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Like every person who makes their career a priority, my mother had to make tradeoffs between her personal and professional life. My mum's deep engagement in her career meant that attending every sports match and weeknight dinner was not an option.
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As Mother's Day approaches, I've been thinking about the role my mom has played in my life. So when I stumbled across a photo of a little boy in Northern Armenia with a toy sewing machine, it took me straight back to sitting at the kitchen table with my own model, as my mother carefully pieced together a fabric masterpiece.
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With Canada currently ranked 35th in the 2016 World Economic Forum's survey on gender equity, and a federal government committed to tackling the ongoing gender gap, now is the time to drive change in practical ways that will create measurable results.
For many of us, the weekend flies right by and before we know it, we start gearing up for the week ahead. Well, we have a little something up our sleeves that will help get you through your weekday dilemmas with our 10 amazingly delicious lunch recipes. Now you won't have to wait for the weekend to roll around to enjoy a hearty meal. You'll be too excited for lunch to even think that far in advance!
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Why are parenthood and professionalism so often at odds? In the almost seven years that I've been a parent myself, I've struggled with this dynamic. Having to call in sick because your baby is puking or your sitter didn't show. Hearing whines and whoops as the soundtrack during business calls. These sorts of things are highly frowned upon in the business world.
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Hey there, guy from the BBC viral video from last week. I know, you must feel completely mortified as the entire world found out that you were more than just an expert on South Korea. GASP! You're a father, too! Working from home, or doing a job that requires a lot of your work to happen in your home, is rough when you have kids.
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No longer able to spring out of bed, we're getting our days started later. This leaves us with less time to get everyone ready, fed and out the door on time. It also means there's a lot more frenetic energy bouncing around our house.
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Many times I would put work above anything else as I became the "job." I didn't realize then that I allowed my job to define who I was as a person. For some odd reason I lost myself in the process of being dedicated and it took starting a family and getting laid off to realize it.
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With the heavy lifting of baby-rearing behind you, now may be the time to head back to work. For those already working and no longer chained to daycare fees, perhaps it's a good time to go after a new career opportunity. Or, the empty house may have your biological clock ticking for just one more baby?
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By staying engaged in a way that didn't take me too far from my baby girl at any given moment, I felt a greater sense of control over the situation.
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I know there are going to be many, many more hard moments when I ask myself how much longer a certain behaviour of my children's is going to last. But with each of those hard moments that I want to end, there are a dozen precious moments that I want to hold onto for a lifetime.
"Had to take this call. Can't leave. Will meet you there. Sorry." Practice starts at 6 p.m. and Frank so very badly wants to cheer for his little girl on the sidelines. He knows it's not always possible or fair for me to drop my work to make sure she gets there on time -- but, like half of working dads, he's struggling to balance the competing demands of work and family life.
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Yes, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau asked for help. And with that request, a firestorm has ensued that has attacked her station. I don't mean her ambiguously political role as the spouse of Canada's prime minister or her status of privilege. I very much mean her standing as a working mother.
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After I announced my first pregnancy at work, the head of my business took me aside and said these words to me: "I know you're pregnant and I want to be sure you stay healthy, but unless you tell me otherwise, I will not lower the bar for you."
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"You made me dump out nearly two weeks worth of food for my son."
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I know that feeling of saying goodnight to your little one and just wanting to collapse on the couch... As parents we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we let our own health slide. That needs to change.
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Most of the adult children of working mothers that I spoke to felt they actually thrived due to their mothers' careers, learning invaluable skills, such as resilience and work ethic.
For some reason, society (and especially moms), get caught up in terminology. Moms are categorized as SAHM (stay-at-home mom), WAHM (work-at-home mom), or career mom, as though having a specific "mom label" denotes a certain level of superiority or accomplishment. In the end, regardless of our employment status, we are all moms
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To all new and expecting mothers Tara encourages you to: "Get connected. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to carry a mother so don't be afraid to reach out to someone walking the same journey. We can walk together because our children need us to be the best mothers that we can possibly be."
The field of developmental psychology is monopolized by women who simply do not want to make working mothers feel bad. I would say the same is true of reporters and editors. As a society, we really ought to be more concerned about the welfare of young children than grown women.
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Before I had kids, I dreamed about being a stay-at-home mom. I loved the idea of having the whole household under control and making life easy for my husband by rocking the homemaker role. But as it turns out, I am happy in that role about one day per week and otherwise feel totally and utterly stifled.
On Mother's Day, I look at my kids and think how blessed I am. Not just because I've had a chance to raise them, with all of the love, pride and fun that brings to my life. But because doing so has been a joyful experience. I've been able to nourish them, keep them warm, and send them off to school in the morning.
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I don't want to read any more arguments about who has it harder, whose work is "real work," who is contributing more to society, or who is doing a better job ensuring her kids become stable, non-homicidal adults. I'm proposing a new form of Internet literature, where one group of moms singles out another group of moms for a job well done.
I don't judge my friends who work full-time (I'm completely proud and impressed by their success) and I don't judge my friends who don't work at all (I'm amazed by their patience and ability to put their careers on hold). The trouble is that moms feel the need to defend their position (myself included) whenever they feel it's being questioned, and sometimes it gets downright vicious. We've already established that there's no "perfect" solution that works for everyone, so it seems wrong that anyone has to compare themselves to anyone else (and feel guilty or insecure), but we're never going to get past it, it seems.
As a culture, we have a weird obsession with women being "selfish." Mothers especially are prone to accusations of selfishness any time they make a choice that doesn't directly and obviously benefit their children. Even when mothers are encouraged to practice self-care, it's often approached with the idea that feeling happy and rested will make them better partners and parents.
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My life as a working mother is dependent on Post-it notes. Put chicken in Crock-Pot. Pick up after band 4:30. Fill in hot lunch order. These bright sticky notes are literally strewn all over my desk. I shudder to think what would happen to our life without them.
These Mommy Wars, which have for their purpose to conquer and divide women, rather than unify us in our quest for familial happiness, could instead be a stepping point for women to finally empower each other despite and as a result of great ideological differences.
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Six years ago, my husband Matthew was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform, the most common and deadliest of brain cancers. As Matthew's primary caregiver, I've come to recognize that coping in the face of a terminal illness is a learned skill, and sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works.
If you ask your daughter (or son for that matter), if they would want your job or your life and they pause, maybe you should too. Just because you can do the impossible, doesn't mean you need to. A wise woman said, "I wasn't there all the time but I was there when it mattered most."
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The point is that working moms need a village to be successful. They need short-cuts and tips that make life easier. With precious little time at home, it's things like swifters and crockpots make a difference. If you don't have a support system that can help you find the things that can help you feel like a better mom, build one. It's worth it.
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Children are an incredible paradox. They bring so much joy, so many tender moments, so many blissful times when you're just enjoying them, and they're enjoying you, and you're laughing at something funny your toddler said, or something adorable your baby did. And then there's the other 23 hours and 30 minutes of the day you have to get through.
People, not parents, struggle to find the time and energy to do the things they know they should. Anyhow, it struck me that there are some things I can (and will!) blame my children for, cheerfully, and some things that I resolve I will not blame them for. I want them to know I can prioritise what's important for my own wellbeing, so that they can learn from me.