Apr 5 2013
I recently returned from spending Passover at a beautiful hotel in California with my two kids. One of the great perks of being married to a musician (and don’t throw a virtual shoe at me; there are negatives to being a wife in music life, too) is that so far, I get to go away for Passover, and thus bypass all the meticulous cleaning, multi-meal cooking, and various other daunting tasks that the holiday entails.
Now, I had realized that once we returned home, if we wanted to eat, we’d have to actually cook something ourselves; there would be no lavish tea room to quell hunger pangs between meals and I correctly anticipated seven loads of laundry (my baby likes to spit up on a brand-new dress approximately three seconds after I change her into it). Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 15 2013
Here’s the thing. I actually did try to lean in. I updated my resume, sent it out, and dug out the blazer I only wear to interviews. I answered the standard questions about why I want the job (because biweekly midnight visits to the ER with croupy kids aren’t keeping me busy enough, apparently), what my weaknesses are (chocolate, pudgy-faced toddlers, and men who fold laundry), and how I would feel about being the only post-doc with kids (um, great?).
To be honest, I’m still not sure what happened at the interview. Perhaps I sabotaged myself. As perfect as the job was, and as much as my husband and friends assured me that we could make it work, I just couldn’t quite figure out how our family would function with both us working full time. I know millions of American families (including many of my neighbors and friends) do it, but all I could think about was laundry piling up, last minute emergency trips to the grocery store for milk, and strawberry-banana yogurt, and hushed but heated conversations about who was going to take a sick day to stay home with a feverish child. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 25 2013
It’s the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. I’m not sure if I’m speaking for all of us in saying this, but I haven’t even read it: I live it.
Friday morning, I shut the door in the face of my crying child who was yelling, “Mommy! Mommy! No go!” with guilt-inducing gusto. I was leaving her in order to go into New York to tape a television show which discussed, in part, feminism and work-life balance. Ah, irony: you’re so subtle.
It’s not just me, of course. The discussion on women in the workplace was kick started on the national scale this week.
On the one hand, prominent consulting group McKinsey has started quietly reaching out to female former employees who left to start families to see if they are now ready to come back to work. Goldman Sachs also runs a “returnship” program: paid short-term jobs for professionals who’ve been out of the workforce for a few years. In a 2010 report, the Wall Street Journal noted, “female senior executives cited the ‘double burden syndrome’ of balancing motherhood and work as the main obstacle to women attaining more top roles in companies.” Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 8 2013
Michelle Cove is the author of I Love Mondays: And Other Confessions from Devoted Working Moms and the editor of 614: the HBI ezine, an online magazine that aims to spark conversation on hot topics for Jewish women. Michelle is also the mother of an 8-year old girl. In her free time, she writes books and gives talks around the country. She chatted with us recently about the working mom guilt, avoiding burnout, and how important it is for our kids to see us fulfilled.
What prompted you to add the word “confessions” to the title of your book? Do you really find there’s a stigma attached to mothers who enjoy working outside the home? Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 21 2012
Well, I knew it would have to happen. I knew the date was rapidly approaching. But I didn’t expect it to feel like such a shock…
Yes, I have gone back to work. Noooooo!
While I was not working, especially in the first few weeks when Charly wasn’t doing much other than sleeping, eating, and pooping, I really couldn’t see how anyone could be a stay-at-home Mom. It seemed so boring and lackluster. But I was really being shortsighted. Now, I totally get it. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 17 2012
Throughout the month of October, in conjunction with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, we put a special focus on women, work and money here at Kveller. This meant talking about everything from savings plans to work-life balance (or as one of our readers pointed out, imbalance) to maternity leave and childcare. And what did we learn? Well, just as there’s no one way to be a woman, there’s certainly no one way for women to handle, think, and talk about money.
At the end of the month, we asked you (our awesome readers) to take a short survey and tell us about your work and financial lives. We were very interested to learn what you had to say, and better than just a bunch of pie charts and graphs, we were able to get a better picture of the women of Kveller and how they roll. We thought you might like to know, too, so here are five interesting facts from our survey results: Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 29 2012
As part of our ongoing series about Women, Work & Money, Emily Wolper, who is currently in the process of becoming a single mother by choice, shares her concerns about being the sole provider to her future child.
I grew up in a traditionally structured, suburban household. My dad worked and my mom stayed home to raise my sister and me. She was very involved with the community, serving as president of the PTA at almost every school we attended and leading boards of various organizations that had a significant impact on our town. Still, with all of this activity, I knew that my mom was, first and foremost, my mom. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 19 2012
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Alina Adams talks about the changes in her family’s income over time.
Every subsequent child born into a family is supposedly better off. Their parents are further along in their careers, and there’s more money to go around for everyone.
Not exactly true at my house. When it comes to our October focus on Women, Work & Money, my third child is actually the most underprivileged. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 5 2012
Confucius (allegedly) said: Do a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Who am I to argue with Confucius?
So, that’s precisely what I did. Because I loved television, I studied television in college, and then I went to work in television. I loved to watch figure skating, so I became a television figure skating producer. After my oldest son was born and the travel associated with skating competitions became unmanageable, I switched to working in soap operas–because I loved soap operas. In the meantime, because I loved to read, I also wrote books, primarily figure skating mysteries and romance novels. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 4 2012
No one wants to consider pregnancy and birth as “illnesses” and yet maternity leave is, for working women, the equivalent of prolonged sick leave. I have a problem with that. Although women do need to recuperate from birth, and need time to bond with their infants, I think that maternity leave penalizes those other workers who do not have babies during the time they are on the job. It gives new mothers a “perk” that others do not enjoy and forces co-workers to assume more of a burden by expecting them to do their own work, and that of their absent colleague.
And apparently, I’m not the only one who feels so. This Sunday (two days after I wrote this piece) the NY Times ran an article on this very same issue. “Parents are a special class, and they get special treatment,” the article quotes.
Please, Kveller readers, do not verbally lynch me. I am on your side. I realize I am expressing a very non-PC point of view, one at odds with current thinking and existing policy in many countries. But, truthfully, maternity leave just does not seem like equitable treatment in the work place. In the broader context of “work,” it does not seem fair, and may actually hurt women by making women of child-bearing age less attractive to employers because of the anticipated time off. Read the rest of this entry →