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Jun 21 2012

The Case Against “Opting Out”

By at 12:08 pm
woman working keyboard

Would women be better equipped to fight the war if more highly educated mothers went back to work?

Get out your virtual pitchforks. I’m about to defend Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Last week, the writer-turned-lawyer curried ire with many a stay-at-home mother (#sahm, in Twitter verse), when she denounced “1% wives”–referring to America’s most privileged, educated women–as collaborators in the “war on women.”

In her red-meat-for-the-blogosphere polemic, Wurtzel argues that “being a mother isn’t really work” because it’s not selective. “A job that anyone can have is not a job, it’s a part of life, no matter how important people insist it is (all the insisting is itself overcompensation),” she writes. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 19 2012

Are Stay-at-Home Moms Really Killing Feminism?

By at 1:39 pm

rich mom pushing expensive strollerBeing a “real feminist” is apparently when you write an article for a national publication deliberately denigrating other women, and get paid to do so.

That was what I learned from reading Elizabeth Wurtzel’s essay in The Atlantic, “1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism And Make The War On Women Possible.” The essay is fairly mean-spirited. Here, for example, is the first paragraph:

Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 14 2012

Mad Women

By at 1:22 pm

mad men womenI love the show Mad Men, and am amused that Sally Draper and I are about the same age. Nostalgia is not my reason for my being such a fan. Rather, the storytelling is great, the characters are complex, and the narrative is compelling.

We baby boomers thought we invented sex. Don and company prove us wrong. We thought women were treated primarily as sexual objects and had a hard time getting ahead professionally, even if they were smart and capable. Peggy and Joan prove us right. We thought that our mothers didn’t do very much at home (I still wonder about that) and Betty shows us what the consequences of that can be. And, in the Mad Men world, and my own world at that time, the only mother who was “working” did so because “she had to.” Many of the rest of us, like Betty’s family, had “Negro maids” to do the housework and child care. Read the rest of this entry →

May 24 2012

Why We Desperately Need On-Site Day Care

By at 3:38 pm

on-site daycare

Tara Filowitz Arrey just shared her day care nightmares, even before her baby is born. Now let’s hear from Renee, who proposes the perfect solution for working moms.

I just saw Debbie Kolben’s December article in the Forward. (Sorry, Debbie, I have a lot to read!) Debbie, Kveller’s editor-in-chief, described her search for a good, Jewish day care center for her young child. Her very important point was that the real way, the very best way, to ensure Jewish continuity (the big topic in Jewish think-tank discussions these days–and for many, many previous days) is to create Jewish day care facilities, to create environments in which the very youngest Jews can learn, and live, Judaism. Read the rest of this entry →

May 17 2012

Why I Quit My Job

By at 3:15 pm

diplomas framed on wallWell, it’s not as if you’re going to be some sort of hausfrau, you know?” a friend said to me over the phone. It was just a passing remark. You know, like how a drive-by shooting is just a short visit.

We were discussing my decision to leave my job as New York correspondent of the Jerusalem Post. It was a hard decision but I felt that I needed to focus on other things–namely, my long-in-progress novel, various freelance gigs, my family, and my pregnancy. To me, the choice had felt like a deliberate choice, individuality above expectations. My friend’s remark made clear, though, that to others, my choice could easily come across as a failure. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 19 2012

The Accidental Stay-at-Home Mom

By at 11:47 am
curriculum vitae typewriter

My CV could use a good dusting off.

First birthdays are bound to bring out the reflective in a person, and I’m no exception. Avi and Maya turn one tomorrow, and for the last few weeks I’ve been reflecting like crazy. I’ve learned a few things this year. Here they are, in no particular order:

It’s not helpful to compare myself to others. Yes, its super crazy hard not to, and I’ve always been one prone to torturing myself by making illogical comparisons, but I understand now that when it comes to my girls and how they’re faring, it’s not helpful to measure them against French babies or Chinese babies or my friends’ babies or the babies that people write about in parenting books. That practice generally does nothing more than wreck havoc with my already havoc-ridden brain. We could all parent better, and most of us are doing the best we can. Read the rest of this entry →

Friend Your Baby

By at 9:44 am

Your baby can have this onesie too at uncommonlycute.com

Don’t put your baby on Facebook!

Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before. But Wall Street Journal writer Janet Paskin isn’t refraining from posting the cute baby pictures out of fear that she’s compromising her kid’s digital security. Rather, Paskin writes, “I worried that, by publically [sic] donning my mom-hat, I might be hurting myself.” In other words, keeping baby off of Facebook isn’t for his or her own good–it’s for yours.

Paskin writes that she’d rather not post pictures or items about her baby on Facebook because “women with children fare worse, professionally and financially, than women without. Moms face more difficulty getting hired and earn less than their childless peers. It’s worse for new, breastfeeding moms, who are judged to be less competent and less likely to be hired than bottle-feeding moms and who suffer more severe and prolonged earnings loss. Even controlling for all the extenuating circumstances that make salary comparisons really hard, the evidence seems pretty conclusive: Moms earn less, and have less success, than women without children.”

Clearly, I disagree with this completely. Frankly, I’m not even sure where to begin. Of course, I take issue with the underlying premises that mothers are somehow crappier workers–if anything, mothers are perhaps the most kickass multitaskers in the universe. The breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding mom hiring stats are almost too stupid to mention.

But I am particularly offended by the idea that in order to succeed in the workplace, I would need to hide who I am. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 17 2012

Bringing Home the Kosher Bacon

By at 9:41 am
bacon

These days, it's my job to bring home the (kosher) bacon.

I never set out to be the breadwinner in my home. And yet, for six years running, I’ve been bringing home the bacon. With all the publicity around the new book The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family, I’ve discovered that–although I sometimes feel like the only breadwinner-ette on the block, I’m apparently part of a rising trend. So I thought I’d share my side of the story.

I work for a non-profit organization. My husband (as he will gladly tell you) has gobs of earning potential, and pulled down six figures for a while in the early aughts. But for the better part of the last decade he’s been pursuing a PhD in astrophysics, earning a Graduate Research Assistant “salary” while I make more than double that in non-profit work. With his more flexible schedule he also does more than his share of the childcare, errands and housework. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 16 2012

Weekly Roundup: The CEO vs. The Stay-at-Home Mom

By at 11:36 am

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

the conflict elisabeth badinter

- Forbes asks: Is Modern Motherhood Working Against Women? Not according to one woman, the CEO of a tech company, who explains how she was able to be a business woman and make attachment parenting work for her family. (Forbes)

- For those who question just how busy stay-at-home moms really are, here’s a chronicle of a day in the life that will make you tired just reading it. (Shine)

- Laurel Snyder, Kveller contributer and author of Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher, talks about raising her Jewish kids with religion, but not too much religion–i.e., they don’t keep kosher. (CNN)

- And for your daily dose of cute, here’s a baby who absolutely loves being vacuumed (Jezebel):

Mar 19 2012

Why This Mama Feels Like a Dad

By at 1:28 pm
sarah tuttle-singer photograph of kids

My two kids.

Last week was all about the dudes on Kveller, and all this man-talk got me thinking.

In May 2008 and then a scant 18 months later in December 2009, I grunted and screamed and threatened to cut my OB and openly prayed that I wouldn’t lose my shit all over the delivery table I lovingly gave birth to my two children. I breastfed for three and a half years. I’m clearly a Mama. But over the last five months, I sometimes feel like I’ve stepped out of that role and into the traditional male role. In my high heel hooker boots.

Who’s your daddy? Yes I am. Read the rest of this entry →

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