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The Gen X 'stay at home mom' crisis is real, but what's the solution?

Some moms in their 40s feel like they were lied to about what their "resume gap" would mean.

40-something moms who stayed home to be with their kids are finding themselves in uncharted waters.

A few generations ago, parents had pretty clearly defined roles, with the dad generally being the breadwinner and the mom being the homemaker/stay-at-home mother. Then women's rights movement came along, empowering women in the workplace, ushering in the era of two working parents and producing an entire generation of "latchkey kids."

Now those Gen X latchkey kids are parenting Gen Z, with the pendulum of working motherhood having swung somewhat to the middle. We were raised to believe we could be anything we dreamed of being and that we didn't have to choose between being a mom and having a career. Gen X also became mothers during the heyday of parenting self-help books that impressed upon us the importance of attachment and hands-on childrearing, as well as the era of super-scheduled kids, whose activities alone require a full-time manager.

As a result, those of us in our 40s have raised our kids straddling two worlds—the one where women can have all of the career success we desire and the one where we can choose to be stay-at-home moms who do all the things. At first, we were told we could have it all, but when the impossibility of that became clear, we were told, "Well, you can have it all, just not at the same time."

But as many moms are finding as their kids start leaving the nest, even that isn't the full truth.

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A mom shared five years of daycare pickups, with her son squealing in delight every time.

There is nothing more pure in this world than the love between a child and a caring parent. But even in the world of healthy attachments and strong family bonds, this viral video takes the cake.

Twitter user @TeesePeese shared a compilation of highlights showing her son's reaction at daycare pickup, and it's seriously the most precious thing ever.

"I really do love this video," she wrote. "I recorded my son's pick up almost every day and this is his reaction every single time. For his 5th bday (yesterday) I took my favorites and made a lil compilation, from infancy to just last week."

The squeals. The smiles. The skipping for joy. Gracious, it doesn't get any sweeter.

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When you're a venture capitalist considering investing in a company that makes women-oriented products, you better be comfortable with all aspects of womanhood. That includes seeing the head of the company pregnant—with twins—while she makes her pitch.

CEO Joanna Griffiths made that perfectly clear while raising capitol last year for Knix Wear, the undergarment company she founded in 2013. After online sales during the pandemic pushed the company's revenue in excess of $100 million, Griffiths decided it was time to expand. When approaching venture capitalists about investing, she had a rule—any investor who spoke negatively or disparagingly about her pregnancy, raising it as a concern about her company's future, was automatically disqualified from investing.

No matter how much cash they could bring to the table, she didn't want their money if they thought her pregnancy was going to devalue her company.

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While childcare challenges facing women in the workplace have come under the spotlight during the pandemic, the issue isn't new. As one of the only nations in the world without guaranteed paid parental leave as well as one without broadly subsidized childcare, parents often have to weigh childcare costs with their earnings and make tough choices between work and family.

In academia, where graduate students are working toward a career but aren't fully into one yet, figuring out how to balance family and studies on a limited income is also a challenge, which is why one MIT professor's photo of an addition to his lab has people cheering.

Troy Littleton, professor of biology at MIT, shared a photo of a portable crib squeezed in between a desk and a cabinet and wrote:

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