Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Petition for US to have paid family leave.

I received an email from Momsrising.org about a new bill to provide paid family leave. They have a petition to build awareness on the issue. This petition supports a bill, titled The Balancing Act, which includes paid leave for all new parents. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Woolsey, who once was a single mother of three young children herself. Just go to: http://www.momsrising.org/petition/familyfriendly

The the United States is one of only four out of 168 countries studied to not have some form of paid family leave for new moms. We join Swaziland, Papua New Guinea, and Lesotho in not having that policy in place. Source: Heymann et al., The Work, Family, and Equity Index: Where Does the United States Stand Globally? (Boston: Project on Global Working Families, 2004), www.hsph.harvard.edu/globalworkingfamilies/images/report.pdf.

Real Working Mom

Living in a Progressive State
I was lucky. My State Disability Fund paid me for 8 weeks of my leave at 60%. It was barely survivable. I'm fortunate that my company has a generous vacation policy, but we were still struggling when I went back to work.

Maternity Leave should be paid, period. For at least 3 months, but really it should be 6. When will we catch up to the rest of the world?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Paid maternity leave legislation

Interesting commentary on some proposed paid medical leave legislation in Massachusetts.

Click the title of the post to get to it. :)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Being A Single Working Mom

Being a working mom can be challenging, no doubt about that. Working full time is not something I do by choice, because I'd love to be at home exclusively, for my children. My 2 and a half year old, especially because he needs me the most. I call him super toddler because he's got the energy of 5 kids his age. He's not one to sit still for long that's for sure! My 2 other kids (all boys) are 15 and 12 and at totally different stages of their lives from my 2 year old. I often feel like I'm being pulled in all three directions because they all seem to need me at the same time.

Being a single parent isn't something of choice for me. I mean, I chose to keep my children during those different times of life that I was faced with unwed pregnancies. My two older children share a father who could never get his life together, meaning secure a job in which is his livelihood. He just lacks a lot of things that I can't give him. However, he always been in the lives of my children and, honestly, I'm not sure if I prefer that or the alternative. I mean, it's as if I've been dealing with another child all of these years. I've always let him see the kids though, even during the times that he wasn't paying his child support. I did it for my boys because they love him and I know one day they'll see the truth for themselves.

Now Michael's father came into the picture when I was attending college full time, working full time, raises 2 boys and trying to have a social life. Boy, I sure didn't see that coming!!! We were dating for a short time and then BAM, I'm knocked up and still single! He had just gone through a divorce and had no intention on marrying again. In fact, he didn't even want to be in a serious relationship which I was aware of from the start. After all, I had a lot on my plate already and didn't want that sort of distraction. I knew that we were not destined to be together. Besides, we hardly knew each other. I decided to keep the baby anyway. I said to myself, “Hey you're not getting any younger and who knows if you'll ever get another chance to do this! I've done it before and I'll do it again!” When I think back to the decision I made, I realize that those 10 years between my last child before Michael, Xavier, sure did make me oblivious to the needs of a baby. Especially as a single mother!

Michael's father is involved in his life, but totally unaware of how it really is to raise a child. After his divorce he moved back in with his mom to help her and doesn't seem to have any intentions on moving out. So she's a HUGE support for him when he has Michael. He doesn't have a clue about what I go through but I'll call him a good dad because he loves his son and has been a consistent force in his life. We have our run ins but know that we have to keep it civil for our little boy.

I've yet to meet a significant other, partner, husband...SOMEONE! It's kind of hard when I'm exhausted and just don't have the energy to have a social life. Michael is with his dad every other weekend and the other boys go with their dad on some weekends so I could make the time. I've enrolled in an online program to receive a college degree and feel like that's taken the place of any social life. I just don't know if I'll ever find someone for me. I feel like a tense ball that's ready to explode all the time. Honestly, I don't think I'm worthy of love. I don't think I have the patience, the understanding or the affection to give to someone else. A girlfriend of mine were joking that I'd probably meet the love of my life in the senior home when I'm practically done with my life. I can definitely see that happening...

Posted for D-, single mom to three wonderful boys

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I survived!

Well I made it through my first week (okay it was only three days). The girls and I are doing fine. In some ways it really is easier the second time around. The worst part was probably the anticipation--like watching the nurse as she draws blood instead of closing your eyes. I remembered the pain from the first time I left my oldest daughter at daycare and I dreaded having to feel that again. Did I feel it? Absolutely. I missed my kids like hell every second I was away. But I knew I'd make it through because I'd done it before. I knew my kids wouldn't forget me. I knew they'd always know who there mommy was. My oldest daughter was very excited to go back to daycare and see her friends. The baby is only 12 weeks old so completely adaptable. The only one who was hurt at all was me, and that's okay. Because I know in the end, this is better for my girls. Would I be home if I could? Yes I would. But it's not worth the things they would miss. I can't make them sacrifice so that I can feel better as a mom, if that makes sense. And I think, when we're not together all day, the time we do have is more precious and spent more wisely. My nearly 3-year old seems to appreciate me more. And I appreciate her more too, if that's possible. I welcome her constant talking because I've missed it all day and I relish every word and focus on her instead of just dumbly nodding while I attend to another task. Am I keeping up with the housework? No. Am I making fancy gourmet meals? No. Am I able to nap during the day or maintain the workout schedule I had while on maternity leave? No and no. But who cares? My children are happy, glowing, and thriving.