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Work-Family Policy

31 Jul

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Marine Corps Marathon, Training Tips

July 31, 2007 | By | 2 Comments

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Your Business Blogger and me

running the Richmond Marathon We are training for our third marathon. And this year The Dreamer will be able to join us.

She has done a triathlon, so she knows training and preparation and, well, pain, I think. A child’s pain, is always more painful to parent than child.

Which makes this marathon doubly painful. I got mine. I got hers.

Jack is a pain…sometimes. And sometimes not.

So we have the hurts and the runners’ high at the same time. Highs and Lows. Contradictions.

Except I’m not sure just how much pain she’s in. The Dreamer has not been running for a decade yet. (One track coach said she had natural talent. The only thing her parents could do was mess her up…) At the track, she laps her parents with ease.

So we don’t really know her pain level, but we do know ours. And knowing the pain will be a-coming, the hardest part is getting started. We are using the Jeff Galloway training program and he has advice for GETTING STARTED,

Those who run for 20 years or more tend to have the following things in common:

They enjoy most of the miles of almost every run.

They take extra days off from running to recover from aches, pains and burnout.

They don’t let goals (and training schedules) interfere with running enjoyment.

Or any of life’s enjoyments. With all of its contradictions:

Life is solidary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

And,

Life is Good.

On our New Balance we’ve had more of the latter than the former.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

This is an unpaid advertisement/endorsement – From Running Getting Started by Jeff Galloway.

Nasty, Brutish and Short is not a law firm. But there is a very good blog Nasty, Brutish & Short, Penned by legal counsel, of course. Jack and I share a passion for ellipitcals with the lawyer at NBS. Both the trainers and reasoning, I guess.

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Family Policy Councils: The Real Grass Roots Needed for the Next Conservative President

January 9, 2007 | By | One Comment

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Policy Review

November & December 1996In the mid-nineties, Charmaine wrote a column for Policy Review magazine. One of her articles reviewed the Family Policy Councils. The FPCs are state based non-profits considered faith-based, cultural and economic conservatives.

A conservative president usually needs Ohio to win. And the embrace of the Family Policy Councils.

These state-based organizations work somewhat with the Family Research Council in DC and Focus on the Family in Colorado.

Originally published in 1996; and even more important today.

State Groups That Fight for Mom and Dad

by Charmaine Crouse Yoest

Rudy Gonzalez, a “cowboy poet” with a handlebar mustache and a home-on-the-range accent, strummed his guitar, then launched into a joke. The crowd relaxed into laughter as he regaled them with tall tales and folk wisdom.

This is the Idaho Family Forum’s annual summer fundraiser, the Spud Bake, where this group of moms and dads marks the end of summer by eating baked potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by spud-shaped ice cream.

But cowboy poetry soon gave way to public policy. U.S. Senator Larry Craig rose to address the group, and the question-and-answer session that followed was brisk and well informed. The Idaho Family Forum (IFF) and its supporters are dedicated to changing cultural trends that are undermining the stability of families — from no-fault divorce to teen pregnancy to chronic welfare dependency.

Led by executive director Dennis Mansfield, a former businessman, the IFF is part of a growing national movement of independent, state-based policy organizations called Family Policy Councils (FPCs). There are now more than 30 such organizations across the country, loosely affiliated by shared goals, common strategies, and mutual support. In order to win the ears of lawmakers, the media, and academics, they prefer research over rallies and education over activism.

Continue reading at the jump

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger served on the Board of Directors for The Family Foundation, a Family Policy Council in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Work and Family: One Size Does Not Fit All

December 23, 2006 | By | No Comments

No ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions: Family expert Charmaine Yoest says creativity, flexibility are keys to resolving work/family issues

Charmaine Yoest acknowledges that creative solutions to juggling work and family are never easy. “That’s part of why I study it as an issue.”

By Elizabeth Kiem [from May 14, 2004]

Charmaine Yoest, a doctoral candidate in U.Va.’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, is an up-and-coming young expert on family policy issues.

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Charmaine Yoest

Photo by Andrew Shurtleff By normal counts, her 10 years at the University have been hyper-productive: Her papers on the subject are prolific, as are her media appearances, congressional testimonies and academic presentations. She has written a book on working mothers and is completing a second on parental leave policies.

But Yoest’s career must be viewed in the context of a not-so-typical doctoral student’s family life — she is the 39-year-old mother of five children, ranging from age 10 to infancy.

“I hope it’s inspirational to some,” she said of her ability to pursue her studies and career even with a full capacity mini-van. “Obviously I couldn’t do what I’ve done unless my husband was willing to live a nontraditional life as well.”

Yoest acknowledges that her domestic situation, with close family near by to step into the child-care breach and a husband willing to reduce his workload significantly to help raise children, has been unusually conducive to her career. Nonetheless, she would like to see more families adopt a “nontraditional lifestyle” to accommodate childrearing and professional equality among the parents.

There is such an emphasis on work and family that sometimes the family gets lost because people are so focused on ‘how can we facilitate work? she said.

A regular on the political talk-shows, Yoest is careful with her words, aware of just how politicized the debate has become. She is quick to emphasize that her pro-family stance in no way negates her advocacy for women to pursue careers and advanced education, as she has done. The mission, she says, is to find creative ways to do both — and women require the participation of spouses and employers to do so.

Continue reading at the jump.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Originially published by UVA Insider May 2004.

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The Personal and the Polis: The Intersection of Individualism, the Family and the State (Part 1 of 3)

November 28, 2006 | By | No Comments

The family is the foundation of the city and what we might call the ‘seedbed’ of the polity.

Cicero, De Officiis

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CiceroThis article intends to examine the ontological status of the individual and the family in society and address the question of how political theory has viewed the family as a societal institution throughout history.

In order to give an over-arching account of the sweep of trends in political thought on the family, this examination will trace the broad contours of shifts in philosophic approaches, rather than examining any one period or thinker in depth.

Contrary to what one might expect, the progression of political thought did not move in a linear progression from a more collectivist, familial-oriented emphasis to a postmodern radical individualism. Although it is true that, in general, historically the family was accepted as a foundational institution more than it is today when even the very definition of a “family” is under review, the legitimacy of the family as an institution has never gone entirely unchallenged. For example, Plato viewed the family as a threat to the unity of the polis, while Aristotle viewed the family as a societal necessity.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

This work was originally published by Charmaine at the University of Virginia.

Management Training Tip: Every manager should be able to reconstruct, rebuild and restart his business unit, if the building burns down; the essence of ISO 9000. Start with the family album. Your highest priority.

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27 Oct

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The Bloggin' Boy. . .

October 27, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

I’ve created a monster! I can’t get my computer back from my boy! I’m reduced to Blackberry blogging.

Great picture of the Dude in the Blogging Scrum will follow if I can ever get my laptop back…

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Read more on The Dude’s blog entries about the Blogger’s Convention here.

The Sky is Falling: Elite Women Want Motherhood?

September 20, 2005 | By | 11 Comments

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The New York Times is horrified. Elite young women at presitigious Ivy League schools are indicating an interest in, gasp, motherhood.

The article is heavy on anecdote and fails to ever explain its methodology — the source of its “data” is email responses from some young women at the Ivy’s. So, even though I think the conclusion is interesting and one that I agree with, in all honesty the researcher in me has to point out to you that this is not terribly reliable reporting.

The more interesting question is: what is the Times up to here?

Well, the headline may read neutrally: “Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood,” but the text is anything but. The idea that young women might choose motherhood is clearly, from their perspective, a bad trend.

Let me offer my own anecdotal evidence: frankly, the young women the Times quotes, who feel comfortable expressing a preference for motherhood, don’t sound at all like the co-eds I taught at the University of Virginia, who felt pressured to be single-mindedly devoted to a high-powered career track — and would admit to interests in marriage and motherhood only sotto voce.

Here’s the good news, Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton, said to the reporter:

“There is nothing inconsistent with being a leader and a stay-at-home parent. Some women (and a handful of men) whom I have known who have done this have had a powerful impact on their communities.”

Cheers for her.

Here’s the bad, from Peter Salovey, dean of Yale:

What does concern me, is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn’t constructed along traditional gender roles.

The man is dean at Yale and he misses the irony that he is the one who isn’t thinking outside the box?

Memo to Peter: You’ve got it exactly backward. In today’s world, thinking outside the box involves constructing a life outside traditional male career paths. For both men and women, but especially for young women.

It is precisely the female inclination to think outside the box — sequencing, part-time work, entrepreneurial innovation — that is enlivening the 21st century work world.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse also reacting. She uses as a title the quote from a Harvard administrator: “When we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?” Goes to my point.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Anchoress weighs in, and picks up on this quote: “They (these young women) are still thinking of this as a private issue; they’re accepting it,” from a Yale women’s studies prof, natch.

And Betsy Newmark.

It’s Just What Moms Do . . .

April 30, 2005 | By | No Comments

If you are coming over from LaShawn’s Corner, welcome!

With the writing I’ve been doing on women in combat, I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between men and women, moms and dads. A lot of people want to argue that there isn’t much difference.

But my friend and mentor, Steve Rhoads, wrote a book this last year Taking Sex Differences Seriously which lays out all the evidence that, in fact, moms and dads, while equally important, are not interchangeable. (You can find a direct link to get this important book on the left sidebar!) For example, moms are better able to hear their baby’s cry than dads are. Strange, but true.

This week was the Dude’s tenth birthday, so we had the cousins over last night. The Penta-Posse plus Two were camped out in the family room, including the Dancer, who hasn’t been feeling very well this week. The physical space separating us included stairs and a door. . .

In the middle of the night, I woke up, for no obvious reason, so started trying to go back to sleep. But I couldn’t. Something felt wrong. I listened carefully. I heard nothing. Or was there something faint?

I decided to check on the kids since I was awake, and as I opened the door to head down the hall toward the family room, I heard the Dancer crying as if her heart would break. She was curled up in a ball on the couch, the blanket on the floor, her body cold, her head hot.

Why didn’t you come to me, baby? I asked.

It was dark. . . I was scared. . .

I got her some medicine, took her to our room, and got her settled in snugly. She burrowed in and went to sleep immediately. With the commotion, Jack woke up. What’s going on?

Over the years, with five kids, we’ve had our fair share of multiple kids throwing up, so he’s been a part of plenty of night-time traumas.

But, usually, mom is the one who hears the first cry. It’s just what moms do.