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May 21 2014

I’m Looking Forward to Finally Leaning Out

By at 11:02 am

leaning-out-uhaul

Eight years ago, I left my job as an elementary school teacher in Boston to move to Philadelphia where my boyfriend lived. I could barely get the words out of my mouth when people asked me why I was moving, sure that someone was going to come around the corner and revoke my feminist card if I admitted that I was moving, without a job lined up, for my boyfriend who I’d known for less than a year.

I did it anyway, I survived, and it got easier the more times I told people. While driving the U-Haul from Boston to Philly, I was offered a job in Philly in Jewish communal service, which I accepted, and I began my new life in a new city. I even used my anecdote about moving under unknown circumstances to counsel many young professionals through some scary life decisions. Fast forward a bit, and my boyfriend and I got married, had one kid, then had another kid, and it stopped seeming so crazy that I had left Boston “for a guy.”

This month, I have once again made the decision to leave my job because it’s the right thing for my life rather than the right thing for my career. As anyone who’s worked in Jewish communal service knows, this sector isn’t known for its work/life balance or generous compensation. Instead, we do it because we care, and what we give up in free time or money, we gain in nachas by giving back to our people. Unfortunately, nachas can’t put the kids to bed at night while I’m out creating positive Jewish experiences for my childless peers. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 31 2014

News Roundup: Does Porn Hurt Children?

By at 8:28 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

girl-computer

– A recent UK study found that three in every 100 primary school children, some as young as 6, have viewed hardcore pornographic images on the internet. There is still some debate as to how traumatizing and what the long-term effect of this exposure is. (The Times Magazine)

Boston Magazine has a fascinating (and terrifying) look at the juvenile and cliquey social lives of suburban American moms, which can quickly spiral into a social nightmare reminiscent of high school for those who fail to keep up. (Boston Magazine)

– The majority of American women aren’t “leaning in” or “opting out.” Rather, most women–ranging socioeconomically from poor to upper middle class–are barely hanging on.  (Al Jazeera)

– Putin’s elementary school teacher, who now resides in a Tel Aviv apartment purchased by her former student, has found herself in the spotlight now that Putin has decided to annex Crimea. The gentle and studious school boy she describes sounds nothing like the Vladimir Putin of today. (JTA)

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Feb 4 2014

I Don’t Feel Guilty About Going Back to Work

By at 11:13 am

woman and man carrying briefcases

There is almost nothing more beautiful than my baby when she’s sleeping. She raises her hands above her head like she’s celebrating a Patriots touchdown and gets a dreamy look on her tiny, gorgeous face. When she’s awake, she gives me an amazing smile if I beep her nose or stroke her chin.

This time tomorrow, I won’t be sitting midday and nursing her as long as she wants. I won’t be rubbing her little tummy. I’ll be back at work–voluntarily.

I’m the sort of woman who leans in. During my eight-week maternity leave, I dropped in to work with the baby four or five times for one reason or another. On Monday, a co-worker said to me about my impending return to work, “Isn’t it so hard for you to leave her? It was always so hard for me to leave my kids.”

The answer to her question is no, and I won’t feel guilty about it. Read the rest of this entry →

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