Posts Tagged ‘ working moms ’

Working Mom Guilt: Who Needs It Anyway?

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

“I am the worst mom ever!” I said out loud yesterday afternoon, to no one in particular. My co-worker Jessica, who sits next to me, asked what was up. I explained that I had just asked Chris to pick Mason up from school because I was swamped and wasn’t going to be able to make it there on time. I felt a mixture of relief and misery when he said yes. I hate missing out on time with Mason.

“Today you’re a good worker and a bad mom. Some days you might be a good mom and a bad worker. Other days it’ll all go to h-ll. That’s just how it is,” she said. Truer words have never been spoken.

Jessica is a pro at this working mom thing (in my opinion, anyway). She has two kids (ages 6 and 9), a hubby with a super hectic work schedule, and a big job at American Baby (our sister mag), so she balances a lot. She was spot-on, but I still felt guilty as I shut my computer down at 7:15 and scrambled for the subway so I could at least give Mason hugs and kisses before he went to bed (luckily it all worked out).

At this point, I rarely indulge my working mom guilt. I try to acknowledge it and then move on before it starts to eat at me. In fact, I thought I was over the whole thing entirely until this afternoon when a co-worker sent me an ABC News report about a new study by Cornell University. Researchers found American moms with full-time jobs spend roughly three-and-half fewer hours a day than nonworking moms attending to their kids’ diet and exercise. The “news” hardly came as a surprising, but it definitely annoyed me.

Of course I feel guilty when an obligation takes me away from my kid. Researchers are comparing me to working moms and then reporting on my shortcomings!

What about the fact that when I’m not preparing Mason’s food, he’s eating organic meals with his friends? Or that he’s getting tons of exercise even though I’m not with him all day, by taking soccer, yoga, and dance lessons? What about the fact that I’m providing for my family?

I think my fellow blogger Jill Cordes sums it up nicely in her post on the same topic: “Whether you stay at home or work, just love your child, feed them nutritious meals, have whomever is watching them feed them nutritious meals, have them exercise—with or without you—and instill in them the importance of healthy living.”

And here’s an idea. Instead of fanning the flames of the mommy wars by comparing working moms to nonworking moms, why don’t these researchers redirect their efforts to curing cancer?

Anyone else with me on this one?

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Moms: Let’s Celebrate Marissa Mayer Instead of Picking Her Apart

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

I’m in awe of Marissa Mayer. In case you haven’t heard, she’s the new CEO of Yahoo, one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. There are few high-powered women in technology, aside from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and Mayer has scored the coveted role at only 37 years old. Her achievement is epic, and so is the responsibility that comes with the job: She’s not only going to run Yahoo, she’s tasked with saving it.

Turns out the new CEO and former Google executive also happens to be pregnant with her first child–and shortly after Yahoo announced her appointment, she revealed that she’s essentially going to skip maternity leave. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”

Queue the judgey moms. According to a Today Show poll, 89 percent of respondents think that she’s making a mistake.

But how can we possibly say that before she even has a chance to do her thing?  Now is the time to rally around her and celebrate her bravery. She’s taking on a monumental challenge, and indeed the opportunity of a lifetime, at a time that even she would admit isn’t ideal for her personally. Swollen ankles aren’t exactly a confidence builder.

True, she’s never gone through the hell miracle of childbirth. Or recovered from it. She’s never had to breastfeed. She’s never stayed up all night with a screaming baby. But, c’mon people, she’s not stupid. Obviously she will surround herself with lots of help. In fact, I’m betting she’ll do pretty much whatever she needs to do to set herself up for success–both as a mother and as a CEO.

It will be incredibly hard, and while I can’t imagine making the same choice myself, I’m not her. Nobody has ever approached me to run a tech giant, nor would I be equipped to do the job at this point in my life. So how can I possibly judge her for her decisions? How can you?

Instead of judging Marissa Mayer, and using her achievement as an excuse to rekindle the debate about whether women can have it all, why don’t we sit back and watch her work? I’m betting she’ll show us some magic–and probably teach us all a thing or two.

Photo: Google Plus

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Mommy Guilt with a Side of Cherry-Banana Oatmeal

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Best for Babies 8+ Months

I was a rotten mom today. I didn’t mean to be, I swear, it just happened. The day started off well — Bug and I played, he discovered a new breakfast favorite — then I got caught up in work and it all went tragically downhill.

After a three-day work trip, I arrived home last night to a gorgeous, beaming baby. (The hubby looked pretty great too.) We played together, ate dinner together, and did our usual bath-massage-singing together before bed. But the night was bumpy, Bug was up and down all night. Nothing was wrong, he wanted to cuddle. I’m not normally so indulgent with middle-of-the-night snuggles but after we’ve been apart, especially after we’ve been apart, I need the extra hugs and kisses as much as he does.

This morning we got up early, played some more, and Mason tried Cherry-Banana Oatmeal for the first time (recipe below). He adored it. I sipped my coffee, he giggled and ate. Eating breakfast with my boy, the perfect way to start the day. So much better than the hotel room service I had eaten for breakfast alone for the past three mornings. The nanny arrived, I smothered Bug with kisses and got a giant gummy smile in return.

Around 4, it was clear I had been wrong. A big project needed my immediate attention and there was no way I was going to get home when I normally do. I finally finished, scrambled to the subway, and arrived home just before bathtime. I walked through the door and Mason gave me a huge smile, then promptly burst into tears. How could I have let a deadline keep me at work late? I’m always home before his dinner. Always. And tonight I had been late. The poor baby probably thought I had gone away again.

So there you have it, my rotten, cheek-burning mommy moment.  I suck! Mason deserves better and I’m going to be spending the rest of the weekend trying to make it up to him.

Cherry-Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients

Oatmeal (store-bought or homemade)
Fresh cherries
Bananas

Directions

1. Peel and slice a banana, set aside.
2. Wash and pit 6 cherries, slice in half. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Blend cooked cherries and banana with a bit of water, breast milk, or formula. Set aside.
4. Prepare oatmeal and swirl in blended banana and cherries.
5. Freeze extra blended banana and cherries for up to three months.

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