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How moms are handling life these days

Introduced: August 14 2015

 We grandmothers can’t help but watch the mothers of young children today and notice what has changed for them and what remains the same. Mothering is still lots of hours, lots of exertion, lots of juggling, lots of reward.

 

Connecting with other moms is just as important as it ever was. We had neighborhoods and playgroups. Today’s women have some more options – online moms’ networks and groups like the one I saw exercising in the park – Stroller Strides, organized by FIT4MOM   www.fit4mom.com

 

The decision of whether to work or take some extended time off still remains a difficult one.

 

On one hand moms who step back from working outside the home can’t be sure what future twists and turns their careers will take. Members of our generation who are now grandparents may not have had such high professional expectations, either those we placed on ourselves or those other people set for us. Today’s women tend to marry later (making their parents wait longer to be grandparents).

 

The average age of first marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 23 for women and 26 for men in 1990 and 20 and 22 in 1960. A report released in 2013 from the University of Virginia found that marrying later benefits college-educated women financially more than any other group. It gives them some time to establish a career but when they start having children, they still face a decision. http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/getting-married-later-is-great-for-college-educated-women/274040/

 

On the other hand, according to a women’s leadership group I’m involved in, many companies are taking steps to increase flexibility and decrease unintentional gender bias – both of those intended to support women balancing family and work. Yet, some of those parent-friendly policies backfire because if men don’t take the available leave, too, women still are seen as less committed. Companies are beginning to want to accommodate mothers so they don't lose their talent. -Some interesting insights at http://awesomeleaders.org/category/future-leaders/leadership-development/

 

Recently the tech industry has taken major steps to give both parents time off when they have a child – by birth or adoption. Netflix announced they will give either mom or dad or both unlimited paid leave -- or "on demand leave" -- during the first year of their child’s life. Yeay Netflix!

 

For dialogue: Did you take time off to stay at home with your children? How do you feel about your decision? What were the best and worst parts?

 

 

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