Friday, March 17, 2006

Blue Suit Mom

I just learned about this website for working moms. I have already found a couple of articles really helpful.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Is TV really bad for kids?

Here's an article from Slate that describes research done by two economists from University of Chicago. The research questions the conventional wisdom that TV is bad for kids.

How will we ever raise our kids to be perfectly informed well-behaved polite little angels if every day the conventional wisdom changes?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Professional Identity Crisis

I thought those of you in the area might be interested in speaking with Carrie Yang Costello (Ph.D. Berkely, J.D. Harvard), a UW-Milwaukee sociologist whose recent book examines the importance of "intangibles" favoring white men when it comes to success in professional school. She will be at Schwartz's on Downer this evening. More information about her research is available on the UWM website.
Professor Costello has a Harvard J.D. and a Berkeley Ph.D.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

An old adage for new working moms: quality not quantity

I recently learned of the study described in this article, which finds that mothers employed outside the home don't spend significantly less quality time with their young children than mothers who do not work outside the home.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Being Naked and Loving It

My daughter considers getting dressed an indignity and a personal insult. When she plays completely naked, she is happy as a clam, but as soon as I start putting clothes on her, she becomes cranky and cries. I have no idea why.

Friday, January 13, 2006

What is "mommy track" behavior?

First, a disclamer: Scott is the author of this post. He could not post it himself, because he does not have the author privileges on this blog.

There's a great, short law review article by Christine Jolls entitled, "Is There a Glass Ceiling?" It's short and a good read; it runs through some of the social science evidence of ongoing discrimination and job segregation. (The cite is 25 Harvard Women's Law Journal 1 (2002), for those possibly interested in it.) The following is a somewhat long but, trust me, entertaining excerpt from the beginning of the article:

In the spring of 2001, I was asked by the Federalist Society at Harvard Law School to debate Diana Furchtgott-Roth, chief of staff of the Council of Economic Advisers in the George W. Bush Administration, on the question of whether there is a "glass ceiling" for women in the labor market. I was to argue in favor of the glass ceiling's existence, and she was to take the opposing view. As those who attended know, the discussion ranged broadly over widely varying terrain, including some questions that should be silly but apparently aren't--most memorably, whether it is "mommy track" behavior to give one's nanny or babysitter a cell phone number at which one can be reached while at work when one is away from one's desk--to serious academic disputes over the underlying explanations for women's present labor market position....

"Yes," I replied, unhesitatingly, when Ms. Furchtgott-Roth asked whether I provided my children's caregiver with a cell phone number at which I could be
reached during work hours. (My husband, vice-president of marketing at a large corporation, does the same.) "If, for example, one of our children were to need emergency stitches during the work day and I happened to be out of my office for an extended period, I would want to be reachable so that I would know what was happening and be able to be present, and my husband feels the same way." I then asked the same question of Ms. Furchtgott-Roth (whose economic position would surely allow access to a cell phone for use in emergencies): "Doesn't your children's caregiver have a cell phone number at which to reach one or both parents at work?" "No," she replied. "I simply hire a competent caregiver to begin with." (This is either an exact quote or a very close paraphrase.) In Ms. Furchtgott-Roth's view, "serious" business people cannot be interrupted with "home matters" during their work hours.

This exchange was surprising to me on many levels. Part of the surprise came from the way in which the exchange placed me in the entirely new position of "perceived mommy tracker." I also chuckled in thinking about how various Bush Administration officials would react if they had been there to witness the exchange. But what was most surprising--and disturbing--was the way in which the exchange demonstrated a vision of the "appropriate worker" as one who was wholly unencumbered by life outside of work. Even the tiny likelihood of an emergency phone call from a child's caregiver, in Ms. Furchtgott-Roth's view, would radically disrupt the worker's effectiveness and render him or her not "serious" enough to hold down an important job."

As the Baby Grows

When Piper was born, I loved her and thought she was the most perfect creature that ever graced this planet. I loved being around her, and on many occasions, I just sat there staring at her. However, if I had to be alone with her for more than an hour, I'd get really really bored. I wanted interaction, but all I could do with her was hold her and sing to her; she wasn't interested in toys or anything else (although she did like to listen to Beethoven sonatas - maybe I should start playing them again). So, I just assumed that I was one of those mothers who love their children, but wasn't suited to be around them for too long.

Fastforward 8 months, she's now almost 9 months old. Guess what? She is a totally different person now. She is happy and engaging. She communicates (she doesn't speak, but she makes very clear what she wants), she plays and she interacts with the world. Not only that, but she does something new every day. All of a sudden, I am saddened that she goes to sleep so early and that I don't get to play with her longer. Now I wish I didn't have a full-time job (I still want a job though) and that I could spend more time with my daughter.

Who would have thought?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Glass Ceiling Still Exists - What a Shocker!

Here is a NYT article talking about the glass ceiling, and how even women who have broken through it later find that maybe they haven't really.