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With Spring Showers Comes the ‘She-Cession’: Keeping the Plates of Working Motherhood Spinning in the Midst of a Pandemic

Inspired by Maria Shriver’s investigative report for 3rd Hour Today, The State of Women: She-Cession.

The month of March typically fills our calendars with the return of spring weather, spring-cleaning, spring training and spring break, but this year, March also marks one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic.  While we typically welcome the renewal and recharging that comes with spring, this year, many of us are instead reflecting on the insurmountable challenges and changes presented by the last year, and by the pandemic.  One of these challenges and changes has even coined a new name –the ‘She-cession’—plaguing American women, mothers, and caregivers and costing the United States an estimated “64.5 billion a year in lost wages and related economic activity” according to the Center for American Progress (CAP).  As we prepare spring break plans, however different they may look, we continue spinning our countless caregiving and career plates but to what end?  The pandemic’s effects are taking both economic and personal tolls, and they are hitting women the hardest.

In a recent report conducted by the CAP, findings show that women have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs as a result of the pandemic-induced recession, nearly 1 million more jobs than their male counterparts, and Black and Latina women have experienced a 50% higher unemployment rate than the national average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  While women are experiencing the benefits of workforce trends that have emerged in the last year like working remotely, they continue to shoulder the majority of domestic duties.  In fact, working moms are 1.5 times more likely to report an additional 3 hours a day on domestic ‘chores’ like supervising their children’s remote learning –practically another part-time job, and an unpaid one at that. As a result, the most recent Women in the Workplace report found that for the first time, 1 in 4 women are considering stepping out of the workforce or downshifting their careers.  The outcomes of the ‘She-cession’ are nothing short of disastrous—jeopardizing huge strides made toward gender equity in the workplace, lifelong effects on skills and earnings potential, and a significant impact on women’s mental and emotional health.

So what do we do? How do we solve problems as great as women living in their cars to afford care for their aging parents after losing their job? How do we pay the estimated $1 trillion bill of unpaid labor performed by women in the home? Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani is proposing a “Marshall Plan for Moms” that would ask Congress and the White House to support working mothers by implementing multiple policies that would address problematic parental leave plans, stabilize the child care industry and pay $2400 monthly to mothers to for their unpaid labor.  Issues like these, according to Saujani, who has garnered the attention and support of many working moms including celebrities, are forcing the hand of working women and mothers, “We aren’t choosing to leave the workforce, we’re being pushed out”.  There is hope.  The Biden administration is already reviewing the “Marshall Plan for Moms” and has already backed several of its initiatives such as family leave and subsidized childcare.

As working mothers, we embody empathy, compassion, interpersonal skills and the ingenuity required to care for, teach, and respond to the ever-growing needs of our children and our families.  Let’s come together and take action to utilize these talents and advocate for ourselves, our families, our world and our place in the workforce.

Find valuable resources, support, and action steps toward advocacy at the California Work and Family Coalition.

Spotlight Success Work-Life Balance

Angela Gange featured by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce!

Angela Gange joined as a partner in Moms Making Six Figures, founded in 2009.  She and the company have continued to build supportive connections between women ever since. “We all have really different backgrounds, but we all really wanted to have flexibility around our families,” Angie said of the group, noting that members come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. “We really didn’t know when we started the company that we would be as successful as we are today. We just had an idea that there would be a lot of other women who were like us.”

Moms Making Six Figures represents a U.S.-based manufacturer. The marketing company is based in San Diego, but a number of the nearly 90 moms live in Orange County, the Bay Area, Nevada, Arizona, Chicago, and New York. Wherever they live, they’re able to replace or supplement their income while staying at home on their own schedules. About half of the members work at least 25 hours a week. Rather than a background in marketing, members need to be self-motivated to work hard and write their own success stories.

When Angie joined the business, her sons were 17, 13 and 11. She had worked in the mortgage banking industry, but she knew there had to be a way to support her family without working late and traveling away from her sons. “The corporate environment just isn’t very accommodating to moms,” said Angie. “They say that they are, but when push comes to shove, they’re not.”

She found her new path with Moms Making Six Figures. “There are so many moms like me,” said Angie. “Most of us need a dual income, especially in California. But when you’re a mom, you have kids, and you have all the responsibilities and activities that children have, it’s difficult trying to figure out a way to have a career and balance everything.” Now that Angie’s sons are grown and successful, happy young men, she is committed to helping other moms have the same success she had, owning her own business, and being a “total stay at home mom”!

 

 

Family Goals Work-Life Balance

Finding balance in your life!

This week, we had the chance to chat with Kellee! She is a wonderful mom, friend and mentor! With a hectic schedule, she knew life would pass by way too fast if she did not make a career change. Fortunately, Kellee found Moms Making Six Figures and was able to achieve the balance she craved. But, with every career comes a challenge of prioritizing what is truly important – read on to see how Kellee manages this task in her life!

So, we know you went to Europe this summer with your kids for vacation! Can you tell us a little bit about how you coordinated that with work?

This summer I took a three-week trip to Europe with my family.  Luckily, I don’t have a boss, nor do I need to ask for time off.  This allowed me to be extremely flexible with my travel dates and find the best deals for the summer.  While I was there, I chose to work a little.  The time zones made it a little difficult to do too much, but that is where our team comes in.  Although, I don’t have a boss, I do have an amazing network of women who are amazingly helpful. I was mentoring a new business partner and didn’t want to wait my travel to keep her from connecting with the team and making progress.  Stacy and Heidi were both quick to jump in and assist.

As a working mom, it can be easy to over-commit and take on too much at once. How do you find the balance between the commitments you’ve made to your kids, your work and yourself?

After working in a career that required me to work 70+ hours, I was adamant that I wanted to conquer the dream of work/life balance.  I’ve learned quickly it is ok for me to say no, but more importantly it is also ok for me to say YES. It is all about priorities and calendaring my time. I use an old school planner.  In pen, I lock in things that I am committed to, whether that is allotted time for work or a competition/game for my kids or the gym for me.   When it comes to work, I have very specific goals each week that I complete no matter what! Around that, I have flexibility to live my life and achieve my goals.

What is the most rewarding part of your career with Moms Making Six Figures?

It’s going to sound insane, but the most rewarding part about my career with Moms Making Six Figures is that my children know who I AM! My kids are amazingly talented, smart and funny. I’ve been given a gift.  I see them grow up, I help them develop and grow. We have time to laugh, play and learn together.  Prior mornings were chaotic and rushed getting everyone ready and out the door.  I often found myself yelling and frustrated because they were moving at a child’s pace and I needed them on turbo drive, so I wasn’t late for a meeting.  We now listen to music, enjoy breakfast together and make it to school with smiles on our faces.  Every time I look at my kids, see how well they are doing in their lives, it makes me so grateful that I took a leap of faith and pushed hard to have what I do now.

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Work-Life Balance Working Mom

Make sure your children know they are loved by you!

Meet Jennifer!

She is not only one of our mentors at Mom’s Making Six Figures, but first and foremost, a dedicated mom to her two beautiful daughters. We asked Jennifer if she would be willing to share some advice as a successful working mom. Because whether you are a new mom, or a seasoned-pro, work and home-life balance is something that we are all in search for.

What is one thing you wish you would have known before you had your first daughter?

I have always enjoyed working and having a career. I envisioned myself as a “working mom” because my mom worked my whole childhood as did her mother with her. I had no idea how completely in love I would be with motherhood, I hated missing anything new. I wish I would have thought more about a career path that would have allowed me more flexibility in my schedule. I was always so envious of my friends that were teachers and had the entire summer off with their children.

What are the most important things you are currently teaching your girls?

Currently I am focus on teaching my daughters respect, simple things like helping someone reach something off the shelf at a grocery store, always greeting someone with a hello, please and thank you is a must! I want them to be self-sufficient, they help with things like laundry, cooking and cleaning. We set goals as a family and break down what it takes to achieve them.



One piece of advice to give to other working moms?

Do the best you can with what you have. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Be present with your children when you are with them. They want your attention more than the latest trending toy. One on one time with each children is important. Most importantly, make sure your children know they are loved by you.

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Work at Home Work-Life Balance

How to Reap the Rewards of Working from Home Part 3: Lesser-Known Challenges

Over the last couple weeks, I discussed the two main challenges of working from home: Maintaining self-discipline and dealing with a lack of community. In the final article in this series, I’m taking a closer look at some of the other, often overlooked, challenges of working from home.

When you’re at a corporate job in an office building, working from home seems like the ultimate scenario: A flexible schedule, time with your kids, and the ability to work without someone breathing down your neck. What’s not to love? However, once you begin working from home, you quickly realize that it has some downsides of its own.

No job is without its challenges, and I would still choose working from home any day over a typical 9-to-5 career! Let’s look at some of the lesser-known challenges you may face as a work-from-home mom and how to overcome them.

1. Distractions

Being a mom means juggling a whole host of responsibilities. From school pickups to drop-offs, grocery store runs to cleaning the house, the old saying is true: A woman’s work is never done! It’s no surprise then that when you work from home, there are many distractions that may keep you from actually working.

You may find yourself starting the laundry before you start your work, thinking, “I’ll just do this one thing real quick and knock it off my to-do list.” But before you know it, you end up cleaning the entire house and it’s time to pick up the kids—the day is gone! Does this sound all too familiar? If so, welcome to work-from-home motherhood!

To avoid being side-tracked by chores, schedule in laundry day and other chores. Be sure to order your work around your busy mom life.

You may also want to designate a working space separate from your living space, if possible, to help you stay productive and prevent you from seeing the distractions. It will also put distance between you and the refrigerator—another go-to distraction for work-from-home moms.

2. Dealing with the (Un)Reliability of Employees

If you’ve set up a business at home and hired a remote employee, you face a whole new set of problems. What if you send them a retainer and they never do the work? Or they do the work, but it’s far below expectations? You’ll either need to find a new worker or train the existing one—both of which take valuable time.

One way to combat this is to use well-known, reliable platforms when hiring freelancers. Sites like Upwork or Freelancer may offer some protection for both parties, while giving you the peace of mind that someone else is actively vetting them. You have enough on your plate without having to chase down and hound irresponsible workers!

3. Missing Out on Employee Benefits

Your corporate job may have drained the life out of you, but it had its benefits—literally.

Medical insurance and paid sick leave are just two luxurious benefits that few of us who are working from home can afford to offer ourselves. Often, if you’re just starting out working from home, time spent not working means no income—and if you can’t afford benefits, then you definitely can’t afford to have no income!

The thing is, while no one plans to fall ill, we all inevitably get sick at some point. The best thing to do is to plan and prepare financially for times when you may be sick or simply want to take a vacation. This means making saving and planning a priority, no matter how difficult it may be.

With no company to look after you, it’s all up to you—don’t let yourself down! This article offers more helpful advice and tips on saving money as a work-from-home mom.

4. The Dreaded Question: “What do you do?”

You are going to have to explain to a lot of people what you do because, most of the time, there probably won’t be one word to describe your profession. Then there’s the assumption that usually comes after your answer, as people imagine you lounging in your pajamas all day.

There will always be someone with something to say when you go against the norm. Stay confident in your choice to work from home and don’t worry about what others think. You have your reasons for choosing this lifestyle and it’s helpful to recall those reasons when you get discouraged.

Remember what you’re doing this for—time with your kids, quality of life, dream house—and keep your eyes on that prize! Don’t let anyone make you second-guess yourself.

It may also be helpful to have a concise and well-rehearsed answer ready when you’re inevitably asked this dreaded question. Your confidence will lend you credibility, and when you sound confident, people are less likely to doubt you.

Working from Home: It’s All About Willpower

As with everything in life, your willpower is what will help you overcome challenges. For some, working from home might sound like the easy way out. But, for those of us who experience the work-at-home lifestyle, we know it involves a lot of hard work and willpower.

To fully reap the rewards of a work-from-home lifestyle, you’ll have to learn—and do—what works best for you. Trust me, you’ll find your sweet spot when it comes to work-life balance eventually.

To learn more about how to find success as a work-from-home mom, contact us at www.momsmakingsixfigures.com or (858) 837-1505.