Equal Work Doesn’t Mean Equal Pay

It’s a proven fact that women comprise half the workplace. And it’s even more documented that women make less than men, even if they occupy the same position.

Over and over again, these reports can be seen and yet no one seems to want to rectify the issue. Instead of coughing up the dough to make equal work mean equal pay, companies are creating better flex-time and working from programs that will assist working mothers and there are even some companies that offer reimbursement for adoptions.

As someone who takes advantage of these programs at my own place of employment, I have to admit that while I am thankful to have the opportunity to work from home if needed, I would rather have the money. Don’t’ get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but I still have to do my part to take care of my family.

I think what bothers me the most is that companies fail to realize is that gender roles in this country are changing. They have yet to understand is that there are some women who are the breadwinners of the home and rely on their paycheck to handle the majority of the bills.

There are companies that offer mentoring programs for women to help them further advance in the company, but what is the point of these types of programs when the women will not make as much as men in the position.


Two Years Later…Reflections of Being Laid Off

It’s been two years since I have been laid off. I feel immensely blessed because there are so many people out there that are unemployed and don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. Some people may think it’s strange that I make a big deal out of noting when I became unemployed, but I think it’s a way of counting my blessings.

Being laid off was such a shock to me. I was laid off one month after I returned from maternity leave. It was a poor time to be let go (as if there is ever a good time) because we were just getting back on our feet from the loss of income from my being on maternity leave. I was trying to adjust to being a nursing working mom that desperately missed her child.

I am not going to deny that I cried like a baby. I worried about where our next meal was going to come from and what would happen to little Sydney because she needed to have her shots. Thankfully, Michigan has the MI Child program, which ensures that every child receives the blessing of health care.

And though I was only unemployed for three months, the effects of being laid off will follow me throughout my professional career as well. I learned that being a “silent employee” doesn’t mean that you are protected from being let go. In fact, unless you are in the “in crowd,” nothing really protects you from losing your job. The best thing that anyone can do is do their job to their best ability, speak up when necessary and go home.

Now that it has been two years, I can honestly say that I am in a different place. I can look back on my former place of employment and remember the good times. I don’t harbor any ill will against anyone and can thoroughly appreciate the blessing the Lord gave me. Think about it..I didn’t have to search and search and search for a job. While I was laid off, I got to spend additional time with my infant and really had the time to prepare to go back to work. The Lord blessed me with another job within three months that has flex time, a working from home policy and allows me to work in the capacity that I truly enjoy (which didn’t happen right away, but thank the Lord it finally came!)

For those who are struggling being laid off, I am a living testament that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Though it may be difficult, I encourage you to stay positive. Your blessing is on the way.

New Year Resolutions err…Decisions

It’s that time of the year again when everyone considers changes that they can make in their lives. More than 40 to 45%  of Americans go as far as making New Year’s Resolutions. And yet, many of those who make solemn vows to lose weight, give up smoking or stop procrastinating, often give up less than 3 months into the game.

As I ponder my own resolutions, I wonder how as my friend Marnette says,  make these resolutions into “decisions”. I turn to an article that I found on ehow.com that is written to help everyone make changes in their life.

My favorites from this article include:

  • Aim low. It goes without saying that most New Year’s resolutions are easier announced (or written) than done-but if you set the bar too high, you’re doomed from the start. Instead of a sweeping declaration like “I will lose 30 pounds by April and finally fit into that dress,” target a goal that’s more attainable, like losing 10 or 15 pounds.
  • Tell everyone you know. One school of thought says that New Year’s resolutions are best kept to oneself, but look at it this way: the more people to whom you announce your resolution (say, to get out of your dead-end job by spring), the more people there’ll be to prod you along if you fall behind. There’s no shame in seeking help if you can’t accomplish your resolution on your own
Instead of making a huge list, I have narrowed my decisions for 2011 down to two:
  • Lose weight…not looking to become my former 17 year old self, but a slimmer face and stomach would be nice
  • More face time with the fam…I work a lot of hours professionally and in our ministry, so I will need to cut back a little so that Sydney doesn’t think that the computer is a sibling!
Fingers crossed that I can stay on task!

Shots Have Side Effects?

Last Friday, we took our little one to a new pediatrician. The office wasn’t as colorful and kid friendly as our last pediatrician, I was pleased that the staff seemed knowledgeable and the pediatrician was friendly and seemed to have answers regarding my concerns.

I was also happy that they addressed my concerns about the well-baby insurance. Immunizations can use all of the money allocated for well-baby visits, causing the parents to owe quite a hefty amount to the doctors to cover the costs. At this doctor’s office, they told me not to worry. The state provides immunizations for those who are low income or for patients who do not cover immunizations. My husband and I breathed a sigh of relief.  We could keep our money in our pockets this time. We were happy and Syd seemed pleased with everyone too.

At least until the shots came.  Boy, I think you could have heard that child around the block! And with good reason too. They gave Syd four shots and they took her blood as well. Though she was angry, I felt better that she was immunized and she promptly went to sleep when we got to the car. We took her to see her grandparents at the church and she played her little heart out. All was well and I could successfully work from home, er church.

Next thing I know the little girl can’t walk. She was screaming as if she someone had punched her and it just caught up with her. Anxious to get all of the bags out to the car, I set her down to walk her and she couldn’t move a muscle. The look in her eyes told me that she was trying and it just wasn’t working. That scared me. I felt it in my spirit that something was wrong with my baby.

I worried enough for the entire family. After two days of taking Tylenol for the pain, Syd is back to her normal self, but I can’t help but think that something in those shots made her that way. Was it the amount of the shots or a specific shot that caused her to not be able to walk?

I have decided to research the shots she was given to see what the side effects are and plan to limit the amount of shots Syd can be given in one visit. Can’t just rely on the medical field to decide what’s best for my baby.

Working From Home Policies

As many of you Workin’ Mamas know, working from home can be a lifesaver. It allows you to be at home and provides a balance between your work and motherhood.

Recently my department underwent a “change of the guard” if you will and in a way so did the working from home policy. While it was always “unofficial,” the ability to use this privilege has become more difficult. In my earnest to continue to work from home, I looked up some working from home policies and learned that there are many people out there just like me.

QuintCareers offered ways to make the case to my boss. My goal is to work from home one day per month. I checked out a sample proposal at Money Making Mommy and got some ideas as well.

Have a better working from home plan? Tell me more!