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CustomFit Workplace blog

The CustomFit Workplace blog is part of the MomsRising.org Open, Flexible Work blog. It is a place where workers, managers, educators and Human Resources professionals can share their insights and questions. The views expressed in this blogs aren't necessarily representative of the CustomFitWorkplace.org initiative or of MomsRising.org policy positions. Interested in blogging? drop us a line

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Three Ways to Raise Wages

For a lot of working people, this holiday season will be one of belt-tightening rather than shopping sprees. Let’s face it, our wages just aren’t keeping up the way they used to. Here’s a fact: Average income for the least rich 90% of us has been flat since the 1970s, although people are working more hours. Not a recipe for a holiday-buying bonanza.

The answer isn’t to cut back even more, it’s to raise wages. One sure way to put more money in consumers’ pockets and place upward pressure on pay is by raising the minimum wage—a sorely needed move that is stymied in Congress, although 20 states and as many localities have raised their minimum wages over the past two years.

But that’s not the only way.

Let’s look at three other paths to raising wages where we can see progress now:

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Raising the Minimum Wage and Affordable Child Care Go Hand in Hand

This post, authored by Traci Donnelly, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. A minimum wage increase will not help families exit poverty by itself – we need other work supports that ease the economic strain on families. TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

A few years ago, a young man named Israel and his wife enrolled their daughter in one of our Early Head Start programs. Israel, the son of Mexican immigrants, worked long hours as a barber. His wife worked too, but the family still lived below the poverty line.  Initially, they were simply glad that their daughter had a welcoming and safe place to go every day, and that they could work more hours without paying for costly childcare. But gradually Israel began to notice something he hadn’t anticipated.

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My #1 life balance secret

“Are you listening to your life; what is it trying to tell you?” Renee Trudeau

Most people are surprised to hear that I love making a big pot of minestrone soup for my family and friends as much as I love getting invited to go to India to speak to a women’s group on work/life balance. So after almost six weeks of speaking gigs and travel, I’m ready to be at home, anchor, reconnect with my family and get clear on my top priorities. One of the ways I do this after a busy time, is by taking a personal planning retreat.

I take personal retreats-usually each quarter–to sit with the questions, “What is uniquely mine to do?” and “What is the best use of my energy and talents in the next 3 months?”

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How Telework Helps Working Moms Juggle the Holiday Season

Ahh, the holidays. The next 60-or-so days until the end of the year will be jam-packed with busy schedules, school events, work deadlines, and...stress. For working moms who have in-office jobs, the holidays, combined with balancing their jobs, can be a difficult time of year. That stress is significantly lowered, though, when they have the ability to work from home, even occasionally.

Here are three scenarios in which telecommuting helps working moms juggle the holidays.

The Morning Rush

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Following Mom's Advice

My Mom chose college over a car and loved working for Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington after college. Though she was a very active stay-at-home mom after she married my Dad, my Mom always told me to have a career and a family, and I followed her advice. Another piece of advice from both my Mom and my Dad was to “do the best you can.”  Blessed (and, in some ways, cursed) with a body that doesn’t require much sleep to keep going, I took that advice to mean I should work as many hours as I could. In my first high-tech management job, I clocked 110 hours one week, and 70, 80, 90 hours many other weeks. 

Then I had my son, and I knew that the hours I spent at the office, I wasn’t spending with my precious little guy. I had my career and my family, and I wanted to do the best I could at both. I decided to see if I could get more effective at work rather than just piling on more hours.

I started each day by applying my Time Management Mantra:

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