Newsweek Article: Study – Kids of Priviledged Working Moms Fare Worse

than kids of privileged non working moms….Wow – can you believe it…the title alone is enough to strike any working mom in the gut.  A study (as reported in Newsweek) found that the children of affluent moms who returned to the workplace fared more poorly on tests (at age 10 and 11)  and were more like to be obese than kids of affluent moms who stayed home OR less affluent moms who went to work. SO again, this study and article focuses on that small group of mothers who have a choice about working or not. The study found that working moms who found care for their kids outside the home also had an advantage -presumably because the care they found was better than what they could have provided. Ouch…

So now I am feeling guilty… on the one hand I bet I qualify as an affluent mom.  On the other hand, I don’t feel like one.  Between the student loan debt it took to get me to this state of affluence, the outrageous costs of housing and the subsequent plunge in the market which has made my house worth less than what I bought it for, I feel like I have to work.  Not much of a choice here if I want to pay my oil bill this winter.  I also believe that my day care arrangements are excellent.  Though I felt a small moment of panic when I realized that one of the boys in my son’s preschool class knew the letters of the alphabet better.  I immediately bough a workbook and have resolved to use it at nighttime – mixed in with Curious George will be an alphabet review…

The author of the study is careful to say he draws no conclusions about working vs. non working but does say that it indicates a need for better support for working families in general.  I for one know that I would feel a lot easier about not working for awhile if I knew it would have been easier to get back into it again.  And with hindsight, I might have done a few things differently with real estate…and I would have tried to win the lottery.

But ah well – we all try to do the best we can – and that’s all anyone can ask.  So working moms and and stay at home moms – don’t beat each other up about our choices – sometimes it is a choice, sometimes it isn’t…. and you just never know.

Encourage your daughter to dream big and make big changes – Get her a GirlMogul Future Leader of the Free World shirt today.

Michelle Obama's Speech

Michelle Obama at DNC.jpg

I don’t usually stay up to watch party conventions – after all the end is a given, the commentary is tries to hard, and sometimes watching people give speeches in fronts of hundred of thousands of people can be downright painful – oops – a gaffe here, a stumble there.  But I decided to turn into Michelle Obama’s speech – since, after all, she is growing on me.

She hit the right themes – a higher power, the American Dream, hard work, sacrifice, the ability to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps. All in all, a pretty impressive speech – made all the more so by her poise, confidence, and her show of emotion speaking about the birth of her daughters.   As she said,”He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital 10 years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands.”

And after all – isn’t that how all of us, mothers & fathers feel?

Don’t forget to check out GirlMogul’s Future of the Free World T-shirts – the perfect gift for the next generation of leaders.

Celebrating Independence Day

I am going to post something that came to me an email during campaign season, but I think it’s important, that we, as GirlMoguls remember the value of democracy and independence…I don’t know the original author – so if anyone does, please put a comment here.  Enjouy your 4th of July and rememer – History is being made…and you are a part of it.

Why women should vote–I needed the reminder.

Author Unknown…

This is the story of our Grandmothers, and Great-grandmothers, as they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of “obstructing sidewalk traffic.”

They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the “Night of Terror” on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because–why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s new movie “Iron Jawed Angels.” It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women’s history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was–with herself. “One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,” she said. “What would those women think of the way I use–or don’t use–my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.” The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her “all over again.”

HBO released the movie on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: “Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.”

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

History is being made.