Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Anyone who is interested in family issues such as maternity and paternity leave, open and flexible work, educational tv and afterschool programs for children, healthcare for all children, excellent childcare, and realistic and fair wages must check out this site MomsRising.org .

One current feature on this site is the opportunity to sign a petition and write a letter to the television network heads demanding more substantial coverage of family issues. Below you will find my letter.

Dear Network Television:

I am really tired of hearing how moms are choosing to "drop out." I suppose I would be considered a "dropped out" mom. I gave up my job to care for my kids. Actually, if quality, affordable childcare was available and longer time off after childbirth that probably would not have been the case. But I had twins, and one preschooler at home, which made it impractical to work because we would be losing money for childcare. So I stopped working, and now, while I have the joy of raising my kids as preschoolers, I also have to completely start over in a career when the children go to school. My skills are obsolete, I will have no money available for additional schooling and retraining, so I will probably have to take an entry-level position somewhere at a fraction of the pay I earned prior to having children. My chances of earning decent wages when I go back to work are slim-to-none. Employers do discriminate against moms who have "dropped out." I know. I was in human resources and if someone has a large employment gap, even if she had stayed home to raise children at that time, she will most likely not get the position, if the resume is not simply thrown in the trash.

Why don't we see stories like these, real families making decisions that financially cripple them because no other options are available? Instead we see Katie Couric interviewing a cutesy couple that has switched places and in the end everything is hunky-dory, grins and giggles, when the dad realizes his wife has a hard job. It is patronizing and exhausting for family issues to be continuously trivialized in this way.



Please know that I am happy as a stay at home mother, but it is a very serious issue for people who make that decision because it is next to impossible to go back to the career you had before. In this country, women must choose, carer or family. But families should not be forced to make that choice. This website encourages us to fight for a more family friendly work environment, more flexible work, so that women or stay at home dads don't have to start over if the time comes for them to go back to work, and other family issues that are completely ignored in this society. I know that if the opportunity was available for me to work in a flexible, part-time position, I would instantly do it. However, part-time work is limited. The jobs tend to be low skill, the pay insubstantial. That is not going to change unless we change it one letter or one email or one petition signed at a time.


Anonymous Susan said...

I'm going to check it out right now. Thanks for the info.

02 May, 2006 11:34  
Blogger Mom101 said...

This is awesome--good for you. I also wrote up momsrising on coolmompicks.com a couple weeks ago and am featuring it in our first newsletter. I'm glad there are people like them--and you!--making sure your voices are heard.

Thanks for the nice comment over at my place (and the link. wow!) and for showing me the way back here.

04 May, 2006 14:56  

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