Archive | March 16, 2009

Making it Work with Economic Challenges

by Shannon Penrod

Like everyone else my family is trying to “making it work” in an economy that doesn’t make sense and simply isn’t working.  We’ve tried to apply the Suze Orman rule of “Do we need this or do we want it?” to every purchase.  Sometimes it’s not black and white.  This last week there was Little League to sign up for.  My son is 5; this is the first season he can play.  At $225 to register and about another $75 worth of equipment to get him ready for the first game – I was having chest pain.  I certainly can make the argument that Little League is not nec100_5238essary – or is it? 

My little guy is recovering from Autism.  Baseball is social, it requires standing in the sun (something my vitamin B deficient son requires) it teaches lessons of flexibility, team work and sportsmanship.  Yes, he could wait and play next year, but next year he won’t have the opportunity to play T-ball, the kids will already have skills and he won’t be in “the window” anymore. 

 “The Window” is the all important time when children with autism are capable of making strides that cannot be matched later.  Trust me the window is a powerful argument, one that has carried our family right to the doorstep of bankruptcy. 

So we paid for Little League, and I agreed to do some work that would take away some of my private time.  It’s called making it work. Ultimately, it was worth it.  We are only a week into baseball and clearly my son has found a new love.  I’m yawning but what are a few yawns when you are in the window?

Battle of the Sexes? By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated



By Sandra Beck



At my friend’s office party, I looked around and felt a bit sheepish. Did these other smart young men with bored looking blondes on their arm go home to a sinkful of washing up? Perhaps I don’t give my friend enough sympathy when a last minute meeting means he can’t do the nursery pick up, umbrella


Most ‘motherhood’ decisions are family decisions – since they encroach on the commonwealth which is the children. For successful working motherhood, adjustments have to be made by all members of the family. There is always the risk of the old cliche: the woman coming home from work to do another full days work in the home.


Of course the exact balance varies from couple to couple. It will depend a lot on what the balance of the partnership was before children. Most men have grown out of feeling demeaned if their wife has to earn money. I do have to admit that some of my friend’s husbands have always had an undercurrent of caveman pride at being the breadwinner when needed.


My unmarried – surprise surprise friends are very sympathetic “You work your wotsits off while she’s swanning about having babies, not even going back to work full time”. I laughed hollowly and said “Who’s supporting who?”  


Whichever way your family’s needs lie – the crucial thing is to keep communication going.  I’ve actually found it easier to keep talking to my friends now that I’m back at work – even though I work from home. I’m more pre-occupied in the evenings, but I do email and call in the day,  Every month or so we’ll have a delightful child-free ‘business lunch’,


I find myself irrationally resentful if he is late or unavailable. “My boss hadn’t left yet” he’ll say, or “I’m busy”. “How do you think I feel?” I rail against him “It is always assumed that it is easy for me to brazen out the early departures, and the ‘working from home’”.


Looking around the room at the party, I realized that my friends do make a lot of effort to play their part fully. Whatever the theoretical rights and wrongs – the office culture is macho. I think it shows guts to stand up to it and win the fight.