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13 posts from January 2009

January 07, 2009

Work /ife balance in the circus


Circus life always sounded glamourous to me -- visiting cities, entertaining kids, wearing sparkly clothes. It just didn't seem very conducive to family life. Until I met the Stuart family. Mike Stuart is the general manager of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus (Blue Unit). He travels with his wife, Mary, and two children, Katherine, 8, and Tylar, 3.


I wrote about Mike's work/life balance today in my Miami Herald column. What I learned was that regardless of what job you have, there are ways to find balance between work and family. It's like Mike said, "''It's difficult when your job is 24/7 but I make the time.''


January 05, 2009

Facebook bans nursing moms

    For those of you who haven't heard, a controversy is stewing over Facebook's ban on photos of nursing moms.

     An online news story says the controversy started when Kelli Roman, 23, last year posted a photo of herself on Facebook nursing one of her two children. One day, she logged on to find the photo missing. When she pressed Facebook for an explanation, she got form e-mails in return. Roman responded by starting a Facebook group called "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" Today the group — part petition, part message board, part photo-sharing hub — has more than 97,600 members.

      Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt says "We decided nudity was something we didn't want on the site. It doesn't matter the context."

      Now, mom sites like Mom Logic are joining the conversation, arguing that photos of nursing mothers are inspirational.

     Honestly, I'm pretty ticked off about the whole conversation. Mothers have so many better things to be up in arms about. Our public school systems is a huge mess. We still aren't getting equal pay at work. Our country's employers are losing their incentive to offer flexibility. If we're concerned about the breastfeeding issue, we should be concentrating our efforts on encouraging employers to allow nursing mothers short breaks to pump or run home to nurse their babies.

      If you want to nurse, great. But do you need to post a photo of yourself nursing for everyone (including the kids who surf those sites) to see? Why?  I nursed three kids so I'm all for breastfeeding. But I think there are so many more important issues for mothers to speak out about than the right to put such a photo on Facebook.

      What are your thoughts on this controversy? Do you think this issue deserves the attention it's getting?


January 02, 2009

Forced time off

    I just read an article about the new trend: forced time off with no pay. It sounds like a rotten deal. Universities, hospitals and all kinds of other employers see it as a way to save money and jobs. They are forcing workers at all levels to take a few weeks of unpaid leave. These employers consider this a quick way to trim payroll for the short term

       I'm not sure which is worse, losing your job or losing it temporarily. At least if you lose your job, you can begin looking for the next one. This business of forced unpaid vacation bothers me because there's a chance of it happening repeatedly. Most workers count on year round income. Sure, we'd all like some time off. But time off without pay. I consider it a dangerous trend. Your thoughts?