Squash Your Working Mum Guilt with These 5 Points

Squash Your Working Mom Guilt with These 5 Points

Being a working woman and a mom is never easy. Deciding to be a working woman comes clouded with guilt and with time, you begin wondering if the decision you made was practical and not selfish. Most mothers worry about missing their children’s milestones, ensuring the safety of their kids, giving food on time, or missing an emotional connection with their children.

Furthermore, working moms have to deal with long working hours, terrible bosses, and deadlines that have to be met. All these can drive you on a guilt trip. However, the good news is that you don’t have to beat yourself about it.

Here are some five points to help you squash your working mum guilt.

  1. Plan Ahead

It’s easy to wake up and get caught up in the daily routine of waking the kids up, prepping breakfast for everybody, packing lunch, and ensuring that everybody is up and ready. By the time you’re leaving the house, everything seems messy, and you can’t seem to fully concentrate at work.

The best way to prevent this stress is to plan. Ensure that everything is prepared the night before including what you intend to make for breakfast and the uniform your kids need to wear. With time, you’ll notice how positive and energized you are for the day.

  1. Take Time Out to Spend with Your Children

Life sometimes gets so busy such that we forget that children are a priority, Take an off and spend the day with your children to get rid of mommy guilt. A break will help you reconnect with your children’ personality, appetite, and daily schedules.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations

It’s practically impossible to take part in every activity your children are involved in. It’s easy to beat yourself up about things you should have done but simply didn’t have time. Nonetheless, remember that you are a human being and you can’t physically do it all. Set realistic expectations for your role and allow for real life to happen.

  1. Remember that Challenges will always be Present

When you’re debating on whether to work or stay at home with the kids, remember that every role has its challenges. Stay at home moms find it difficult to get time to rest or take a shower especially when one has toddlers. Remind yourself that every mother has her challenges and you’re doing the best you can.

  1. Avoid People Who Cause You Guilt

Relatives and friends can make your life difficult by insisting that you should be a stay at home mom. None of these people should influence your decision. Find a way to avoid these people.

As a woman, taking time out and appreciating yourself as a working mum is essential. Follow the above tips to avoid the working mum guilt.

The Benefits Working Moms are Getting From Top Employers

When it comes to supporting working parents, the United States is still falling far behind other nations. Even under new legislation, new mothers are still only entitled to less than three weeks of paid leave following delivery; as for paid paternity leave, the U.S. is the only wealthy country that doesn’t offer it at all to new fathers. At Facebook, employees are offered up to four months of paid parental leave following the birth of a child, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg made waves in 2015 when he announced he would be taking two full months of paid paternity leave, unheard of in the American work force.

From a global perspective, we’re miles behind where we ought to be; however, tech companies are now working to bridge that gap and offer more parental leave for new parents. Working Mother has recently released their 32nd-annual list of the top 100 companies with the best benefits, and the results are telling.

The support that’s being offered to working parents now extends far beyond initial post-delivery care and is helping parents, especially those in high-pressure jobs, manage both their family life and their work life. Several companies at the forefront of the top 100 are offering additional services including support for parents with autism (88% of the top 100), gradually letting new mothers phase back into work (70%), college coaching for high schoolers (63%), and even support for homework (25%).

Companies are also offering more resources to parents for childcare. 92% of the top 100 offer daycare and backup care options or compensation for them during busy times like summer and school holidays.

The most competitive companies are looking for highly skilled employees and, in order to attract them, offering great benefits that extend to not only the employee but their family as well. Subha Barry, senior vice president & managing director of Working Mother Media, discussed how delving deeper and identifying parental needs that extend beyond initial maternity/paternity leave. She notes that businesses are now acknowledging the value of employee retention and are adopting the mindset: “I will pay more, have less in my bottom line, but I will keep my employees.”

The change is also elicited, in part, by the demands of highly skilled millennials. In 2017, approximately a third of companies in the United States expanded their benefit offerings, citing the ‘war for talent’ as the primary factor, according to the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management.

Why Mothers Make Better Entrepreneurs

People often talk about how difficult it is to start and run your own business. Entrepreneurs work long, hard hours, often for little recognition. They need to be able to multi-task and juggle numerous projects at once as they build their business and help it grow. Do you know who else does all of that on a daily basis? Mothers.

Mothers make excellent entrepreneurs, and this is more than just an opinion. The Kauffman Foundation released studies that show that venture-backed businesses with a woman in charge create 12% more revenue and are more resilient to market and financial crises. The skills that are necessary in entrepreneurship are many of the same ones crucial for successfully navigating motherhood: just take a look for yourself.

Mothers know how to prioritize

When you’re trying to coordinate the educational and extracurricular calendars of three children who are all involved in different activities on top of finding time to cook, clean, and have a whole professional career to boot, you need to learn which things to prioritize and which ones can be put off until later.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Juggling responsibilities is like spinning plates; some plates, the important ones like family, health, loved ones, and self-care, are delicate and need the most attention to make sure they don’t break. Then, from there, you prioritize down and eliminate or delegate whichever tasks you won’t have time for. And speaking of delegation…

Mothers know how to delegate

Any mother will tell you that if you try taking on too much at once you’ll end up with more of a mess on your hands than when you started, which is why delegation is such a crucial skill to have in your arsenal. Things like assigning chores and having children take on some responsibility around the house can go a long way in the vein of helping you stay organized and making sure everything gets done.

Mothers know how to inspire a team and motivate others

By default, mothers are constantly in ‘sales’ mode. Whether it’s trying to convince a messy toddler that they want to take a bath or convincing your teenager that they need to go to school, you’re put in the position of salesperson quite often. When it comes time to sell your clients on signing a contract or convince them to stay with your business, you’ve already got the experience you need to help you navigate your pitch effectively.

How Working Moms Drive The Economy

There are many economic trends occurring. One of these trends making a great impact on the economy today is the number of women in the workforce. In fact, the percentage of women who were of working age and have full-time jobs went from 28.6 percent to 40.7 percent since 1979. With mothers, the percentage has gone from 27.3 percent to 44.1 percent. Also, women are not only working, but they are holding positions with great responsibility like CEO and other board positions. The reports where these statistics also found that had women’s involvement in the workforce stayed the same, it would have caused the economy to decrease by 11 percent which would have been about 1.7 trillion dollars lost in economic output. Due to these changes in our society, we see that working mothers are becoming a crucial piece in our economy.

 

In their own families, mothers contribute to nearly forty percent to the household’s income, and with poorer families, this number increases to eighty-six percent of the total income. This statistic can be due to women’s presence in the workforce vastly increasing as the years go by. This shows that women’s wages have been sustaining family incomes because the incomes of men have stagnated. In fact, men’s median income was seven percent lower in 2013 than it was in 1973. It seems that families are doing better when the mother is working. The median income of married-couple families where the mother is in the labor force has increased by twenty-seven percent between 1987 and 2013. When the woman was the head of the household during that same period, the median income of those families increased by about seventeen percent. The benefits this exposes is clear when comparing to the five percent decline in median income that married-couple families faced when the mother stayed at home.  

 

It is good to know that in the United States, this change is gaining more traction, especially when comparing it to a country like Japan. According to the International Monetary Fund, due to its failure to integrate women into the workforce, they have been unable to escape their economic slump. Now, there is still much work to be done. The Center for American Progress says that if more women worked, the US could be stronger. Currently, about one-third of all women and one-quarter of all mothers do not work. There are many structural reasons for this, but with all the data that shows how beneficial women in the workforce boost our economy hopefully, there is a change in this dynamic. With the implementation of a strong parental leave policy that would allow women paid time off after having children, it could influence more women to not only join the workforce but stay as well.

A Fine Tuned Work-Life Balance Helps Working Mothers Immensely

The task of raising children while also maintaining a work-life balance requires some coordination and planning. When both parents are working on building careers while also splitting parenting responsibilities, a work-life balance is incredibly important to make sure that you aren’t letting the most important plates fall while you’re busy spinning the less important ones.

Fine Tuning:

Let’s say you’re looking at your schedule for the coming week and you notice on Thursday that you have to stay late for a meeting, your one child has soccer practice, your other has piano lessons, and your partner is leaving for a business trip later that night. Are you going to just ‘wing it’ and assume that things will fall into place, or will take the time to plan out the evening so things can run smoothly?

There is always an element of fine tuning to maintain that balance between professional and domestic lifestyle; this helps to keep things from falling apart in moments when your schedules are tight and detailed planning is necessary for a smooth execution.

Plan out meals ahead of time.

Each weekend, plan out your dinners for the week and prepare anything that you can ahead of time.

Make double dinners.

If you’re cooking a recipe that can easily be frozen, reheated later, and served again, make a double batch of whatever it is and freeze half for another time. This way you get double the cooking done at once while using half the time.

Make a list and shop once a week.

A lot of time is wasted running to and from the store every time you need to grab something. Free up your schedule a bit by making a list of all of the things that you need to get at the store and do one big trip all at once to get everything. The twenty minutes here and twenty minutes there that you spend running to places adds up to time that would be better spent doing other things.

Don’t forget the ABC rule.

The ABC rule – Always Be Cleaning – can save you a LOT of time in the long run when you simply straighten up as you go. Embrace this idea wholeheartedly  and instill it in the rest of your family, teaching them to pick up after themselves so you don’t have to take a 2 hour chunk out of your day to do all of the cleaning.

Powerful Female Executives

Rising to the top is never an easy feat, especially for women in large corporations. This can be exemplified by the fact that there are only 21 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list. In spite of their small numbers, these women are forces to be reckoned with. Take the opportunity to get to know four of the most powerful female executives:

1. Mary Barra

In 1980, Mary Barra joined the General Motors team as a co-op student. Over the past 37 years, Barra rose through the ranks of the company, becoming the VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering, VP of Global Human Resources, Executive VP of Global Product Development, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, and finally CEO in 2014. In addition, she was named the chairperson of GM in January 2016. Barra is also known for being a major investor in the ride-sharing company Lyft.

2. Indra K. Nooyi

With an extensive background in consulting and executive experience, Indra K. Nooyi began her career with Pepsi Co. in 1994 as their Senior VP of Strategic Planning. Nooyi quickly rose through the ranks, accepting the position of President and CFO in 2001. In October 2006, Nooyi was named the President and CEO of Pepsi Co., and the chairperson of the board just seven months later. Under her leadership, Pepsi Co. began the Performance with Purpose initiative, a promise to do what is right for the business by doing what is right for the people and the planet. Additionally, Pepsi Co. has gone on to acquire several healthier brands, including Quaker Oats and Gatorade.

3. Irene Rosenfeld

Upon completing her education at Cornell University, Irene Rosenfeld began her career in advertising, eventually moving into a consumer research role with General Foods. Soon after, she found herself advancing to leadership roles within the company. From 1981 to 2003, Rosenfeld served as President of North American Businesses at Kraft Foods North America. Rosenfeld then served as Chairperson and CEO of Frito-Lay and CEO of Kraft Foods. When Kraft split from its principal company, Mondelez International, in 2011, Rosenfeld remained with Mondelez and was named CEO.

4. Sheryl Sandberg

After receiving her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Sheryl Sandberg began her career as the Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton, a position in which she served from 1995 to 2001. Leaving her government job behind, Sandberg set her sights on the Silicon Valley and becoming a part of the tech boom that was occurring at that time. Sandberg then served as VP of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google Inc., from 2001 to 2008. Upon leaving Google, Sandberg joined the Facebook team as their Chief Operating Officer and has remained in that role ever since.

Top Global Places to Travel with Children

Don’t Put the Passports Away Because Your Family is Growing

Young couples are encouraged to travel the world before starting a family, with claims of the experiences become harder to enjoy with children in tow. By no means should the excitement of traveling to a new location come to halt once a family begins to grow. If your family is wanderlust, here are 7 locations around the world, suitable to entertain everyone!

  1. Costa Rica

Not only will the beauty of this country take everyone’s breath away, but the opportunity for adventure will create lifelong memories. Throughout the country, locals encourage visitors to embrace the “Pura Vida” lifestyle, translated to “pure life.” As seen in the natural roads, rainforests, and beaches, Costa Ricans have maintained a “pure life” for the world to enjoy. With endless outdoor activities, including; zip lining, whitewater rafting, and volcano hiking, families with children of all ages can be sure that fun is on the way!

  1. South Africa

Travel with Kids names South Africa their second most recommended destination for young families wanting to explore the world. From traditional African excursions, of elephant rides and safari trips, to engaging in modern city living, South Africa gives travelers a wide range of endeavors to choose from. A great deal of history can be found in the heart of South Africa’s heritage, with the likes of the Nelson Mandela story and the towns of Johannesburg and Capetown.

  1. United Kingdom

A country the size of Alabama, the UK has an immense itinerary for those traveling with children. With the ability to easily travel city to city via train or car (if you’re adventurous enough to try the left side of the road), the possibilities are endless! An obligatory stop in London for tea with the Queen can be made, but other must-dos include; catching a high energy soccer match, Harry Potter studio tours, and drives around the British countryside taking in the gorgeous views.

  1. Vietnam

Another country which is easily traveled through entirety by train creates an explosion of color and culture for all to immerse in. Once arriving in Vietnam, all accommodations and trip enhancements (food, excursions, clothing, etc.) are easy on the bank account. With a rapidly growing urban capital of Saigon and miles of beaches in Nha Trang, the exploration options are limitless. A warm climate year round makes Vietnam an ideal trip in the harsh winter months!

  1. Iceland

Having gained a great deal of tourism and attraction over the past few years, Iceland is quickly becoming a favorite destination for people are around the world.  Their famous thermal hot springs have developed into extremely kid-friendly tourist stops, featuring slides and children specific pools according to Escape Here. Known as one of the safest cities in the world, Reykjavik, Iceland residents have even been known to leave their children in strollers outsides of stores while they venture in for some shopping.

  1. Turks and Caicos

Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life can count on this cluster of Caribbean islands to help unwind. With a variety of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, parents have the options to give their children (and themselves) freedom, by sending them to the resort’s “kid’s club”, packed with all day action and adventure. Many of the island’s resorts include a wide range of on-site excursions and food options, giving any vacation a fully booked schedule.

  1. U.S. National Parks

For those who aren’t frequent flyers or don’t want to mess around with foreign currency, a road trip around the beautiful U.S. National Parks still gives families photo opportunities and memories to last a lifetime. Fortunately, some of the greatest wonders of our country can be traveled between in a day or so by car. A family with children of various ages, could easily hop in a minivan, or rent an RV to drive to see Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, and Yosemite, over the course of a week. Not only will the photos from these wonders be a forever keepsake, but also can include action-packed activities such as hiking, kayaking, and even helicopter rides around the parks!

 

Things to Pack When Traveling with Children

Traveling is one of the single most liberating and fulfilling things that you can do with your time, but traveling with children presents a whole host of obstacles that you need to take into consideration. When you’re traveling with adults, in most cases everyone is able to fend for themselves, but bringing your children into the picture means you’re responsible for both your own wellbeing as well as theirs. Make things easier for yourself and your family by packing these essentials every time you’re traveling with your children.

  • Infants/Toddlers
    • Formula/breast pumps
      • Unlike adults on vacation, gas station snacks and fast food just won’t cut it when it comes to feeding your baby. Babies need to eat, and they need to eat often, so you need to be prepared for trips that are going to take longer than an hour or two.
    • Diapers
      • You need to stop regularly for bathroom breaks when traveling, and your toddler does, too. That’s why it’s super important to remember to bring extra diapers along with you when you’re on the go; think if you were stuck on an airport runway for several hours stuck sitting in a dirty diaper!
    • Pacifiers
      • Babies can be fussy, so make life easier for yourself and everyone around you by bringing a pacifier and a spare with you whenever you travel. They’re small and easy to transport, and they can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
  • Children
    • Books
      • If your children are budding bookworms, reading is a great way to keep them occupied and content during long trips. In preparation for your journey, take them to the bookstore and have them pick out a few books that interest them and save them for the trip.
    • Spare clothing
      • Parents, it’s no secret that kids can get dirty, so stay ahead of the mess by being prepared with an extra set of clothing. This is especially applicable if you’re traveling for multiple days; make sure you have enough spare outfits that your child will have clothing for the whole trip.
  • Everyone
    • Pillows/blankets
      • Whether you’re traveling by train, plane, bus, or car, if you’re not the one navigating you can sit back and relax, so make sure you’re packed for it! Bring your children’s favorite pillows and blankets for them to nap with on the journey to help pass the time.

The Women’s March on Washington

In one of the largest recorded protests in US history, a congregation gathered on the Washington Mall on January 21 to demonstrate their displeasure with the stances and promises of the recently sworn-in administration. Specifically regarding potential policies on abortion, health care, discrimination, civil rights, and legislation regarding Muslims, the nearly three million gathered in the nation’s capital made it clear that they wanted women’s issues addressed and not ignored or legislated over.

The march originally came under severe scrutiny when it became clear that the three women who were organizing the demonstration were all straight, white, and upper-middle class. Feminism itself has been criticized when it fails to incorporate issues for Women of color, LGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, and women in poverty, as “white feminism,” or an ideology that only benefits straight, white, upper-middle class cis-gendered women. Its counterpart, “Intersectional Feminism,” is one that addresses the intersection of gender, race, income, sexuality, education, and other elements that contribute to a person’s identity and is generally considered a more inclusive, compassionate, and socially just.

To the end that the march did not want a reputation of supporting only “white feminism,” the three leaders stepped down and handed the torch to a black woman, a woman of latin american descent, and a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a hijab. These three young organizers worked hard to create and publicize a demonstration that drew attention to a smorgasbord of issues that afflict women of a wide slew of cultures. And publicize it did.

Crowd engineers estimate that the turnout at the Women’s March was about triple the turnout Donald Trump’s Inauguration, and that does not include the other movements that took place in cities as big as LA and as small as Lancaster, PA. Despite the size, the police didn’t make a single arrest, and there were no reports of property damage. Far from a riot, this demonstration was designed to celebrate American womanhood and make clear that Americans would fight to defend the progress made in women’s healthcare and public safety from assault.

The day of the event, hundreds and hundreds poured into the city, many clad in pink “pussy hats” whose proceeds benefited Planned Parenthood. People of all genders thronged to the streets holding signs declaring that women won’t stand idly by and watch their rights and healthcare erode without some backlash. Marchers carried signs that read “Pussy Grabs Back” in reference to a leaked Trump interview in which he said he would “grab [women] by the pussy.” Celebrities ranging from Madonna to Zendaya to John Legend to Scarlett Johansson attended the event to deliver speeches, perform, or just mingle with other protesters.

Overall, the march was meant to serve as a starter’s block for a long relationship among citizens to stand up against legislation and behavior that will put women in danger or purposefully make life more difficult for them. The march was imperfect for a number of reasons, including the language focused on reproductive organs that may have alienated some trans people, but on the whole, the movement demonstrated the power of numbers and the refusal of the public to take the promises of the incoming administration lying down.

How Parents Can Avoid Meltdowns Over the Holidays

As every parent with children knows, meltdowns (especially those in public), become an unwelcome part of life. While it’s normally random when these tantrums will occur, they are most likely to happen during the holiday season. After all, kids who don’t know how to express their emotions yet can become just as stressed as you do this time of year. Whether you’re a new parent or one who just needs some new techniques to try, below you’ll find tips for avoiding those dreaded meltdowns during the holidays.

Prepare for Problems

Whether you’re going to a recital or a friend’s holiday party, packing a “just in case” bag for a meltdown can save you when you need it the most. While what you pack should be based on the personality of your child, some top items to consider bringing along include:

  • Snack and Juice
  • Favorite Toy
  • Paper and Crayons
  • Headphone for Music/Games/Movies
  • Tablet

Monitor Your Schedule

While there might be a lot of holiday parties to attend, bringing your children to too many can upset their normal schedule. While attending a few events is certainly fine, you may want to cut down on the total amount on your calendar. Before making your way out, check to make sure you’re checking the following needs off your list:

  • Is your child fed? Will there be food for them to eat at the party?
  • Will there be a place for your child to sit down and rest while you’re there?
  • When you leave, will your child have enough time to unwind before bed?

Set Expectations

Before going on any type of outing, let your child know what they can expect. This should include going over rules, fun activities, downtime, food, and other important details. This will set their expectations so they can avoid disappointment.

Have a “Can Do” Attitude

Your little one might get upset when they can’t touch all the toys at the store or play in the same room as the adults at a party. So, instead of telling them “no”, why not give them things to do? At the store you could let them pick out the fruit and at the party you could have them help look after a younger child. When you make them feel important, they’re much more likely to keep their cool.