Tag Archives: This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today

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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Power of a Purse: Mothers and Money

So many reasons to talk about money and mothers this month.

  • April is Financial Literacy Month
  • April 20 is Equal Pay Day which symbolizes how far into 2010 women must work in order to earn as much as a man did in 2009.
  • Financial reform on Wall Street is the hot topic in the news.
  • Every day struggles of families on Main Street are the dominating topic in every day conversations.

And one you may not have heard about, but April is also the ramp up to the Mothers & More Power of Purse Campaign culminating on Mother’s Day May 9. While so many are struggling financially today, the reality is that mothers remain some of the most financially vulnerable among us. Across the country, Mothers & More chapters are raising “awareness of mothers’ economic issues through the act of collecting new or gently used purses for mothers in need. The purse symbolizes a woman’s economic power, something we wish for all women, especially mothers in need.”

I highlight many of those economic issues in my book, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today,” and much of my own education on the topic came through my involvement with Mothers & More.

What are some of those issues? Continue reading

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Quiz: Match the Stereotype to the Mother/Father Quote

Earlier this week I had the welcome chance to visit Pasadena City College to talk about my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today. I wanted to make it interactive so I put together this Mental Map Matching Quiz we used together. The quiz asks you to match the quotes and scenarios on the left (all real-life examples) to the outdated mental maps (or stereotypes) about mothers, fathers, money and work on the right.

Lo and behold, it worked just as I’d hoped. In talking through the quiz, and getting outraged at some of the examples, the women in the room were then also able to talk about their own personal examples. The way everyone at school assumes “mom” is the one who will be volunteering in class and bringing class treats. The way a newly pregnant woman found that everyone around her assumed she’d be the one taking care of the baby. The way a stepmom noticed that while her husband had taken care of his kids 50% before she married him, once married they defaulted into her taking care of family.

Take the quiz. Let me know what you think. Share your personal examples – for the next quiz!

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

Special Mother’s Day Offer!

Mother’s Day is almost here and what better gift then a copy of my new Los Angeles Times Best-Selling book, This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today. This is the perfect gift for any mother, no matter the age of her children, and even for your own mother! Read an excerpt now to see why.

And just for this Mother’s Day season, purchase a book for yourself or a friend and I’ll send you the link to download my FREE guide to making Mother’s Day Resolutions. Mother’s Day Resolutions are small steps you resolve to take to remodel motherhood for yourself AND to remodel the world around you so it works better for mothers, fathers and families.

My book also makes a perfect book club read for the months of May and June. Purchase 3 or more copies for your book club and I’ll send you the link to the FREE book club guide AND mail you  personalized autographed bookplates to insert into each book.

Pick-up your copies of This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today then email your receipt by April 28 to:

specialoffer AT remodelingmotherhood DOT com

or use the Contact Form to let me know. (For a book club, be sure to include the names I’ll need to personalize the bookplates.)

Tweet This or Share on Facebook now to let others know about this fabulous Mother’s Day Offer!

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Identity Whiplash: An Invisible Epidemic among Mothers and Fathers

Every day, coast to coast, mothers and fathers suffer from an invisible threat – Identity Whiplash.

Let me illustrate. Shortly after my daughter was born, my husband and I went to a college alumni networking event. As we started to mingle, the inevitable question came, “So what are you doing now?” My answer, “Caring for our infant daughter.” From that point on it was as if I disappeared into the floor; no one wanted to talk with me, while everyone chatted happily with my attorney husband. I was stunned, and devastated. I still thought of myself as an intelligent, interesting person, but clearly all of a sudden no one else did.

Or take this scenario. A father friend of mine took his three small children out for coffee one morning, as he wrangled the whirling tutus and the baby on his lap, people gaped. Finally one woman came up to him and said “It’s so AMAZING how you handle all three of them!” He said later it was as if he had one arm and was taking care of three kids, while no one ever stops his wife when she’s out with three kids. While his audience saw him as a freak of nature, he simply thought of himself as a father.

Identity Whiplash happens when mothers and fathers crash into outdated assumptions others have about us that conflict with how we think of ourselves, leaving us dazed, confused and even questioning our identity and our decisions. Continue reading

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45 Moms and 3 Dads

I was tired, but tonight I dragged myself out to my favorite bookstore, Vroman’s, for a presentation on the social world of children – especially tween and teen girls. Ours is nine, but holy cow 4th grade seems to be when everything starts exploding socially.

So here’s the thing, the place was packed…with moms…and three dads. Continue reading

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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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“Taking A Man’s Name Opened Up A New World:” Why A Blogger Hid Her Gender

Gender assumptions still abound, even in the blogosphere.

Anne North of Jezebel.com writes:

Blogger James Chartrand came out today as a woman — and her experiences reveal that the blogosphere, and the job market in general, aren’t as egalitarian as some people claim.

James — she’s still going by the pseudonym, hasn’t revealed her real name, and that’s not her in the pic — says she started blogging to help support her kids during a tough financial time. She began using a male pen name one day simply to distance a project from her still-struggling business, and, she writes, “jobs became easier to get.” She continues,

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic.

Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.

Did I quit promoting my own name? Hell yeah.

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Can you have a flexible schedule in a recession?

By LA Telecommuting ExaminerKristen Todd

Flexible work schedules are easier with computer-based work

Whatever your reason for wanting a flexible schedule, whether it be family, continuing education or it’s just the way you are wired, convincing your employer that you can manage one is difficult. Furthermore, a rising unemployment rate and a dire outlook for the creation of new jobs makes your 9-5, punch-in-and-out, cubicle jockey job seems just fine. But it is not! Flexible schedules can work for many employees and can even produce a more efficient workplace for an employer.

How can that be? Flexibility allows for employees to work at their optimal times throughout the day and is an incentive that costs employers nothing. When raises and bonuses are meager or non-existent, flexible schedules can reward employees and in many cases produce better output.

The issue with a flexible work schedule is convincing your manager that you should be considered for one. Before requesting a flexible schedule, you should honestly answer the following:

  1. Are you the face of the office or do you manage a reception or intake area?
  2. Have you worked for your current supervisor for less than a year?
  3. In previous performance evaluations, has it been suggested that you work on time management skills, meeting deadlines or productivity?

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Poll Reveals Trauma of Joblessness in U.S.

Feeling anxiety in our house & all around even with jobs. How about you? A New York Times Poll Reveals Trauma of Joblessness in U.S.:

By MICHAEL LUO and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work.

Almost half have suffered from depression or anxiety. About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work.

Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of unemployed adults, causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities.

The results of the poll, which surveyed 708 unemployed adults from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, help to lay bare the depth of the trauma experienced by millions across the country who are out of work as the jobless rate hovers at 10 percent and, in particular, as the ranks of the long-term unemployed soar.

Roughly half of the respondents described the recession as a hardship that had caused fundamental changes in their lives. Generally, those who have been out of work longer reported experiencing more acute financial and emotional effects.

“I lost my job in March, and from there on, everything went downhill,” said Vicky Newton, 38, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., a single mother who had been a customer-service representative in an insurance agency.

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