Archive for the ‘relationships’ Tag

The Unexpected Intersection Between Motherhood and Womanhood   Leave a comment

“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow, too.  Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality, especially while you struggle to keep your own ~ Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons”

It is never easy … balancing between:

  • the family and self
  • career and home
  • the partner and the kids
  • time and money

And yet, despite it all … we should never give up.

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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 🙂

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 honour 2013 World Breastfeeding Week, download a complimentary copy of “Crazy For Milk”   Leave a comment

Most mothers bring their bundle of joy into the world with the expectation of being able to breastfeed their infant and indeed, many succeed after delivery. Approximately 76.5% of women in the United States successfully breastfeed their child at birth. However, some are unable to continue as time goes by. The rate drops to 49% at 6 months. According to a survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, only 16.4% of new mothers are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months.

In honor of the 2013 World Breastfeeding Week, download a complimentary copy of “Crazy For Milkhere and take a peek at the non-textbook realities of motherhood.

My gift to all soon-to-be moms.

Breastfeeding Boost Possible After Royal Birth   Leave a comment

Could the example set by the Duchess of Cambridge with the Royal Baby help reduce the stigma of breastfeeding and lessen the number of mothers who give up nursing shortly after leaving the hospital? How important is it for public figures to set the tone?

The Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly successfully breastfeeding newborn Prince George after a shaky start, following recent traditions set by Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. The efforts of public figures in setting the example are an ongoing source of inspiration for new mothers to persevere with their own efforts of nursing, especially when for centuries in the past, royal babies were traditionally handed over to wet nurses soon after birth.

US breastfeeding rates
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. But the latest data showed only 47.2% of moms were still nursing their babies at 6 months and only 25.5% at 12 months.

Despite the numerous benefits, many new mothers give up nursing due to the stigma of breastfeeding – their fear of being able to nurse their babies discreetly in public; their reluctance to deal with society’s perception that breastfeeding in public is inappropriate despite the many laws passed in the United States that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place, public or private, as long as she’s authorised to be there; or the lack of support from their employer to enable them to express their milk while at work.

So, how can every mom be expected to continue nursing her child when she is confronted with this stigma at every turn? …Read more

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