out that the percentage of US women ages 25-54 (presumably the age during which women would have children at home) that are employed fell from 74% in 2000 to 69% in 2013. The author calls out the fact that there are a lack of family friendly policies in the US that provide working moms with the flexibility to balance work-life priorities in a way that is both satisfying to them, and meet their families’ needs. In particular, she highlights the correlation between paid family leave and maternal employment rates, a topic that CTWM Founder Michelle Noehren is especially passionate about.

My Kindergarten Dilemma

Jan 12, 2015 by

A few months ago, I wrote about the decision I was facing on whether to send my twins to Kindergarten next year – they will be 5 in late fall and according to Connecticut standards, they are eligible to go to public school in September. Up until recently, I was adamant that I wanted to hold them back. I’m pretty sure I still do, only because my position at the time was based on a few things that have not changed: 1) my kids would be young for their school year; 2) my kids would be SMALL for their age (they always will be), which may not be a huge deal now but will become one when they hit puberty.

Inspiration for Inspiration – A Spouse’s Perspective on Moms

Jan 5, 2015 by

wheresmom

I once had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me that many moms don’t give their husbands/spouses credit for understanding how tough the job of being a mom is. He told me that contrary to what many moms believe, most husbands/spouses have an immensely deep respect for what their wives do as moms, and admitted that part of the problem is that many spouses have never really told their wives, out loud, how they really feel. And so, I thought I would try an experiment – I wanted to give my friends a chance to voice how they feel about their wives/spouses. To do so, I posted the following call out on my Facebook wall:

Dads [later clarified as anyone who is connected to a mom with a child in common], I would love it if you answered this for me via private message: “My wife, in her role as a mom, inspires me because/by [fill in the blank].”

Christmas, Unplugged

Dec 29, 2014 by

cell

Credit: Vivian CTWM

A curious thing happened this Christmas holiday – I unplugged my work for the first time in my career. I recently switched jobs and while I am already knee-deep in the work that I am doing, I made a vow even before I started that I was going to completely unplug this Christmas and enjoy the time with my little kids.

On the Friday before Christmas week (12/19), I told my team and my boss that I wasn’t planning to check email throughout the week. I told them that if there was an emergency of any kind, that they could call me but otherwise, don’t expect to hear from me. Even before this, I told my new team that my working style is such that I will never disturb them during their time off (vacations or weekends) unless I REALLY need something. I told them that while I do check my emails on the weekends, I only check once a day at the very end of the day (the truth is that I do check more frequently, but I usually do not respond until Sunday night or Monday morning). I am a firm believer that the tone of a work culture comes down from the top, and I know that if I check and respond to email on Saturdays and Sundays, my team will feel compelled to do so as well.

Making a Difference without Making a Dent

Dec 15, 2014 by

I belong to a social group for working moms in Wilton – we recently collected money for our local Social Services agency to help families in need during the holiday season. Through our efforts, we managed to collect $1,300 in addition to purchasing several holiday gifts to help fulfill some kids’ holiday wishlists.

In discussing the efforts, an acquaintance questioned how far $1,300 would go in a town like Wilton only because around here, the cost of living tends to be high. Basics are expensive, the cost of gasoline is higher than most parts of the country, and the large homes are expensive to heat. True, when you look at it that way, $1,300 doesn’t sound like a lot, and many people might opt out of donating because they feel like their contribution may not be impactful. In reality, however, EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR counts. Consider the following: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does not cover personal products (soaps, shampoo, feminine hygiene, grooming items and cosmetics), paper products, medicines, vitamins or household supplies. Families who depend on SNAP to get by would be required to pay for the items out-of-pocket, and most items can hardly be considered “luxuries.” If I pulled prices out of our local supermarket circular and discount department store:

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