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Gross Domestic Product – What if you got paid to raise your children?

The idea to write a play about motherhood came to me when I was writing my last play, Flipside and nursing my second child. Actually, it had been gestating since the day I was nursing my first child and complaining to my HartBeat Co-Artistic Director Greg Tate that the intersecting struggles of child care, career and being broke were making motherhood feel impossible.

To this my wise friend said, “Well that’s what’s behind the movement for counting childrearing as part of the Gross Domestic Product. Think about how much easier this would all be if raising children was valued for what it is – producing human capital, which is two thirds of any nation’s capital.” Hmmm… that was something to think about.

But I didn’t really think about it again until that second kid came along and I was consumed with the feeling that life could spin out of control at the drop of a pacifier. What would it look like if motherhood was valued monetarily in the US? How different would my life be? How different would all of our lives be?

What you want to know about the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law

What you want to know about the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law

Earlier this month, ACLU Nationwide sent a letter to a Colorado employer, documenting multiple violations of the federal “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law.

While calling on DISH Network to provide adequate space and privacy for its nursing employees, ACLU sent a clear message to all employers in the country: it is the employer’s sole responsibility to accommodate nursing mothers.

Effective on March 23, 2010, “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law requires employers to provide break time and a place for hourly paid workers to express breast milk at work. If you are a nursing mother who works, there are several things you might want to know about this federal law.

Who is covered by the law?
The law applies to nonexempt employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Are the breaks paid?
The law does not require pumping breaks to be paid. However, if your employer already offers paid breaks and you use those breaks to pump your milk, your time should be paid.

Rabbi Andrea Berlin for #DoubleBooked: Internal Conflict

This blog originally appeared on February 24, 2014 as part of the Religious Action Center’s blog series “Double Booked: A Conversation about Working Families in the 21st Century.” Double Booked deals with the many issues that affect working families, and features everything from personal stories to policy analysis. Visit the Double Booked portal to read more posts and subscribe for updates, or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #doublebooked. 

By Rabbi Andrea Berlin

As our nation prepares for a conversation about working families, I am struck by my own good fortune.  So many families with hard working adults struggle to manage safe and healthy childcare, financial solvency, adequate health coverage, meaningful work, respect at their job sites, and quality time with each other.  How fortunate my own family is!

Thanks to NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Pregnant Woman is Back at Work

Floralba, a pregnant retail worker in the Bronx, was sent home on unpaid leave because she needed to temporarily avoid heavy lifting in order to prevent having another miscarriage. Last week, A Better Balance used the new law we championed, the NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, to get Floralba back at work, with backpay, and to convince her employer to update it’s policies in compliance with the law! This week, she has been pricing and hanging clothes instead of hauling heavy piles of clothes as she was required to do in the past. Thanks to this powerful new law, Floralba did not have to choose between her paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. 

Mothers of the Moment

We’re poised at a sweet spot between the release of The Shriver Report in January, and the arrival of March as Women’s History Month. Momentum is growing for paid leave and paid sick days, candidates for the 2014 mid-term elections are shaping their campaigns, and think tanks in DC are churning out data on women at a furious pace.

Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand have been pushing their Women’s Economic Opportunity Agenda with legislation to promote pay equity, paid leave, paid sick days, accessible and affordable child care, and an end to discrimination against pregnant workers. Under the banner “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds,” the legislation will have hard time in Congress, but it serves as both a model and rallying point for advocates around the country. It’s gaining traction, and the Valentine’s Day campaign got lots of attention from other members of Congress and women like you. Take a look at all the photo love here. Follow #WhatWomenNeed on Twitter and you’ll see the synergy.

Child Care, Farming, and Working Parents in Hawaii

Two months ago, I wrote a post called The Short Game: Taking the “Work” out of “Working Together” about a community event that included a congresswoman and about a dozen mothers and daughters.  I described how the act of women gathering together, to support each other and enjoy themselves while also doing important work, might be just as vital as more sustained efforts to solve the systemic problems facing women and families.  In fact, I recently had a conversation with an old friend who I hadn’t been in touch with for awhile.  We had a great time talking, and I remembered how much we like and respect each other.  After discussing parenthood, politics, fair pay, and finding money for different programs in the community, she said:

 

Rhonda Ross, daughter of Diana Ross, shares her journey to conceive

mater mea exclusive interview with Rhonda Ross

My husband and I have been together for a long time, almost 20 years. For the first 10 of those, maybe longer, we tried unsuccessfully to conceive. I was in my 20s and everybody said, “Ah, you’re in your 20s, you’re fine! Just try harder!”

 

 

Has “Breast is Best” Jumped the Shark?

I’m a working mother of two small children, and I’ve breastfed them both. In fact, I’m currently somewhere in the middle of breastfeeding my second child, who has cut some teeth recently and knows how to use them, so we’ll see how much longer this continues.

And it’s been interesting, being alive and mothering and breastfeeding during a time of historically high intrusion into women’s nutrition relationships with their babies. I’m not a breastfeeding crusader. I’ve found the whole situation to be exhausting and crazy and difficult. I am already sad about how fast my baby seems to be growing up, but I look forward to the day when I am not the source of her nutrition. I’m just kind of middle-of-the-road on this whole thing.

But I care about how our culture treats women, and there is one specific dynamic that I’ve been tracking, and been bothered by, in that way where you can’t put your finger on what bothers you. You turn it over and over in your mind, until one day in the shower it hits you.

So here it is:

ICYMI: Our picks of the week! #Top5 Must-Read Posts #TBT

There are so many compelling, interesting stories published on the MomsRising blog every week. Below is a selection of posts we especially hope you didn’t miss! Check them out; we’d love to hear which were your favorites in the comments below. Thanks!

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season – from the Good Food Force!

We’re in the midst of holiday season and the Good Food Force is here to help! These MomsRising staffers and volunteers just like you share advice on how families and kids can practice healthy eating during this time of the year.Check out their recommendations here.

Moguls, Moms & Maids: From Wall Street to Main Street

Feminism and Motherhood Are Not Incompatible.

This post originally appeared on my blog, LadydeeLG.

I am appalled at the criticism that Michelle Obama has received lately: Talk of the First Lady “leaning out” and being a “Real-Feminist Nightmare.” Why? Because Mrs. Obama isn’t acting on “policy” as much as certain feminists want her to? Because she called herself “Mom-in-Chief” and said that would be her most important job?

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