Blogging with my daugther on my lap about cool and contoversial things happening in kids and parents lifes and spice it up with some shopping happenings from Cool Junior

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The best careers for work-life balance

by Andreea Lofgren

The question of how to balance your work and family is a difficult one. The past two decades show that a great number of highly educated people choose jobs in finance. For this reason, many people expressed their worries that maybe the financial markets everywhere attracted too much of human resources that otherwise would have gone to different fields such as medicine, education, etc.

Now, this shift is felt even more by women who choose to pursue a career in finance and the cost is their struggle to keep a balance between career and family.

A research done by two Harvard alumni, answers college students question: which jobs offer the best choice of balancing work and family life?

The results show that finance is by far worst than law and academia. Another field that became increasingly popular over the past decades is consultancy. Medicine, on the other hand is looking promising as a highly paid profession with a lot of flexibility.

It’s a bit surprising to see medicine coming up as great career that allows work-family balance, when everybody knows that to become a doctor it take significant long study hours. But apparently, most doctors in their 30’s are presented with a wider set of options compared to candidates in other fields.

It’s true that certain medical specialities don’t allow a lot of flexibility, but a considerable number do. The same goes for public services jobs and master graduates in areas other than finances.

Group practices, when people share their work, is a growing in popularity. For example, a family’s obstetrician isn’t guarantee that he/she will deliver the baby (doctors take turns when they are on calls). Law and consultancy firms consider that work is too complicated to be passed from one employee to another, so they resist to approach this group work norm.

Research has shown that women largely prefer this type of work, but there is a growing hope that men will start take this kind of jobs too. (for the past decades men have increased their average time amount that they spent with their children).

Vintage sexism from a children's book

by Andreea Lofgren

This comes from a children’s book called ‘'I’m glad I’m a boy! I’m glad I'm a girl!’. The book was published in the 1950’ and was intended as a satire. The gender-based messaging is very straight forward. Nowadays is so much more subtle and nuanced.

I think we’ve come so far these days…
You can see the entire book posted here.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Mummy do you want an earth digger? I’ll buy you one!

Toddler almost throw his parents into ruin when she bought an earth digger online.

I think this story is as hilarious as it is disturbing: a New Zeeland couple, almost found themselves ruined by their three year old daughter, named Pipi, when she bought a digger on an internet auction.

Pipi’s mother, left the computer logged on after she was looking for toys online on an auction site . While she was asleep, Pipi tried her internet skills with the automatic log-in that her mom was using to access the auction website.

They found out the truth after receiving an e-mail requesting a payment of NZ$20,000 (£8,000) from the seller. The toddler’s family is lucky, as the seller doesn’t insist on the sale.

With this in mind, Sarah is urging other children’s parents to watch out for these kind of situations. "I've taken all my automatic log-ins off anything she could purchase from," she said.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

How ethical is to be an elderly mother?

A 66 years old business woman will become the oldest UK mother

by Andreea Lofgren

Today, in Sunday Times, I stumbled upon this piece of news: Elizabeth Munro, an UK business woman will give birth next month to her first baby and in early July she will celebrate her 67 anniversary. These two cornerstones will make her the oldest UK mother to give birth to a child. The news reignited the medical and ethical debate whether is good for elderly women to give birth.

Professor Severino Antinori, who is the IVF pioneer, said that Munro bided for motherhood a bit too late. In his opinion, the maximum age to have a child will be 63, because the average life expectancy is 83 and the average time when a child needs parents is between 18 to 20 years. This declaration fuelled a lot of debate around this pregnancy, and how ethical is.

Having treated more than 3000 women between 49 and 63 with IVF, Mr. Antinori declared he was shocked by the idea of Mrs. Munro giving birth of 67 years old and that she is taking a lot of risk, because any birth after 63 will not guarantee a loving mother for the baby.

Munro is described by her friends as very determent and private person, who doesn’t show her age. She was briefly married for 6 months to a business man and became step mother to his three grown up children. She has no siblings, and even to her friends this pregnancy came as a big surprise.

According to one of her friends declaration, she always wanted to have children, but they cannot understand why she waited for so long to make this step.

Margaret Murchie, former colleague at Delmore, the Suffolk business producing plastic products of which Munro is managing director, said ‘She is very dedicated to her work but she will make a good mother, I think.’’

Jane Page, the company secretary at Delmore, said: “Liz is a very focused and determined woman who would have considered things very carefully before she took a step like this. I was a bit surprised when she told me she was expecting a baby, but she knows what she is doing and, knowing her, would have made all the arrangements – I hear she has already hired a nanny.’’

Having build a strong business over the years, colleagues are expecting her to get back to work very soon, even with the new baby. A few years back she declared to one of her friends that if she would find somebody to run it, she might step down.

The questions here are: was she selfish for having a child of her own at this age? Why hasn’t she adopted years ago? Would it be fair for this baby to become orphan at 20 years old?

It’s hard to be in her shoes, but even if she feels strong and able to carry both a demanding career and a newborn at an age where the majority of people is playing golf and enjoying cruise vacations, there are great implication for an innocent person that is about to step out into this world.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Top iPhone Apps for New Mothers

by Andreea Lofgren

1. Photos

Trying to take a picture of your child can be very challenging. With Baby Cam's all sorts of noises including doorbells, drums and even songs you really have a great assistant to take your kid the perfect pick!

2. Nursing

Nursing tracker is the perfect organizer for early days of nursing. By using a tap record you can make notes of when was your baby last nursed, for how long and which side.

3. Health & Fitness

As I said to you before, breastfeeding for a month after giving birth won't get your old shape back. So Download to lose it! This application keeps track of your daily intake of calories and how much you burn through your exercise. For great work out try the iFitness application.

4. Music

For nap time, the aSleep application brings you 15 lullabies and has a timer as well. If your child is over stimulated, you can choose the White Noise setting, and you will hear an ambient noise like a fan, for example. Select the volume and set the timer.

5. Cooking

Ditch the cooking book with this application! With it you will always know all the ingredients for your recipe while you are grocery shopping. Having over 170,000 recipes from 100,000 users from around the world, you will have no headackes preparing the dinner for your fammily!The recipes are sorted by top-rated, read buying tips, and save recipes to try soon and if you want to try something new, press the refresh button or shake your device and you will get a random recipe from the BigOven archive. And if all those options sound overwhelming, try 4 Ingredients and choose from over 400 recipes that consist of... just four simple ingredients. Great!

6. Games

This one si perfect to keep quiet your toddlers while you are travelling for long car trips. With games like Scribble, your kids can draw right on the screen with their fingers. Shake it to erase it and start all over again! Another game is BugSquash , where they can squash bugs racing along the screen, by taping the touch button.

7. Education

By flipping through all kinds of pictures of food, animals, shapes and colour, it can teach your child the difference between a dog and a zebra, or the difference between blue and green. The application comes with multiple language translation so while your kid can see how dog looks like, you can say ''le chien'' in French.

Friday, 8 May 2009

5 truths about being a new mother

Unfold the great conspiracy of silence
by Andreea Lofgren

There is a great rule in parenting: never tell new parents how it really is! This is mostly applied in early stages: pregnancy and pre-school years.

So let’s take an example:

Your best friend, who just got pregnant, takes you out for a coffee. As you order a double espresso , because your children kept you up all night , she tells you that she wants to know everything. So what she thinks…

And you begin:

1. you shouldn’t be worry if you get fat, you will drop it in no time, especially if you breastfeed

2. giving birth is not so bad, and anyway your body is programmed to forget about the pain

3. breastfeeding can be tricky in the beginning, but it’s so natural that you will get the hang of it so quickly!

4. you’ll get used to not having so much sleep like you use to

5. taking care of a baby can really bring two people together

But what you really want to say is:

1. your stomach will never be the same, even if you go to the gym every day (which you won’t be able to because you won’t have the time) or try to breastfeed until you baby will start university
2. giving birth is quite terrifying, gas and air doesn’t work all the time. There will be blood and other fluids, that you will think you’ll making a CSI Miami scene and having people that you don’t know staring at your most intimate parts doesn’t leave you feel, empowering.

3. Breastfeeding can be hard; you will feel completely helpless when you can’t do it, people will look at you in disgust if you’ll try to feed your baby in public, it’s possible to get mastitis(which feels like pulsing headache, only in your breasts), you’ll leak in public, your nipples will feel like sandpaper, and just like your stomach, will never be the same…

4. You will loose your mind from lack of sleep. Even experienced military men were reduced to wrecks after three day of no sleep. You will have days when even putting some clothes on you will be a great achievement.

5. After the euphoria has passed, you and your partner will become shift workers and you will find yourself dropping off to sleep when he’s awake and the other way around. When he will leave in the morning to work, in the back of your mind you feel a sneaking suspicion that he spends longer and longer at the office, while you are dealing with milk bottles and endless diaper changes. Sex will be a distant memory, not so much because of physical changes after birth, but more because both of you are so tired and you won’t feel like having any. And don’t forget the smell from your baby sick…

This is one part of the story …the chaos. There is another side though; the part of endless love that you feel for this little bundle. For many women, the love they feel for their child surpasses anything they felt before. At first you don’t notice it, because you are still getting used to each other. But suddenly, one early morning, while the radio is on and this little milky person is asleep beside you, you will realise, that you will live this child more than life itself.

This is a new kind of love, and in it’s sense truly unconditional. But it can be also very frightening, not only for you as a mother, whose happiness depends of this unstable pink human bundle, but also for your partner. It’s a big change, from being the centre of your universe, to become a distant satellite. This can be very hard, especially if the ego inside is male.
So this is the reason, as an experienced parent you don’t tell the truth. She won’t understand the strange feeling when, once you feel completely elated with love for your baby and at the same time hopelessly trapped, until she will give birth. And you want for her to understand everything through her own experience.

So until then, my child is an angel, source of endless joy, I am so happy to be a new mom, my partner and I have as much sex as before and of course we don’t miss out our holidays abroad, going out with friends and spoil ourselves with consumer expensive and actual freedom.

Sarah Vine and Tania Kindersley 2009. Extracted from "Backwards in High Heels", to be published by Fourth Estate