Author Archives: monicalowry87

Facts About Working Mothers

Article that was published in an Atlanta Parenting magazine – February 2014 

The workplace in America is becoming increasingly dominated by women, and in ways that many people never saw coming. In terms of legal issues, of course, women and men have been equal for many, many years now – however, there is a difference between legal rights and societal attitudes, which is why it has taken until now for women to achieve anything close to equality in the working world. Yet now, this equality finally seems to be within reach. More and more women are finding ways to succeed professionally – in fact, even working mothers are becoming more common. Mothers all over the country are finding new ways to take care of their children while they go off to work just like the fathers.

One major underlying reason for the rising numbers of working mothers is historical in nature – as mentioned above, it takes some time for equal rights to take effect in society, with the result that we are still seeing the after effects of women with college educations. In the past, men often received higher education, while women stopped going to school and started looking toward raising families. Now, however, women starting families are more likely to have received college education first, and in many cases have already started careers before they give thought to having children. This is of course a fantastic trend for mothers who want to stay occupied professionally.

Unfortunately, there are still some hurdles to clear for working mothers. For example, statistics show that though women in general are close to surpassing men in terms of employment numbers, working women still make less money on average than their male counterparts. This is likely a sign that the working world is still catching up to the number of women it is now accommodating! Additionally, however, there are also somewhat troubling indications that mothers have a harder time getting hired in the first place than single women, or men. It seems that employers often do not trust mothers as frequently as others just yet.

Ultimately, however, the overall trends for working mothers are positive. Again, the working world and professional America are still adjusting to increased women in the workplace, and thousands of young women all over the country are still figuring out ways to balance motherhood and steady jobs. However, the numbers of working mothers are still increasing, and many families are becoming more comfortable functioning with both parents working, many by finding alternate daytime care for younger children. At the least, there seems to be no one these days specifically telling mothers not to go to work, and that is a step in the right direction.

 

– Monica Lowry

4 Ways The Internet Affects Parenting

Article that was published in an Atlanta Parenting magazine – March 2013

Parenting has always been an interesting concept, in that it involves both ever-constant necessities and concerns, but also changing methods and values. There are certain things that every parent throughout history has been concerned with, such as the basic health and safety of children; and, similarly, there are new concerns that arise with each generation, depending upon society, technology, and a number of other factors. Mothers in current times, however, have one of the largest adjustments, perhaps of all time, to get used to: the Internet. Children’s increased access to the Internet has legitimately changed the landscape of parenting and altered the ways in which children grow up and develop, and it is up to parents to keep an eye on this specific development. So, in order to help you, as a mother, to be on your guard and prepare adequately for different parenting hurdles, here are the top ___ ways in which the Internet may affect your child:

1. Revelation of Knowledge – Not long ago, parents had full influence over when their children found out about certain things. Unfortunately, the Internet has opened all sorts of new avenues for curious children, meaning that young kids have the capacity to find out the truth about anything from Santa Claus to sex. This is, again, unfortunate, but it is a reality that modern mothers have to be prepared for, either through restricting their children’s Internet access or figuring out ways to deal with revealing these sorts of knowledge to younger-aged children.
2. Schoolwork – Research and schoolwork have become increasingly simple as a result of the unlimited resource that is the Internet. Where once upon a time students had to go to libraries and read through books in order to complete assignments, the Internet now provides sources, information, and even straightforward answers. This can be a useful tool, but it is also important to make sure that your child’s learning process is not inhibited by the Internet.
3. Social Contact – Even without cell phones, kids can now be in virtually constant contact with one another through email, instant messaging, Facebook, and all sorts of other online methods. This can be great for your kids’ social lives, but it can also function toward limiting real world contact and actual bonding. Parents now face the challenge of encouraging social interaction while still limiting Internet exposure, which is no easy balance to achieve.
4. Social Exposure – Similarly, you will need to keep in mind, as your children grow up, that the Internet has provided all sorts of ways for kids to present public images, which can be a good or bad thing. It is important to remember that everything written, photographed, recorded, etc. with regard to your kids is now likely to end up on the Internet…. While this is unavoidable, it is your job to adequately explain the potential consequences to your children, so that they can make appropriate decisions.

-Monica Lowry

 

Online Shopping For Busy Moms

The following is a post I provided as a guest panel blogger for an online publication.

For busy moms, like myself, anything that makes life just a bit more efficient and manageable is greatly appreciated. Keeping tabs on kids is hard enough, and often makes it just about impossible to find time to do anything for yourself. Often, it is some of the most basic parts of a mum’s life that first start to disappear when kids make things busy. For example, consider your shopping experience. When you’re single, or in a relationship without children, you can take time while shopping, enjoying the process, finding the best deals, etc. With kids around, it becomes harder to devote this sort of time to your shopping experience. And this is why so many busy moms are beginning to take advantage of online shopping options.

Shopping online isn’t perfect for every situation or need. But, it does offer advantages that are particularly useful for busy mums. Here are some to keep in mind.

  • Convenience – Naturally, the most significant benefit of online shopping for people whose everyday lives become exceedingly busy is convenience. Being able to shop for anything you want at the click of a button – whether it’s a new dress, a new book from Amazon, etc. – is a very valuable asset.
  • Selection – Furthermore, what many people realize only when they start shopping online, is that the selection of products is virtually unlimited. Not only is shopping more convenient, but you can sift through an incredible number of options – more than you’d ever see at a store – in just minutes. This makes your shopping process not just more efficient, but more thorough.
  • Prices – Internet shopping will also expose you to a number of coupon and discount opportunities, as well as prices that are simply cheaper than those in stores. Sometimes shipping costs can make up for the difference, but generally speaking you can often buy items online for better prices than you find in stores. This is simply further incentive to make your life easier and start shopping online.
  • Return Policies – One reason that many people avoid shopping online, even when they are pressed for time, is that they like to see and feel what they’re buying in person. However, this problem has been largely solved by the fact that many of the most popular online stores now have excellent return policies that allow you to observe, try out and test your purchases for a given amount of time with the ability to turn them back. This allows consumers to take their time deciding if they want to keep products or not, without worrying about getting stuck with an unsatisfactory purchase.

Shopping online is certainly not a new concept. However, the process and options have improved dramatically in recent years, and in most cases Internet shopping is a great idea for people with busy lives. As a mum with endless demands on your time, you may find that online shopping is not only easy, but also relaxing and fun.

Mommy Makeovers? Say what?!?

The following is a post I provided as a guest panel blogger for an online publication.

Getting back on your feet following pregnancy and childbirth is never easy. To begin with, new mothers are so busy with their infant children that it’s hard to address the issue of “catching up” on the things that couldn’t be bothered with during pregnancy. Most notably, it is very hard for mothers to find time to exercise strictly following childbirth, as much as they may want to. Of course, some of the weight gained in pregnancy disappears naturally with the birth of the child and in the weeks following, as the body readjusts to supporting just the mother, rather than the mother and child. However, many new mothers find that some of the weight remains, and would like to find more time to work out. Additionally, there are a number of other physical effects that tend to linger following pregnancies, and it is simply difficult for all of them to be addressed by natural means. This is why a number of new mothers turn to “mommy makeovers” or, plastic surgeries designed specifically for new mothers.

One popular part of the typical mommy makeover procedure is actually liposuction, which is a good way (when used in moderation) to get rid of lingering weight, particularly if you don’t yet have time to get back to the gym. Liposuction does not have to be reserved for extreme cases – in fact, it can be used to remove even small amounts of excess fat. So, while it isn’t a good idea to get in a habit of thinking that weight loss is this easy, it may be a decent idea to use the procedure to get back to a starting point at which you will be comfortable exercising again.

Breast augmentations are also quite popular among new mothers, as the breasts tend to experience a lot of natural changes during pregnancy, which can result in their appearing smaller or less firm. It is plain to see the benefits offered by breast augmentation if you simply glance at some breast implants before and after photos, which are available on many sites on the Internet. Ultimately, you do not need to go to the doctor looking for significantly larger breasts – but a surgeon can help you to regain the breasts you may have had before your pregnancy.

There are a number of other procedures that are also common in mommy makeovers. For example, a number of women feel that their faces have aged due to the stress and lack of sleep associated with having new babies – in these cases, it is not uncommon for new mothers to have facelifts not long after giving birth. Similarly, many new mothers invest in tummy tucks to get rid of excess, stretched skin that results from the significant weight gain of pregnancy. Ultimately, there are plenty of things that plastic surgery can do for new mothers – you need only do a bit of research to prepare yourself to get back on your feet quickly and effectively.

Hosting Parties At Home

Article that was published in an Atlanta Parenting magazine – February 2014 

Hosting a party can of course be lots of fun, as it is enjoyable to be in charge of any celebratory event. However, it can also be a bit stressful, at least during the preparation process, to have a whole party depending on you. As a host, you may responsible from everything from food and drinks, to decorations, to music, etc. It can be a lot to handle, and can keep some prospective hosts busy for days leading up to a party, depending on what sort of party of course. However, it’s also important to remember to have fun with the preparations – don’t let them become a job, but instead, make them part of the party!

The trickiest part of any party preparation tends to be the decorating. To begin with, you’ll need to straighten up your home, or whatever venue you’re hosting the party in, in order to make it suitable for decoration. And then, you need to figure out what your party will look like, and all of the different little touches you want to add here and there. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

• Don’t overlook the entrance to your home. Many party hosts become preoccupied with the main areas where guests will be congregating, and neglect the entrance, which is where the guests will receive their first impressions of your party. Particularly if your party is going to have a theme – a holiday part, or something like that – you will want to decorate the entrance accordingly. Or, if your party is without a theme, you may still want to adorn the entrance to your home with decorative lighting, curtains, flowers, etc. – just something to make a warm initial statement.
• Your bar area needs to be inviting. Again, if you have a theme to your party, you can use this to decorate the bar and food area. If not, however, you need to make sure that the bar area is not just attractive for its drink and food selection. Think about bright tablecloths, appealing centerpieces, and things of that nature to draw people’s attention to the food and drink that you are providing.
• Try to arrange your home, in advance, in a way that allows for as much open space as possible. If you have a patio area stemming off of your kitchen or living room, for example, and the weather is suitable, make sure that the doors are open, inviting your guests to enjoy your space. Similarly, if the entire party is taking place indoors, make sure not to confine your guests to a single area – keep doors open, and decorate other rooms, to make it clear that you are opening your home for them to enjoy. This is a very hospitable gesture that will help guests to relax.

-Monica Lowry