Archive for the ‘Sweet on Me’ Category

When Being The Breadwinner Single Mom Isn’t Enough to Pay the Bills   Leave a comment

Mark Twain once said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

There is a hidden unvoiced fear in every stay-at-home-moms’ heart – the ability to provide for her family if she ended up alone.  After years of being out of the job market, she would have her own set of challenges when seeking employment again.  So, I decided to talk about the financial challenges a single mom has to face being the breadwinner for her family in my latest book, Sweet On Me.

When the money isn’t enough and the bills are piling up, the alternatives may seem limited but there are other options:

  • Taking a pay cut in the beginning. She may have been out of the market for several years and re-entry at the same level of salary may not be possible. Working for less would help make getting a job easier. Some organizations even offer “returnship” programs which pay little or nothing but participants stand a higher opportunity of landing full-time positions.
  • Opting for different job roles or positions which may vary significantly from what she may be used to but have a higher likelihood of being obtained. Even if it is significantly out of her comfort zone, it still pays for the bills at the end of the day.
  • Going back to school in order to make herself more marketable, when her existing qualifications are insufficient in the current environment.
  • Not being afraid to seek help from friends and family. They may not have the means to help financially but they may be able to help with childcare or even a place to stay in times of need.

With a family to provide for, the single mom shouldn’t be forced to extremes from a lack of money … well at least, hopefully not like Ophelia in Sweet On Me 🙂

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Guilt is my steadfast motherhood companion   1 comment

Since embracing motherhood years ago, guilt has been my steadfast companion. No matter how much I think I’ve found the perfect solution – guilt has never left me.

Armed with my education and experience, my climb up the corporate ladder was rewarding yet disturbing with guilt constantly whispering in my ear about the time I wasn’t spending with my kids, the concerts I had missed, the times I didn’t make it home to tuck them in bed … The times I spent screaming at them to hurry in the mornings because I was late for a meeting, the weekends spent at the laptop instead of outside in the sun with them because I had a deadline to meet.

Sacrifice! I told myself. Career can take a back seat, I told myself. Stay at home, make them your priority, you don’t need to have it all. They need you. Money isn’t everything.

And now, after years of being home with them, I find myself a shadow of the independent woman I once was, dependent on my partner to support the family. Guilty because I don’t contribute financially to the family, guilty because I wasted all the years I invested in my education and my career, trying to be the best I could be …

Now guilt haunts me as I ask the children to study hard and do their best … What kind of example are you setting for your children? It asks me.

The choices have never been easy.

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Losing Top Talent Because Of An Unfriendly Work Environment   Leave a comment

Women account for over half of the management, professional and related occupations in the United States and yet, despite their own preferences and the investments they have made in their education and career, when the new baby arrives, only 64.2% of new mothers are likely to still be working within the first six years. Even though corporate figures such as Sheryl Sandberg strive to inspire working women to “lean-in” and pursue their careers, many organizations continue to find themselves in danger of losing their top talent as women choose to opt-out and leave their professional life altogether.

So, how can organizations retain top talent by cultivating a friendly work environment?
– Introduce flexible work hours. Empower her to choose where and when she spends her hours working as long as deliverables are met.
– Provide the infrastructure necessary to make it possible for new parents to work remotely – a laptop, access to the organization’s systems through the VPN (Virtual Private Network), and the ability to hold meetings via video or tele-conferencing.
– Make it easier for her to be in the office. Provide the facilities for her to express and store her milk safely so she can continue to nurse her child in the long run.
– Foster support groups for new parents within the organisation. Assign mentors through these support groups which can help the new parents adjust to the new phase of their lives.
– Ensure that corporate policies are family friendly through the advocacy of flexible work hours, granting parents the ability to use sick leave to care for children, paid maternity leave or even access to child-care benefits.
– Promoting solid opportunities for professional advancement and raises to make it worth their while (both as individuals and for their families) to continue working with the organization.

…Read more

Every woman has a right to choose   Leave a comment

“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Why I write so passionately …   Leave a comment

My child asked me today, “Why do you write, mommy?”

It’s been ten years since she was born and yet, I remember it almost as if it happened yesterday.

Would I have done some things differently? Probably.
Would I have changed a single thing about her? No, because I love her exactly the way she is.

“I write for you, my child. There are so many things I have learnt which I want to share with you and yet, I know now is not the time but I fear, tomorrow we may never find the right moment. One day, you will read what I have written and understand the journey that brought us here. Hopefully, you will take these learnings to make your life even better once you yourself become a woman.

This is my legacy to you.”

In the heat of the summer … “Heavy Cloud No Rain”   Leave a comment

31*C feels like 39*C …. yes, it feels as if we’re above 100*F. The forecast has been predicting thunderstorms for the past few days and although the clouds did roll in, raising our hopes for the briefest of moments, they soon left, leaving clear blue skies and the strong sun shinning in through my windows. Sitting in my living room (which could almost pass for a sauna) trying to write, I’m reminded of one of my favourite songs by Sting, “Heavy Cloud No Rain”. Ever heard this one?

“Heavy Cloud No Rain”

Turned on the weather man just after the news
I needed sweet rain to wash away my blues
He looked at the chart but he looked in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Back in the time with louis xvi
At the court of the people he was number one
He’d be the bluest blood they’d ever seen
When the king said hi to the guillotine
The royal astrologer was run out of breath
He thought that maybe the rain would postpone his death
He look in the sky but he look in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Well the land was cracking and the river was dry
All the crops were dying when they ought to be high
So to save his farm from the banker’s draft
The farmer took out a book on some old witchcraft
He made a spell and a potion on a midsummer’s night
He killed a brindled calf in the pale moonlight
He prayed to the sky but he prayed in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Heavy cloud but no rain

The sun won’t shine till the clouds are gone
The clouds won’t go till their work is done
And every morning you’ll hear me pray
If only it would rain today

I asked my baby if there’d be some way
She said she’d save her love for a rainy day
I look in the sky but i look in vain

Heavy cloud but no rain

—- Sting.

Source: Lyrics from eLyrics.net

Posted July 18, 2013 by Kathryn Michaels in Crazy For Milk, Sweet on Me

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The Price of Freedom for Independence from a Troubled Marriage   Leave a comment

Independence and freedom from troubled marriages comes at a high price.

After the Fourth of July BBQs are over and after the fireworks are gone, many Americans are thankful for the independence they have today but this may not extend to everyone. Many are still trapped in a troubled marriage and trying to reestablish their independence even though the price of freedom doesn’t come cheap.  

A recent analysis conducted by Pew Research Center shows that households with children headed by single parents have increased from eight percent in 1960 to 33 percent in 2011. The divorce rate has increased from 2.2 in 1960 to 3.6 in 2009 

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So what’s the price of freedom these single parents have paid? …Read more

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