Entries in Mothers (5)


New Moms Report Extra Workplace Stress

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More women than men in the U.S. report higher levels of work stress, according to a new survey released Tuesday, with some women saying that extra stress came from countering the stereotypes surrounding mothers in the workplace.

The results of the annual survey by the American Psychological Association found that 32 percent of women said employers didn't provide enough opportunities for internal advancement, compared with 30 percent of men who said the same thing.

Out of the 1,501 employed adults surveyed online, 32 percent of the women said they received sufficient monetary compensation for their work, compared with 48 percent of employed men.  Women found another level of stress if they had families, even if it just came from a "stereotype threat," as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Pilar Clark, a blogger on the parenting website, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., the parent company of ABC News, said many women felt added stress from the minute they announced they were pregnant.

"It's ridiculous, but there is real fear of losing your job throughout a pregnancy that creates an enormous amount of stress and tension," said Clark, who lives in Lisle, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, and has two children.

While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibit discrimination against expectant mothers or discrimination on the basis of gender, Clark said employers can still find ways to replace a mother on maternity leave.

"After all, the mother is not there to defend her position as a hardworking member of the team, and all colleagues may see -- especially if they aren't married or don't have children yet -- is someone slacking for a few months and creating a lot more work for them," Clark said.

Clark, 32, said when a new mother returns to the office, there may be "eye rolls" over what is deemed to be special treatment, which might include a flex schedule, telecommuting and leaving early to take care of a sick child.

"The moment you misstep ... it's chalked up to being the result of new distractions at home that obviously make you less efficient and functional in the workplace. Oftentimes, it's the furthest thing possible from the truth, and it's so demeaning.  As a new mother, I often worked longer hours than my colleagues, arriving at the office long before it was officially open for business, and then hopped on the computer again at night to make sure that all my bases were covered.  However, who sees that?  Apparently, no one wants to," said Clark.

"I know I stressed about breaking the news to my boss when I was pregnant with my first child, mainly fearing that I would be treated differently or all of sudden deemed less able to do my job on par with my nonpregnant self," Clark said.

When Clark became pregnant with her first child in 2006, she said she was allowed one month of maternity leave.  Her mother planned to take care of her new son during the day while her husband worked nearby.  Even though Clark's commute was more than two hours, she said she was "confident that things would run smoothly."

"And they did, but only on the home front end of things.  At work, I returned to resentment," she said.

Clark said she was initially allowed a flexible schedule, meaning she could work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of the usual 9 to 5.

"I was expected to be on call via cellphone at all times and automatically consider my flex schedule null and void in case of any meetings, no matter how spur of the moment the planning," she said.

But she said she was warned by her boss and human resources that if any colleagues protested her new working arrangements, deemed them "unfair" or questioned Clark's work ethic, they could be revoked.

"And of course, that happened.  Another woman I worked with found my schedule discriminatory against her, since she was neither married nor a parent.  And that was that," she said.  "My boss called me into his office one day, told me I couldn't be supermom and that I would have to choose: him and the team or my son."

Clark's asking -- and for a while getting -- a flex-time arrangement is not that typical.  According to the American Psychological Association's survey, only 37 percent of women reported regularly using employee benefits designed to help them meet demands outside the office, compared with almost half of men (46 percent); and only 38 percent of women said they regularly used flexible work arrangements, compared with 42 percent of men.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


More Women are Paying Alimony and Child Support

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mother’s Day mean flowers and cards, but for an increasing number of moms, it’s also a reminder that they have to write child support checks.

In a new survey, 56 percent of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of mothers paying child support during the past three years.  Forty-seven percent of the attorneys say they have also noted an increase in the number of women who are paying alimony.

Fifty-three percent of the attorneys surveyed said they noted no change.

The survey was conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Moms Sell Excess Breast Milk for Cash on Internet

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Women all over the country are cashing in on what people are calling a mother's natural liquid gold: human breast milk.  A month's supply can cost anywhere from $300 up to $1,200 dollars.  In contrast, a month's worth of formula costs an average of $200.

For Kamilla Vainshtok and other women like her, the transactions -- all done online -- can literally "pump up" their income. 

" is basically a Craigslist for breast milk," Vainshtok told ABC News.  "There's buyers and sellers, there's an opportunity for them to meet each other."

Vainshtok, 25, is now in the unpaid portion of her maternity leave.  Four months after her daughter was born she started producing an abundance of milk.  It's been a source of extra money for her.

"I Googled breast milk for sale, milk for donation, and I came across…within the first week of my listing, I found a family in Ohio that needed some breast milk and I shipped it out to them," the Brooklyn, New York resident said.

Vainshtok was asked if pumping her milk and putting it in the mail didn't "seem weird" to her.

"It definitely did seem weird to me but I knew I was helping a family in need," she replied. "Their child wasn't responding well to formula, was having a lot of tummy aches and spit-ups.  So I figured if I was able to help this child with breast milk because their mother wasn't able to, then I might as well help them out."

It was a win-win situation for both the buyer and Vainshtok.  She shipped 300 ounces to the buyer in packed ice.  That one-month supply added several hundred dollars to her bank account.

But the exchange is not without risk.  What little screening there is is all based on the honor system.  That allows for so many unknowns -- such as the donor's medical background, said Dr. Judy Goldstein, a pediatrician with Global Pediatrics in Manhattan.  Purchasers also don't know if the donor mother has been on drugs.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend buying breast milk on the open market.  Such transactions could lead to the transmission of disease.  However, it does recommend buying milk from approved milk banks.  It may cost more, but the dangers are reduced.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Moms Cite Flowers as Least Desired Mother’s Day Gift

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ALISO VIEJO, Calif.) -- If you were planning to buy your mom flowers for Mother’s Day this Sunday, think again.  A new survey reveals moms consider flowers their “least desired” Mother’s Day gift. commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults and found that a day at a spa ranked as the top Mother’s Day gift, followed by gift cards and “something homemade.”  More specifically, moms over the age of 55 ranked gift cards as their most desirable Mother’s Day gift, followed by a new computer.

When mothers were asked to describe the ideal way to spend Mother’s Day, most of them cited a “nice meal out,” followed by “spending time with family at home.”

The survey also found that 22 percent of respondents plan to spend at least $25 on Mother’s Day gifts and that 33 percent of Americans spend more on Mother’s Day gifts than Father’s Day gifts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Disney Study: Moms Spend 24 Hours a Week Online

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | Disney Online(NEW YORK) -- A new study shows that the typical mom spends 24 hours a week surfing the Web. Most of that time, according to Disney Online's Mom on a Mission research study, is spent connecting with family, searching for information and managing their lives.

"Our study results showed that technology and the Internet are helping to make moms' lives more manageable, so they can spend more quality time with their families,” said Paul Yanover, EVP of Disney Online.

The study, released Wednesday, included two phases: consumer immersion blogs and online quantitative study. In the first phase, nine moms interacted in a secure, online blog for one week, uploading video, images and text. The second phase was an online study of 3,300 females, ages 21-54, who were either pregnant or had one child 14 years old or younger.

The top subjects researched by moms online include deals and discounts and recipes. Other topics include family activities, entertainment and travel, personal health, arts/crafts projects, holiday planning and activities.
 Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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