Tag Archives: Working mothers

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-10-06

The real reason many women struggle to advance their careers, on losing the love of your life, a profile of a potential Prime Minister of Canada, and the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, in this week’s Jeneral finds: 2015-10-06

  • It has always felt so unfair to me how our society doesn’t properly value those who care for others and teach others – nurses, teachers, caregivers. Instead we place higher value to those who “make things” and generate value (aka money) – business people, engineers, professional athletes. What I didn’t realize was how this frame of mind also systematically hinders women in the workplace even in those “making things” and “generating value” careers.  “Caregiver discrimination penalizes women at all income levels“, an excerpt from Ann-Marie Slaughter’s Unfinished BusinessIdentifying and recognizing the issue is the first step, but what is great about this piece is it also provides ideas on how to move forward. Between this piece by Slaughter and her prior writings, I’ve really come to admire her.
  • Close friends of my parents had their 40-year-old son-in-law pass away suddenly this weekend, leaving his wife and three young children. I can’t even imagine the grief and shock their family must be going through; I went and hugged my husband and held on a little longer than usual. I was also brought back to this truly moving post from Sheryl Sandberg earlier this year, a month after her husband Dave Goldberg also died suddenly. Would that we all have the same type of support in our times of need.
  • In the shadow of the upcoming election, Ian Brown continues to deliver outstanding writing in his in-depth profile of Justin Trudeau in the Globe (unfortunately it may be behind a paywall). It is a long read, but I’ve been yearning for more context and depth in the media coverage of the election, and this delivers on this front.
  • Physics friends celebrate! Canadian Arthur B. McDonald is the 2015 Nobel prize co-winner in Physics! Along with Takaaki Kajita, they were awarded for their contributions to experiments demonstrating that subatomic particles called neutrinos change identities, also known as “flavours.” The neutrinos transform themselves between three types: electron-type, muon-type and tau-type. The metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass, dispelling the long-held notion that they were massless. Cool that something I have vague memories learning about in Physics classes are newsworthy again. =)

~Jen

<–Prior finds of the week

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-05-22

In this week’s finds:  a definitive take down of the vulgar FHRITP heckling, the stay-at-home-moms of New York’s Upper East Side, and the value of living an examined life. I know the duration of “week” between Jeneral finds posts is erratic (it’s been what, 16 days since my last one?), but I’ll hope you’ll bear with me.

  • Of all the things I’ve read dealing with the vulgar heckling epidemic that female reporters have been facing in the last year, this piece by Tabatha Southey in the Globe has been one of the best. In it she expertly decimates any argument that tries to excuse the behaviour or declare his firing is an overreaction or a feminist witch hunt against guys just having fun. (In case you missed the context: Nearly two weeks ago a video went viral of a live-scene reporter confronting some men outside of BMO field after a Toronto FC game. She was sick and tired of putting up with multiple idiots yelling a particular sexual harrassment phase into her microphone as they passed that she decided to ask one of them why he did it. His and his friend’s response was not endearing to say the least, and it made the news a couple days later that one of them lost his job because of it. At least he has since apologized to her.)
  • In the latter part of last year when I was trying to decide what my next step was going to be, one option could have been to become a stay at home mom. I always felt unease with that choice for myself. This op-ed, Poor Little Rich Womenlikely distorts and amplifies my fears of divulging my power, status and self-identity in my relationship with my husband. Our financial and relationship situation isn’t anything like the ones profiled here, and yet…how can anyone guarantee it would never end up the same way? Still, the lifestyles of the truly rich are beyond my understanding, as is their self-selecting choice to sex-segregate their much of their socializing.
  • The importance of keeping a notebook is another reassurance that this blogging thing is something I should make an effort to keep doing.

~Jen

Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

Lately I’ve been on a reading kick, and particularly autobiographical books from funny women. Amy Poehler’s contribution to the collection is one of the best. Part memoir (from her “middle-years”), part words-of-wisdom, part collection of funny stories, it was a real treat to read.

You can tell that this was a book written as snatches of stories in stolen snippets of time, but masterfully edited together. Seriously, kudos to her editors. The 3 sections/themes of the book likely weren’t planned on the outset, and yet it works.

Not only is she very funny, Poehler is thoroughly quotable with some very wise words regarding working and career that really resonated with me.  Continue reading Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

Hiring a life coach was my best decision this spring

I admit when I first started, a part of me felt that getting a life coach might be hokey and questioned whether I’d be doing exercises like walking barefoot over hot coals and repeating positive mantras in the mirror. The larger part of me though was more pragmatic: having a coach should make this self-analysis more efficient, help direct me toward forward momentum and hopefully as an outsider see something that I’ve been blind to for ages. Without a coach, I feared I might end up naval-gazing to the extreme, potentially ending up wallowing in self-doubt, negativity, and guilt in wasting time ‘searching for myself’.  So I decided to take the plunge and invest in the time , money and energy with her.

Now as I wrap up my last session with my coach,  I have a bunch of various emotions: Continue reading Hiring a life coach was my best decision this spring

The Struggle Inside: Lean In or Lean Back?

Before having children, I used to think that it would be no big deal to have both a career and a family. In other words, be a superwoman.

My mother did it, many of my friends’ mothers did it…and it felt like we owed it to our feminist elders to take on the torch and continue making progress towards equality in the career marketplace. Our partners would be more sensitive and involved in the raising of the family so the burden would be eased. Society would be fully supportive of working families and there would be many options for childcare available. I was going to make a big impact in the world, and I would happen to be a woman.

Then I had my kids.

Continue reading The Struggle Inside: Lean In or Lean Back?