Category Archives: Fatherhood

This is NOT Progress: Americans Now Think 40 hrs is “Part-Time”

This is definitely NOT the direction we want to be heading. From Business Insider:

Americans consider a 40-hour work week as “part time” in most professional jobs and as a sign of a stagnant career, according to a recent study by the Center for American Progress.

Just as income inequality grows, so does the divide between those who have too much work, and those who have too little. We are a nation divided into the overemployed and the underemployed – a result fueled by the structure of our workplaces, our cultural attitudes about work, and increasing economic insecurity that pressures everyone to try to get ahead and stay ahead no matter what it takes.
And look at the jump the number of middle income and professional women working over 50 hours a week (3.4 > 8.3% and 6.1 > 14.4%), that’s the result of families increasing the number of hours the woman works in an attempt to make up for increasing fixed costs and stagnant wages for men.
On both ends of the income scale, we’re at the breaking point.

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Filed under Career-Life Fit, Economy, Fatherhood, Motherhood, News & Commentary, Workplace and Employment

Happy Father’s Day to All the Men Remodeling Fatherhood!

Sharing one of my favorite clips from The Evolution of Dad for Father’s Day, an interview with Dr. Michael Kimmel, one of the nation’s leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity.

“This generation, we’re fighting for the right of men to be equal parents and still feel like real men. Our children are going to take that for granted.”

Here’s to all the fathers I know and love who are making that prediction truer every day!

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Parenting, Remodeling Motherhood

Mothers & Fathers: Share Family Responsibility Not Just “Tasks”

“Tell people what to do and they’ll take responsibility for the task. Tell them Why they’re doing it and they’ll take responsibility for the solution.”

~ Simon Sinek

This quote I got via email from Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, is a great reminder for mothers and fathers of how important it is to share the responsibility for family work, not simply have mother delegate tasks to father. Who does the laundry and who makes pediatrician appointments may seem petty on the surface, but there is so much more at stake – our relationships with each other and with our children. Those relationships are the “why.”

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Marriage, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips

Updated: Interview with This Little Parent Stayed Home

Tune in for my interview with Ally Loprete, radio host of This Little Parent Stayed Home, this Friday, April 29.

About This Little Parent Stayed Home:

Being able to afford the luxury of keeping one parent home has become one of the most widely common goals in families across America today, yet most families don’t believe its possible to survive on only one income. This Little Parent… speaks to BOTH parents in a way that encourages coming together as a family unit and using ones own resources to be able to adequately provide for the children in the best way possible for the family. Join host, Ally Loprete as she leads us in a new revolution by helping us to realize the reality of our potential, and the potential for a better reality!

This Little Parent… takes a fresh and straight forward approach to helping moms and dads to realize that there is a better and more economical way. Through Ally’s effervescent energy, families across the country are being offered a solution to regain control of all that feels misplaced in the last few decades. This Little Parent… is a concept that will allow you to adequately embrace your family values and your entrepreneurial spirit by joining the thousands of other parents who are contributing to a vibrant change! No other program dares to be as brutally honest about what to expect, yet inspires us to take the boldest risks of our lives. This is a truly realistic, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is method that will have you laughing and crying, surviving while struggling, and hammering away at the hardships as you travel through one of the greatest journeys of your life. Get empowered by joining thousands of other parents who have also decided to take a leap of faith into a double career with longer hours and half the pay simply because of the love they have for their children. Each week This Little Parent… invites parent entrepreneurs across the country to share their stories of struggle and success.  Callers with specific questions will be coached on the air.

For more information and to tune in this Friday, visit the show’s website by clicking HERE.

UPDATE: Missed the interview? You can now download and listen to the interview by visiting clicking HERE.

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Parenting, Radio

Shifting Attitudes on Marriage

Fascinating short Washington Post summary of the Time Magazine/Pew Poll on shifting attitudes toward marriage. Including this little tidbit listed at the end of the article that has major implications for workplaces, schools and families.

-About 62 percent say that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household and children. That’s up from 48 percent who held that view in 1977.

Here’s the full Time Magazine article on the poll, Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution.

No surprise that marriage is changing – since everything else is. The changes in our economy that have led to greater inequality, the changes in the roles of men and women in the workplace and as mothers and fathers. All of it is undergoing sea change that will force us to remodel everything, including marriage.
Here’s the short version of the story of how my husband and I remodeled our marriage after we had our daughter and confronted our own outdated stereotypes about the roles of mothers and fathers – Remodeling Marriage: Our Next Wedding
For the full story, including the description of the event itself – our “next wedding” – pick up my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today.

 

P.S. Here’s the link to the full Pew Report, The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of New Families.

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Filed under Fatherhood, Marriage, Motherhood, News & Commentary

How Stereotypes About Warmth and Competence Impact Mothers

My friend Barbara was at a meeting of her fellow computer geeks. The speaker said to them all, “I’ll try to explain it so my mother could understand it.” It dawned on Barbara that she remembered others making similar remarks in her economics Ph.D. program, and then she said, “It was always clear to me that [the phrase] meant someone untrained, possibly stupid. This was the first time since I became a mom that I’d heard it. I felt kicked in the stomach.”

Barbara had run smack into a deep, common and largely subconscious stereotype  – namely that mothers aren’t very smart.

Why would that be?

A recent Harvard Magazine profile of social psychologist Amy Cuddy, The Psyche of the Automatic, highlights decades of research on automatic stereotypes and their impact on many different groups – including mothers and fathers – and explains what’s behind the “explain it so my mother could understand it” type of stereotype.

  • Warmth and competence are the two critical factors in how we perceive others.
  • It’s really hard to get people to perceive you as both warm AND competent. “People tend to see warmth and competence as inversely related. If there’s a surplus of one trait, they infer a deficit of the other.” (Cuddy quoted in a 2009 Harvard Business Review article, “Just Because I’m Nice, Don’t Assume I’m Dumb.”)
  • Others respond to you in distinctly different ways depending on how they perceive the warmth or competence of a group you belong to according to the grid below.

Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Career-Life Fit, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood, stereotypes, Workplace and Employment

Guess Who Said This?

So can you guess who said this?

“The fault line between work and family [is] precisely where sex-based generalization has been and remains the strongest. . . . Stereotypes about women’s domestic responsibilities are reinforced by parallel stereotypes, presuming a lack of domestic responsibilities for men. These mutually reinforcing stereotypes create a self-fulfilling cycle of discrimination.”

Democratic politician? Liberal think tank?

Surprise.

It was former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist, in a 2003 opinion.

Stereotypes about mothers and fathers impact families of all political stripes. What have you done lately to bust your own stereotypes?

P.S. Check out this quiz for some examples of the types of parallel stereotypes about mothers and fathers that Rehnquist had in mind.

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips, stereotypes, Uncategorized

How to Explain Gap in Resume: Caring for Family or…Coma?

When I was pregnant, a friend who didn’t have kids yet dropped of a stack of novels, “I thought you might like to read these once the baby comes and you stop going to work.” Made sense to me in the moment; I would have tons of time on my hands right? Ha! The stack say on our table for months after our daughter arrived and a year later I managed to find the time to return them to my friend, unopened and unread. Where did all that time go I thought I would have?

That time was spent working. I don’t mean employment. I mean the very real work of caring for family that is so often invisible yet takes time, energy and skill of the mothers and fathers who do it every day. I noticed more and more that there seemed to be an hidden, subconscious assumption that “Caring for family isn’t really work, it’s just what mothers do.” One woman went to a workplace meeting a few weeks before her maternity leave ended and a male colleague asked, “So when are you coming back from your baby vacation.”

And then the kicker, Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Family Work, Fatherhood, Remodeling Motherhood

Squeezed for Time? Manage Energy Instead

Photo by Leo Reynolds

Who is most squeezed for time these days? I can make a pretty good argument that today’s mothers and fathers are more squeezed than just about anyone else. In fact my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today has a whole chapter on time titled Pits and Privates: Or Why Am I Obsessed with Saving Time? You’ll have to pick up the book to get the scoop on the “pits and privates reference, but here are a few bullets on families and time.

  • Families with two parents employed today are working 500 more hours per year than families with two parents employed put in in the late 1970’s.
  • Employed mothers today spend just as much time with their kids as non-employed mothers did in the late 70’s, and non-employed mothers today spend even more.
  • Fathers have doubled their childcare time and tripled their housework time since the late 70’s.

In this scenario, managing minutes becomes futile. That’s why I was so glad to see this post today on the Harvard Business Review‘s blog,  Six Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity from Tony Schwartz, author and leader of The Energy Project. I know it’s designed for a business audience, yet I get so much more value from Tony’s advice for managing family life than from any of my women’s magazines. My magazines try to help me manage TIME – tips for exercising in ten minutes, dinners in twenty, cleaning the bathroom while I use it. Tony’s advice contains research backed strategies for managing ENERGY. I quote his book The Power of Full Engagement in my chapter on time  and this post is such a great summary of the key strategies.

I find I can apply these strategies to both my home life and my employed life. I chunk my paid work into 90 minute blocks (sprinter) and am so much more productive than if I try to go for longer. I chunk my time with my daughter too – trying to fully engage with her and then let us both recharge and refuel in other ways.

How about you? Do you have strategies for managing energy at home and on the job? Does your workplace support these strategies for managing energy?

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Filed under Career-Life Fit, Family Work, Fatherhood, News & Commentary, Remodeling Motherhood, Time

Fave Father’s Day News and Notes

Happy Father’s Day!

My own father spent today coaching girls fastpitch softball back in Minnesota. Apparently they lost their first tournament game and then fought their way back through the loser’s bracket to win the championship today. I remember those weekends. And it reminded me of one of my favorite stories about my dad, also involving softball, one I told in this blog post a while back.

The Day I Was Miffed That No One Thought I Was a Boy

Now that the the Father’s Day itself is over, here’s some food for thought on fatherhood from articles and blog posts from others this past week.

And here are a couple from my blog archives.

Here’s to all the men out there remodeling fatherhood every day!

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, News & Commentary, Remodeling Motherhood