Archive for the ‘working mom’ 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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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.

Crazy For Milk – A working mom and her struggle   Leave a comment

It was past midnight and I had finished putting away all the dishes.  Everyone else was fast asleep and I was exhausted.  Growing up, when I was a little girl playing with dolls and toy cooking sets, it was all fun and games.  Later as a young adult, it was jokes and banter over the horror stories.  It never struck me that as a mother, a wife, I would be this tired and this lost.

It was now coming to the end of the fourth month since Emma was born.  Every morning, I dragged myself out of bed before the sun rose to breastfeed the sleepy little Emma and express as much milk as I could before work.  It was stressful, trying to get my breast pump sterilized, all the apparatus packed so I could express at work and Emma changed before I dropped her at the daycare.  I was going insane, rushing every morning in order to make it to work before eight thirty.

At work, I struggled as my body wreaked havoc on me.  Late morning meetings that dragged on to lunch time were the worst because by that time, I was literally dying to express and having massive let downs in my nursing pads.  It became nearly impossible to concentrate on whatever was being discussed during those times.

Just last week, I had not positioned my nursing pad properly and the milk had soaked through to my shirt.  It was bad enough having my now enhanced curves and cleavage scanned by the older, more lecherous males in the office whilst trying to pretend I didn’t notice or care.  But that was the worse day — those same men were watching the stain spread on my white shirt as I tried to pretend that there was nothing wrong.  Days like that, I really regretted waking up in the morning and going to work.

To make matters worse, my milk supply was dwindling whilst Emma’s demand for milk was increasing.  I wasn’t able to express as much at work anymore.  I used to be able to express at least eighteen ounces a day my first week back at work, but now after ten weeks, that had dropped by one-third and I was perpetually worried Emma wouldn’t have enough breast milk to see her through until her first birthday.  I really wanted to try and fully breastfeed Emma for the first year of her life.

I was fully engorged in the evenings by the time I picked Emma up from daycare — feeding her was a relief although I had to hold off feeding her when I got home until my breast pump was sterilized.  I needed to catch any excess milk that dripped out uncontrollably from the other side while she was feeding.  Every drop had become extra precious to me and I couldn’t afford to lose a single one now.

To read more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Milk-lactation-confessions-struggling/dp/0991819403

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