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13 posts from July 2010

July 06, 2010

Money can't buy love, but what about happiness?


 You are plodding along, giving your company your all, and balm out of no where your boss asks you to take a pay cut. This didn't actually happen to me but it happened to many of my colleagues and it stinks.

Now I look at them and wonder....does less money make them less happy in the long run?

Let's face it, those who make more money have an advantage in the work/life balance arena. They can afford a nanny, a reliable means of transportation, convenience services like dog walkers and take-out meals. It also can ease financial stress which often causes fights among spouses.

A new Gallup study  puts things in perspective and guess what? Pulling in the big bucks makes people more likely to say they are happy with their lives overall -- whether they are young or old, male or female, or living in cities or remote villages, the survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries found. 

While big bucks can lead to satisfaction, positive feelings are less affected by money and more affected by feeling respected, in control of your life and having friends and family. Most of us want both, respect, friends and family and the big bucks.

"When people evaluate their life, they compare themselves to a standard of what a successful life is, and it turns out that standard tends to be universal: People in Togo and Denmark have the same idea of what a good life is, and a lot of that has to do with money and material prosperity," said Daniel Kahneman, a professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University. "That was unexpected."

As noted in the Washington Post, pprevious studies had suggested that money was associated with happiness. But the relationship appeared weak, and earlier work tended to focus on individual countries without examining differences across nations.The new survey -- the first large international study to differentiate between overall life satisfaction and day-to-day emotions -- makes that crucial distinction, allowing researchers to explore the elusive concept of happiness in much greater nuance. 


I look at it a little differently. I don't necessarily believe being a billionaire makes you happier but I do think being financially comfortable does.  What do you think? Does a big income mean happier days?


July 05, 2010

Is 70 too old to become a mother? Is 13 too young to become a father?

I just read an article about an Indian women who has given birth at age 70 and become the world's oldest mother. Is that crazy? For those of us in our 30s, 40s and 50s raising kids and wishing we had the energy we did in our 20s, can you imagine how this 70 year old will feel?

On The Today Show, Dr. Nancy Snyderman talked about the health risks and the ethical debate over women who have kids after menopause.

Old mother

If that story has your knickers in a knot, get a load of this:MomLogic.com has posted a video of a 13-year-old father being asked how he plans to support his newborn. The boy doesn't have much of an answer.

I'm not sure which of these two tales is worse? There's a reason more women are not having children today. Pew Research just released a recession survey that found people are postponing having a baby. They can't afford it. Can either this boy or this women balance raising these children and supporting them? I think not. How sad!

July 01, 2010

Co-Parenting after divorce creates balance issues

In researching my father's day article, I talked to several dads who had joint custody of their children. They were going through the same machinations that many working moms deal with on a daily basis -- getting out of work in time to pick kids up from after care or rescheduling morning meetings to get a child to school on time.

But co-parenting, especially after a divorce, is tricky. I've seen some ugly situations out there. Doing it the right way can make a tremendous difference in in how much it affects your relationship with your kids and your work life balance.

I read some great tips today from Family therapist Terry Real on the ABCNews blog for how to successfully co-parent when your relationship is over. Here are a few:

  • Don't vent your anger in front of the children. Save it for a friend or your therapist. Recognize that the co-parenting relationship is a marathon and not a sprint, and that you remain bonded for life through your children.

  •  Let bygones be bygones, and help each other out if you can. If your ex needs a break on the schedule this week, you may need a break next week, so be a team.

  • Make the distinction between you two as a couple and as co-parents.

  • Think of divorce from a child's perspective. To effectively co-parent, both parents need to live near to each other so children don't have to travel too much or too far.

How has divorce affected your work-life balance? Is there anything you have done in co-parenting that makes life easier?