10 Ways ‘Maxed Out’ Moms Can Start Changing Things Right Now, Thank You Author Katrina Alcorn
Katrina Alcorn couldn’t take it. At 37, she had it all: a great husband and job and three sweet kids. Yet, on her way to the store to buy diapers one day, she had a nervous breakdown. She stopped working and began a journey through depression, anxiety, insomnia and medication.
Was she the only one who couldn’t handle the demands of career and family? We all know the answer to that–absolutely not!
It’s no wonder her new book, Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink, has created such a buzz lately. In it, Katrina argues that even though women are the primary or substantial earners in two-thirds of American families, the American workplace is uniquely unaccommodating to working mothers. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require paid maternity leave. She writes that a whole generation of women are “maxing out” in their attempts to meet the daily demands of their lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below, Katrina suggest 10 Ways Maxed Out Moms Can Start Changing Things Right Now. (And click to the end to see the cool book trailer.)
1. Practice saying no—Working moms have to find ways to say no. It’s not about letting other people down; saying no to others is about saying yes to yourself.
2. Tell your partner what you need—Communicate with your partner about how they can make life a little more manageable, from taking the kids for a few hours to being on dish duty.
3. Be an ally to other women—We’ve all felt judged at one time or another about our choices as mothers, and many of us perpetuate this cycle even though we know better. Remember the cultural and institutional forces that make working and parenting difficult, and cut each other slack.
4. Ask your boss if you can work from home—Studies show that about 50 percent of jobs are compatible with working from home at least part-time. Besides not having to worry about your commute, you may find the peace and quiet makes you more productive. (Also, you wouldn’t believe how much laundry you can fold on a conference call!)
5. Start a babies-at-work program—According to the Parenting in the Workplace Institute, these programs cost almost nothing to implement and have been shown to increase employee retention, improve workplace morale, and lower health care costs.
6. Sign up for MomsRising—10 percent of the proceeds of Maxed Out will be donated to this leading advocacy organization for moms and the people who love them. They lobby for parental leave, flexible work, affordable child care, and other policies that improve the lives of families.
7. Register for an absentee ballot—If you’re someone who intends to vote but gets too busy on Election Day, sign up for an absentee ballot and save a trip to the polls. Nothing changes in a democracy until people vote.
8. Donate to EMILY’s List—Women are half the population, yet we still only hold about one-fifth of the positions in national governments around the world. Thanks in part to EMILY’s List, in 2012, the US election ushered a record number of women into Congress. Keep that trend going by making a donation.
9. Let your HR manager know about ROWE—A management strategy gaining traction in corporate America, Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE) goes beyond flexible scheduling, emphasizing employee results over traditional measures like the number of hours worked. Companies are finding that it actually saves them money and boosts productivity.
10. Change the conversation—The discussion about whether or not women can “have it all” too often devolves into a discussion of personal choices, without looking at the bigger picture. The American workplace is largely unsupportive of working families, and it’s important to recognize that being “maxed out” is often a collective problem, not an individual one.
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Tags: Katrina Alcorn, maternity leave, maxed out, nervous breakdown, work and career, work and family, working mom | Categories: Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books