Tag Archives: mother

Resume Advice After a Career Break: An Interview with iRelaunch

I noticed that a number of people find my blog because they are searching for information on dealing with a gap in their resume due to time out of the workforce to care for family. They land on this post, How to Explain Gap in Resume: Caring for Family or…Coma?, which tells the story of one mother who was advised that she’d be better off telling a prospective employer that she’d been “in a coma” than saying she’d been caring for family and “doing nothing.”

I knew THAT wasn’t good advice. While I give some tips in my original post, I decided it was time to go to the experts for more advice for my readers. So I reached out to my friend Carol Fishman Cohen at iRelaunch. iRelaunch offers a range of resources and services for women re-entering the workforce. All of which are informed by Carol and her co-founder Vivian’s constant interaction with employers and recruiters, plus their own experience as hiring managers and recruiters.

Carol packed our conversation with advice worth its weight in gold, for mothers and for anyone with a gap in their resume.

Kristin: Carol, multiple studies show that mothers in particular face automatic bias that has a direct impact on pay and promotions. Being a woman and having a gap in your resume often triggers that bias. So what’s the most important resume advice for someone who has a gap in her resume? Continue reading

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Filed under Career-Life Fit, Interview, Money, Motherhood, Recommendations, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips, stereotypes, Workplace and Employment

FREE Teleparty for Mothers Starts 4/27!

Register Now!

Sometimes the universe conspires in your favor and takes its time doing so.

As my book was coming out over a year ago, my friend Beverly Schoff Belling, a life and creativity coach (Creativity on the Loose) connected me with Patty Lennon, a life coach and mother. Bev and Patty met as part of a Martha Beck coaching series and when Bev posted to Facebook about my book, apparently Patty “went nuts over it!!” Patty and I traded emails but weren’t able to meet in person on my book tour to the east coast back then. But we reconnected recently when she reached out to me to be part of the launch of her new online community Mom Gets a Life.

Beginning April 27 Life Design Coach and Mom Advocate Patty Lennon will be hosting a 3 week teleparty* for mothers. I’m thrilled to be the very first guest in this upcoming FREE event just for mothers.

Remodeling Motherhood: Kristin Maschka 

Wednesday, April 27th

1:00 pm EST Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Career-Life Fit, Motherhood, Promotion, Recommendations, Remodeling Motherhood

My Story Featured in Seth Godin’s ebook “Tales from the Revolution”

Download "Tales from the Revolution"

My friend Beverly Schoff Belling over at Creativity on the Loose submitted a story about me and the impact of my work with mothers and my book, This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, to Amazon’s The Domino Project.

Inspired by Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box, designed to be “a call to action about the initiative you’re taking – in your job or in your life,” The Domino Project encouraged submissions of “stories of passionate self-starters who regularly go above and beyond to make a difference by doing.”

People voted on the hundreds of submissions. (Thank you!) And the story about me that Bev submitted is one of the 100 stories collected in the free ebook Tales from the Revolution: True Stories of People Who Are Poking the Box and Making a Difference. (Free now, regular price 99 cents.)

Hope you’ll download it to your phone, Mac or Kindle. It’s a great collection of stories to inspire you to take action on whatever you care about!

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Filed under Announcements, Book Review, Change, Recommendations

6 Biggest Money Mistakes Mothers Make

Tonight I’ll be leading the chapter meeting for our local Mothers & More chapter on “The 6 Biggest Money Mistakes Mothers Make.” Join us and bring a long a new or gently used purse for our donation to Elizabeth house! Here are the “mistakes” I’ll be discussing with moms tonight.

1. Making “To Work or Not To Work” Decisions Based Solely on Short-Term Family Budget

When mothers wrestle with questions about whether to stay employed or not, or whether to scale back employment to make room for family, the conversation usually centers on whether the current family budget can afford those changes. Can we still pay the mortgage or rent? Could we trim expenses to make up for lost income?

Too often, all the longer-term implications are left out. How will this decision impact my ability to save for retirement? My Social Security benefits? How will this decision impact my future earning potential?

Whenever faced with an employment or financial decision, ask yourself:

How will this decision affect the short- AND long-term finances of my family?

How will this decision affect my own short- AND long-term financial security?

2. Falling Into the “Can I make enough to pay for childcare?” Trap

When our daughter was born, my husband had just started his second year at a law firm and I had just been laid off from a part-time job. We sat down together to decide whether I should look for a new job or not. Estimating the income we thought I could make in a job with reasonable hours, we subtracted taxes, childcare, and work expenses. There wasn’t much left. Working for pay didn’t pay much. So we decided I wouldn’t, because we could afford for me not to.

Three different things lead many mothers into this trap. Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Career-Life Fit, Economy, Money, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips, stereotypes

Tax Day Question: Can I Make Enough to Pay for Childcare?

When our daughter was born, my husband had just started his second year at a law firm and I had just been laid off from a part-time job. We sat down together to decide whether I should look for a new job or not. The question we asked ourselves was, “Could I make enough to pay for childcare?” If not, we reasoned, it would make sense for me to take care of our baby myself.

Little did we know that the question had nothing to do with the cost of childcare and everything to do with tax policy.

You see, before World War II, the United States used an income tax system of separate filing for married couples in which tax rates applied to each spouse’s income separately.* As Ed McCaffery, author of Taxing Women, explains in his book, when the war ended and the costs of war went away, Congress saw an opportunity to reduce taxes. They did it by eliminating separate filing and replacing it with mandatory joint filing for couples. At the time, Congress also had an interest in wanting families to return to normal. In other words, they wanted mothers who had entered the workforce during the war to go back home. Joint filing would encourage them to do just that. As the legislative counsel of the treasury at the time remarked, “Wives need not continue to master the details of . . . business, but may turn . . . to the pursuit of homemaking.”

Joint filing introduced what McCaffery calls the “secondary earner bias.” The one who earns less, even today usually the woman, will be taxed more, which acts as a powerful but unseen disincentive for her to be employed.

Sue Hill Zamparelli for "This is Not How I Thought It Would Be"

How does it work? Married couples filing jointly are required to combine their incomes, no matter who earns what. However, the money doesn’t go into a common pool that is all taxed at the same rate.  As my friend Kimberly Tso explains in her blog post at The Two Penny Project, “Our federal income tax system uses graduated marginal rates. This is how to think about it: Imagine each dollar that you earn is stacked one on top of the other. Next, picture a large wedding cake next to the stack of dollar bills. Each tier of the cake (called the tax bracket) has a corresponding tax rate that increases as you go up each tier. …You only incur the higher tax rate if your stack of bills reaches that layer.” (See picture for example using hypothetical tax rates.) The policy goal of taxing the top layers more is for individuals who earn more to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes compared to those who earn less.

For a couple, combining the incomes into one stack and then applying increasing rates to each layer has another effect—the secondary earner bias. When my husband and I faced the question of whether I should find a job or not, we thought of his job and his income as primary because he already had a job and he earned more. So we also thought of his income as first in the stack—where it would get taxed at lower rates. Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, Marriage, Money, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood

Creating a Family Vision

Our family makes its way through an annual New Year’s resolution process that serves us pretty well.

This year was different.

Our family is dealing with a lot of transition: our daughter transitioning to middle school; both my husband and I changing our employment – in ways that drastically change family time and the way we share family work; and the transition for our extended family that came along with my father-in-law’s brain bleed and ongoing recovery. Frankly, this year knocked us on our butts.

I thought our family needed to shake things up a little this New Year’s.

We did our standard steps. We reflected on 2010 together over Christmas Day dinner. My husband and I went out on our annual date night (this year at the Dal Rae) during which we usually can manage to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the next one by the time dessert is served. This year, we weren’t even done processing 2010 by the time we paid the check.

So I proposed  to my husband and daughter that it was a good time to create a family vision. (well, that implies they had an option, and they knew they didn’t) Continue reading

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Filed under Change, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips, Resolutions, Uncategorized

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

Another Family Issue Spun into a Debate about Mothers’ Employment

Much was made in the media recently of the Census Bureau report that the number of married mothers who are the family’s sole breadwinner rose for the third straight year, with headlines like Moms as sole breadwinners reach record high and More Working Moms are Sole Breadwinners. To hear the media tell it, you’d think that all of a sudden a majority of mothers were the only ones bringing home the bacon. Meanwhile the headline the Census Bureau chose for its release was instead, Census Bureau Reports Families With Children Increasingly Face Unemployment.

Once again a family issue – in this case about unemployment and finances – was spun into an issue focused on mothers and their employment status. The Census Bureau’s release starts with data on unemployed mothers and fathers and doesn’t mention the sole breadwinner data until paragraph six. Perhaps because the increase in married mothers as sole breadwinners was just 2%, from 5% in 2007 to 7% in 2009. Significant, but hardly headline news, especially when it’s still the case that close to two-thirds of married families with children have both parents employed, and close to a third have the husband as the sole breadwinner.

Now, there’s no doubt that family roles are shifting, Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Economy, Fatherhood, Marriage, News & Commentary