Tag Archives: work life balance

Tech Companies Want To Help Female Employees Freeze Their Eggs, But What We Really Need Is Better Paternity Leave

Apple and Facebook are going to start helping female employees cover the cost of freezing their eggs — some employees, anyway; Apple’s benefits vary depending on your position — so that those women don’t have to choose between having a family and working through some of the prime years of their careers.

This is great news for women who want to handle their careers and personal lives one-at-a-time and feel the pressure to sacrifice and compromise their careers in order to have children before they’re no longer fertile. It provides those employees with another option, some more flexibility, and that’s fantastic. But I’m not going crazy over it, especially in Apple’s case, because whereas Facebook also provides male employees with up to 17 weeks of paternity leave, Apple provides women with up to 18 weeks and men with up to six weeks of parental leave. Keep reading »

Matt Lauer Asks General Motors’ Mary Barra If She Can Be Both CEO And A Good Mom

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Oh, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt
  • “Today Show” host Matt Lauer interviewed General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra this morning and asked about her leadership of a struggling company as a woman and the fact that she has three kids at home. Lauer may have meant to give Barra a platform to discuss the sexist assumptions behind his questions. (And to be clear, I don’t think asking a question about a sexist topic means the interview herself/himself is bigoted.) But the way Lauer questioned her was just awkward, seemingly defeating the purpose of raising these topics in the first place. Add me to the chorus of working women wondering: How often is a male CEO questioned about whether he can be a good father? [Think Progress] Keep reading »

President Obama Speaks Out In Support Of Paid Maternity Leave

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  • President Obama spoke out yesterday in support of paid maternity leave and paid family leave. “There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave,” the president said. “That is us. And that is not the list you want to be on by your lonesome.” [Yahoo]
  • Islamic extremists Boko Haram reportedly have kidnapped nearly 100 more people, including 60 women and girls, in Nigeria. [New York Times]
  • A Japanese politician apologized to his female colleague for heckling, “You should get married!” and “Can’t you even bear a child?” while she was speaking. [TIME] Keep reading »

Emma Thompson Weighs In On Balancing Work With Motherhood: “You Don’t Need It All At Once”

“You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time. … I wanted to spend more time with my family. A year off was my birthday present to myself. I didn’t actually act or write. I was just a mum. I taught drama at my daughter’s school, cooked meals and had fun. I highly recommend others to do the same if they can afford it. … Sometimes in life you’ll have some things, at other times you will have other things. You don’t need it all at once, it’s not good for you. Motherhood is a full-time job. The only way I could have continued working would have been by delegating the running of the home to other people. I never wanted to do this as I find motherhood profoundly enjoyable.”

Because a celebrity hasn’t weighed in on working moms in, oh, a couple of days, here is Emma Thompson in the UK’s Daily Mail on her decision to take a year off from acting to stay at home with her 14-year-old daughter, Gaia, who is pictured. (Thompson also has a 26-year-old adopted son, Tindyebwa.) Recently, millionaire-with-nannies Gwyneth Paltrow complained that working as an actress is harder for her than for moms on a 9-to-5 schedule. Angelina Jolie responded that she has “much more support than most people” and “women in my position … shouldn’t complain.”  Sort of in the middle of both points of view, Thompson explained to the Daily Mail how she just didn’t feel like she could juggle parenthood and work without a lot of help, which made her feel like she was missing out. The only way not to miss out was to put work on hold for a year. Keep reading »

Study: Being At Home Is More Stressful Than Being At Work

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Spending time at home is way more stressful than spending time at work, according to a surprising new study by Penn State researchers. This comes as something of a surprise given the endless national dialogue about American working too much.

The study measured participants’ cortisol levels, which is one of our bodies’ major markers of stress, both at home and at work. The results show that for both men and women, spending time at home is not very relaxing. The study also learned that women often feel even better at work than men do. This pertains to people both with and without children, but especially for those who don’t have kids. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: I Never Expected To Be A Stay-At-Home Mom

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Stay at home vs. working moms: it’s a debate that may well have sparked the heated flames of the “mommy wars.” There haven’t been a shortage of opinions on this topic, and despite being rehashed to death, more keep coming. The latest voice to enter into the fray is Allison Klein, a former reporter turned stay-at-home mom who recently offered up an op-ed for The Washington Post. Klein writes:

“You see, I love being home with my girls, now 4 and 5. I’m just not such a fan of telling people that’s what I do. This is new for me. [...] This is D.C., where nothing about you is more important than your job, or at least that’s what people always say. And being a full-time mom doesn’t exactly up my Q score. These conversations are fraught because I want people to know I’m not giving up my identity as a strong, smart woman. Cue the eye roll.”

Mother judgment — it’s there regardless of what you choose. And, when we fight each other, nobody wins, because infighting only clouds the more important issue: the narrow way we frame this stay-at-home vs. working mother discussion. I  wish there could be a huge disclaimer on these types of articles reminding readers that not every mother is in a position to actually make this choice. There are families that need two working parents in order to ensure that housing and food costs are met. There needs to be a greater understanding of the inherent privilege involved in even having this “debate” in the first place. Keep reading »

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