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13 posts from September 2012

September 27, 2012

Should you tell your father he is doing his job search the wrong way?



My husband and son are going at it all the time. My son, being a teenager, thinks he knows everything about everything. That makes my husband crazy!

But there may be at least one surprising area that sons know more about than dad -- the job search.

A new study courtesy of Millennial Branding and Beyond.com found big differences in the way each generation conducts a job search. The younger generation seems to be having more success -- particularly in attitude.

This new study called The Multi-Generational Job Search  found most  out-of-work Boomers spend most of their time trolling job boards, particularly LinkedIn. It's no wonder that nearly 70 percent of them say they are frustrated and even depressed by the job search. Boomers also happen to be the generation for whom it's taking longest to find a job.

Sounds like dad is going about it wrong, doesn't it?

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Me 2.0. was surprised to learn that a mature out-of-work dad might be relying on social networks for a job search, even more than his fresh-out-of-school kid. "You would think they(Boomers) would return to how they always have looked for jobs, but they're not. I would recommend finding job opportunities online but meeting people in person off line to make the connection."

Meanwhile, Gen Y, the 20-somethings, aren't letting unemployment get to them. They're optimistic and willing to go back to school or start a business as an alternative to
unemployment, the study shows. They're spending time job hunting on Facebook and almost half of them have their own websites.

"This study confirms that Gen Y is optimistic about the future and is willing to do
whatever it takes to build a career..." Schawbel says.

Here's another area in which a Gen Y kid might need to enlighten his Boomer dad: Interview preparation.

The study found the majority of Boomers prepare for interviews by reviewing the company's website. Meanwhile, the majority of Gen Y prepares by practicing interview questions. Gen Y's approach works better.

"Gen Y probably practices interview questions more because they are just out of school," Schwabel says."Boomers have been interviewing their whole lives. They probably are not practicing as much because they think they already know how to do it."

Yet, clearly the results show Boomers need job search help. In a recent survey of 1,500 hiring managers, only 1% of respondents said it is easiest to place job-seekers in their 50s, as opposed to younger workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

There could be some age discrimination at play. The study found 65% of Boomers said they feel like they suffer from age discrimination in their search. Indeed, Schwabel believes younger workers are perceived as having skills that may be more relevant. 

However, Janette Marx, a senior vice president at Adecco, told Forbes.com: “There are many companies where mature workers are in high demand.” Her advice for mature workers, who may not have interviewed for a job for a long time: Sell yourself by talking specifically about accomplishments and quantify achievements with numbers.

 “You don’t need to be humble,” says Marx. “Make sure you are truly telling your story and selling yourself.”

So, readers, if your out-of-work parent was struggling with the job search, would he or she be open to your advice? Do you think older workers are going about the job search incorrectly or do you believe age discrimination is at play? 


September 26, 2012

How to squeeze more exercise into your day

At least once a week, I take my son to the lacrosse field. At first, I was sitting around for two hours, watching him practice and sometimes working on my computer. I saw a few other parents out there doing the same. So, I asked a few of them if they wanted to walk.

Now, a group of us come prepared in exercise clothes and take a brisk walk around the field. I get to watch my son, do some exercise, chat with other parents and use my time productively.

While that's my way of squeezing exercise into my work life balancing act, I found others who take another route -- they exercise right where they work. Sticking to a fitness routine seems to be a lot easier to do with co-worker encouragement.

Today, my column in The Miami Herald reveals some of the progressive ways that employers and employees are working together to improve health.

Companies promote programs to keep employees fit, well

With exercise and wellness programs, some companies are making it easier for employees to stay fit and healthy.

Get Adobe Flash player
Sylvia Davis examines City Furniture employee Sara Valderrama at the Wellnes Center room at City Furniture in Tamarac, September 18, 2012. City Furniture is opening a health and wellness center for its employes. It will be staffed by Holy Cross Hospital, and  employees get free medical services.

It’s lunchtime, and Gayle Goodman heads to the gym in her office tower where she and co-workers at AutoNation spend a half hour sweating through a jam-packed workout with a personal trainer. Then, it’s a shower and back to work. “It’s a quick and effective way of getting in exercise,” she says.

Finding time to exercise is one of the biggest challenges American workers struggle with today. While we know the health benefits, making fitness part of our routine just doesn’t happen for many of us — unless we do it on a job.

Around the country and in South Florida, businesses are stepping in to help employees who lack motivation to exercise on their own. They’re opening on-site fitness centers, creating walk trails and swimming pools, encouraging gym membership, offering lunchtime workouts and even bringing in at-the-desk exercise equipment.      

      Companies are beginning to realize their employees need help managing stress if they’re going to avoid burnout and stay productive, says Jennifer Owens, editorial director for Working Mother and Working Mother Research Institute. For the first time, the magazine has just published a list of 10 Best Companies for Health and Wellness. At these top companies around the nation, seven feature fitness centers, all offer fitness classes and many have on-site medical clinics. General Mills’ on-site fitness center offers personal training and massages, while Goldman Sachs holds a weeklong program on resilience and health. At Discovery, 65 percent of the workforce participated in a four-month fitness challenge.

“The companies that are successful are getting people to work together to get well,” Owens says. “The hours we’re at work are inching upward. If we can carve out time at work to exercise, that may the answer.”

Even as the economy struggles, corporate gyms are gaining in popularity, with 27 percent of companies in the South either having an exercise facility or giving discounts for employees to join a gym, according to an annual survey of health benefits by Kaiser. That was up from 21 percent in 2008.

For Goodman, an information technology director at AutoNation in Fort Lauderdale, it’s the convenience factor and the enticement of a mid-day stress reliever that lures her to the company’s gym: “Exercise is only an elevator ride away.”

Still, for most office workers, it takes the nudge of a co-worker to get past the psychological barrier that there is no time for exercise.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/25/3021280/companies-promote-programs-to.html#storylink=cpy

September 24, 2012

5 secrets of success from Emmy Winners



If you watched the Emmy Awards last night, you might have noticed that the winners revealed their secrets to success.

Here's what I noticed:

1. Winning takes teamwork. Every winner went right up to the stage and thanked their team. That got me thinking, who would I thank?  If you won an award for doing your job well, who would you thank? Who is on your team at home and at work that pushes you and supports you to be all you can be? The right team also is critical to career success and work life balance. If there are not enough people on your team, do something about it.

2. Every winner dressed the part. My favorite part of awards shows is seeing how celebrities dress and act when they are their true selves. Do they successfully pull off the role of winner? Look at how you dress and act at work. Do you look and act like a winner? If you set a goal of becoming a law firm partner or landing a new client, you need to act like you're already in the role. This doesn't mean go out and spend a fortune on clothes. It means carefully watching those who win and knowing what you need to change to make it happen for you.

 3. Winners get inspiration from others. Emmy winners openly talk about who inspires them, even if it's their competition. Last night, Damian Lewis of Homeland, winner for lead actor in a drama, said he was inspired by the other lead actors nominees: "What an extraordinary honour to be in a category with these golden actors setting a gold standard in acting in a golden age of TV." Are you looking around your workplace or studying your competition for inspiration?

4. Emmy winners overcome periods of doubt. There are exceptions, but most Emmy winners have had low points in their careers. Mad Men's Jon Hamm, for example, spent much of the mid-1990s in Los Angeles as a struggling actor. Unlike other actors his age, he looked older and was turned away for youth-oriented productions.  Hamm's Mad Men castmate Eric Ladin has said that one of the reasons he looks up to Jon is that while he "made it" later than most actors, Hamm never gave up on acting.  You may be out of work for a brief period and may even need to reinvent yourself, but don't give up on career success.

5. Losing isn't all bad. HBO's Girls creator and star Lena Dunham is only 26 and was nominated for 3 Emmys for directing, acting and writing. That's a HUGE accomplishment. She didn't win but she did get a lot of buzz. Sometimes we don't realize that just being on the radar is a step in the right direction. If a deal doesn't come through immediately or you don't get the title you're seeking, stay with it. Sometimes just getting noticed is a win.


I think the coolest part of being an Emmy winner is that the title sticks with you for life. For example, from now on, every time anyone introduces Claire Danes, last night's winner for lead actress in a drama, they will say "Emmy Winner Claire Danes." While I'd love "Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist" as part of my title, I'm equally happy with being introduced as Carly's mom. I think I play that part well. In the end, for me, that's what being a winner is all about. 


September 21, 2012

How to Copy Working Mother's 100 Best Companies

Have you ever wondered, "Why doesn't my employer get it?"

The good news is that some employers do get the concept that a business can turn a profit while still making life more manageable for working parents.

WMCoverOctoberNovember2012Working Mother just came out with its list of the 100 Best Companies and they are offering some very cool benefits. Some of those benefits, guaranteed to help with work life balance, are easy to replicate, even by small employers.

Check this out: AOL’s New York City office recently gave employee parents a break by babysitting their kids for an entire Saturday. That's an easy perk for a small business to offer.

Here's another cool program: At First Horizon National Corp. they have a Working Parents Network: “It gives those of us who are caring for others the chance to exchange ideas, share photos and cry on each other’s shoulders,” a member says.

The “top” companies on the Working Mother best list offered paid maternity leave, telecommuting options and on-site lactation rooms. This year, the winners have shown their commitment in new ways like elder care referral and legal assistance to help busy parents manage their responsibilities. Those two perks aren't expensive to offer and mean a lot to those who need them. 

Some of the best companies even offered back-up child care, adoption assistance, health screenings and smoking cessation programs. Twenty-three percent had on-site nap rooms. Does that make you jealous, or maybe a bit sleepy?

Many on the list, such as Valassis Communications, offered flexible work hours. I see that as a family-friendly benefit an employer of any size could provide to its workers. 

Valassis also offers child care reimbursement, a complimentary car seat for newborns, college care packages and convenience services like on-site fitness centers, family rooms and dry cleaning services. It also offers an adoption assistance program,  up to $5,000 toward the adoption of a child.

The interest in fitness to help with work life balance is increasing. At Abbott,  at least 75% of employees are enrolled in the LiveLifeWell initiative, which features 12-week exercise challenges and 10,000-steps-per-day walking competitions. I bet even a small business could engage its employees in an exercise challenge.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/09/18/4271590/valassis-named-as-working-mother.html#storylink=cpy

Here is a full list of Working Mother's 2012 100 Best Companies and some key statistics on their performance.

What one “family” benefit would you most like to have at your office?

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/18/4829686/2012-working-mother-100-best-companies.html#storylink=cpy

September 19, 2012

Does homework insanity lead to future workplace success?

I was sitting on the soccer field, reading a story in the Wall Street Journal, when I commented to a dad sitting next to me that somehow, this woman I was reading about had managed to get her kid out of doing homework.

"Wouldn't that be nice?" I sarcastically asked.

His answer surprised me. "I think homework helps with work ethic and career success." This dad, who sells printing services, went on to tell me about how much work he brings home and how he must respond to client calls and requests at all hours. "In our workplaces today, we bring work home and our future workers need to be prepared to handle it."

Hmmm....that got me thinking....below is the column that resulted from our discussion. I mostly hear from parents who consider homework a burden. I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether you think volumes of homework has benefits for future workers of America.

Coping with homework insanity


Does homework overload or help shape the next generation for what’s ahead? Or should we be providing some balance for kids (and their parents), too?

Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table. Weston resident Debbie Regent, 48, working parent with two girls, supervised her children homework for several hours in Weston on Sunday, September 16, 2012.
Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table. Weston resident Debbie Regent, 48, working parent with two girls, supervised her children homework for several hours in Weston on Sunday, September 16, 2012. 



The words slip off the tongue of the dad who triages a math assignment from his corner office or the mother who darts home from work to review dozens of spelling words: Stop the homework insanity!

I’ve uttered those words myself, often late at night after my daughter is melting down from hours of math problems on top of essays and chapter outlines. Ask almost any parent and they will tell you that the volume of homework that fills their kid’s agenda is overwhelming.

To rebel, books and websites have been dedicated to the Stop Homework movement, urging letter writing campaigns and teacher confrontation. Last week, I read about a woman who bragged that her grade school daughter had never done a lick of homework. Each year, the mom sits down with the teacher and principal and explains that her daughter will pay attention, get stellar grades and perform well on tests but she will not do homework. She tells the school they can alert her if intervention is required. Somehow, this has worked.

Yet, I’m wondering if we’re taking the wrong approach. Is the homework insanity we complain about as working parents the key to preparing our kids for the workplace of the future?

One father I know convincingly argues that homework, even volumes, is critical preparation for career success. “It’s not realistic for us to raise kids to think they’re going to work 9 to 5, leave and they’re done,” he said. “These kids are going to need to be well prepared to handle all the meetings and projects and emails that come at them in the workplace.”

Clearly, there are new rules we play by in the workplace today. If you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life, you have to work harder and smarter. Workplace experts say the next generation of workers will need to be innovators, problem solvers, open-minded risk-takers with the ability to learn new things, adapt to new work situations and maintain high productivity.

“The onus will be on workers to structure their time,” says Lynn Karoly, a senior economist with RAND Corp. who has studied the future workforce. From her own kids’ homework experience, Karoly says she’s seen a shift, with teachers giving short and long-term assignments, team projects and verbal presentations. “That’s indicative of the way students are expected to learn and the skills they will need in the workforce.”

Tell that to Debbie Regent, a mother of two girls, 14 and 10, who says homework stress is ruining her life. After a day of work, she arrives home to several hours of homework supervision. “There is a value to reinforcing what you learned that day through homework. There is not value in torturing a kid with five pages of math problems, when they have other classes with homework assignments as well.” Regent, a campaign executive with the Jewish National Fund, asserts that homework, much of which is just busywork, not only keeps kids from needed down time, it burdens parents, too.

September 18, 2012

How the Best Companies handle health and wellness

Every year I look forward to the Working Mother 100 Best Companies. I'm fascinated by who these savvy employers are and what they offer their workers. Like most working mothers, I'm envious of those parents who are fortunate enough to work for companies that want happy workers.

Now, Working Mother named for the first time the Top 10 Best Companies for Health
and Wellness. This new award recognizes top employers that have created programs and policies that encourage health and fitness as a way to reduce stress in the workplace.

The Top 10 Companies for Health and Wellness for 2012 are: Cornell University, Discovery Communications, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Mercy Health System, Morgan Stanley, Verizon Communications, and Wellstar Health System.

At these companies, seven feature fitness centers, all offer fitness classes and many have on-site medical clinics. General Mills’ on-site fitness center offers personal training and massages, while Goldman Sachs holds a weeklong program on resilience and health. At Discovery, 65
percent of the workforce participated in a four-month fitness challenge.

Jennifer OwensI spoke with Jennifer Owens, Editorial Director for Working Mother and Working Mother Research Institute, and asked her about the magazine's interest in health and wellness.

Q. Health and wellness certainly is on the minds of most working moms. How did the idea for finding the top employers in this category come about?

A. This was something the work life practitioners were talking about. They see it coming up as an issue because of burnout, employee engagement and productivity concerns. 


Q. Did you have a personal interest in the topic?

A. I used to handle wellness on my own when I was single. But between long hours,  keeping the business going and the kids, it's more complicated now. I'm completely passionate about this topic because I do personally need the help.

Q. What, to you, was most interesting about what the Best Companies in this category provide?

A. About 98 percent offer stress management. I thought, "Wow! That's cool because I’m stressed." I wondered, "What is that?"  I learned that it's time management, delegation, work strategy...breathing is part of it and communication is part of it. It's about being part of a supportive team. These companies are teaching employees how to manage their stress and be more resilient.

Q. For what you've seen, what's the key to wellness? What works?

A.  About 81 percent of these Best Companies have fitness centers and walking paths.
But the companies that see a difference are the ones who are getting people to work together to get well.

Q. It's great to work for a big employer that offer on-site fitness centers and other benefits but what can a small employer do?

A. I don't think it costs a lot to have someone come in and talk about stress management or nutrititon. Many small employers also get lower prices for their staff at the local gym. There is a way use the power of your workforce to get everyone involved. I worked at tiny publishing company and we got together and did lunchtime yoga. One lady led it and everyone got involved. It cost nothing. Most of us spend a lot of time at work. If we can carve out time at our workplace for health and wellness, that may be the answer.

Q. How do you squeeze fitness into your schedule?

A. It is very hard. To be completely honest, I should do more. I work from home on Fridays so I use my commute time to go to the gym and work out. I'm not at the point where I can work from home more often. I feel like I'm fighting an endless battle, but I'm working on it again. I think all of us at Working Mother are going to figure it out and come up with a plan. I may have to take the lead.

Q. I know most of the companies on your 100 Best understand the need for flexibility. Do you think there are employers who have made the link between flexibility and wellness?

A. They do at the 100 Best. I think they understand that how you get your work done feeds into your
sense of well being.


Here is a full list of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, now in its 27th year, and a link to how 10 working moms keep wellness on their to-do lists. I'm also including a fabulous infographic from Working Mother that shows some of the wellness benefits that the Best Companies offer. I think it's interesting that 97 percent offer a weight loss program. That's a tremendous benefit!



September 14, 2012

Be Careful Who You Step On


Stepping on

This morning I was horrified when I read one of my morning newspapers. On the front page was a photo and story about my former neighbor, Steve Lippman, who is being sentenced in federal court in Fort Lauderdale for his role in conspiring to help the Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein break federal election laws. Steve had asked some people in the community to write letters to the judge on his behalf. Dozens of people wrote glowing letters.

But one of the recipients of his request took the opportunity to stick it to him.

The first line of the article reads: They say be careful who you step on on your way up because they'll remember you on your way down.

It goes on to say: "Mr. Lippman wrote to me and asked that I send a letter to you saying positive things that I know about him. I do not know of anything positive to say to this court about Mr. Lippman. In the years I have known him, he has always been an arrogant lawyer," wrote Harris K. Solomon, a Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer who provided a few examples.

Of course, I'm sure Steve had no idea this guy felt this way. It made me think about what goes on in most workplaces. Sometimes, there are people we have no idea harbor resentment toward us. Then, one day, they stick it to us.

This happened to a friend of mine. She was up for a promotion and thought she had clinched it. She was stunned when the boss announced another colleague had landed the post. Days later, she found out a co-worker had gone to the boss and complained she was difficult to work with and  lacked the people skills to be a manager. She had no idea the person felt that way about her.

I'm wondering...has this ever happened to you? We've been told to get to the top, you're never going to be able to please everyone. But do you see it increasingly necessary to try, or will there always be people who will "stick it to you" in the workplace?


September 13, 2012

How to Become the Go-To Person

Go-to person

Just a year ago, a friend of mine knew nothing about social media a year ago. She didn't even have a Facebook page. One day, she woke up and decided she would immerse herself in learning about it during her off hours. She went to workshops and participated in webinars. About a month ago,  she volunteered to help her company market its products through Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. 

Suddenly, she's the go-to person at her company for all things social media. Her boss is in her office all the time asking for her help. She's made herself valuable.

That's how you become a go-to person!

The go-to person in the workplace is THAT guy or THAT girl who everyone needs to consult because that individual is great at one thing and that thing is something that everyone else needs to know about. It's one of the best ways to climb the corporate ladder, attract a new customer or get a raise.

Becoming a go-to person can be tricky. It may mean messing a bit with your work life balance. By that, I'm saying you might need to say yes to something you might otherwise have rejected.

Just last week, I went to an event where a female executive spoke about how she rose up the ranks in her investment banking firm. She said her ascenion started when she volunteered for a committee no one else wanted to join. While on the committee, she picked up certain financial skills that others at her company lacked. Suddenly, she was the go-to person for specific information and managers started looking at her differently, with more respect.

I've discovered another way to become a go-to person. This one requires a time commitment as well.

Try studying up on market trends and how they affect your industry. For example, how is technology going to affect dentistry, nursing, education? Go to  workshops, read the magazines, know your stuff so others need to rely on you for lessons or information.

If you're like me, you're already juggling way to many time demands, you might dismiss the notion of becoming a go to person. If you want to advance, that's not a good idea. Askmen.com has some more suggestions for becoming a go-to person.

What traits or characteristics do you think makes someone a go-to person? Do you think a go-to person also needs to be a self-promoter?


September 12, 2012

Co-working spaces, a cool option for mobile workers and the self-employed

After reading tons of hpye about new co-working and shared workspaces, I wanted to see what they were all about. Even more, I wanted to know who works from them. Why spend money to rent a desk or an office for the day when you can hang in Starbucks? I see business meeting going on in Starbucks ALL the time.

So I went out to investigate and met some interesting people who find this increasing popular way of working works for them.

Here's my article in today's Miami Herald


  Ray knight
Ray Knight works from Regus business lounges in between client meetings



The Miami Herald

Many mobile workers are flocking to co-working spaces

By Cindy Krischer Goodman






In between client meetings, Ray Knight, a business-development strategist, has popped into a business lounge in Hollywood to occupy workspace on the fly. He is suited up, seated in an open work pod, and putting finishing touches on a presentation. Knight calls this routine part of his lifestyle. “I have my briefcase and laptop and access to workspace without distractions.”

This hot new trend of grabbing workspace on the go has me perplexed. Business lounges and co-working spaces are sprouting up in cities and suburbs nationwide, even fueling websites and new apps designed to help those looking for temporary workspace. But why are people incurring the cost of using shared office space when they can hole up in a coffee shop or work from home? I set out to find out.

Knight tells me has a home office. Yet, he pays a monthly fee of $30 to work as needed from Regus business lounges throughout South Florida. As he travels from the Keys to West Palm Beach, he will stop by a center, occupy a desk, print documents, use WiFi, tap the support staff, and get access to conference rooms to meet with clients. “It’s convenient and helps me give off a professional image.”

Image, it turns out, is a big part of the attraction. For today’s growing crop of free agents, entrepreneurs, and remote workers, pulling off the image of serious business person can be hugely important.

One professional explained to me that rent for a day is worth keeping up appearances. Having your guest greeted by a receptionist and offered coffee adds an extra layer of creditability, says attorney Cynthia Arevalo who frequents business centers in Aventura, Boca Raton, and Plantation.

With a shift in how people work, co-working spaces are being created in cities across the country by big industry players, such as Regus with 1,200 locations, including 25 centers in South Florida, and small operators like the new Pipeline opening on a floor of a Miami office tower. In these business centers, desks or private offices are rentable by the hour, day, or month. The usage comes with amenities such as access to a receptionist, copy machine, printer, fax, scanner, and kitchen. Rates vary depending on amenities, but rates for a desk can run about $15 to $20 a day or about $200 a month, while private offices can start around $25 an hour, $100 per day, and $400 per month.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/11/2997495/many-mobile-workers-are-flocking.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/11/2997495/many-mobile-workers-are-flocking.html#storylink=cpy




September 11, 2012

The babies of 9/11

When the tragedy of 9/11 hit, It had just been two weeks since my maternity leave had ended and I had gone back to work. I remember how hard it was to leave my little baby boy behind that morning and head to the newsroom.

When I went to sleep that night, I cried for the mothers and fathers who were killed in the tragedies of the day and didn't come home to their babies. I said a prayer for those babies, asking for them to live a happy life and always feel loved, even if they would grow up without ever knowing their mom or dad.

Today, my baby is 11 years old and he just started middle school. There have been days when balancing work and motherhood has been challenging. Their have been days when a work conflict has prevented me from picking my son up at the bus stop or making it to a soccer game. When that has happened, I have felt guilty.

Whether we love or hate our jobs, most working mothers feel guilt at times. Typically, we're fending off guilt about whether we're spending enough time with our kids, whether day care is screwing them up, whether they're the only kid whose mom forget to pack lunch...

But today, on the anniversary of that horrible day 11 years ago, I'm reminded that even if I miss a special event at my son's school or dinner with my family once in a while, I'm there most of the time. I'm a presence in my children's lives. I'm sure that those babies I prayed for would do anything to have their mom (or dad) who died that day around as much as I'm there for my kids.

I've read the stories of 9/11 children and this is the what one them said about his dad: "We honor him by living the life he’d have wanted for us."

To all the working parents out there, doing their best to juggle work and family, I say give yourself a break. If you're guiding your children in the right direction and seeing them living the life you want for them, you have a lot to be thankful for today.