Part-Time Looking Pretty Fine

Yesterday The Washington Post took a second pass at the Pew Center research on work/family balance we dug into last week with Part-Time Looks Fine to Working Mothers. The findings of mothers nationwide show what I've long believed: The key to work/life balance when you have young children is working part-time.

The majority of working moms (60 percent) find part-time work most appealing. That spreads across education and income levels. Ten years ago, the same survey showed far fewer (48 percent) of moms found part-time work appealing. Even single moms agree, with 46 percent saying that part-time is the best option. For perspective, 72 percent of men describe full-time work as the ideal.

A few other interesting findings: Ranking yourself highly as a mother is inversely related to your education level and work status. The higher a woman's educational achievements, the lower she rates herself as a mother. And mothers who work full-time rated themselves lower than did moms who work only part-time or stay at home. A nice guilt cocktail to consider.

But here is the kicker: Even though so many more moms want to work part time, the number of mothers actually working part time has not increased in the past 10 years.

So our topic today is: If your boss came to you with a good part-time job, would you take it? Why or why not? And if you already work part time, how did you negotiate your schedule and your pro-rated salary? What are the pros and cons?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  July 13, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
Previous: Scoring Free, High-Quality Babysitting | Next: Hi Boss! I'm Pregnant - Again!


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First! I will savor this forever!

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 7:05 AM

I am so proud of you, Fred.

Posted by: Leslie | July 13, 2007 7:18 AM

I would tell y'all how Frieda feels about her parttime job but someone would accuse me of having no original thoughts--again!

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 7:20 AM

I would tell y'all how Frieda feels about her parttime job but someone would accuse me of having no original thoughts--again!

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 7:20 AM

Sorry about the double post, Washpo is running slow this a.m.

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 7:23 AM

Hi Leslie! Hi Fred! Top of the morning to ya!

Posted by: Lil Husky | July 13, 2007 7:28 AM

7th! My mother worked part-time when I was a preschooler, in a very small business where she could bring me to the office, and it worked out conveniently for all concerned.

Posted by: catlady | July 13, 2007 7:44 AM

Babysitting - an option for a part-time job.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 7:52 AM

i would, love, love, love it if my boss offered me a part time position! But the reality is that I would need to ask him myself. I've broached the topic, and her seems receptive, but the very greedy part of me fears that the trade off to working part time would be that i wouldn't get a bonus at the end of the year.I suppose I could just flat out ask him-- "will working part-time result in my losing an opportunity for an end year bonus?" I guess I figure that I would be asking him for a favor if I asked to work part-time and I would need to give something up in order to get that favor. But really, I could be doing him a favor by working part-time-- he'd be paying me less.

I think this article is going to help give me the push to broach this subject with my boss today. I'll be very interested in any advice current part-times provide. Thanks!

Posted by: Jen S. | July 13, 2007 7:53 AM

Fred

"I would tell y'all how Frieda feels about her parttime job but someone would accuse me of having no original thoughts--again!"

If Frieda doesn't have enough interest to post her own thoughts, they don't mean much to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 7:54 AM

I have thought that PT would be a great option ever since going back FT several years ago, but in my job I have customers and clients and I don't feel it's fair for them to be represented by a part time account exec, or have my FT co-workers pick up my slack when I am out because I am PT. I also figure I wwould be squeezing in the FT job in PT hours (knowing myself and my business), so I might as well get paid FT. I telework as much as I want to and I consider that a big bonus in itself, my kids can sleep in as needed while I get paperwork done in the morning hours, and I can pick them up right after daycare since I don't have a commute in the afternoons when I work from home.

Posted by: Burke Mom | July 13, 2007 7:58 AM

If Frieda doesn't have enough interest to post her own thoughts, they don't mean much to me.

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 07:54 AM

Actually, she is still in bed sleeping where anyone with a parttime job and any sense would be right now!

(remember, not all of us are on eastern time!)

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 7:58 AM

We're dealing with this right now. One of the secretaries, a top performer, desperately wants to go part time (3 days/week) and her attorneys love her so much that they are willing to try to make it work BUT I don't know if it will happen. HR at our main office is extremely concerned that this will start some kind of a trend in this particular office that we won't be able to maintain, and they're skeptical (as am I) that the attorneys will actually be able to survive two days a week without an assigned secretary. I'm not a betting woman (except when it comes to HP's fate) but I wouldn't put money on this happening. It's just too difficult to do part-time in most administrative positions unless there's some kind of a teaming concept in place that works really well. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how this could work, but the best I can come up with is a job-share kind of situation, and that of course requires another willing body.

I would absolutely do part-time if I could, but I know my job and my people and it wouldn't work like that. With my electronic leash (the Blackberry) it's almost like I'm never away from the office anyway, even when I'm not physically there.

Dang, I was really hoping for a rousing discussion about childhood cartoons today. What gives with the serious stuff on a Friday in summer???

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 8:01 AM

I love working part time!!!

My position was the result of some luck and good timing. My family was moving to an area that made my full time job too long a commute (it would have been nearly two hours, one way). We were moving there because we could afford a lot more acreage than we could ever have afforded in the DC area. Though I had mixed feelings about being a stay-at-home mom, that was the plan.

(I tried to negotiate a part time position with my employer at the time, but they were very unresponsive.)

And then I saw a part-time attorney position advertised, not far from my new home. Turns out the woman in the position wanted a job sharing arrangement in her gov't agency, and the agency agreed.

I do believe that working part time is the "Holy Grail" for women who want to work, but can't stomach being away from their children for 40+ hours a week (provided that you can afford it, of course).

I work half time. It just feels totally different from full time work. Now, my son spends most of his waking time with ME. We have time to do things together during the week -- playgroups, the zoo, etc. And yet I get to maintain my professional identity. My workplace is very respectful of my half time schedule, for which I am grateful.

The reduction in my paycheck has posed some challenges. Also, there is no doubt that I am perceived to value "career advancement" less than family time. But since this is true, I don't mind the perception.

My experience has been that it's a really wonderful arrangement. I don't know when I'll go back to full time work (maybe when my youngest, due in the fall, is ready for school). But I am so glad to have had the opportunity to work part time.

Posted by: Kyra | July 13, 2007 8:01 AM

In a word YES!!! I would LOVE PT work. I would love an 8-3 schedule. 30 hours is perfect. I've only been at this job for a year, and I've already taken maternity leave, so I've got to really prove myself for a while first. In the meantime, my husband works half days twice a week, which makes me feel better about the amount of time the baby is in daycare. Some days at around 4 I'm dying to see her.

Posted by: atb | July 13, 2007 8:02 AM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:09 AM

WorkingmomX- Josie and the Pussycats!

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 8:11 AM

I would love to work PT and wish that there were more opportunities to do so, or possibly a job sharing opportunity. I want to continue working, but always wish for more hours in the day to spend with my daughter. We don't take a vacation so that every now and then I can use vacation hours to take off from work a little early in order to take my daughter to the park or swimming during the summer. I cook mostly on the weekends so that during the week it is just a reheat of left overs so that we can spend more time outdoors than cooking after work (and don't need to stop for fast-food).

Posted by: D in MD | July 13, 2007 8:14 AM

The problem with this article, and with others like it, is the lack of delineation. Yes, many of us would like to work less, for so many reasons. It's not a generational issue--who wouldn't want to work less?

But for the majority, it just isn't possible...bills must be paid, health insurance is critical for our children, and so on. Single parents generally can't afford to work part-time; most low-income families can't afford part-time work--or are forced into part time jobs and have to stitch together full-time hours.

One of those interviewed for the article said "my son is my priority." My child is my priority--that's why I work full-time.

I oversee a part-time worker, and it is very difficult. Her schedule drives all timelines in the office. She relies heavily on other staff to get her job done. And, the things other professionals do as part of the routine of their job--travel, check email or finish projects at night, etc--are "extra time" for her.

I believe in choice, but the truth (as Leslie as pointed out so many times) is that for most workers there just isn't a choice. A real change in work family issues isn't going to result from a priveleged few choosing to go part-time.

Posted by: ftworkingmom | July 13, 2007 8:16 AM

Long tails, and ears for hats!!!

Scooby Doo was my favorite (jinkies, don't go away, we'll be right back), but I also loved all the Bugs Bunny cartoons, and can we talk for just a second about SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK??? I have the box set, and my kids love it. Conjunction, junction, what's your function?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 8:16 AM

I worked for the past 7 years PT, as a software developer, and loved it. I pretty much did the same amount of work in 30 hours/week as I had previously at 45 hours/week. I just wasted less time sitting in the office. I negotiated for the PT situation after 2 years as a FT employee. The bad thing is that my company was acquired last month, and I was laid off along with 2/3 of the other employees. Now I am job searching and will probably have to either go FT or stop working altogether. I cannot believe how hard it is to find PT work, even though I have proved myself over the past 7 years. I wonder how many talented women have been forced out of the job market because of the lack of PT opportunities.

So, the downside of PT is that you can lose the deal at any time.

Posted by: ratgirlny | July 13, 2007 8:18 AM

I thought it was fairly notable that for employed mothers, the percentage who saw full-time employment as 'ideal' dropped significantly [from 32% to 21%] while for SAHMs the percentage who viewed staying at home full-time as 'ideal' increased significantly [39% to 48%].

Or to put it another way, about 80% of employed women would like to cut their employed hours, while only 50% of SAHMs would be interested in increasing theirs.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:18 AM

Our department at my company has been very slow, work-wise, over the past couple of years and many of us have worried about taking pay cuts or layoffs. I would rather cut my hours to about 25-30 a week and use the extra time to go back to school for my master's degree.

Posted by: Jim | July 13, 2007 8:18 AM

Luv the Tasmanian Devil!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:18 AM

Years ago we had a couple of job-sharing arrangements in our office that seemed to work well - two of our attorneys (lobbyists) shared a position (one worked two days a week, the other worked three days a week), and two of our para-professionals had a similar arrangement. Not all positions are conducive to this, of course, but some positions (especially administrative positions) are. It's one way of accomodating employees who are seeking part-time employment while still providing full-time coverage for the office.

Posted by: Murphy | July 13, 2007 8:19 AM

"(I tried to negotiate a part time position with my employer at the time, but they were very unresponsive.)"

And they should feel no obligation to be responsive. If someone was hired for a full-time job and that was the need of the employer, then why should the employer bend because they made a choice to have children and now wants to be part-time?

Posted by: expectations | July 13, 2007 8:19 AM

Electricity, E - lectricity! Love school house rock! I also enjoyed Jabber Jaw and Captain Caveman - how did he store all that stuff in his coat?

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 8:19 AM

I am switching to part time (3 days/week) in August. It turned out to not be a big deal to ask for it. I actually think it's helping my performance knowing I need to prioritize. But I had to get over feeling like it's a catastrophe if I'm not there one day when someone at work needs me. No one's that vital.

Posted by: Millie | July 13, 2007 8:22 AM

Client service is harder when you work part-time. You still have to be available 24/7 for emergencies. When I switched to a part-time schedule, my largest client (one of the Post's largest advertisers) said it wouldn't make any difference -- they knew where to find me at all hours, and that's all that mattered. It worked out great.

It's also hard to make sure you are paid adequately. It's tempting to settle for too little when you are desperate to find a good PT job. I found it best to tie compensation (including bonus) to RESULTS not hours on the job. Can't do that with every job obviously.

Posted by: Leslie | July 13, 2007 8:22 AM

I work part-time and I agree with the article that it really helps with work/life balance with young kids. I get in early, and leave early M-Th and then am off on Fridays. So, I'm able to get home to do homework and extra-curriculars with my kids and have the lazy Fridays. I love that free day where if the kids are home we can go to the park, play, hang out and I also can catch up around the house.

Since I work for the government, the issues of salary, benefits, etc. is all standardized so I didn't have to negotiate any of it. I work 28 hours a week, which is 70% of a full-time schedule. So, I get 70% of what I would get as a full-time on salary - government salaries are by grade and step within the grade. Leave is pro rated. I pay more for health insurance than a full-timer and someone told me it is actually disproportionately more, that the formula the government uses really slams part-timers. I don't know if that's true but it is pricey to pay for gov't health insurance on a part-time schedule. On the other hand, compared to many private sector jobs, it's still a good deal. The insurance my husband can get at his company (he works full-time) costs more than what I pay as a part-timer and the benefits are not as good.

Those higher benefit costs coupled with my lower salary were hard when I had both kids in daycare but now that my daughter goes to public school, and my salary has increased a little, it's easier. I know I am very lucky, especially in this high cost living area, to be able to afford to work part-time.

I negotiated my part-time schedule when I was pregnant with my first child. A few other women in my division were already working part-time and both my sisters-in-law were too and they all seemed very happy so I wanted to try it. My boss was receptive, although did not agree to let me work as part-time as I initially requested. I've worked anywhere from 24 to 32 hours a week over the past 7 years that I've been part-time. 24 hours, 3 days a week, is an awesome schedule, in my view, for home/work balance, but I could not maintain it at my job. As I got more senior being out 2 out of 5 days a week was just too much to lead projects and keep on top of things. My office is not big on telecommuting so that wasn't an option either.

I am lucky at my agency to get high level work, really no different than what I would get as a full-timer at my level of experience. I've been promoted twice as a part-timer. The one negative work-wise is that it's hard to move around or move up as a part-timer. Even the lower level management positions are not open to part-time. I've tried to transfer to other divisions in my agency, b/c I've been in the same one for 10 yrs. and would like a change, but no one wants another part-timer. We joke that this agency is like the women lawyers ghetto - it is over 50% women and most have children. So, there are a lot of people working alternative schedules and I know it is very hard on the managers. They are great about it and I feel incredibly lucky to have landed here.

I think more employers should let people work part-time. It's great for working parents (there are some dads here who do it too) and you don't lose that much on productivity. My workload is not significantly less than my full-time colleagues - my projects just may take a day or two more but in the scheme of things it doesn't affect the division's productivity. And, my kids won't be little forever. I plan to go to full-time at some point and then I can try for some of those other positions. The extra time at home is absolutely worth the trade-offs for me.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | July 13, 2007 8:23 AM

I want to be a part time mother. Any suggestions for a SAHM who doesn't want to give up the Bon-Bon life?

Posted by: sick of kids | July 13, 2007 8:28 AM

"(I tried to negotiate a part time position with my employer at the time, but they were very unresponsive.)"

And they should feel no obligation to be responsive. If someone was hired for a full-time job and that was the need of the employer, then why should the employer bend because they made a choice to have children and now wants to be part-time?

___________________________________________

No, they had no obligation. But I'd worked there full time for 5 years, and was a good and dedicated employee. Also, this gov't agency made much of its work/life balance programs.

In addition, other employees in the office had part time arrangements, but I was told that the office would no longer be approving such arrangements. I was not the only attorney frustrated by the office's inflexibility.

Of course they didn't have to. And I didn't have to stay. So I opted to leave, as was my right. Happily, it turned out well for me (not so for them -- they are severely short-staffed now because so many people tired of the disconnect between their claims of flexibility and the reality).

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:28 AM

Any suggestions for a SAHM who doesn't want to give up the Bon-Bon life?
____________________
Put your kid in day care or hire a nanny.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:32 AM

"But I'd worked there full time for 5 years, and was a good and dedicated employee"

In your eyes only. If you were really that good (and smart about your request), you would have been successful.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:33 AM

Sorry, I forgot to add my name to the last post.

Posted by: Kyra | July 13, 2007 8:34 AM

I agree PT work is ideal with a young child. After my maternity leave was up, I had to go back to work FT because there was no other option - you were either in or you were out. I loved my job at the time so I stayed in (and I don't regret it).

The past two years I've been staying at home with my daughter but she starts preschool soon and I have (luckily!) been able to find a PT job. The good news is I was able to find work entirely within my schedule - mornings only 5 days a week. I'm happy with the salary, although it's less than what I made full-time, and I don't get any benefits (thank goodness my husband works FT!). Another downside is because of my limited hours and their work flow for the day, I won't get as many "substantial" assignments and may be left to do more of the routine work of updating, editing, etc. But in general I'm thrilled - there aren't that many opportunities that I've found that would allow me to work mornings while my daughter is in preschool and have my afternoons free with her.

I think the biggest problem with PT jobs is that there are certain jobs that don't (or that companies won't allow to) fit into PT schedules. That means you may be doing work that is less fulfilling, even though it needs to be done. If I could've done a PT version of my original job (before I had my daughter) I'd be in heaven! I also think it stinks that most PT jobs don't offer benefits. That makes it impossible for two spouses to work PT - someone needs to have health insurance.

Posted by: Vienna Mom | July 13, 2007 8:34 AM

Yet another anonymous poster said "And they should feel no obligation to be responsive. If someone was hired for a full-time job and that was the need of the employer, then why should the employer bend because they made a choice to have children and now wants to be part-time?"


I agree with this but only to a point. Helping employees balance work and life is important for any organization that wants to retain its talent. For great employees, we should absolutely be willing to try to find a solution that works for both parties. You only have to look at places like Best Buy to see how creative a company can be. The concept of the workweek is changing. The next 10 years should be very interesting.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 8:35 AM

I'm only a Bill...and I'm sittin here on Capitol Hill...
There's no need to fear -- Underdog is here!
Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit!
(Kill the Wabbit? I'M the Wabbit!)

I absolutely LOVE all those old Warner Brothers cartoons. Years ago, when son #1 was a baby, Warner (or, more likely, Time-Life) sold a series of videos. Each one featured one character (one hour of Bugs short cartoons, one of Daffy, etc). On the Road Runner video, there's one short that features Wile E. Coyote trying to catch Bugs. It's the only one in which he speaks. Even now, whenever someone in the family tries to be too clever and it backfires, we always say, Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius!

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 8:36 AM

"But I'd worked there full time for 5 years, and was a good and dedicated employee"

In your eyes only. If you were really that good (and smart about your request), you would have been successful.

_______________________________________

Maybe, maybe not. You don't really know their reasons; nor do I.

And I don't much care. It would have been nice for me if it had worked out, but it didn't, and that's OK. There's no reason to use my story to attack me.

Posted by: Kyra | July 13, 2007 8:36 AM

Re Friday the 13th: When your name is Baker you might consider 13 a lucky number because it's a Baker's Dozen!

Posted by: Ms. Baker | July 13, 2007 8:38 AM

I think this study, as is most of the discussion on "Balance", is short sighted. I think everyone likes to focus on that one magic thing that will make everything better for Working Parents. There is no Magic Pill we can take that will make everything work out fine. It takes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and even your kids all working together to make things work.

My husband and I are both independent consultants and own our own small business. Most people think we're crazy to not have "permanent employment" with 2 kids, but it works very well for us. We generally work full time, but we do take time off, without pay, to take the kids to the doctor and those other parent-like responsibilities. We both work because we want to and it gives us more freedom to make choices in our lives. Everyone is always telling us that we HAVE TO get full time employment even though we've both been downsized from those "secure" jobs before. I think people need to look at what they want and be somewhat creative in how they achieve their goals. There is no one way to work and be a parent too.

Posted by: KBJ | July 13, 2007 8:38 AM

Ohhhh, Underdog - I loved him. I watched him all the time. I remember how at the end of the opening he would always bite on the gold coin. My kids LOOOOVe Looney Toons which is great, becuase they also have a lot of material for grown ups. Bugs Bunny is quite the Renaissance hare. The cartoons today are not as smart and clever - they are really written just to and for the kids.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 8:41 AM

I overheard one of the super-hero cartoons that my son was watching and the villan was manufacturing blow-up dolls in a building located on 36-22-36 Broad St. LOL!

Posted by: Lil Husky | July 13, 2007 8:42 AM

About the health insurance: my current employer offers full health insurance for employees who work 50% or more

Posted by: Kyra | July 13, 2007 8:43 AM

KBJ

"It takes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles...working together to make things work. "

Right, if they are alive, in decent health, and live in the area!

Sheesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:43 AM

Okay, does anyone remember "Vegetable Soup" from the 70s? I'm telling you, I used to have nightmares about that show, particularly the segment where the kids got lost in space. Think I'll pop over to YouTube and see if they've got it so I can freak myself out completely and go home for the day!!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 8:43 AM

I would love to work part time. Any senior level gov't policy makers out there who were successful in making it happen for them? In terms of salary, I think that it will be a wash because we would save the money we now spend on a full time child care before and after school. However, I find that very few careers or jobs lend themselves well for part time. My job is one of them. I may have a meeting in late afternoon that I cannot miss, or early in the morning. Job sharing will not work either because most parents would want to be in the office exactly the same number of hours that I would while ambitious young single people would probably not be interested. I honestly think that the best combination for me is teleworking with flex hours on a full time basis. This way I can catch up on email/write reports late at night when the kids are asleep and during the day I would work when there is work and then leave early to pick up the kids from school. I think that my agency and my organization will probably get more hours from me this way but they don't think so. In fact, I find that my agency is most concerned with fairness and not showing favoritism, and, as a result, this type of an arrangement is pretty much a non-starter. I also want to bring up another drawback to part time work that I perceive in senior level gov't policy positions. I think that you will end up working more. You would feel that you need to put in those extra late hours just to stay relevant and make a contribution. So, in effect, you might end up working FT for a part time pay. Am I right about this?

Posted by: fedmom | July 13, 2007 8:44 AM

ANyone else remember "Crusade Rabbit"?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:44 AM

ANyone else remember "Crusader Rabbit"?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:44 AM

"For perspective, 72 percent of men describe full-time work as the ideal."

Are those men in general or fathers specifically?

"I wonder how many talented women have been forced out of the job market because of the lack of PT opportunities."

How many men have been forced out of the job market because of a lack of PT opportunities? Not many probably.

In my opinion, fathers should bear an equal share of the burden when it comes to finding child care. Why are women the focus of this article and not parents? As long as we view PT work as a mother's perk, we won't make any headway in making it widely available.

FWIW, I think flex time in FT positions are just as important as PT work. Check out this scenario:

Mom works FT but has flexible hours. Dad has the option of PT or a FT job with flexible hours. If he takes the PT job, the kid will still need to be in day care some days, Dad takes a pay cut, and he doesn't get any benefits or vacation time. If he takes the FT job, he can go into work at 10 while mom goes at 7. She gets the kid at 3, and Dad gets home in time for dinner at 6. The kid is only in day care for 5 hours a day. Or the parents can work four 10 hour days and have two different days of the week to stay home. Then the kid is only in day care for 3 days a week. And Dad is getting a FT salary, benefits, and vacation time.


Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 8:45 AM

DOn't remember Vegetable Soup, but my husband loved HR Puffinstuff which really looks like an acid trip.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 8:45 AM

"It takes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles...working together to make things work. "

Right, if they are alive, in decent health, and live in the area!

Sheesh!

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 08:43 AM

Nobody forced you to move away from your family, unless they couldn't stand you and ran you off.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 8:47 AM

Maybe it would be easier for both parents to work only PT if universal health insurance were available, so neither parents would have to work FT in order to cover their family.

Posted by: To Meesh and others | July 13, 2007 8:51 AM

It does seem like the government is more willing to negotiate part-time schedules than the private sector. A friend from college went to work for a federal agency right after graduation. She got married and, after a few years, started a family. She was able to go part-time after her eldest was born (she's starting high school this fall). I do remember her mentioning that she had to give up her supervisory position, but she was extremely happy. She quit work when her third child was born to be a SAHM. I also had a neighbor a few years back who worked for another federal agency, and she had a 9-day, 9-hour schedule. She had every other Tuesday off. She was a single mom, so I'm sure she couldn't work part-time.

My sister works for a brokerage house in the compliance division, and has a flexible schedule -- she gets to work by 7:00 & leaves by 3:30. Occasionally, she has to bring work home, but not too often. Her husband gets the kids out the door before he goes to work, and she's there to greet the bus when they get home. She also has built up 4 weeks' vacation (6 weeks in 2008), along with the 5 personal leave days everyone gets. She considered the part-time option, but tey couldn't afford it at the time. She probably could now, but since she has her ideal scedule, she has no desire to change it.

And teaching does demand time at home in the evenings and weekends, but I've never had to worry about where to park my kids once school was out, and it's nice to have one less thing to sress over.

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 8:53 AM

Working mom - OMG (can't beleive I just typed that) I do remember Vegetable Soup - just checked You Tube - that is totally freaky and totally awesome. You know what freaks me out and I won't let the kids watch? Oobie - that disembodied hand gives me the willies. WHO is Oobie hand anyway? Also the fact that they all have a speach impediment in addition to being talking hands - freaks me out.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 9:00 AM

Also the fact that they all have a speach impediment in addition to being talking hands - freaks me out.

You may be overthinking this.

Posted by: To Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 9:03 AM

Oh, Puffinstuff! I loved that show! A few years back, they were showing it on Nick or the Cartoon Network, and it does seem very Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
Also, does anyone remember Sigmund the Sea-Monster? I think that was the name of the show. It was another of those Sid & Marty Kroft shows, and I think the boy in the show was the boy in Family Affair.

Moxiemom, I know what you mean. Do you remember the Bugs in which he impersonated Leopold Stokowski (sp? - not looking it up right now), and tortures the tenor soloist?
There are a few cartoons out there that have something for the grown-ups, though. The boys were talking about the Nick cartoons and shows they watched when they were younger, and I remember a few. I don't know if Nick still has Rocko's Modern Life, but one episode was a dead-on parody of The Shining (the Jack Nicholson version), and the Angry Beavers did an entire episode on one of the beavers not understanding what 'spawning' was.

L'il Husky -- LOL!

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 9:07 AM

Road Runner and Wile-y Coyote

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:07 AM

Yeah, it's "pretty fine", especially when the rest of is have to pick up the slack.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:15 AM

Meesh-- that schedule looks great to me! I was thinking that my husband and I would both work part-time (we have friends that are doing this and really love it!) so that there would be no childcare expense at all, but now I'm thinking that I should stick with FT, and just push the hours around as you suggest. we would still need childcare, but there are lots of good options out there for that. I guess we could try that and if it doesn't work, then we could see about changing to part time. I suppose since it would only be 5 hours of daycare needed, a nanny from 10-3 would cost just as much as daycare since most daycare places have a flat daily rate, right? Must be pretty easy to find a nanny willing to work while their own child is attending school, right?

Posted by: Jen S. | July 13, 2007 9:16 AM

"Maybe it would be easier for both parents to work only PT if universal health insurance were available, so neither parents would have to work FT in order to cover their family."


Yes! My boss has agreed to let me go down to PT.... but I would lose my health insurance, my retirement benefits, paid sick and vacation days, and obviously I'd take a pay cut. So I simply can't do it. FT isn't ideal for my family, but PT would be even worse so I'm stuck.

Posted by: Mommy2 | July 13, 2007 9:16 AM

Wow -- I just went over to Youtube & checked out Vegetable Soup -- so bizarre! Was that acutally on TV?

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 9:16 AM

Moxiemom, I did watch the YouTube Vegetable Soup intro and it took me back and NOT IN A GOOD WAY. I may need therapy after seeing it. Ick. It really makes me think everyone on PBS was doing drugs in the 70s.

My kids like Oobie, and I'm okay with it though they don't see it very often, but the show I LOATHE is the Doodlebops. It is on around the time my husband and I are getting ready in the morning, and if my daughter is up, she may get to see a few minutes of it and it is just creepy. I want to reach into the TV and throttle all three of the main characters.

How about "Big Blue Marble" and Zoom? Come on and zoom-a-zoom-a-zoom-a-ZOOM!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 9:17 AM

"Even though so many more moms want to work part time, the number of mothers actually working part time has not increased in the past 10 years."


Well, they wanted the kids, so they have to suck it up and deal. Just like everyone else.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:19 AM

When making accommodations for people with families, don't forget the people without families who are left to pick up the slack, to arrange their schedules around others' part time schedules, to be there when others have to attend school meetings, or can't stay late because of the kids.

As the pointy haired boss once said in Dilbert "I've learned I can discriminate against single people, it's perfectly legal!"

Posted by: rich kolker | July 13, 2007 9:19 AM

The concern about others in the office being left to pick up the slack is one reason that a job sharing arrangement can be a great way of implementing part-time schedules. Not everyone can job share, of course, but for some positions (like mine), it works very well.

Posted by: kyra | July 13, 2007 9:25 AM

My kids like Oobie, and I'm okay with it though they don't see it very often, but the show I LOATHE is the Doodlebops.
-----
Since two of the characters are transvestites and not it an unintentional comic way, I mean, these are very flamboyant actors in sparkly wigs and they're, and I mean this with due respect, they're mincing on camera... I knew from the moment I saw it that show would spark some controversy. There are undoubtledly some boys out there who will forever hold the Doodlebops in their hearts until they get to college and figure out why they feel that way, but for the straight parents... well, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not a show aimed at me.

Posted by: DCer | July 13, 2007 9:25 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/12/AR2007071202146.html?hpid=topnews

Plan B Use Surges, And So Does Controversy
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 13, 2007; Page A01

The popularity of the morning-after pill Plan B has surged in the year since the federal government approved the sale of the controversial emergency contraceptive without a prescription.

Plan B sales have doubled since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the switch for women 18 and older last August, rising from about $40 million a year to what will probably be close to $80 million for 2007, according to Barr Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B.

The sharp rise was hailed by women's health and family-planning advocates, who say it illustrates the value of easing access to birth control to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.

"This is exactly what we hoped would happen," said Susan F. Wood of the George Washington University School of Public Health. As assistant commissioner for women's health and director of the Office of Women's Health at the FDA, Wood pushed for the switch. "What we're seeing is women who needed this product now finally having access to it. For a woman in that position, it can make a real difference in her life."

Posted by: Plan B Use Surges | July 13, 2007 9:27 AM

"but in my job I have customers and clients and I don't feel it's fair for them to be represented by a part time account exec,"


Interesting that you feel it's not "fair" to your clients to have a part-time accoutn exec, yet it's perfectly acceptable for your kids to have full time care with someone other than their mother!

Interesting....

BTW, I am all for full time working moms (I am one), but it's certainly NOT because it wouldn't be fair to clients! It's because I need a full time salary!
If the world were fair then my kids would have me much more often than they do :(

Posted by: to Burke Mom | July 13, 2007 9:27 AM

When making accommodations for people with families, don't forget the people without families who are left to pick up the slack, to arrange their schedules around others' part time schedules, to be there when others have to attend school meetings, or can't stay late because of the kids.

As the pointy haired boss once said in Dilbert "I've learned I can discriminate against single people, it's perfectly legal!"

Posted by: rich kolker | July 13, 2007 09:19 AM

Well, IMHO, this is an area in which parents could blaze a trail for everyone. If flexible scheduling and responsible part-time work can be shown to be successful by parents, then companies will have no excuse to deny the benefit to childless workers, or unmarried workers, or workers who need time to care for aging parents, or workers who want time with their grandchildren -- in short ANYONE who doesn't want a work-to-death schedule. Of course, that may be just what the employers fear most!

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 9:28 AM

"In your eyes only. If you were really that good (and smart about your request), you would have been successful."

Gee, I'd tend to think that she must have been a good and dedicated employee, given that she found another job on her terms. Not every business (or manager) is capable of taking the long-term view.

I agree with the above comment that there's a difference between part-time and flexibility. A rigid hourly schedule would not work in my job (lawyer) -- when a client has a crisis, or must do a conference call at 5:30, you just can't say, gee, sorry, I'm off then. But the flexibility is great -- most days I can work from home or leave whenever I want.

I'm on an 80% schedule -- would prefer less, but that's my firm's minimum for partnership, and I think that's realistic (would be hard to build the kind of practice I need to working less). But it's enough to make life reasonable, i.e., keep things closer to a normal 40-hr week.

How did I land the gig? Well, no. 1, I kept looking until I found a place with an overall attitude I really liked. PT wasn't even a consideration then (no husband/kids), but I still wanted to have a life, so I intentionally bypassed the big firms offering big bucks, because I knew how hard you had to work to justify those salaries. But more importantly, my firm saw their employees as assets, not just financial drains. And that view has come through in any number of ways over the years -- PT partnership being only the most recent one.

My only advice for people looking is to look at the overall atmosphere -- don't get fooled by words on paper, but look at what people are actually doing, and decide if that fits how you want your life to be. I know a lot of big firms with formal "programs" and "policies" and "procedures" -- but do they actually have women and men who are both using those alternative arrangements AND succeeding and advancing in their careers?

And on the truly important topic: LOVE Josie and the Pussycats and Schoolhouse Rock (sometimes find myself singing "conjunction junction" in the shower). And Underdog and H.R. Puffinstuff (thanks, will now have earworm all day). And Electric Company (was WAY cooler than Sesame Street when I was 6). Anyone else remember Ultraman? It was a dubbed Japanese show, along the Godzilla lines -- giant robot-guy in silver suit with red trim, and he had this crystal, and when it started flashing, he needed to get back to his cave or whatever before his energy ran out (honestly can't say that I ever understood the plot much, but BOY I was hooked on it).

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 9:29 AM

Fed Mom -
I agree with you that senior-level policy gov't positions are hard to do p/t. Most of those are filled by full-timers at my agency with limited exceptions. That is why I am still at the staff level, although senior. I run into the "miss a meeting because of leaving early." When the kids were young I had full-time daycare even though I only needed part-time so I could stay. Now my childcare is somewhat flexible to stay later but not totally. I just tell people I can't meet after a certain time unless I have notice to arrange alternative childcare and that has worked.

I don't feel like I'm working f/t for p/t pay though. I do feel like I'm just as productive and my workload is not drastically lower. But, I get an extra week or so on a big writing project b/c they know I don't have as many hours to put into it.

I do agree with educmom that p/t is easier at gov't. At my law firm the p/t attorneys worked f/t hours, did uninteresting work and were treated like 2nd class citizens.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | July 13, 2007 9:29 AM

Work at Starbucks or Whole Foods - they offer health insurance to ALL employees!

Who knew a $5 latte could buy so much good for so many?

Posted by: Ideas | July 13, 2007 9:33 AM

I remember the Electric Company! Weren't Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno on it? I wish someone would rerun that show!!

A while back, STBX told us about some show with chimps as secret agents or some such. I don't remember it -- does anyone out there know what he's talking about?

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 9:36 AM

WorkingMomX -- I also LOATHE the Doodlebops. Not because of DCer's mincing transvestite concerns (honestly hadn't even occurred to me), but because it just seems such a cynical package from the marketing department, with no cleverness or originality or spunk.

MN, just saw your comment last night, and to clarify: I do not agree that men are stupid and deserving of ridicule if they don't have that concern. I'm just saying that if my husband did, I'd respect that.

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 9:39 AM

"Plan B sales have doubled since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the switch for women 18 and older last August, rising from about $40 million a year to what will probably be close to $80 million for 2007, according to Barr Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B."

Posted by: Plan B Use Surges | July 13, 2007 09:27 AM

What a shame!

The shame is that Plan B is not made by Pfizer. I own Pfizer stock, and could sure use more dividends.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 13, 2007 9:40 AM

Nobody forced you to move away from your family, unless they couldn't stand you and ran you off.
------

Yeah, my parents are in their late 80s (they had us when they were in their late 40s back in the 60s). When they "run off" it will be to their eternal reward. Do you have a brain behind that keyboard or are you just punching random buttons?

You care to leave a 6 month old with someone who's 86? 30 minutes later they're both asleep in the recliner.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:41 AM

What on Earth are you people talking about? I have one preschooler and one grade schooler and I've never heard of the Doodlebops or Oobi???

I think you all watch waaaay too much tv

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:41 AM

I made the leap from full-time work to part-time just recently. I work in consulting and my work location is flexible. When my fiance was trasferred out of state and I told my boss about our upcoming relocation, she offered me part-time work (I was expecting her to show me the door). There was no change in salary, but I no longer receive benefits (insurance, retirement, etc.).

I've been working part-time remotely now for two months. Because I work in consulting and the work is project oriented, there was no negotiating hours. Because I have a child in daycare I elected to work half days for the time being (just to set a regular daycare schedule). Schedule wise, so far, it's working out fine.

This was a huge emotional leap for me. I have always worked full-time and been responsible as the bread winner. Sometimes I'm elated with the wonderful sense of balance in my life because I'm no longer harried, I have more energy, and I have time to get more non-work things done. Other times all I can think about is finding a full-time job in my new location.

Ultimately, the plan is for me to return to full-time work. In the mean time, I'm trying to cast aside my fears about finding full-time work and just enjoy this transitional time of part-time work.

Posted by: Yo Mama | July 13, 2007 9:42 AM

Leslie said:

"Client service is harder when you work part-time."

The big accounting/consulting firms purport to be in the forefront of work-life balance in allowing professionals to work part-time/take sabbaticals, etc. These client-driven firms must be developing innovative systems for making sure any hiccups that result are transparent to clients. I expect that the team approach is crucial here.

As these huge firms demonstrate that this approach can work for clients, my hope is that clients will be more open to working with a team that includes part-time employees. I don't think the big consulting firms would invest in this approach if they had not calculated that it's in their financial interest.

Any experience with this from the trenches?

Posted by: Marian | July 13, 2007 9:44 AM

Kill your televisions!!!

Sheesh!

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 9:46 AM

Nobody forced you to move away from your family, unless they couldn't stand you and ran you off.
------

Yeah, or if you were transferred, or if jobs in your field dried up and you had to move away to find work, or if you were raised in Minnesota and you are tired of needing to wear three parkas just to get the paper, or if you're in the military and you live wherever they tell you to...

I guess it's true -- you can't fix stupid!

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 9:47 AM

Ftworkingmom sounds put out that the part-timer in the office is increasing everyone else's workload, and she should be. That's a rotten way to produce balance. But many offices do well with part-time career employees, if they aren't just subbing a part-time person into a slot that needs a full-time one. The job-share arrangement can be brilliant, particularly if both of the workers keep in close contact and are able to pinch hit in each other's areas during the workday.

I work primarily from home, with frequent short trips during the day. I don't have kids, but I suspect that when I do, it will be easy to arrange the three-four hours per day that I need to do my outside work (at least when the children are a bit older, and in school. How many of you might be able to negotiate a part-time "on site" work week? For instance, client and meeting and other work at your office, nine to two, and project work, email and the rest from a home office, at hours that suit your convenience. If it equals 40 hours a week, and you keep up, why would an employer object?

Posted by: krasni | July 13, 2007 9:48 AM

educmom

"or if you were raised in Minnesota and you are tired of needing to wear three parkas just to get the paper"

Hey! I like wearing three parkas!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 9:54 AM

the movie "9 to 5" featured job-sharing as implemented by the creative secretaries who'd temporarily kidnapped their evil boss. Everyone agreed it was a great arrangement along with flexible hours. That was in 1980. How many companies got on the bandwagon to make those ideas commonplace? A mere 27 years later, they're both still unusual and far from commonly accepted. So nothing's changed despite technology advances.

Posted by: july 14 | July 13, 2007 9:59 AM

Krasni,

I have found a couple of things working remotely in consulting. First of all, it does take extra work on my boss's part for me to work remotely. My boss likes to just breeze out the office door and grab someone. My boss has at times expressed resentment about the effort it takes to call me rather than grab me in the office, and about working together electronically. Why would an employer object? Because it does take a little extra work or thinking ahead, and primarily because it is change from the status quo.

Posted by: Yo Mama | July 13, 2007 10:00 AM

To: To Burke Mom

Yes, I work FT for a variety of reasons but my kids are not in daycare 40+ hours a week, so that's an assumption on your part.

Posted by: burke mom | July 13, 2007 10:13 AM

What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:17 AM

"What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?"

No guts, no glory.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:24 AM

I just recently returned to work part-time after giving birth to a son in January. I work for a former "Big 6" consulting firm and have been at a client for over a year, where they value my work and are willing to be flexible. So far, it has been very rewarding. A few points: in order to be part-time, you must have proven your value to your employer over time. Companies aren't always willing to let anyone go to part-time status; you often have to have a proven track record. Your company must also have a policy and a culture that supports flexible work arrangements. Thirdly, your work must lend itself to part-time. I work in a billable firm, so I only get paid the hours that I actually work, and I'm willing to step aside on the career train for a few years while my children are small. I've worked hard over the years and earned an MBA, but I'd much rather be a good mom than anything else. However, I don't want to walk away from what I've accomplished.

That said, I think that the "mommy wars" exist only in the media; my professional friends who have had babies have run the gamut in terms of work/life choices: some have quit altogether, some have stayed home only to go back to work, some work part-time, some full-time. We all have this in common: no choice is perfect or free from guilt and "what ifs", and no one judged the agonizing and deeply personal choice that each has made.

I do agree with one of the moms interviewed for yesterday's Post article about the Pew survey who said that she feels the the partiality toward part-time work is generational. I have an aunt who is a C-level executive at a major media conglomerate; she has clawed her way to the top by working and traveling non-stop for 30 years. By all accounts, she's "succeeded"--she has a top job, a massive salary, and she's a fantastic mom to two great college students. But her path wouldn't work for me (they've always had a full-time nanny), and her life is a reminder of one that I don't want. She is very critical of her staff-members of child-bearing age who want flexibility and good pay and promotions because she thinks that they should have to endure the same struggles that she did. She didn't have the luxury of choice when she broke through the glass-ceiling, but we do have women like her to thank for the luxury of choice---and that is in no way a failure of the Feminist movement, in my view.

Posted by: MD Mom | July 13, 2007 10:27 AM

Jen S., I don't have kids, but I'd be willing to bet that hiring a nanny for those 5 hours a day would probably be cost about the same as paying for full-time day care. I hope you find a solution that works for you!

It sucks hearing about childless people getting the shaft at work because the boss gives special treatment to people with kids. In my office, anyone can take advantage of the flex schedule and telecommuting option. I work 8-4 and the other childless people work 10-6. Another guy takes a 2-hour lunch break to go to the gym. The best system is one that is available to everyone.

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 10:31 AM

I'm feeling pretty young today because I don't remember any of those shows. I've heard of them, but I don't think I watched them.

I grew up on Fraggle Rock, the Transformers, He-Man, GI Joe, and My Little Ponies. I think I watched TMNT too.

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 10:35 AM

"What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?"

Who gives a flying f%ck?


Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:35 AM

Educmom,

STBX was talking about Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. His girlfriend/partner was Marta Hairi.

Kind of like an animal Get Smart.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:35 AM

Moxiemom

"My kids LOOOOVe Looney Toons which is great, becuase they also have a lot of material for grown ups."

You owe your parents a refund for the college education they provided you!!

Talk about an intellectual wasteland! Cartoons indeed!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:36 AM

On the subject of PT vs flextime - flextime is one option that we are considering if I have to go FT. It isn't much of a panacea, though, considering that "normal" FT hours in our industry are 9 or 10 hours/day. My husband has mandatory 10 hour days, for example. So if I could find a job that let me come in at 7, I still wouldn't be able to get out in time to pick the kids up from school, since I wouldn't be getting out until 4, most likely. My husband can't drop the kids until after 8am, so he would have to work 9 to 7. With his commute, he wouldn't get home until almost 8, so he wouldn't be able to eat dinner with the kids. We could do it, but it sounds like a horrible way to live. The kids would still need afterschool care, and my husband and I would not see each other much during the week.

Posted by: ratgirlny | July 13, 2007 10:39 AM

I work part-time and love it. I do all of my work from home usually at night and some weekends. It is a great schedule for us. My husband gets lots of time with the kids on his own. Which I think makes for far more conifdent parenting. I get to use other parts of my brain, earn income and learn new skills. We have no child care costs that would eat into a full time salary and no commuting costs for me. I believe as the kids get older and are in more school I will be able to take on other assignments and I will be able to sleep a lot more but for now I'll take tired over child care stress anyday.

Posted by: Raising One of Each | July 13, 2007 10:43 AM

"With his commute, he wouldn't get home until almost 8, so he wouldn't be able to eat dinner with the kids. We could do it, but it sounds like a horrible way to live."

It IS a horrible way to live. The kids and the marriage will suffer. Avoid at all costs!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 10:44 AM

to anon @10:36: "Talk about an intellectual wasteland! Cartoons indeed!"

Oh come on - you can learn a lot from classic cartoons. Given all the hype for the upcoming "Underdog" movie, DW and I have been discussing how much to explain to the 10-year old about the significance of the villian being "Simon Bar Sinister".

After all, it does mean "Simon the B@#tard".

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 10:48 AM

In working part-time I faced obstacles from HR as well. I had the support of the top two people in my division and they went to bat for me. Otherwise I never would have gotten HR's okay.

Same objections: this will start a trend, how can we monitor and police it, etc. I thought these objections were destructive to the company overall. What's wrong with starting a trend where you pay people for part-time work but get their eternal loyalty since PT jobs are so hard to find? And also, as any PT worker will tell you, they work far harder than their schedule suggests, so the company gets a good deal.

Forward thinking HR people should capitalize on how eager women are to work part time, and turn this trend into an asset for their companies.

Also interesting is how much coverage this research has gotten. Front page of Washington Post. Today show segment this morning. I got calls from radio and tv yesterday to weigh on. Ten years ago, this would have been a small one paragraph blurb totally buried. Good news is that this research is getting a lot of prominent attention.

Posted by: Leslie | July 13, 2007 10:56 AM

Thanks, 10:35!

10:36: Lighten up! And please, oh, please tell me what enlightening children's television your children watch that is more culturally enriching -- AND entertaining -- than The Rabbit of Sevile! And don't give me that "my children never watch TV - they were reading Chaucer in utero and besides we spend all our time at MoMA" nonsense, because if you tell me that your children never watch TV anytime, I will simply not believe you. Even if you forbid it at home, they are not under your earnest, humorless gaze 24/7.

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 10:58 AM

Sorry: Bugs Bunny in The Rabbit of Sevile

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 11:01 AM

Educmom - My kid doesn't watch any TV, anytime. You don't have to believe me, but it's true.

She is only 3, so I'm sure as she gets older, you are right that she'll see TV shows at other kids' houses. But for now, she gets zero television.

So it is possible. :-)

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 11:02 AM

The issue is finding part time work at decent wages. Absolutely working less than full time helps one devote more time to their family. While my kids were small; I had a job that required lots of extra time; including nights (24/7) and weekends and it did end up hurting the family unit. Especially with spouse who did not have to work such hours and therefore did not understand and felt the career was being placed before the family - versus a paycheck to support the family.

Posted by: C.W. | July 13, 2007 11:10 AM

Hammie AKA Helicopter Mom

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 11:10 AM

Helicopter mom?

Is that some other poster, or a euphemism for a hovering parent?

Sorry, I don't usually post here. :)

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 11:14 AM

to md mom.

I agree with your post 100% but I find it interesting what you said about your aunt. I had worked with a guy whose wife was like your aunt but not as successfull. Both of their kids are now in private schools because they need "more attention". They have had a wonderful nanny who was basically a mother to the children. And, before anybody says to me that it should be both parents job, let me say that my former collegue was probably more involved in his childrens lives, this with a demanding Hill job. When I had asked him if I can go part time or at least 90% he said, absolutely not, we did it and your family must do it the same way. I no longer work there.

Posted by: fedmom | July 13, 2007 11:15 AM

"What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?"

pATRICK's moved his road show exclusively to the On Parenting blog where they don't know enough about him to effectively call him on his obnoxiousness.

father of 4 is Lil Husky.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 11:18 AM

Looney Tunes: All I ever needed to know about leaving work at the office I learned from Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf. They punched in and out at the timeclock on the tree. While on the clock, they did their jobs. When they clocked out, they were done for the day.


Laura - thanks for responding :>)

educmom - nope. you can't fix stupid.

Posted by: MN | July 13, 2007 11:22 AM

Hovering parents are called helicopter parents.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 13, 2007 11:24 AM

That's what I thought. Why would no TV make me a hovering parent?

We just don't watch TV in our house. I don't call parents who allow TV lazy parents, so I'm puzzled by why they'd criticize our decision not to watch TV.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 11:28 AM

Because there are anonymous people who like to stir up trouble - pay them no mind.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 13, 2007 11:30 AM

I also fondly remember the Bugs Bunny Halloween special "La da di da di da Abra-ca-pocus" and changing the vampire into a baseball bat. Good times! Saturday mornings as a kid were highly valued in my family because the one-hour/day of TV limit was lifted and we could watch cartoons until 10 or 11, I think. Also, if my parents were going out that night, we knew we'd also get to watch Love Boat and if really lucky, Fantasy Island.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 11:37 AM

"Talk about an intellectual wasteland! Cartoons indeed!"


Did you seriously type "indeed"? Are you wearing an ascot and smoking a pipe as we speak? Not everyone watches NOVA every minute. Nothing wrong with a little entertainment. Never watching fun t.v. is like never having cake.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 11:44 AM

Same here working mom - who else watched Wild Kingdom and Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday. Nirvana indeed.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 11:45 AM

MN, just saw your comment last night, and to clarify: I do not agree that men are stupid and deserving of ridicule if they don't have that concern. I'm just saying that if my husband did, I'd respect that.

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 09:39 AM

As one of the people who believes that it is in a mans best interest to minimize the time alone with a young woman. If I called men who feel that way, "stupid and deserving of ridicule", it was not my intention. My only comment is that I think men who believe it will never happen to them are a naive (even though thay are probably correct) and the women who think it never happens at all even more so. The people who said "why would a young woman lie about that" may start creeping into the "stupid" category.

Laura, two days ago, I gave you a hard time and did twist your words a little during the SAHD discussion. I'm sorry about that. I think that You and Emily are both posters who shoot straight and deserve the same in return.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 11:47 AM

"Never watching fun t.v. is like never having cake."

Except cake is good!!

Seriously, if you find TV pleasurable, I guess it's like cake. I just don't, myself.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 11:48 AM

"With his commute, he wouldn't get home until almost 8, so he wouldn't be able to eat dinner with the kids. We could do it, but it sounds like a horrible way to live."

It IS a horrible way to live. The kids and the marriage will suffer. Avoid at all costs!

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 10:44 AM

At all costs? If the alternative is to live in public housing and survive off of food stamps? A little more thought and a little less knee-jerk, across the board pronouncements would benefit everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 11:48 AM

Before kids, I did the working weekends and staying late thing because my office had cut our team's staff from five to two people. The night before I had surgery, I was at the office until 10 p.m. trying to wrap things up. Meanwhile, my dad developed a chronic illness that ultimately required me to take FMLA leave to help care for him as his condition worsened. It became clear after several YEARS of understaffing and zero leadership that we were always going to be expected to do the work of at least two people. And I decided to stop staying late and coming in on weekends and just did the best I could during the workday.

After we had our child, I had no choice but to return to full-time work. We set a goal of me shifting to part-time within a year, and took various financial steps to make that possible. Then a layoff put the plan into action sooner than we anticipated. The severance provided us a cushion during the transition to part-time freelancing. I love working from home, working as much or as little as I want, and picking my projects. I could use more hours, but I need to figure out how to carve them out. The financial hit has been tough, but we manage it by budgeting carefully and skipping some extras.

The biggest issue for me now is finding a modest amount of part-time childcare (i.e., 10 hours per week or so), which would allow me to work more. I'm reluctant to just get someone off Craig's list or a similar site and considering ponying up for a sittercity membership. Right now, I work during naptimes, nights, and weekends. As a writer and editor, though, I am sometimes too tired to work effectively in the evening. So along with part-time work, jobshares, and flexible work for all employees, we need to expand options for part-time childcare.

I love keeping a foot in the working world while spending most of my day with my child. It helps that my husband works regular hours and doesn't travel for his job, as he is really involved when he is at home. And I am incredibly grateful to have the luxury of staying home, something we thought might never be possible for us.

Posted by: restonmom | July 13, 2007 11:49 AM

Well Hammie, forbidding TV usually goes hand in hand with forbidding fast food, soda, bleached flour, "silly" toys that are not educational, any activity that could potentially hurt the kid or is not intellectually stimulating, etc.

If you don't allow TV but allow other fun things that let kids be kids, then you're not a helicopter parent.

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 11:54 AM

It takes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles...working together to make things work. "

Right, if they are alive, in decent health, and live in the area!

Sheesh!

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 08:43 AM

Nobody forced you to move away from your family, unless they couldn't stand you and ran you off.

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 08:47 AM

So interesting that you would cherry-pick one of three scenarios and then make a bucketful of assumptions in order to make a snarky point. I assume you were willing to acknowledge that there's nothing any of us can do to make our parents rise from the dead or be in better health. We also can't stop them from retiring to Florida, traveling to visit our siblings from time to time, or traveling for fun. They raised us to be self-supporting nad independent rather than lazy leeches. Not everyone's parents live in an economically healthy region where there are jobs to be had. For those who are able to get a job and raise a family in their parents' hometown, everyone's parents do not automatically turn into local babysitters when we give birth, despite your desire that it be so. Some aren't even all gaga about babies. Imagine - that the elderly would have opinions about how they spend their time, and those opinions aren't necessarily determined by how useful they can be to their children as primary or back-up childcare.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 11:55 AM

"Well Hammie, forbidding TV usually goes hand in hand with forbidding fast food, soda, bleached flour, "silly" toys that are not educational, any activity that could potentially hurt the kid or is not intellectually stimulating, etc."

And granola, and breast feeding, and upper lips that need waxing....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:00 PM


We don't "forbid" TV. We just don't watch it. No one in our household ever formed the habit of watching TV. You don't need to forbid something no one has shown an interest in.

We don't "forbid" any of the things you refer to, though we try not to do TOO much soda, fast food, etc.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 12:01 PM

"Nobody forced you to move away from your family, unless they couldn't stand you and ran you off."

The only relative left in the area is 92 year old granny. She might be up for babysitting duty with Junior, but I doubt the nursing home would go for it. Maybe Granny & Junior could get their diapers changed at the same time...

Posted by: Elaine | July 13, 2007 12:05 PM

I would love to work part-time and have even asked my boss ... in a very formal proposal to allow me to work a reduced work week of 35 hours per week working from 7 - 3. I was turned down immediately without him even reading my request.

Posted by: Robin | July 13, 2007 12:13 PM

Working part time has no appeal for me. I like working full time (although the hours are not excessive). I have a short commute and a nice salary. Part of the reason this arrangement works is because my husband stays at home with the kid (he is also a part-time student). I imagine, however, that if he were in a very demanding job and I had more child/home duties, I might long for a part-time schedule. I do think that one partner, not necessarily the mother, working part time does make for a more sane and relaxed schedule. When my husband goes back to full time work in a couple of years, my days of leisure may be over. But I think with a second income, when the time comes, we will just begin to outsources some things, like housework, to make life more manageable.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 12:16 PM

Well, Hammie, do you

(a) not have a TV in your house;
(b) have a TV in your house that you never, ever turn on; or
(c) something else?

If the answer is (a) then yes, you effectively forbid television.

If the answer is (b), then I'd be shocked that a 3-year old has displayed absolutely zero interest in this box that's in the house. If the child has shown an interest in the box and you don't let her/him watch, then yes, you're forbidding TV.

I've known a number of people who forbade their children from watching TV because it made them feel intellectually and/or morally superior. I usually pointed out what they were missing - there are a lot of very good things for children on TV, and well monitored watching of age-appropriate material can help them grow a lot. It can also help them understand a lot about the world around them.

(A few of the people I've known forbade their teenagers from watching the TV because they didn't want the kids to watch the news. There was just no reason for those kids to know what was going on in the greater world; they were fine knowing what was going on around them.)

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 12:16 PM

Robin

"I would love to work part-time and have even asked my boss ... in a very formal proposal to allow me to work a reduced work week of 35 hours per week working from 7 - 3. I was turned down immediately without him even reading my request."

Ask Bruce Wayne to help you kick some a$s with your boss!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:16 PM

Hammie, that works for me!

My parents, being total hippies, forbid junk food and soda in our house growing up. My favorite treat was having bologna on white bread with mayo and sweet tea at my best friend's house.

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 12:20 PM

Army Brat

"I've known a number of people who forbade their children from watching TV because it made them feel intellectually and/or morally superior. I usually pointed out what they were missing - there are a lot of very good things for children on TV, and well monitored watching of age-appropriate material can help them grow a lot. "

You point out what the kids are missing because it makes you feel intellectually and/or morally superior.

Has anyone asked your advice on this topic?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:21 PM

We have a TV, because we sometimes watch DVDs. We love movies, though we don't watch them often. My daughter is unaware that the TV can do anything but play movies (and yes, she has her own movies).

I am well aware that there are "good" television shows for children. We just aren't interested in watching TV. Most things that are worthwhile can be found on DVD.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 12:22 PM

"I would love to work part-time and have even asked my boss ... in a very formal proposal to allow me to work a reduced work week of 35 hours per week working from 7 - 3. I was turned down immediately without him even reading my request."

Holy inflexible tyrant, Batman!

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 12:24 PM

"What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?"

Who gives a flying f%ck?

I care a-hole.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:24 PM

Moxiemom -- thanks for your kind words about the glorious television!

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | July 13, 2007 12:28 PM

About the TV discussion - We watch tv at home, but try not to have it on all the time. I know people who use it as a background for everything they do. We allow our son to watch certain shows, we watch others with him, and of course, we adults also have our own shows that the kid does not watch. But the tv is not on all the time. We try to schedule the shows we want to watch, or tape them, but we do not use the tv as the fall-back thing to do when we are bored or don't know how to occupy ourselves.

But as a kid, I remember that the tv was on all the time, and it seems not to have damaged me greatly, despite all the reruns of Gilligan's Island or The Brady Bunch that I seem to have wasted so much time on. But then again, in those days, we did not have Nickelodeon or the Cartoon Channel, so there were lots of times there was nothing on tv that I was interested in watching. The problem with cable is that kids these days could watch tv 24/7 and not run out of kid shows. Which is why we limit tv.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 12:31 PM

ARG! 12:16 beat me to it!

Posted by: Meesh | July 13, 2007 12:33 PM

"What happened to father of 4 and pATRICK?"

Who gives a flying f%ck?

I care a-hole."

Father of 4 hoisted himself on his own petard of inappropriate sexual remarks.

pATRICK tried to cyber bully anons into using names. When that failed, pATRICK had a snit fit, folded up his tent, and pranced over to the Parenting blog.

Posted by: Brain Free | July 13, 2007 12:33 PM

"but we do not use the tv as the fall-back thing to do when we are bored or don't know how to occupy ourselves. "

We do. It's the American way. Deal with it!

Posted by: Catwoman | July 13, 2007 12:39 PM

i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 13, 2007 12:40 PM

Who is the lucky parent who gets bored and doesn't know how to occupy themself I could use a quiet five minutes.

That said, anyone else loving Big Brother 8?

Posted by: Workin' It | July 13, 2007 12:42 PM

"i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down."

Oh, um, does that mean I should leave Moxiemom alone?

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | July 13, 2007 12:43 PM

Jen S.

"i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down."

If he was innocent, why would he run?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:51 PM

Yes, 12:51, because innocent or guilty (of what?), we all on this blog want someone tracking us down where we live or work. That's not very freaky, is it?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 13, 2007 12:56 PM

"i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down."

If he was innocent, why would he run?

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 12:51 PM

Nope, it's the risk that cyber stalkers can be total wack jobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 12:57 PM

"i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down."

How would running away stop the cyber stalker?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 1:02 PM

anon @ 12:21:
"You point out what the kids are missing because it makes you feel intellectually and/or morally superior."

Rats! Revealed for the hypocrite I am.

(Sarcasm definitely intended)

Actually, I liked to point out what kids were missing because I tend to dislike pretentious snobs who hold themselves up as being above the rest, and enjoy shooting them down. Hey, come on down to my level, kiddo! They're not below me, but not above, either!

"Has anyone asked your advice on this topic?"

Yes.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 1:10 PM

Part time work is WONDERFUL. A cause worth fighting for. I look forward to seeing professional part time work become more and more the norm as time goes on. It's the golden key to work / life balance.

I agree that some jobs can't be done effectively by a single person on a part time basis. But many, many can. If you'd like to work part time and are in a position (both financially and logistically) to do it, GO FOR IT! Bonus be damned. You'll find yourself with more time to spend with family and friends and more energy to put into the non-work, creative aspects of your life. On the whole - more joyful and balanced.

Posted by: Friend | July 13, 2007 1:11 PM

Army Brat - You sound awfully defensive about the joys of television. Not everyone who makes choices that differ from yours is a pretentious snob, you know.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 1:15 PM

I apologize in advance if this ends up as a double post ...

Re: the TV/no TV debate ...

Barbara Kingsolver has a great essay on the role of TV in family life in her book, Small Wonders. It's definitely worth reading.

Posted by: Murphy | July 13, 2007 1:18 PM

"I would love to work part-time and have even asked my boss ... in a very formal proposal to allow me to work a reduced work week of 35 hours per week working from 7 - 3. I was turned down immediately without him even reading my request."

Ask Bruce Wayne to help you kick some a$s with your boss!

-----

While I see nothing wrong with asking for a switch to part time, I also see nothing wrong with a boss refusing the request and even refusing to consider. You accepted a full time position. If you now want to switch to part time and it works out, great. But if it doesn't, look elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with your boss expecting you to work the schedule you were hired to work. He may have reasons that you know nothing about, or he may have no reason at all. It doesn't matter because he is the boss.

Look at it from his viewpoint. What if your in-home nanny proposed working part time? Would you find a way to make it work, or would you say no, I need you here full-time?

Posted by: anon | July 13, 2007 1:20 PM

I think that You and Emily are both posters who shoot straight and deserve the same in return.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 11:47 AM

Thanks, devils. Love you, too. *blows air kiss*

Posted by: MN | July 13, 2007 1:21 PM

Murphy

"Barbara Kingsolver has a great essay on the role of TV in family life in her book, Small Wonders. It's definitely worth reading."


I'm too busy watching TV to read an essay about watching TV....

Posted by: Elaine | July 13, 2007 1:23 PM

Md Mom - couldn't agree with your analysis more!

I work full time, and for the past year have been considering trying to cut back hours as there is absolutely no balance in my life. As a single parent working full time, its so difficult to find time for those normal-life type duties that have nothing to do with work or child-rearing, ie, taking care of the house, paying bills, etc. Plus, for the past 2 years, I've been paying off legal fees related to the divorce, so needed to make the most amount of income I could.

Finally my financial outlook has improved. So I put together a propsal for my boss to cut back my hours from the required 37.5 work week (even though I normally work 42-45 because of the type of work), to 30 hours, with an equal drop in pay. Lucky for me, with my employer, I could still maintain full benefits at that level. My boss's response was, "Your job can't be done less than full time."

I'm not sure if he's right, but unfortunately it wasn't a response I was expecting so hadn't prepared for it (there were other arguments that I did expect and had prepared for that were never brought up). And..the fact is, he may be right, although personally, I think that if he became a better manager himself (he's terrible at time management and does not delegate so in fact doubles his own workload), than perhaps I could do my job part-time.

I don't think I could work 50% time and still pay the bills as a single parent, but (and this may sound bad) going to 80% would at least allow me to find time to those other non-parenting things that require attention. So basically, if I went part-time, it wouldn't be to spend more time parenting, but I think it would enable me to improve the quality of my parenting because I'd be less stressed.

Posted by: Single Mom | July 13, 2007 1:28 PM

Moxiemom -- thanks for your kind words about the glorious television!

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | July 13, 2007 12:28 PM

Patrick you are one of the greatest gifts t.v. has to offer and t.v. brings you to my home every week! sigh........

I love t.v., I love reading, I often read while watching t.v. There's lots of great stuff out there everywhere and lots of not good for you stuff, that is also great. I enjoy the cornucopia that is American entertainment.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 1:28 PM

So I turned around and asked my boys what their favorite shows were. Their answers were "ACC", "MLB", "Mythbusters", and "House".... We never had many rules about watching tv and it worked well for us.

Posted by: dotted | July 13, 2007 1:32 PM

Moxiemom

"I love t.v., I love reading, I often read while watching t.v. "

That explains you fat a$s.....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 1:33 PM

Posted by: Brain Free | July 13, 2007 12:33 PM

why do you post under so many different names? Weren't you born free yesterday or something?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 1:33 PM

"i think the weirdo cyber stalker had more to do with Fof4 leaving. that was very creepy to me-- that someone was actually trying to track him down."

How would running away stop the cyber stalker?

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 01:02 PM

Why encourage them? Why make it easy for them?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 1:34 PM

How about this response from my boss when I asked to go part-time:

I'm confident we have enough work to keep a person in your position employed full time.

WTF???? What does that mean? I mean, no, obviously, but what else?

Posted by: ptwannabe | July 13, 2007 1:35 PM

Hammie: "Not everyone who makes choices that differ from yours is a pretentious snob, you know."

True, very true. And I apologize if I seemed to be implying that you are, since I don't know you - even from this blog, before today. But you DID start by posting (from 9:46)

"Kill your televisions!!! Sheesh!"

"You sound awfully defensive about the joys of television."

Maybe so, and I shouldn't because I really don't care what others do with their free time and I don't care what (most) others think about what I do with my free time. But hey, it's a blog, somebody posted something with which I disagreed, and I reacted. That's what blogs are for - and maybe we'll learn something in the process.

(And it's even Friday the 13th, a fact on which no one has seemed to comment.)

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 1:35 PM

"I love t.v., I love reading, I often read while watching t.v. "

That explains you fat a$s.....

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 01:33 PM

It's none of your fecking business.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 1:36 PM

That explains you fat a$s.....

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 01:33 PM
I am rubber and you are glue, whatever you say, bounces off of me and sticks to you :)- Bon weekend

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM

(And it's even Friday the 13th, a fact on which no one has seemed to comment.)

See 8:38 AM.

Posted by: Ms. Baker | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM

Army Brat - Fair enough. I can see why you may have thought I was an anti-TV zealot. My initial comment was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the bizarre TV conversation that resulted from a post about part-time work. (Do the comments here always wander so far off course?)

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 1:39 PM

How about this response from my boss when I asked to go part-time:

I'm confident we have enough work to keep a person in your position employed full time.

WTF???? What does that mean? I mean, no, obviously, but what else?

Posted by: ptwannabe | July 13, 2007 01:35 PM

It means the the position is full time and if you want to work part time, you should take a different position or work somewhere else.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 1:41 PM

Hey Army Brat,

another teen age accident in H. cty overnight. My kids know 4 of the boys.

Posted by: ec mom | July 13, 2007 1:42 PM

Hammie - if I may respond to your question: yes, comments here vere often, especially on Fridays!

KLB - how is it going lady?

Posted by: dotted | July 13, 2007 1:42 PM

dotted: Brainiac! Don't forget Brainiac! It's sort of the British version of Mythbusters; it's shown in the US on G4. It's actual name is Brainiac: Science Abuse; and every episode seems to end with the many applications of thermite.

My 16-year old son's favorite episode was the one that covered "which would win, liquid nitrogen or thermite?" Get a vat of liquid nitrogen; ignite some thermite and let it bubble into the nitrogen. The kind of thing a geeky adolescent male loves.

(FWIW, the thermite "wins" by melting the vat containing the liquid nitrogen)

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 1:44 PM

11:47 devil's advocate: back atcha. Even when I disagree with you, I appreciate that you're addressing real issues instead of just leaving off at platitudes or superficial snark (not that I have anything against a good snark, ya know). You make me think. And, you know, being a lawyer and all, I do like a good, umm, challenging discussion. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 1:47 PM

Army Brat - I will myself watch Brainiac! I've never heard of it, but I'll set the DVR to record the next episode. That is our kind of family entertainment...sports being the other!

Posted by: dotted | July 13, 2007 1:47 PM

"Moxiemom

'I love t.v., I love reading, I often read while watching t.v.'

That explains you fat a$s....."

I'm guessing this is the same person who wrote in to Hax's chat expressing serious doubts about having kids because she didn't ever want to be more than a size 2 or 4.

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 1:51 PM

Actually, I liked to point out what kids were missing because I tend to dislike pretentious snobs who hold themselves up as being above the rest, and enjoy shooting them down. Hey, come on down to my level, kiddo! They're not below me, but not above, either!

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 01:10 PM

*CLAP!CLAP!CLAP!*

I'm too busy watching TV to read an essay about watching TV....

Posted by: Elaine | July 13, 2007 01:23 PM

LOL!

The problem with cable is that kids these days could watch tv 24/7 and not run out of kid shows. Which is why we limit tv.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 12:31 PM

So true...

I have to keep packing for the beach, where I will let my niece and nephew watch hours of whatever inane cartons they show these days, have pop-tarts for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch and ice cream for dessert every day. The teen 'men' can do whatever they want as long as it's not against the law and it doesn't disturb me. I plan to get an unhealthy tan and eat bar-b-q -- and if it rains, I'm driving over to Raleigh & getting some Goodberry's.

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 1:51 PM

educmom - have fun at the beach! We're hoping to zip over this weekend also...we shall see.

Posted by: dotted | July 13, 2007 1:55 PM

Educmom - sounds fun to me. Sometimes, we even let them (the wee one and her cousins) have ice cream for dinner.

(Don't mistake the absence of TV for a lack of hedonistic pleasures... ;-) )

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 1:58 PM

11:47 devil's advocate: back atcha. Even when I disagree with you, I appreciate that you're addressing real issues instead of just leaving off at platitudes or superficial snark (not that I have anything against a good snark, ya know). You make me think. And, you know, being a lawyer and all, I do like a good, umm, challenging discussion. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 01:47 PM

I tell you one thing, "discussing" things with lawyers certainly makes me work hard defending my points. :-) Sometimes I look at what I am defending and realize that "wow that even sounds stupid to me". Doesn't usually stop me though. ;)

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 1:59 PM

Who did you used to be on this blog?

Posted by: To devils advocate | July 13, 2007 2:00 PM

Dotted,
Doing ok - mom sailed thru surgery but is now languishing in rehab. She doesn't want to be there and isn't eating or doing therapy - heavy sigh.
Thanks for asking.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 13, 2007 2:03 PM

Devil's advocate -- heck, if I let sounding stupid stop me, I'd be out of a job. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 2:03 PM

I have always been devils advocate. Before that I was usually anon, occationally DaveS, but the snarkers forced me to take a name. I don't post everyday (sometimes I have real work to do). I was idiot ingrate (not by choice) for a couple of minutes the other day.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 2:05 PM

My heart is with you KLB. Rehab always seems so endless and it hurts so much. It takes a lot of mental fortitude for all concerned to get through.

Posted by: dotted | July 13, 2007 2:06 PM

Okay, what was today's topic, anyway? Ah - part-time employment. Well, I haven't worked part-time since college days, myself, but I will second (or third) the points made above that the best way to go part-time is to prove yourself as a valuable full-timer first, so that your employer is willing to keep you.

Two data points:

1 - DW was a full-time Fed. After our third child was born she wanted to go part-time. She was a highly-rated analyst and her boss wanted to keep her; her boss made the arrangements and life was good. (Until a reorganization caused her to be working for a boss who didn't know her and didn't think anybody should work part-time. Working conditions spiraled down until DW hated it enough and quit.) (FWIW, both bosses were unmarried women.)

2 - We have two very talented engineers working here that we want to keep. One recently had her third child, all under 5. Since we want to keep her, we let her cut back to working one day a week. She doesn't get benefits, just paid for the hours she actually works. It keeps her tech skills up to date; it keeps her loyal to the company; and it most likely means that in a few years when she comes back to work full time she'll work for us, rather than jumping to somebody else who might offer a slightly larger salary. The second engineer had her last child go off to college, and wants to cut back to part-time status for a couple of years to pursue some other interests. Again, she's proven herself over a long period of time, so the answer was yes, she can cut back to part time as long as she gets the work done that we need, and it's up to her usual level.

On the other hand, we had a young engineer, one year out of college, who wanted to cut back to part time in order to have time for other interests. He was told no. Was it discrimination against men; against young people; against childless people? No, it was simply a reflection of the fact that he hasn't proved his worth; he hasn't shown that we need to keep him; and thus he doesn't get the privileges and perks of those who have. It may not seem fair, but it's the way the business world works.

There, topic addressed. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled tangents about cartoons, television, politics and breast-feeding.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 2:06 PM

MN:
Sam and Ralph had balance!

WorkingMomX:
I think there were a couple with Bugs and the witch (or else, they split the Halloween special and just showed different edits of it during the Looney Tunes hour). Another good twist ending!

See y'all later!

Posted by: educmom | July 13, 2007 2:07 PM

Laura, This blog would have mighty few posters if the majority of them felt constrained not to say anything stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 2:07 PM

Devil's advocate -- heck, if I let sounding stupid stop me, I'd be out of a job. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 02:03 PM

LOL (really)

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 2:08 PM

Actually 3 years ago my boss did come to me and ask me if I wanted to go part time when the survey was out of field. It was the best thing ever. My salary and benefits are calculated by hours worked. So right now I work 36 hours a week instead of 40 (So 90% working). Therefore I earn 90% pay, 90% time in service, 90% leave benefits. Health, medical, dental, Life insurance benefits stay the same unless you work less then 32 hours a week. Someone on this blog said that you can actually work less then 32 and get a prorated health benefits. It was hard to negotiate it after the phase out my initial survey. But after about 4 months on the new job, they did agree to part time as long as they don't need me in the office more. So I get to keep it till the work load picks up. A few weeks ago the data finally arrived and we have been very busy. Therefore I am off the board most of the time. But so far, I have had no trouble making deadlines even when in field. Part time is the best. It is really no loss to the employer because you do the same amount of work but get paid less. Only problem might be scheduling meetings.

Posted by: foamgnome | July 13, 2007 2:08 PM

One problem with most part-time jobs is that they are doled out only to employees who have "proven themselves" or forced through HR by a powerful boss who is afraid of losing a key employee.

This is all fine up to a point.

But it would be far better for everyone (far more fair and far more efficient) if companies simply had clear, straightforward part-time positions or policies that were open to everyone.

Posted by: Leslie | July 13, 2007 2:11 PM

Leslie, I agree with philosophically, but most of my employers have had clear, straightforward part-time policies that were the same for everyone. They stated "part-time work is not permitted." Then exceptions were made for those who have proven their worth, when the powerful boss forces HR to make the exception. That's better than nothing, at least to me.

Now, would it be better if all employers not only had clear part-time policies but also allowed some amount of part-time work? Maybe, but that would be hard to mandate and even harder to enforce. And what if too many people wanted to go part-time; how would that be handled?

Posted by: Army Brat | July 13, 2007 2:25 PM

But it would be far better for everyone (far more fair and far more efficient) if companies simply had clear, straightforward part-time positions or policies that were open to everyone.

Posted by: Leslie | July 13, 2007 02:11 PM

Yes, it would be better, for the employees. I don't think it would necessarily be more efficient. Part time positions are hard to manage, it is more efficient, from the company's point of view, if everyone is there at the same time. It focuses the company's effort on the work as opposed to the people doing it.

Every employee also imposes a cost to the company that is not in their paycheck (benefits, office space, HR, management). More part time positions results in more employees, which results in more employer cost.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 2:33 PM

What do you work - 4 full and 1 half day?

Does that extra half day make that much difference? Depending on your schedule, it seems that it might make more sense to work 5 full days one week and then 4 full days the next.

If I could drop to 24 hours, I would rather do 4 6-hour days than 3 8-hour days. I have a short commute. I do agree that if your commute is horrendous, fewer days to work would be preferable.

Posted by: to foamgnome | July 13, 2007 2:37 PM

hey wait a minute! Who was that author whose book chided all women who weren't working full time-- was it the "Get to Work" Linda Hirshmann? Something like taking part-time work is a dumb choice for women because it puts you in terrible risk if you divorce or your husband dies-- and of course you are also letting down the feminist movement to boot because all these other women who do want to work full time are going to be discriminated against because you were too selfish, lazy, addle-brained, kid-centered, whatever to just suck it up and work full time-- anyone else remember that book? Of course I didn't buy it. I did read an interview with the author that made me quite angry with whole tone. Serious problem with talking down to grown women making their own choices.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 13, 2007 2:48 PM

You know, I'd like to work a 40 hour week again. I've been doing about 6 hours on weekend evenings and it's getting really tired. I remember doing 8 hours and going home without worrying about work until the next day.

Posted by: DCer | July 13, 2007 2:48 PM

Seriously, if you find TV pleasurable, I guess it's like cake. I just don't, myself.
-----
DVDs, PBS, and nature documentaries count as TV. If you can travel to the south pole to watch whale migration, then more power to you, I have to watch it on tv.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 2:53 PM

scary has a stalker too and I haven't seen her post lately either. Those posters must have creeped her and father of 4 out.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 2:53 PM

"scary has a stalker too and I haven't seen her post lately either. Those posters must have creeped her and father of 4 out."

Well, I believe scarry, fo4 and the other 'regulars' have their own secret blog. Ha!

Posted by: gutless coward anon | July 13, 2007 2:58 PM

2:53 poster: If you count DVDs as TV, then we enjoy TV at our house, too. (Not PBS or nature shows, though. We do have some great nature shows on DVD.)

What most people seem to mean when they talk about TV are TV shows. And we don't watch any of those.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 3:03 PM

What most people seem to mean when they talk about TV are TV shows. And we don't watch any of those.


Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 03:03 PM

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I've yet to find a written work that makes me laugh as much as Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm or Monty Python. There's a lot of funny stuff out there, but John Cleese and Kramer cannot happen on paper.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 13, 2007 3:10 PM

moxiemom - I've never seen Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, so you could say I don't know what I'm missing. I am not interested in commercial TV (though I don't doubt those shows would make me laugh).

No reason to miss John Cleese though -- I've seen all the Monty Python films and many episodes of Flying Circus (which my sister owns on DVD).

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 3:17 PM

For me, it's the 70's show and 3rd Rock from the Sun.

I agree that it's ok to do and watch things that are pure mindless fun. What a burden it must be to have every single pursuit full of educational value. Let's hear it for fun.

Posted by: lurker | July 13, 2007 3:22 PM

Who says every pursuit must have educational value?

We have plenty of fun, too. I don't know why so many people think little or no TV means a dry, dull existence without mindless entertainment. We're just not into TV shows.

Posted by: Hammie | July 13, 2007 3:24 PM

Scarry is a girl that I would let hold my leash anyday. I miss her.

Woof!

Posted by: Lil Husky | July 13, 2007 3:28 PM

"Who says every pursuit must have educational value?

We have plenty of fun, too. I don't know why so many people think little or no TV means a dry, dull existence without mindless entertainment. We're just not into TV shows."

I wasn't directing this toward people like you who don't watch TV but don't think it is awful, only to people who treat TV watchers condescendingly.

Posted by: to hammie | July 13, 2007 3:32 PM

Hammie,
YOu do NOT have to defend yourself for not watching much tv, or for avoiding commercial tv shows. It's a free country. If you are happy, I have no idea why anyone would begrudge you that.

I personally love tv (probably more than I should). But that's a very personal thing. Good for you for doing what works for you.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 3:32 PM

hey wait a minute! Who was that author whose book chided all women who weren't working full time-- was it the "Get to Work" Linda Hirshmann? Something like taking part-time work is a dumb choice for women because it puts you in terrible risk if you divorce or your husband dies-- and of course you are also letting down the feminist movement to boot because all these other women who do want to work full time are going to be discriminated against because you were too selfish, lazy, addle-brained, kid-centered, whatever to just suck it up and work full time-- anyone else remember that book? Of course I didn't buy it. I did read an interview with the author that made me quite angry with whole tone. Serious problem with talking down to grown women making their own choices.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 13, 2007 02:48 PM

I happen to agree, in principle, with Hirshman (her tone and delivery really stinks though). She is correct in her position in that women going part time and not working will result in the perception that men are more dedicated to working than women. And when you think about it, is it really just a perception problem, when you look at the numbers?

My problem is that this is another time where men not having choices is viewed as a negative for women. The problem isn't that women work p/t and SAH, the problem is tha men don't. This fact is tied directly to the fact that boys are still, in most cases, raised with the expectation of having to financially support a family and girls are raised with the expectation of choices.

This sets stage later for:

-men outearning women, this is entirely predictable over a population when you make one group more responsible for financial support

-women more often being the primary parent, again, totally predictable given the starting expectations (that and the giving birth part;) )

Until we start raising boys with the expectations that they have choices too, and girls with the expectation that they are financially responsible for the family, things will never change.

/soapbox

To those who say will say we raise girls to be financially responsible, I disagree, when you give a group the choice, you are relieving them of the ultimate responsibility. Because if it is a choice, it is not a requirement.

Posted by: decils advocate | July 13, 2007 3:38 PM

"Let's hear it for fun."

LSD is my favorite, but whatever lights your head up, man, is like, cool with me!

Posted by: Hey Dude | July 13, 2007 3:40 PM

Hey, Lil Husky,
Did you end up taking your pups to the late showing of the Harry Potter flick? How was it?

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 3:41 PM

I don't know who decil is but I guess I am his advocate too. ;)

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 3:44 PM

flds is my fave, rather than lds

or is my dyslexia showing

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 3:52 PM

What most people seem to mean when they talk about TV are TV shows. And we don't watch any of those.
----
yeah, sorry, you don't tell the truth either apparently. If you own a tv that's plugged in, you watch tv.

It reminds me of my cousins who are now late 40s. They always bragged that they never watched anything except educational shows when they were kids. "Wait, but when you visited our house," I protested, "around 1971, you made us watch The Monkees. I know you watched the Monkees and Scooby Doo at our house! You danced around and sang the Monkees songs."

They both got glazed looks in their eyes.

Then I sang the Yardley, "Slicker Over, Slicker Under" commercial jingle which they taught me.

Thousand yard stare vietnam vet glazed looks in their eyes.

Then they slowly said, "Yes, I guess we did watch The Monkees and Scooby Doo when we were kids."

Up until that point I think they had fooled themselves they never watched those kinds of shows as kids.

But it wasn't real. It was a fib.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 3:53 PM

Emily, I haven't seen a movie in over 20 years, (I don't like them) however, my mate took a few of the older pups and said it was great. The latest movie cut out a lot that was in the book, but the shootout with wands in the Ministry of Magic was fantastic.

The oldest of the litter says I'm a cross between Hagrid and Dumbledor. Possibly my greatest compliment.

Have a great weekend all!

Posted by: Lil Husky | July 13, 2007 3:54 PM

"My problem is that this is another time where men not having choices is viewed as a negative for women. The problem isn't that women work p/t and SAH, the problem is tha men don't. This fact is tied directly to the fact that boys are still, in most cases, raised with the expectation of having to financially support a family and girls are raised with the expectation of choices."

Dang, devil's advocate, it's a freaking lovefest here today. I completely agree with everything you just said.

Posted by: Laura | July 13, 2007 3:56 PM

How did that happen? How did devil's advocate and I end up agreeing on something. It's Freaky Friday!!!

Good weekend all.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 4:02 PM

Leslie, I think that your comment about having flexible work policies open to all is naive. Why should a company (or firm or any organization) take what amounts to a risk on employees who aren't exceptionally valuable? Any kind of "flexible work arrangement" is a risk to an organization. The organization should get something for it's flexibility--efficiency, loyalty, etc. As a previous poster noted, in many cases, allowing certain employees to go part-time in order to keep them longer-term simply makes sense. But just allowing everyone to telecommute, work part-time or flexibly is opening-up the company to abuse.

Posted by: MD Mom | July 13, 2007 4:03 PM

Devil's advocate has crossed over to the dark side he has

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:05 PM

But just allowing everyone to telecommute, work part-time or flexibly is opening-up the company to abuse.

Isn't that what they pay managers to do? manage people or is just to kiss A$$ and be mediocre?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:07 PM

How did that happen? How did devil's advocate and I end up agreeing on something. It's Freaky Friday!!!

Good weekend all.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 04:02 PM

We agree on a lot of things, I tend to not comment when total of my post would be "what Emily/Laura said". It is when I disagree that I open my mouth and get in trouble. ;)

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 4:14 PM

Would it be risky to have 4 people work 30 hours instead of 3 people working 40 hours? If the work and salaries can be distributed, then it would be possible to have 4 happier employees without a complete financial loss to the company. There may still be additional expenses for office space, computers, telephones, and other equipment, but the salaries could be balanced.

Part time doesn't have to mean part time for the proven few and picking up the slack for everyone else. Managing staff by hiring additional employees to handle the work not being done by the parttimers would solve a lot of problems.

Posted by: to MdMom | July 13, 2007 4:18 PM

Where I work, the good workers get everyone else's garbage, not special privileges.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:26 PM

to anon @ 4:26

Where I work, the good workers get everyone else's garbage, not special privileges.

___________

Then leave, if you're one of the "good workers". There are other places where that's not the case.

If you're one of those others, well, then, don't complain.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:32 PM

"If you're one of those others, well, then, don't complain."

Just a comment, not a complaint.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:34 PM

But just allowing everyone to telecommute, work part-time or flexibly is opening-up the company to abuse.


Isn't that what they pay managers to do? manage people or is just to kiss A$$ and be mediocre?

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 04:07 PM

Aren't mangers employees, too? In the world of infinitely flexible positions, the managers would be allowed to be part time, too.

If you don't think so, and believe women should be able to go part time, doesn't that imply that women won't be managers as often (you just cretaed a glass ceiling)?

And if a company is a good company managers spend most of their time managing projects and work, not schedules and people.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 4:36 PM

OT -
I just read a very funny, weird, interesting article about a robber who partied with his victims. See the home page of WaPo. The article is called: A Gate-Crasher's Change of Heart.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 4:44 PM

Would it be risky to have 4 people work 30 hours instead of 3 people working 40 hours? If the work and salaries can be distributed, then it would be possible to have 4 happier employees without a complete financial loss to the company. There may still be additional expenses for office space, computers, telephones, and other equipment, but the salaries could be balanced.

Part time doesn't have to mean part time for the proven few and picking up the slack for everyone else. Managing staff by hiring additional employees to handle the work not being done by the parttimers would solve a lot of problems.

Posted by: to MdMom | July 13, 2007 04:18 PM

Where I work, every once in a while they send out a little newsletter that gives you your "actual" salary. This includes their share of health insurance, 401k matching, etc. My salary is about 75-80% of their total cost. This doesn't inlclude costs like management (one manager can only manage so many people), office space and other hidden costs that are there. For example, how many HR people do you need for a staff of 20 f/t employees, how many for 30 pt/ and 10 f/t.?

Basically, every head (pt or ft) has a cost that is independent of salary. So the more heads you have, the more money you spend.

And truth be told, employee happiness has a really bad ROI.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 4:48 PM

OT -
I just read a very funny, weird, interesting article about a robber who partied with his victims. See the home page of WaPo. The article is called: A Gate-Crasher's Change of Heart.


Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 04:44 PM

I saw that, "wow, this is really good wine, group hug anyone" funny and weird

Posted by: devils advocate | July 13, 2007 4:50 PM

But just allowing everyone to telecommute, work part-time or flexibly is opening-up the company to abuse.
-------

No. As a manager if you create metrics based on work performed then in general you only need to track the work performed, not time in the office or behind the computer. I set up a system for DOD where a certain kind of analysis could be done using software accessible on a centrally located server. Weekly reports were generated showing what employees of a certain level completed how many files. The files were subjectively and objectively analyzed for complexity. The managers realized, after a month or so that they didn't care if these low level employees were in their chairs or at home- all they cared about were the results. We implemented a process where each employee needed to do a minimum 1% increase in output each month, based on hours or generally, 10% increase per year. Then the managers said they could work from home twice a week if their numbers increased. I could tell on some reports these people plowed through work 8 hours on Monday and then an additional 4 hours Monday night and then only did 4 hours of work on their day off. Others seemed to be MORE productive on their days off than in the office. In the end some of the best employees were creating 25% more results at the end of 6 months than before. There was talk of reassigning some low-performers because fewer employees were necessary.

So as long as managers determine what their metrics are for evaluating employee results, and determine that the collaboration and other tools must all be online, then many kinds of staff can work from home without risk.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 4:56 PM

And truth be told, employee happiness has a really bad ROI.

I could not disagree more. It is ridiculously expensive to rehire people. Taking in lost productivity, lost sales etc. The smart companies keep people on the job and turning customers into repeat customers. High turnover is a sign of a bad management.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 5:00 PM

What if devils advocate is pATRICK, but on meds that permit him to engage in a civil discussion? hmmmmmmm. *taps finger to forehead*

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 5:01 PM

And truth be told, employee happiness has a really bad ROI.

I could not disagree more. It is ridiculously expensive to rehire people. Taking in lost productivity, lost sales etc. The smart companies keep people on the job and turning customers into repeat customers. High turnover is a sign of a bad management.

Posted by: | July 13, 2007 05:00 PM

Another reason employee happiness, or, more accurately, employee satisfaction, produces a good ROI is that satisfied employees, e.g., those who perceive that they are challenged, compensated at market, and treated fairly, tend to more often refer good prospective employees to the employer thus reducing fees to headhunters and the cost of training someone who turns out to be a poor fit. HR studies tend to show that employees who are referred by other employees take less time to train and have a better track record for retention than employees who are hired from outside without such a referral.

I'm not suggesting that employee happiness, in and of itself, is a goal, but if you define it as employee satisfaction and if it has the components I listed, it more than pays for itself.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 5:13 PM

"As a manager if you create metrics based on work performed then in general you only need to track the work performed, not time in the office or behind the computer. I set up a system for DOD where a certain kind of analysis could be done using software accessible on a centrally located server. Weekly reports were generated showing what employees of a certain level completed how many files. "

For jobs that are about volume, e.g., processing a certain amount of files, or producing a certain number of widgets, this works fine. These sorts of metrics, though, may not be applicable to higher level or more complex and varied jobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 5:30 PM

"I saw that, "wow, this is really good wine, group hug anyone" funny and weird"

It just goes to show the power of generosity and goodness. It can literally change a tragedy into something almost heartwarming. Reminds me of a scene from Les Miserables, where a thief changes his life because one of his victims denies to the police that the thief actually stole some silver, and the thief ends up reforming because of his victim's generous gesture.

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 5:41 PM

Why do people keep stating that employees were "forced out" of the workforce because part-time was not available?

An employer doesn't force an employee to have children any more than they are forcing them out of the job. If the employee chooses to have children, they need to live with the consequences. Stop blaming this on employers.

Posted by: Entitlement | July 13, 2007 6:04 PM

'Zat you, Single By Choice?

Posted by: To Entitlement | July 13, 2007 8:32 PM

Fred's Quote of the Day
(Friday the 13th Edition)

What a burden it must be to have every single pursuit full of educational value. Let's hear it for fun.

Posted by: lurker | July 13, 2007 03:22 PM

The Creepy Van (tm) may not be educational (except when it breaks down and you have to learn to fix it.) It is not even necessarily fun but it is always an adventure! And no DVD player or other audio/visual equipment is allowed. (other than that wonderful static enhanced radio!)

Posted by: Fred | July 13, 2007 11:46 PM

About "fibbing" - Yes, I've heard the comment before that it's not true that I don't REALLY watch TV. It's usually said by people who think the claim about no TV watching is some holier-than-thou comment about the evils of television.

I really don't care if you want to consider me a TV watcher. But I've never seen any of the current TV shows. I didn't watch TV as a kid. I don't watch the news. I don't watch sports.

The easiest way to convey this is to explain that we just don't watch TV. Most people understand this to mean shows broadcast on television. There are a few who get some kind of pleasure from scoffing about how having a TV and using it to watch anything, like DVDs, is "watching TV." I think it makes them feel better about their own TV habits, and it lets them feel like they've taken some pretentious person down a peg.

But really, it makes you sound like a nit-picker who just wants to throw around accusations because it makes you feel Big.

Posted by: Hammie | July 14, 2007 8:59 PM

I don't think it's about finding good, part-time work. It seems to me that the focus of the reseach was off -- why wasn't there any attention paid to the way the workplace looks today? I'm betting that plenty of women would prefer full-time work if today's employers were truly flexible about where and when the work got done. With tehcnology what it is, does it really matter if you're in the office 9 to 5 (or later), or if you're chugging away on the computer at home after the kids are in bed?

PunditMom
http://punditmom1.blogspot.com

Posted by: PunditMom | July 23, 2007 9:17 AM

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