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Moms On Issues

with Sara and Veronica

We're two moms with different backgrounds, jobs and points of view, writing about our opinions on the political and social issues affecting working moms. We'll also keep our eye on the media and the celebrity mom world to highlight issues that are relevant to your life.

Check out our personal blogs: Veronica's Blog and Sara's Blog

Happy New Year!

Categories: career, caregiving, raising baby

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Ah, the Monday after New Year’s. The day when most kids are headed back to the classroom and parents head back to their offices (whether or not they are in their PJs). The holidays are past us, we’re scraping the bottom of the cookie tin, and wondering if we really are going to use that Wii Fit to lose weight (I wouldn’t know, we’re Wii-free). But let’s grab another cuppa coffee/tea/chai and head into the new year with gusto. Yes, let’s Work it, Moms!

Here are my hopes for all of us for 2009:

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Thoughts on gift giving and saying no

Categories: feminism, raising baby

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As a vocal feminist mom, I often get questions about what books or toys to buy for children, especially girls. Many moms are leery of all the stuff that’s available and want help navigating the pitfalls. Last year I put together a list of online gifts & non-gifts for budding feminists. But we all know that the smallest of our children are expecting Santa, Hanukkah Harry or Solstice Sabrina (yeah, I just made her up) to bring some actual toys.

While moms are hailing the possibility that this is our last holiday season with Bratz dollz, it doesn’t mean that we are free from dolls that wear stripper wear. Obviously some parents are buying these dolls for their daughters. Why don’t I like them? Well, their attire is my #1 reason. There’s a vicious cycle that I want to see us break that might mean a return to allowing our girls to reclaim their childhood. Clothing in the stores for young girls (pre-school to tween) are sometimes inappropriate. I don’t want my 5-year-old wearing the same clothes my 16-year-old niece wears. That just pushes the 16-year-old to think, “I don’t want to wear baby clothes” and she shops in the college girl section…On and on. If you want to buy a doll, a traditional Barbie is fine. Yes, this feminist says buy the Barbie, as long as she’s dressed appropriately.

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Study shows one-third of dads cheat on their wives

Categories: moms in the news, raising baby

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A new poll out by Cookie Magazine/ AOL Health reveals some surprising news about today’s dads: they aren’t getting enough sex, so they’re turning to other women and the internet for some cheap thrills. The startling stat for me was that 32 percent of dads in this poll admitted to having an affair. Additionally, 60 percent of dads turn to the internet for fun.

Moreover, 70 percent of those polled said they imagine having sex with Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Beyonce and 79 percent want more action in the bedroom. While baffled by the stat that a third of those surveyed have strayed from their wives at some point since having children, I’m less shocked that dads fantasize about celebrities or want more play between the sheets.

I’m not naming names or anything, but I know of a certain someone who crashes at 9:30 after running around a toddler all day not to mention that she’s four months pregnant so the last thing she feels like doing is engaging in a sort of physical activity that was more fun on her honeymoon. I’m just saying.


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Thank you Dads & Daughters

Categories: caregiving, feminism, raising baby

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I read the line about five times before it sunk in…Dads & Daughters, an innovative and I daresay feminist national organization that focuses on the Father-Daughter relationship was closing.

I’ve known of Dads & Daughters since my husband became a dad himself. I went to the bookstore for his first Christmas as a dad to find a good book on being a dad. I wanted to help prepare him for what I thought was one of the most fragile relationships to foster and maintain. I bought him Dads and Daughters by Joe Kelly. I of course was curious about who this man was, went to my computer and did a web search and obviously found Dads & Daughters the organization.

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Do you see gold medals in your child’s future?

Categories: raising baby

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By the time you read this, I’ll have either succeeded in or failed to sign my daughter up for gymnastics. Am I pushing her to be the next Bridget Sloan? Um, no…at least I hope not!

It’s not that I wouldn’t be honored and uber-proud of her if she made the 2020 Olympics in gymnastics, it’s just that despite the fact that I love, LOVE gymnastics, I’m not sure if I want our family to take that road. To have her give up so much of her personal life in order to spend a few extra hours in the gym every…single..day? In the hope that maybe one day in 12 years she’ll be perfect enough to go to the Olympics? To spend all that money? To perhaps rob her of a few inches of height? Seriously, we’re Latinas, we don’t have much height to give up.

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My issue this week is that my daughter is starting kindergarten. Help!

Categories: raising baby

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In one month my baby girl, my one and only, will start kindergarten.

As a full-time working outside the home mom, it’s not that I fear her going off without me because she’s been in daycare since she was 3 months. It’s not that she’s scared of starting kindergarten, she’s looking forward to it. But there is just something about kindergarten that scares the beejzus out of me.

Perhaps it is because she has been in the same place since she was three months old. That we really love our center, the directors, and the teachers. It might have something to do with the fact that our daughter is really comfortable with her center and teachers as well.

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The power of pacts

Categories: career, raising baby

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All the talk of whether or not the increase of teenage pregnancies in a Massachusetts town was a coincidence or a result of a formed pact between the teenagers got me thinking about a pact I made with a friend when my son was a baby and I was deciding whether or not to return to work.

My friend and I had our sons just one month apart. We lived within walking distance of each other and took maternity leave together. We both loved our careers and couldn’t imagine leaving the workforce to stay at home full time. Somehow, we both managed to wrangle flexible, part-time opportunities from our employers and worked the same three-day work week. Essentially, we made a pact to go back to work. We were working mother partners in crime.

But then, one day, she decided to quit to stay at home. And our pact was rendered null. As I said before, there’s safety in numbers. I think it’s much easier to work when all of your friends work, or stay home if all of your friends stay home.

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Dads would happily stay at home, survey says

Categories: career, raising baby

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dad.jpgI know this is a site for working moms, but since Father’s Day is this weekend, I thought we could turn our attention to our (mostly) better halves. I’ve always found it interesting that in all the debates about mommy wars and mommy guilt, little has been said or discussed about how dads feel about working and family. This week, however, I did run across this survey put out by CareerBuilder.com which states an interesting fact about dads surveyed.

More than a third of working dads (37 percent) said they would leave their job if their spouse or significant other’s income could comfortably support the entire family, similar to last year’s findings.

Wow, who knew? Some dads want to stay home too? I’m only being half-serious here. Some people may be surprised by these results, but I’m not. Almost on a weekly basis my husband tells me he’d happily stay at home with our son if I was willing to work and support our family. Sometimes, I think he should be the one to stay at home full time. His instincts are flawless when it comes to taking care of our son.

But I so don’t have what it takes to be a full-time working mom with a high-pressure career that brings fulfillment and the bacon.


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Navigating the nanny-employer relationship

Categories: caregiving, raising baby

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The controversy surrounding Rob Lowe and his nanny’s allegations that he abused her during her employment with his family raises eyebrows not only for the lewd allegations coming from both sides, but also for the complicated dynamics of employing caretakers in your household.

Allowing what amounts is a perfect stranger come into your home, take care of your kids is a daunting thought. Having a nanny or babysitter in your house for extended periods of time can certainly be awkward, even if your nanny is like Mary Poppins. I cannot think of another situation where an employee comes to work only to find her boss dressed in pajamas without any makeup. (If you work in such a place, don’t tell me; I’ll be jealous).

Letting someone else take care of your children, only if for defined periods of time, takes a measure of intestinal fortitude. Who else is going to see how much you spent at Target in one day?

Certainly not your husband. But the nanny knows all. I try not to get too personal with my sitter. If I’m all decked out in workout clothes and she asks if I’m going to the gym, I simply skirt the issue. It’s none of her business how I spend my time when she’s with my son. (However, I’m sure the wet nail polish when I arrive home at the end of the day is a dead giveaway.) There are boundaries to any employee/ employer relationship, and the nanny-mother/father one is no exception.


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I don’t follow the rules when it comes to parenting

Categories: raising baby

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carseat.jpgThere are times when I wonder if I’m doing this whole mom thing right. But then I stop to think and subsequently give myself a good bitch-slap. There is no “right” way to parent, right?

A recent MSNBC article got me thinking about this topic. As the story states,

In the aftermath of the high-profile arrest of the Illinois mom who left her napping toddler in a car parked outside a Wal-Mart while she donated change out front (charges were later dropped), parents are left wondering whether their own small misdeeds could land them a nasty scolding from a meddling busybody — or even a charge of neglectful parenting by the authorities.

Since I became a mother, I have created certain lifestyle choices that I try to obey. But what holds me together as a mom of a toddler is my own personal mantra: there are absolutely no rules to parenting. No matter what the busybodies and even the experts think.


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