Working Moms Inspiration from Oprah's O You!
“ Your attitude will determine your altitude.”
—Samantha Ettus
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  • 8 Great Reasons to Keep Working After You Have Kids

    Work and family life don’t need to conflict; they need to coexist. It is time to stop glamorizing the alternative and talk about the big bonuses of keeping up your career after you have a child.  Here are 8 great reasons to stay in the workforce after having a baby:

    1. You will Enjoy a Happier Marriage

    Studies show that couples in which both spouses work have greater marital satisfaction. Your marriage will be more likely to thrive if you have something to focus on outside of the home and your spouse will feel less financial pressure if you bring home some of the bacon.

    2. You Will Remain Financially Independent

    As Leslie Bennetts described in her book “The Feminine Mistake,” in more than half of traditional marriages, the male spouse will either die prematurely, lose his job or leave his wife. When this happens to a stay at home mom, there is no safety net and the entire family’s financial stability is jeopardized. Further, many women report losing financial power in their home when they leave the workforce. You never want to be pitching your spouse on a purchase.

    3. You Will Raise Stronger Kids

    We are now aware of the deep dangers of overparenting, also known as helicopter parenting. When you stay at home, you are far more inclined to over-parent because parenting becomes your sole focus. As expert Michele Borba explains,“If we keep hovering we will rob our kids of self-reliance.”

    4. You Will Secure Future Earnings

    A woman who leave the workforce for just three years after having kids give up 37% of her future earnings according to a study done by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. This puts your family’s financial health at risk.

    5. You Will Gain Personal Fulfillment

    Getting personal satisfaction from something other than your children is critical to being a great parent and a happy one. As France’s most famous parenting authority Pamela Druckerman explains, “The reigning view in France is that if a child is a woman’s only goal, everyone suffers, including the child.”

    6. You Will Bring Worldliness to Your Home

    When you stay home, your world shrinks because you are surrounded by women like you; moms of the same age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status typically cluster together. By keeping up your career, you will be a more active participant in the world and expand the perspectives you bring into your home. As former stay at home mom Lisa Heffernan explains “In the workplace my contacts and friends included both genders and people of every description, and I was better for it.”

    7. You Will Serve As A Role Model

    There are two ways you have a greater good impact as a working mom. Firstly, the future generation of young women need working mom role models for support, inspiration and mentorship. And then of course, there is the role modeling that goes on in your own home. A Harvard educated mom who returned to life as an entrepreneur after seven years at home tells this story: When she explained to her kids that she would be starting a company, they asked how that could be since, “Daddies start businesses and mommies stay home.” She sprinted to the office and hasn’t looked back.

    8. You Will be Happier

    A recent study showed that stay at home moms suffer from significantly greater levels of depression by age 40 than working moms. It is hard to raise a happy child if you are an unhappy mom. As the old adage goes, when mom isn’t happy, nobody is.


    Lifestyle List: 25 Ways to Win as a Working Mom

    All great trips require preparation. Your adventure as a working mom is no different. You can be the best parent in fewer hours per week; it isn’t about how many hours you spend at home, it is about how you use them. Here goes:

    1. Be unapologetic about your lifestyle. Making excuses for working is like wearing a short skirt and constantly pulling on it.
    2. Have a school network – two moms you can count on in each child’s grade. If you help them when you can, it will be easier to ask for help when you need it.
    3. Spend a night out each week – a date night or an evening with friends. This is your fuel; don’t let your tank run dry.
    4. Disconnect to Connect. Turn off the technology for a set time each day so that you are present when you are with your family.
    5. Do all of your errands within the Golden Triangle – home, office and school. From the dentist to the hair salon, make no exceptions.
    6. Treat your arrivals and departures like a train schedule. Predictability makes you more successful at home and at work.
    7. Beware of the “Flextime Fantasy.” If you have a flexible career, establish set daily hours so that you don’t lose time reinventing your schedule each day.
    8. As soon as the school calendar arrives, add it to yours. This way you can plan around the school play and the parent teacher conference.
    9. Sundays are big for you. Plan every detail of the week’s schedule down to the meals and who’s making them. This will reduce conflict, ease stress and save time.
    10. Don’t get so attached to your sitter that you can’t see her faults. Spot-check by arriving home unexpectedly to see what happens when you are not there.
    11. Help your spouse to be a partner. Praise more than criticize and create opportunities for him to do every task you do.
    12. Divide and conquer. Being partners means sharing the responsibilities, divided by your strengths, and pitching in on any as needed.
    13. Write it all down. From the grocery list to the lunchbox ingredients, you can’t delegate unless you get it out of your head and on paper.
    14. Nurture your marriage with daily 20-minute check-ins. Keeping in touch with your own partner is vital to a strong bond.
    15. Synchronize your sleep schedules. Going to bed at the same time together leads to a healthy sex life.
    16. You can never show your kids too much affection. Shower them in it and watch them thrive.
    17. Triathletes win or lose races based on transitions. Keep all supplies in their place (cubbies for each family member) and pick clothing the night before.
    18. Foster a strong family culture by celebrating occasions big and small – birthdays, new seasons. Create rituals e.g. Friday night family movies.
    19. Expect stress and roller coasters but remember that bad moments are not “bad days” or “bad weeks.” They are moments. Make this a family philosophy.
    20. Aim to have at least one focused meal a day with your children no matter how crazy work can get.
    21. If you can’t host play dates during the week, do it on the weekends so that you get to know your child’s friends and their families.
    22. Personal maintenance is not discretionary. Incorporate exercise into the “train schedule” and if you feel best with a weekly manicure, add it too.
    23. Keep a positive connection with your kids all week long by planning a weekend event for them to look forward to. Start talking about it on Monday; anticipation is half the fun.
    24. Identify kid-friendly errands and make a habit of bringing them along. From the supermarket to the car wash, no need to spend this time away from them.
    25. Be proactive about what you can do. If you aren’t available for weekday opportunities, volunteer to coach the soccer team on Saturdays.


    8 Ways to Add Spark (and Sex!) to Your Marriage After Kids

    February is the month for romance and the ideal excuse to turn the spotlight on your marriage. Once you implement these 8 steps, your intimacy will be the envy of the playground!

    1. Synchronize Your Schedules  

    Sure it’s tempting to send email late into the night while he falls asleep in front of the TV, but if this sounds familiar, you need to change this pattern. If you crawl into bed at the same time as your spouse each night, sex is an option. If you don’t, it is completely off the table. Your goal is warm bodies cuddling every night.

    2. Make Your Husband Your Gay Best Friend

    In the best marriages, spouses are best friends. Your husband should have the most intel on your life. Do you have good news? Tell him first. Bad news? Tell him first. Leaning on your husband leads to greater connection and intimacy.

    3. Do Bite-sized Check Ins

    Over a glass of wine or a cup of tea, make time to have a 20 minute check in each day – morning or night. Keep it to 20 minutes or your partner is less likely to want to do it tomorrow. The daily check-in results in intimacy because it literally holds your life together and insures you are on the same path.

    4. Have a Weekly Date Night

    Set up a weekly sitter so that date night becomes as much a part of your schedule as work or school. And remember that date night is not for problem solving. If you are doing your bite-size dailies, there is no need to use date nights for anything but fun. Trade off the planning responsibilities and enjoy.

    5. Create Your Dreamables

    Remember when you first met and the two of you giddily talked about your vision for the future? Just as a growing company periodically rethinks their plan, at least once a year you want to dream with your partner.  Look 3-5 years ahead, look 10 years ahead. Think about careers, kids, travel, health, and money. Dreaming together is a great reminder that you are a team. Dream achievable – set a vision that you can aim for and get to.

    6. Settle on a Sex Quota

    Every couple is different and you need to do what works for both of you. Talk to your spouse about how much you each want to be having sex, meet in the middle and aim to achieve it! Getting in touch with each other’s desires will help you meet one another’s needs.

    7. Fly Solo

    The two of you need to do a couple’s trip without kids at least once a year. Even two days at a local hotel will rejuvenate your marriage. And go guilt-free because taking some time to intensely connect will benefit the whole family upon your return. It is hard to be an unhappy kid with two happy parents.

    8. Be United

    As parents you are faced with hundreds of decisions on a weekly basis and if you don’t discuss issues as they arise, they can create wedges between you. The more you communicate about your philosophies and styles when the kids are not listening, the better a team you will be when they are. Getting on the same page will erase a lot of the natural tension that comes with parenting. Support one another and your marriage will thrive.


    5 Fixes for Your Unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions

    Chances are you have never accomplished your New Year’s resolutions. By June, 54% of people have abandoned theirs and by the end of year, just forget about it. So instead of pie-in-the-sky resolutions that require unrealistic leaps, focus on small lifestyle changes with achievable and permanent results.

    Here are the top five New Year’s Resolutions and how to replace them:

    1.  Lose Weight

    The number one New Year’s resolution is losing weight yet 95% of dieters regain the weight they lose.  So why torture yourself? As a would-be dieter, if you make small lifestyle changes instead of dramatic deprivations, you will achieve greater success. According to Dr. James Beckerman, cardiologist and author of The Flex Diet, “The two most effective behaviors are easy and free: weigh yourself daily (and write it down), and keep a food diary. It’s about making mindfulness part of your routine.  Both behaviors are proven to help people lose more weight than dieting.”

    2.  Get Organized

    If your grand plan is to get organized, you might have dreams of filing every last piece of paperwork, putting all of our online photos into albums, and more. Instead, organizational expert Julie Morgenstern recommends changing your ways for the future: “When you finish using something, place it back in it’s home immediately. Instead of thinking of it as ‘putting it away,’ think of it as ‘setting it up for it’s next use.’”

    3.  Spend Less, Save More

    To bring this grand statement back to reality, two finance experts weigh in. Farnoosh Torabi recommends that you: “Check your bank balance daily. You need to know where you stand so you can make healthier choices.” Daily Worth founder Amanda Steinberg offers this: “Make sure you’re moving your savings into an actual savings account. Money moved to a separate savings account is less likely to be spent. So much of fluidity comes from proactively saving for things like summer camp months and months in advance.”

    4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

    Resolving to enjoy life to the fullest because it is January 1 is a little bit like waiting for a tragedy to appreciate your life. To not live a full life with what you already have is like buying a new car and only using 20% of its features. Therapist Robi Ludwig suggests you incorporate your dreams into your daily life. “First write down what your dream is. If your goal is to be in a satisfying relationship, break down your goal into small and manageable steps: i.e. Let your friends know you’re interested in being matched up and join an online dating site.”

    5. Stay Fit and Healthy

    As much as we would love to start working out tomorrow (and five times a week!), it doesn’t usually happen that way. 60% of gym memberships go unused despite the optimism resolution makers feel in January. So this year, why not take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk your child to school instead of driving him. Fitness guru Gunnar Peterson lets us in on a magic wellness tip: ”Make sleep your priority for one month, get as close to eight hours every night and see how you feel/look/perform in the gym, at work, as a parent and a spouse. You’ll be amazed.”

    So scratch those resolutions and turn to these small lifestyle changes to yield the giant 2013 results you seek.


    6 Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season

    ‘Tis the season to be merry, so scratch the diet, the guilt, and the stress. Instead, indulge, reach out, and have fun.

    1. Five Pounds
    Give yourself a break on those extra pounds and let yourself enjoy good food and drink over the holidays. This is no time for dieting; just as you don’t expect to get a lot of sunlight in December, you should not expect to shed weight either. You will have fun and be more fun if you indulge a bit. Nobody wants to eat the holiday cookie or drink the eggnog without company.

    2. Online Shopping
    From this moment forward do the rest of your shopping online. From the big box stores to the mom and pops, they are all at your fingertips, so make your life easier by buying from home.

    3. A Holiday Date Night (or Two!)
    This is the time to enjoy some solo time with your partner. Book the sitter, make some plans, and dress up a bit for the occasion.

    4. Family Rituals
    Put a family baking night and a sibling gift swap on your holiday calendar. Set a budget and take your child shopping for sibling presents (set a low budget and make this the online shopping exception!). If he is old enough to unwrap a present on his own, he is old enough to give one.

    5. Friendship
    Take a few minutes to call an old friend and go local too, by planning a holiday mom’s night out. Add a gift grab bag to the night for a festive feel.

    6. Zero Guilt
    You are working as hard as you can to be a great mom and support your family. Replace the guilt with pride – you are doing your best and you are a role model. That is something to feel great about!


    Tackling Mommy Guilt


    Working Moms: How to Find a 25th Hour in Your Day

    Timeby Samantha Ettus

    More than 20 years ago, American Airlines saved $40,000 by removing just one olive from each salad tray in First class. This fun fact translates to your life where the smallest lifestyle changes can yield the most dramatic gains. Here are 10 ways to steal more time from your own life:

    1. Organize Masterfully

    Triathletes win and lose races in the transitions. Make sure your “supplies’ are in the right places. Every member of your family needs her own equivalent of the cubby and her backpack, lunchbox, homework, and shoes all needs to live there.

    2. Outsource – to Your Kids

    Figure out the age appropriate activities that your kids can do on their own. Get dressed? Pour cereal? Even put him in charge of managing the schedule. An added bonus is that you are helping him towards independence at the same time. More on Forbes…


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    5 Easy Tips for All-Day Energy

    by Nicole Burley

    The last thing you need in the middle of a busy afternoon is an energy crash. It happens every day, though – almost without fail. Your ‘oomph’ starts to fade a few hours after lunch and all you want to do is take a nap.

    I’m here with a few tips to help keep your energy cruising all day long. And, believe it or not, none of my tips involve resorting to chocolate or jugs of coffee!

     1. Shake the Sugar
    “But that candy really perks me up!” Please believe me: the excess sugar in your diet is not helping you at all. Do more than just avoid sugar pick-me-ups when you’re starting to crash–avoid excess sugar from the moment you wake up in the morning. Skip the processed cereals, bagels, muffins, and fruit juice. Go for fiber-rich foods that are made with whole grains. Snack on nuts, vegetables, hummus, and whole fruit. Keep sugary foods out of your life and be sure to read your labels. If it has more than 9 grams of sugar per serving, don’t buy it or eat it.

    2. Kick the Caffeine
    I know. You need it. You can’t start the day without it. But think about that for a second. Is that really okay with you? Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it gives you fake energy. It’s kind of like zapping yourself with a cattle prod. Ouch! If you want all-day energy that never dips and dives, then I recommend removing all of the artificial stimulants and ‘cattle-prods’ from your day. Yes, it will be yucky at first, but in the long run, you will feel so much better. I promise!

    3. Start Off Strong
    Please eat breakfast. I know it sounds like such a cliché, but clichés are often true. Breakfast sets the tone for your entire day and determines if you’ll be spending your day on an energy roller coaster–or a monorail.

    4. Act like a Squirrel
    Never let yourself be caught without a healthy snack on hand. One of the keys to keeping your energy steady and constant is to never go too long without feeding yourself. Stuff healthy snacks like nuts or whole grain snack bars in every hand bag, desk drawer, glove compartment, and coat pocket if necessary! Be prepared and remember to replace your ‘emergency’ food once you’ve eaten it.

    5. Healthy Hydration
    Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best ways to keep everything running smoothly and to keep yourself feeling energized. Though it’s tempting to reach for sports drinks and juices, your best bet is good old water. Drink up!

    Nicole Burley, M.Ed is a certified Life Coach and Health Coach, with a specialty in plant-based nutrition. Guided by her philosophy, “Health is fun. Diets are not.”, Nicole helps her clients stay motivated as they lose weight, get healthy, and turn on the lights in their lives.



    Working Moms Inspiration from Oprah’s O You!