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A Special Match for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

You gave thanks. You ate delicious food. You got deals. Now, it’s time to give back!

Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of celebrating and supporting the causes that matter most to us – like making the world a better, safer, more just place for women, moms and families.

To mark this day, another generous donor has offered to give $25 for every contribution today – in any amount! Make a gift, unlock this special match for Giving Tuesday!

Our goal today is to recruit 100 new and returning MomsRising donors today for Giving Tuesday. I hope you will become one of them!

Your support today will help MomsRising dial up the fight for pay equity, push harder for gun safety, and turn up the pressure for paid family / maternity / paternity medical leave.

Family First -- 3 Moms Document the Paid Family Leave Movement

Thank you to Mom-Mentum for graciously allowing this updated crosspost for National Work and Family Month:

In March of this year, Honolulu filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford and I had our first discussion about the project that would become FAMILY FIRST, a film that will interweave the movement to pass paid family leave with history, pop culture and contemporary portraits of working mothers and fathers in America. Though the issue of national paid family leave is finally gaining traction -- as evidenced by the recent Democratic Presidential debate -- when I first reached out to Kimberlee in May of 2014, this was definitely not the case.

8 Things Moms Don't Need on #LaborDay, or Any Other Day

A Labor Day List of Ways to Help Moms

Several companies recently announced new or expanded perks to help the mothers in their ranks: extending maternity leaves, paying to fly a baby and nanny when mom takes a work trip or to ship breast milk back home, offering a mother local work for the first year of her baby’s life, or allowing her to return to work part-time at full pay after maternity leave. This “arms race” of baby-friendly benefits is welcome, if overdue. At the same time, research pertaining to the Millennial generation is yielding particularly intriguing insights for the future of breadwinning and caregiving.

Still, irksome workplace norms and beliefs remain, creating unnecessary stress and high hurdles for mothers. Scholars have been describing and studying different parts of this problem for years. Taken together, their research points to an anti-wish list for mothers.

Combing the latest research, here’s a Labor Day breakdown of eight things moms DON’T need as they — along with their families and partners — strive to achieve work-life balance.

#WomensEqualityDay! Patsy Mink Lives on in Today's Fight for Title IX

Thirty-four years ago, Aug. 26 was designated as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the 19th Amendment and the 1970 Women's Strike for Equality.

Most of us know that American women secured the federal right to vote on Aug 26, 1920. It is less known that more than 100,000 women across the country protested for gender equality on the 50-year anniversary of women's suffrage, demanding equal opportunities in employment and education and access to childcare.

Those demands are just as urgent today as they were in 1970.

Female voters have outnumbered males in every presidential race since 1964, but that has neither eliminated the gender pay gap, nor assured equal employment opportunities. Voting alone has yet to resolve vital issues that disproportionately affect women, and in particular mothers, such as paid sick leave, parental leave, flexible workplaces, affordable childcare and college, living wages for caregivers, and a fair minimum wage.

It is clear that in addition to deciding political races, women need to be in them.

Are you at a threshold, too?

Yesterday we attended a moving "Ceremony of 13" at our church for my teenage son. Cultures around the world share a tradition of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood beginning at age 13 (in the Jewish tradition this is called a Bar or Bat Mitzvah). Our ministers shared why it's key to pause and honor this threshold or "crossing over" with ritual--just like we honor other thresholds such as baptisms, births, weddings, deaths, turning 18 and more.

After each youngadult received a blessing and anointing, parents took turns sharing what they loved and honored in their young teens. It was powerful and moving.

Tears streamed down my face for most of the short ceremony and it dawned on me that my 13 year-old and I are at a very similar place. I'll be 50 in January and I too, am at a threshold. My midlife transition has amped up in the last 18 months--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually-- and just like my son, I too am at an axial time. A time that calls for more self-compassion, self-acceptance and time/space to digest and integrate all these internal--and external--changes so I can prepare for my second course.

7 Back-to-School Tips to Help You Stress Less and Find Your Center

Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, the start of a new school year offers the opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently.

If you’re feeling some anxiety around all the transitions, scheduling, juggling and driving that usually accompany a new school year, take a deep breath, you’re not alone. Then, pause and consider the following ideas. Adopting even one of these strategies could make a huge difference in how you experience this potentially hectic time. Start with compassion and a “baby steps” mindset as you consider the following:

A Working Mom Shaping the Lives of Future Generations

Thank you to Mom-Mentum Editor Kate Fineske for graciously allowing me to cross-post this piece, which was originally published at Mom-Mentum.

Depending on the profession and individual circumstances, every mother has her own story about returning to work. Over the past several months we’ve begun highlighting our Mom-mentum members Return-to-work stories. Likewise, in her book Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy, author and regular Mom-mentum blog contributor Shay Chan Hodges presents many diverse stories about the intersection of work and parenting.

7 reasons I practice self-care

I was recently at a dinner party and found myself in a corner with a heart surgeon discussing the concept of self-care. Like many in healthcare, she saw self-care as something you “should do” for your physical health (exercise, eat well, get enough sleep), but that’s where it ends. She became curious when I shared that I define self-care as the art of attuning and responding to your needs and desires, moment to moment. You could see the wheels turning as she contemplated my definition.

Pick up an onion and hold it in your palm. For me, self-care would be the outer layer, then a few layers deeper, you’ll find self-acceptance (as you learn to accept yourself warts and all), then self-compassion, and then a few layers beyond that you arrive at the holy grail: self-love. I see self-care as the first doorway we go through to begin to truly accept who we are, and ultimately, to begin to love ourselves.

Another International Women's Day - It's Time

 

Another year, another International Women's Day. But this year feels different. Suddenly gender equality in the United States is a front burner issue. In fact, women's economic empowerment is recognized as central to how we address both income inequality and economic sustainability.  Gender issues stand at that sweet spot: offering both political and financial solutions. Policy makers, companies, and the media are taking notice.

 

Today, 40 percent of American households look to a woman's income for financial security. Studies show women in the workforce are a key to profitability. Social and mainstream media do the gender calculus on virtually every story. 

 

What does the employer mandate dispute have to do with moms?

A lot. A 2013 Pew Research study found that nearly half of all moms polled said, “that their ideal situation would be to work part time.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When you add a 40-hour workweek to the demands of being a primary caregiver, the dual (triple? quadruple?) roles can leave you exhausted. And the reality is that for many parents, a 40-hour workweek just isn’t a legitimate option.

Some years ago I worked with an amazing mom who, because of the excellence of her work, was offered an increase in her hours by our company. But when asked, she told us she couldn’t work 40 hours a week even if she wanted to. As the parent of a special needs child, between bi-weekly (sometimes weekly) doctors’ appointments, therapy, specialized parent/teacher meetings, in addition to her regular parental responsibilities—there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done if she also worked a 40-hour week.

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