The Mommy Tax

There is a podcast I’ve been aware of for some time, Stuff Mom Never Told You, that is fabulous but I’ve never been what you might call a religious listener. The amount of fabulous content created by the creators of the podcast was so immense that I felt overwhelmed and never really dove in. But, the show has two new hosts so I thought this would be a good time to start tuning in.

The Mommy Tax, which “aired” on May 19, 2017, was just excellent and I wanted to respond at length so I felt that my weekly post would be the best way to do that. Emilie and Bridget  do a really excellent job of giving the perspective we need to understand that women have been penalized professionally for having children for a really long time. Either we couldn’t have careers because we had to care for the children, or we can have careers but it’s not “a good move.” But, having children is a really solid career move for men, who enjoy higher rates of promotions and more raises particularly when they are working hard to be involved dads.

I will stop for a second here to say that I am a white, cis-gendered woman pursuing a M.A.. My husband already has a graduate level degree. We both have really good jobs (him in county administration, me in higher education) and our children reap the benefits associated with having college educated parents. I am not down on anyone for getting a promotion or a raise. Nor am I particularly concerned about my financial well-being as a result of my lower societal status as a woman. This is a very privileged place to be.

This is a very privileged place to be.

More than anything, and why I think it’s important to advocate for equal pay for equal work, flexible work schedules, subsidized quality child care, and a whole host of other things is for my sisters who are single parents or parenting in a same-sex relationship.

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In the course of the podcast, and what I really wanted to talk about, is something Emilie asked. She asks, at one point, what would make the working day easier for working moms. I want to extend that to working parents, because increasingly we see new parents being more equal partners when it comes to parenting.

What would make my time as a working parent a whole lot easier in the short term would be a flexible working day. My dream day is six hours in the office, two hours at home. I bet you have some kind of combo that would make your day, or week, a lot easier. Something else that would make a ton of difference to me would be on-site daycare. I work at a university with an early childhood education program and it makes a whole lot of sense to me that we would capitalize (for lack of a better word) on that program to provide parents with child care and students with a required practicum experience. Heck, how awesome would it be if it was an option for parents who work there to pay for it through a payroll deduction? One less bill to have to worry about paying! Finally, what would help so much is if women who are already in those C-level positions and higher could let go of the mentality that because they got to where they were the hard way the rest of us have to as well. Women, support each other!

I just have to end by encouraging you to listen to Stuff Mom Never Told You. There is a lot of phenomenal content, you’ll learn something new and feel inspired with every episode.

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Equality

Devon J Hall

EQUALITYScreenshot_7I can’t believe I have to say this shit again, however clearly we need to have this conversation again, because some of you just do not fucking get it. Equality for All means that every body – every human, male female and those of you who haven’t decided yet, have the exact same rights as everyone else.

This was posted on my twitter stream today and I have to tell you that it pisses me off to no Screenshot_8end. The fact that men feel as if they can’t come out and say “Yeah that’s happened to me. Yes I was sexually abused” pisses me off. Mostly because as a former victim and current survivor I know exactly how that feels.

I have come across more than one woman who deny that men can be sexually abused. Yes, honey they can. Just because a man saying no to sex is…

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Yes, I Do My Nails

As I have completed my first semester of graduate work, I am finding that one thing I really miss about my undergraduate work was the opportunity for long periods of really solid introspection. When you’re studying a field as personal as gender it’s critically important, in my opinion, to examine your own beliefs really hard. That being said, having had so much practice in looking into myself to examine my own beliefs also means I can do it a lot more efficiently. One goal I’ve developed recently is to develop a really solid regimen of self-care acts that I can do indoors. I love living in Minnesota, and I’m not likely to go anywhere any time soon, but there are months spent indoors because of the frigid weather we experience here.

All of that being said, it’s hard to identify new acts of self-care when you’re suffering from a lack of self-care. So while the weather is warm I am trying some new activities and also some new products.

At this point I want to stop and say that this is a product post. I’m not getting anything out of this except to share some things I’m trying with you. Heck, one of the people doesn’t even know I’m doing this!

First, I have started dabbing (sometimes literally) into essential oils with DoTerra. My DoTerra lady is April, and she is amazing. She takes educating people about the products very seriously and I appreciate that because essential oils are still a little “new age” for me. You can visit her here.

Second, I have started doing my nails. This is pretty big for me for a few reasons. Nail polish was a banned substance in my home growing up (to many TV paint jobs) so while my friends were perfecting their mani game I was biting my nails down to the beds. I developed tricks to numb the pain in my fingertips, sometimes bringing ice cubes to bed with me. I don’t want to get gross, but after a bizarre infection robbed me of my thumb nails and one of them grew back in kind of a weird shape. It looks like a trapezoid. With my complicated relationship with my fingernails, I was really excited to try Jamberry about a year ago. My amazing friend, Kate, was having a launch party and so I bought some wraps.

I was just as disappointed as anyone to discover that I hated them. In hindsight, I think it was that I was at the end of my pregnancy and basically hated everything. It had nothing to do with the wraps and everything to do with me.

Upon having this realization, I decided to try Jamberry again. I got a mini-heater  and some wraps (okay, full disclosure, Kate had some extra ones and she graciously sent them to me with absolutely no expectation that I would do anything like this or even become a Jamberry enthusiast. She is an amazing friend).

It is, with a few manicures under my belt (or should I say, on my fingers?) that I share with you my haphazard process for doing my nails!

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First, rather than washing my nails specifically I usually just wash my whole hand vigorously.

Second, I put lotion on my hands. That mini-heater can really dry out your skin and the wraps don’t stay on as well if you moisturize immediately after.

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Third, I pick out my wraps. I usually pair up something kind of zany with a solid wrap.

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Fourth, I apply the wraps as recommended. I struggle to use nail scissors on my right hand so I trim the excess wrap down with nail clippers.

Fifth, I feel really excited about my finished manicure!

20170516_205755.jpgIf you like the manicure I have pictured here combine Sarape Sunset and Metallic Chrome Silver.

 

What do you like to do for self-care during those times when you’re stuck inside?

Synthesis Paper #4

As the Spring 2017 semester is over and I’ve launched into my Summer 2017 course, I’ve been trying to synthesize the experience and come up with some deliverables that I can share with you.

It hasn’t been easy.

I’ll start by inviting you over to my LinkedIn profile to check out my final paper and presentation, Responding to a Changing Labor Market: What Can We Learn From the Past?

I somehow managed to earn an “A” in both my classes, a fact that I am extremely proud of. I worked really hard and I’m glad my hard work for my first semester has paid off. My professors were all phenomenal and I learned so much from them!

In terms of what I can share about being successful inside and outside the classroom, I think there are some lessons I’ve learned that can be broadly applied.

Refer to Subject Matter Experts

As I worked on my projects, I found myself often going back to presentations that I have been on the receiving end of. As a member of the school board in my community, I am surrounded by people who have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into understanding the public education system in the United States. As my research led me more and more toward recommending that we need to invest in public education I was grateful for their thorough presentations and expertise.

This, of course, can certainly apply in so many areas. You may not know the answer to the problem you are facing but someone else does. Ask them for help! If you don’t know who to ask, just start asking. Someone is bound to know someone and “we all do better when we all do better.”

Accept Yourself

As I was preparing for the semester to begin, I somehow managed to develop this notion that I could just do all my homework in the evenings and I would almost never have to do anything on the weekends. In hindsight all I can think is “Rachel, have you met yourself?”

My peak time of day is 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You may notice this is squarely in the middle of a standard work day. By the evening my brain in friend and intellectual pursuits are, by and large, off the table. Once I realized that and started working harder to do homework during my lunch break and sacrificing my weekends I felt a lot less overwhelmed.

My big take-away from this is that it doesn’t matter what you want to have happen. Certainly we can change, but sometimes we have to take ourselves as we are and work everything else around that.

Prioritize

This goes hand-in-hand with accepting yourself. Decide what your top priority for the day, week, month, or year is and then order things after that. Does Nateanite do laundry the way I do it? He absolutely does not. Did we have clean clothes to wear over the course of the semester? We absolutely did. Household work is something that fell solidly by the wayside for me, and it continues to be solidly on the wayside. I think it will be until at least May 2019.

 

Courage

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Motherhood in a larger context

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