Category Archives: Discussion Topics

Shared Parenting is Possible – If You Know Why It’s Hard

I’m so happy for my friends Amy and Marc Vachon whose book, Equally Shared Parenting, came out this past Tuesday. Already they’ve fit in a TV interview with Fox News and with New England Cable Channel. Plus a mention in a post on Lisa Belkin’s New York Times blog, The Motherlode, which was the genesis of the book as well. Belkin’s post asks the question “Can parenting be truly equal?” but I think a better question is “Why in the 21st century when so many couples go into parenthood expecting and wanting to share family work and family life do they find it so darn hard?” My  own book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today provides answers to this and several other related questions by using the story of the journey my husband and I took from having fallen into unexpected traditional roles to the kind of family life and team approach we really wanted.

Subconscious assumptions, or mental maps, that  mothers are best at caring for family and fathers are clueless create a double standard and set couples up to fall into a trap where mother still does most of the family work even if that’s not what we want or plan on. This is not genetics at work. So many things conspired to make it hard for us to have the family life we wanted – Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion Topics, Family Work, Fatherhood, Marriage, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Flexible Alternatives to Layoffs

Jobless Claims Rise to Record Levels, 20 Reasons to Promote Flexible Alternatives to Layoffs

This recent article published by Fast Company expert blogger, Cali Yost, has me wondering if school districts can use same strategy.

Cali writes:

Today, the Department of Labor reported that first time jobless claims not only rose faster than expected but they were 72% higher than this time last year and reached levels not seen since October, 1982.  With this news as a backdrop, it’s fortuitous that Marci Alboher, one of my favorite career experts, interviewed me in her new Working the New Economy blog on Yahoo! Shine for a post entitled “Negotiating an Alternative to a Layoff: 5 Questions for Cali Yost.

Unfortunately, some layoffs are unavoidable.  But if leaders considered flexible alternatives as part of downsizing, they would lower costs while retaining as much valuable talent as possible to work through this great recession.

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Filed under Articles, Career-Life Fit, Discussion Topics, Economy, Family Work, Workplace and Employment

New Research Shows U.S. Economy Will Grow by Billions of Dollars if High School Dropout Rate is Reduced

The impact of dropouts on local economy is huge.  I’m feeling fortunate that my new job allows me to work on this by supporting schools in building pathways to college and career that are relevant and engaging to students.

Published by news release by the Alliance for Excellent Education:

If just half of the dropouts in an average year graduated, additional tax revenues and increased wages would substantially buoy the local economies of the nation’s fifty largest cities

Washington, D.C. – New game-changing research conducted by the Alliance for Excellent Education (The Alliance) released today shows that the U.S. economy would grow significantly if the number of high school dropouts was cut in half.

Nearly 600,000 students dropped out of the high school class of 2008 in the nation’s fifty largest cities and the surrounding areas. The Alliance’s research shows that, if just half of those students had graduated, on average, they would have earned more than $4.1 billion in additional income every year. In addition, in these areas, state and local tax revenues in an average year would jump by a total of nearly $536 million.

“In these lean economic times, local businesses and governments are looking for any way they can to improve their financial situation,” said former West Virginia Governor and Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise. “These numbers demonstrate clearly that every consumer, business, and taxpayer benefits dramatically when we do what it takes to increase the number of students who graduate from high school with the skills they need to succeed in life. Indeed, the best economic stimulus is a high school diploma.”

The AEE study also found that 65 percent of the additional high school graduates would continue their education with many earning a PhD or other professional degree.

“As a business leader I’m committed to a quality education for all children and to strengthening the vitality of our communities,” said Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm®. “The new Alliance for Excellent Education model conclusively demonstrates that graduating from high school has significant positive economic and financial consequences for the business community and not just for the individual getting the education. Assuring that all of our students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to compete in a global economy is something all businesses-small and large-should see as a priority.”

While it is impossible to forecast precise values of economic benefits, the Alliance is confident that these figures fall within the range of benefits that each region could expect to see. The economic model used to estimate these economic benefits was developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education with the generous support of State Farm® and in partnership with Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.

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Filed under Articles, Discussion Topics, Economy, Education, Kids & School, News & Commentary

Share Your Remodeling Motherhood Moments Here!

toolboxI’ve started to get people asking where they can share examples they find of outdated mental maps and stereotypes about mothers, fathers, marriage, money and work. Also, where they can share their own remodeling projects and victories and their Remodeling Motherhood resolutions. So there are at least two places.  Leave a comment here on this blog post, OR visit and join my Facebook Group for a discussion group there.

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Discussion Topics, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips, Resolutions, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Resolutions

Okay, it’s not Mother’s Day yet, but in the Afterword of the book I suggest we all make resolutions each about the small steps we’ll take in our own life or together with other mothers and fathers to get rid of outdated mental maps and remodel our own lives and remodel the whole house. Share yours by clicking HERE year round.

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Filed under Announcements, Discussion Topics, Resolutions