The Closer star spoke at an event at Ultra last night and was super-cool and super-honest about how hard it can be to balance kids and career. As “bad” as this may sound: It was nice to know the super glamourous super-rich, super gorgeous and super-thin can have the same struggles the rest of us have. I’m now a Closer fan!
Millions of educated, professional women temporarily leave their jobs to stay home and raise their children despite the hard work put into earning a degree and climbing the corporate ladder. So wouldnâ€™t quitting, even for a few years, kill a career? Not according to Monica Samuels and J.C. Conklin, who launched MomsNextMove.com, a new site in March designed to educate women on how to successfully leave and then return to the workforce because they have chosen to spend time with their children.
â€œPeople thought I was crazy to leave a salary and paid vacations to stay home with my child,â€ explains Monica, “But I had a plan, which is vital before you go storming into your bossâ€™ office to announce your departure. Thereâ€™s more to quitting than saying the words. Thereâ€™s strategy involved.â€ That experience inspired her book, Comeback Moms, written for moms wanting to resume their careers and thus the new website. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Forgive me, peeps for not blogging in so long….it’s been one of those weeks/months/years….I don’t have to tell you…work/kids/family/work/kids/family and oh yeah…ME!
Last night I FINALLY got to do something for me that was FUN and exciting and DELICIOUS — not to mention inspiring (Italy: here I come!). Kim Orlando, of TravelingMom.com and Beth Feldman of rolemommy.com organized an Italian cooking class at this funky loft in Soho (with these ADORABLE Italian chefs!) as part of a promotion to promote family-friendly trips by Select Italy, a customized trip planner that can set up whatever you want where ever you want in Italy: villas and apartments; guided walking tours, cooking courses, winery visits and fun stuff for kids (like painting frescoes!). Kim is hoping to customize/organize such tours…and she’s also looking for women bloggers.
I never realized how many cool woman bloggers are out there: one of my new fave sites is TodaysMama. Check out all of the above — and let me know what you think. And I PROMISE: I’ll be a better blogger.
As 20 kids what love is (since Valentine’s day is just around the corner) and you’ll probably get 20 different answers. But ask them what makes a great couple and, say the experts at KidsHealth.org, those in the 6-12 age range will tell you it’s YOU: good ‘old Mom and Dad.
Of the more than 4,000 kids who participated in their online poll, more than 40% rated their parents as their favorite. When asked what they thought made a great couple, about a third said “it’s when two people are different but make a good combination, kindof like peanut butter and jelly.”
And so, here’s to all that makes a great sandwich: pb&j and of course, all the amazing, terrific, self-sacrificing things you do for your kids everyday. We, of course, already know we’re terrific..but it’s nice when your kids think you’re special, too.
I don’t know about you, but it’s REALLY hard for me to carve out/find some time for myself. I honestly wish I had more time to read/lounge/spa-ah it. But lately, my body has been talking to me, and showing its age. In other words: I need to exercise (to be honest: I’ve always avoided exercising).
My back went out a few months ago and so I’ve tried yoga and the treadmill and various other exercises. Nothing “sold” me until I found The Bar Method with its promise of a “leaner, slimmer, more youthful body” (though “firm thighs, lifted seats and flat abs” was was convinced me to sign up).
What I love about it is not only is it a challenging (and FUN!) full-body workout, but the classes are composed of REAL women like me (i.e. women with curves! and yes, even love handles!). And the owner, a local Westchester resident, is GREAT and so encouraging — even though she’s firm and flexible and nowhere near middle age.
For those of us time-pressed moms, it’s the best hour I’ve ever spent. So much so, I’m cramming it in three times a week. Check it out — and hopefully, I’ll see you in the next class!
Want to know where to take the family for pizza? Check out this RNN segment featuring little ‘old MOI!
Where I live in Westchester there are tons of stick-thin women with stick-thin daughters. Which leads me to wonder: how can parents ensure they’re raising a daughter that is happy with her body image and one that does not ask for the gift of liposuction before she turns 16?
Sarah Maria Dreisbach, body image expert and founder of Break-free Beauty, explains that many women are at war with their bodies. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In a culture that worships thin, young, fit, and perfect, few of us can measure up. We’ve passed that dissatisfaction about ourselves on to our children. And they are paying the price.”
As you probably know, eating disorders are now the third most common chronic illness in adolescent girls and have the highest death rate associated with any mental illness.Ã‚Â Research suggests that approximately 1% of female adolescents have anorexia, and approximately 4% of college-age women have bulimia.Ã‚Â According to statistics posted by the National Institute on Media and the Family, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies by age 13. That figure increases to a staggering 78% by the time girls reach 17.
Sarah Maria advises to honestly address our childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s concerns that we need to face our own demons first. Are we really unworthy if we aren’t fit and toned? Are we only loveable if we are shapely and un-wrinkled, un-blemished? Must we (and our daughters) be perfect to deserve space in the world?
“We have to deal with our own body loathing, at whatever level, before we can help the next generations,” notes Sarah Maria.Ã‚Â “Only then can we make a stand for true beauty that is not dependent on dress-size.”
Am I the only one that thinks it’s crazy that we’re raising a generation of kids that can’t be without a TV even for a short ride to the grocery store? Stay at home moms should have a more creative way to ride to/from playdates without plugging in the minivan screen. And shame on you working moms who should use the time in the car to spark conversation with your youngsters! Some of the best discussions take place in the car — turn it off!
Do you have close friends at work?
If you do, chances are you’re more productive. So claims Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without. A friend of mine sent me this information and I had to share:
According to Rath’s Gallup Organization research, employees who have a best friend in the office are generally more productive, more likely to engage positively with customers, share new ideas, and stay longer in a job.
Some of Rath’s findings:
People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their job. They get more work done in less time, have fewer accidents, more engaged customers and are more likely
to innovate and share new ideas.
People with at least 3 close work friends were 46% more likely to be extremely satisfied with their job — and 88% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.
What’s interesting is that many companies actually discourage workplace friendships. Specifically, nearly one-third of the 80,000 managers and leaders interviewed by Gallup agreed with the statement that “familiarity breeds contempt.”
But according to Rath, companies which discourage workplace friendship are actually harming themselves.
“When we asked people if they would rather have a best friend at work or a 10% pay raise, having a friend clearly won,” says Rath. “Friendships are among the most fundamental of human needs.”
Are you as stressed as I am? Chanukah arrived last night but instead of sharing a family meal and giving gifts, we were running around so we could attend our daughter’s winter choir concert. Why the schools schedule stuff then (on top of homework she had — so SHE was stressed too) is beyond me. Indeed, when holiday stress is placed on top of already excessively high stress levels individuals feel year-round, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no wonder the holiday season is one of the most demanding times of the year.Ã‚Â Just type holiday stress into the Google search bar and more than 7 million results pop up.
Consider these findings:
According to an Opinion Research study conducted in October 2007, 48 percent of women experience more stress during the holidays compared to other times of the year. (Opinion Research, 10/07)
More than 80 percent of individuals report that they take no additional steps to manage their stress during this time of year. With hectic schedules and added holiday demands, Americans report that they are increasingly likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors such as comfort eating (56%), drinking more alcohol (30%) and sedentary activities like sleeping and watching TV (43%).( American Psychological Association 2006 poll on holiday stress)
Almost three-quarters of Americans report that money and work are significant sources of stress in their lives. (American Psychological Association, 2007 Stress in America survey. The holidays then compound the pressure. (APA’s 2006 poll on holiday stress)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“With the holidays and New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a few weeks away, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of holiday stress.Ã‚Â But, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re already seeing first-hand the toll itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s taking on employees,Ã¢â‚¬? says August Stieber, National Sales Director of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA), a national EAP firm.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“BDA has seen approximately a 20% increase in mental health cases in November 2007 when comparing the data to the same time last year.Ã¢â‚¬?
Stieber offers these simple tips for balancing holiday cheer with holiday stress:
1.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Know how stress affects you.
2.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Time management during the holiday season is needed for even the most organized individual.
3.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Balance the end of the year work projects with your personal time.Ã‚Â If you have more stress at work you may want to think about not adding so many social events to your calendar.
4.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The quality of interactions/social events is better than the quantity of interactions.
5.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Take the time to be in the moments with the people you care about. It usually gives us energy to make it through the season.
Any other tips?