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working parents

@sheisapaigeturner/TikTok

Maybe there's more to it than "bad parenting."

Unless you've been living on a remote, deserted island, you’re probably addicted to your phone. We’ve all been guilty of ignoring someone right in front of us because of text or a notification. It’s so common we even have a word for it: “phubbing.

But parental phubbing, while just as prevalent as ordinary phubbing, is often seen as more than just a social faux pas. And this perhaps isn’t totally without merit, since research has shown that kids do in fact feel the effects of being ignored in this way.

And yet, as one mom eloquently points out, we can’t just chalk it up to “bad parenting.”


“I was just at my son's Taekwondo practice, and I'd say 75% of the parents are on their phones, right?” Paige Turner, a mom of four, says in a clip posted to her TikTok.

She continues: “And I have seen a lot of commentary about how parents are always on their phones, right? Parents are always texting. They're not watching their kids. They're not seeing how great their kids doing during Taekwondo or baseball or gymnastics, whatever it is. They're just too busy on their phone and why can't they just take a break and look up?”

And this is where Turner offers her alternate, but so spot on take.

“I think the average parent is being asked to do a lot, right? They are working full-time. There's a lack of childcare, so oftentimes, these parents are not only on their phones, I sit next to parents who are on their laptops at Taekwondo practice because we are technically still working, right?” she says.

Since most parents are technically still on the clock by the time an afternoon practice rolls around, of course they’re “Slacking on their phone. They're answering emails. Sometimes, they're even listening to a call,” Turner explains.

So maybe it’s not just about being present with their kids but about parents having to be on call 24/7.

“In an ideal world, our kids would have practices and games at times that allowed us to be fully present,” Turner says. But in reality, “we are being asked to go in many different directions right now, and so many of us don’t have that luxury.”

Turner also points out that the obligation to be at every practice or game is a fairly new concept, parents used to simply drop kids off and pick them up once whichever activity was over.

“We are being asked not only to do more physically: be at every practice, be at every game, volunteer, work full-time, pick up your kids from the bus stop, all these things. We're also being asked to be fully present for all of it, which is impossible,” she notes.

@sheisapaigeturner As parents, we need to be conscious of one and how we use our phones. However, a lot of the critique online specifically about parents being on their phone I could activities is likely missing the full picture. Many parents are multitasking. They are working while at basketball, they are ordering groceries while at dance practice. They are doing many things at one time and juggling all of it as soon as they can. #millennailmom #sportsmom #parentingadvice #socialmedia #workingmom #wfhmom #workingparent ♬ original sound - Paige

Turner concludes by sharing that she posted this perspective to offer some grace against the common “ugly narrative” that parents are simply not paying attention to their kids when parents are most likely doing the very best that they can.

Several parents agreed with Turner and added their own takes on the issue.

“The idea that we have to be present every single second of our child’s life is just INSANE. Especially coming from the ‘go outside and don’t come back until dark’ generation,” one person wrote.

Another added, “also, my phone is where I schedule appointments, order groceries, order prescriptions, fill out forms for all the things, research therapists and camps and doctors and adhd, & I’m a grad student.”

A few even pointed out that even when they aren’t working, phone use during practice shouldn’t be considered taboo.

“Even if you AREN’T working or doing something productive on your phone. Why would I want to watch soccer drills for an hour? Let me play candy crush in peace lol,” one person quipped.

Another seconded, “I’m absolutely not working but I’m using the opportunity of my child being fully engaged with an activity to freaking relax a little. I don't have to just sit and watch them 24/7 to have a relationship.”

Bottom line: of course, it’s important for parents to be mindful of their phone usage, especially when around kids. But our world makes that nearly impossible, and passing judgment on the moms and dads who do find themselves scrolling isn’t of help to anyone. A little compassion can go a long way here.

Working moms are filing for divorce more often

Being a parent is a full time job but without the money and health benefits. Kissing scrapped knees, planning meals, scheduling doctor appointments, extracurricular activities, PTO meetings, the list could go on for days. But in today's society many women with children not only work inside the home but outside as well because a two income household is necessary in many cases. So why are moms leaving their marriages to do it all on their own?

Divorce attorney, Dennis Vetrano Jr. posted a video to TikTok that has over 7.4 million views, explaining the rise of working moms filing for divorce. The revelation came as no surprise to women or other divorce attorneys who commented under Vetrano's video but it may be surprising to some men.

You know how there's that saying that girls mature faster than boys, the initiation of divorce by working moms may be a continuation of that notion.


"I'm seeing working moms doing it all, and I'm seeing the husbands step back and say, huh I don't gotta do a thing. She's got the kids, she's got the groceries, she's got the laundry, she's got the meals, she's got the work," Vetrano says. "That's the theme and women are tired."

Over the past few decades women have taken on more roles outside of the home out of necessity and desire but their load inside the home hasn't decreased. The wives Vetrano is speaking about have partners who haven't caught up with the evolution of roles. Essentially still living like the 50s expecting their wives to take care of all household responsibilities while ignoring the fact that their wives work outside of the home just like they do.

"We even filed the divorce, find the attorney, created the child custody schedule," one woman wrote.

"After my divorce I had one less child to take care of. Leveled up," another commented.

"I will never forget the day I said 'if i'm doing it all by myself, I might as well be by myself,'" someone else wrote.

Another divorce lawyer even chimed in saying that her clients who are women are often much happier after divorce. It certainly makes you wonder about the maturity theme here. Not in the way of men being immature but women adapting much more quickly to societal shifts as some men struggle to keep up or even see the correlation that leads to divorce.

Take a look at the video below and if you're feeling extra adventurous, check out the comments under the main video to see if you agree with the sentiments women are expressing.

@drvlaw

The major theme I’ve been seeing? Women are TIRED #divorce #divorced #divorceparty #divorcedlife #divorcedmom #divorcesucks #divorcecoach #divorcedparents #divorceattorney #divorcesupport #divorceparties #divorcehelp #divorcerecovery #DivorceForce #divorcecourt #divorcecommunity #divorcedonedifferently #divorceddad #divorcechaos #divorceproceedings #divorcedmoms #divorcee #divorcecoaching #divorcees #divorcecake #divorcelawyer #divorceeducation #divorcesurvivor

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Americans' long working hours put them at a disadvantage in several ways.

Many Americans hope for the day when the regular work week resembles that many of the other countries, with fewer work days, daily siestas and extensive paid leave packages. Having a nap pod under your desk or taking a six-week holiday is, to Americans, what fairytales are made of. Add in up to three years of paid parental leave, and you’re really entering a realm of perfection that Americans can only dream of. But we could be moving closer to those things than we think. While we're far from having three years off for bringing home a new baby, there are some moves toward redressing the balance between the amount of time spent at work and family (or other activity) time.

California recently introduced a bill, AB 2932, that aims to cut the work week from 40 to 32 hours. This reduction in hours would allow employees to have a four-day work week. The bill also outlines how overtime would be applied, where time and a half pay is required after an eight-hour work day, and anything above 12 hours is compensated with double pay. Workers also would not be docked pay if they did not meet the 32-hour minimum for their work week. While the work week would be a day shorter, employees would not be required to work more than an eight-hour shift. The proposed changes would only affect companies that have 500 employees or more.


If AB 2932 passes, California would be the first state to change the standard work week, which has been set at 40 hours since 1940. It was Ford Motor Companies that innovated the five-day, 40-hour work week in 1926. Congress was nearly 15 years behind with making it a federal law.

The shorter work week wouldn’t just be good for work-life balance, but it could also benefit Californians' mental and physical health. The American Heart Association discovered that people under 50 were at a higher risk for stroke when they worked more than 10 hours a day for a decade or more. A different study completed across 14 countries found that people who worked long hours were 12% more likely to become heavy drinkers. Researchers in Iceland found that when employees worked fewer hours each week “they felt better, more energised, and less stressed, resulting in them having more energy for other activities, such as exercise, friends and hobbies.”

Additional benefits of a shorter work week include lower overhead and other costs, as employees take fewer sick days and their productivity rises when they are at work.

It seems clear that a shorter work week has enough benefits to begin to sway any fence sitters. If California passes this law, the future of the 40-hour, five-day work week might eventually become a thing of the past across the entire country.

Patagonia has taken "family-friendly workplace" to a whole new level, and people are noticing.

The outdoor clothing and gear company has made a name for itself by putting its money where its mouth is. From creating backpacks out of 100% recycled materials to donating their $10 million tax cut to fight climate change to refusing to sell to clients who harm the environment, Patagonia leads by example.

That dedication to principle is clear in its policies for parents who work for them, as evidenced by a viral post from Holly Morisette, a recruiter at Patagonia.


Morisette wrote on LinkedIn:

"While nursing my baby during a morning meeting the other day after a recent return from maternity leave, our VP (Dean Carter) turned to me and said...'There is no way to measure the ROI on that. But I know it's huge.'

It got me thinking...with the immense gratitude that I have for on-site childcare at Patagonia comes a responsibility to share a 'call to action'. A PSA to tout the extraordinary benefits that come along with not asking employees to make the gut wrenching decision to either leave their jobs or leave their babies. TO HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR JOBS OR LEAVE THEIR BABIES. That perhaps just one person will brave the subject with their employer (big or small) in the hopes that it gets the wheels turning to think differently about how to truly support working families.

That with a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of guts, companies can create a workplace where mothers aren't hiding in broom closets pumping milk, but rather visiting their babies for large doses of love and serotonin before returning to their work and kicking ass.

It's no wonder that Patagonia has 100% retention of moms. Keeping them close to their babies keeps them engaged. And engaged mothers (and fathers!) get stuff done. Thank you, Patagonia, for leading the way. "


Holly Morissette on LinkedIn: "While nursing my baby during a morning meeting the other day after a recent return from maternity leave, our VP (Dean Carter) turned to me and said..."There is no way to measure the ROI on that. But I know it's huge." It got me thinking...with the immense gratitude that I have for on-site childcare at Patagonia comes a responsibility to share a “call to action". A PSA to tout the extraordinary benefits that come along with not asking employees to make the gut wrenching decision to either leave their jobs or leave their babies. TO HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR JOBS OR LEAVE THEIR BABIES. That perhaps just one person will brave the subject with their employer (big or small) in the hopes that it gets the wheels turning to think differently about how to truly support working families. That with a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of guts, companies can create a workplace where mothers aren't hiding in broom closets pumping milk, but rather visiting their babies for large doses of love and serotonin before returning to their work and kicking ass. It's no wonder that Patagonia has 100% retention of moms. Keeping them close to their babies keeps them engaged. And engaged mothers (and fathers!) get stuff done. Thank you, Patagonia, for leading the way. " www.linkedin.com

RELATED: It only became legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states in 2018.

Just the first eight words of Morisette's post are extraordinary. "While nursing my baby during a morning meeting..."

As if that's totally normal. As if everyone understands that working moms can be much more engaged and efficient in their jobs if they can feed their baby while they go over sales figures. As if the long-held belief that life and work must be completely separate is a construct that deserves to be challenged.

And then the comment from her male colleague about the ROI (Return on Investment) of breastfeeding—witty, considering the time and place, and yet so supportive.

On-site childcare so that parents don't have to choose between leaving their jobs or leaving their babies. Letting life integrate with work so that working families don't have to constantly feel torn in two different directions. Flexibility in meetings and schedules. Allowing for the natural rhythms and needs of breastfeeders. Making childcare as easy and accessible as possible so that employees can be more effective in their jobs.

RELATED: Working and breastfeeding is hard. Studies say support from coworkers is key to success.

All of this seems so profoundly logical, it's a wonder that more companies have not figured this out sooner. Clearly, it works. I mean, who has ever heard of a 100% retention rate for mothers?

Patagonia's got it goin' on. Let's hope more companies take their lead.