October is National Work and Family Month!

October is National Work and Family Month. To start us off, here’s some information on the current state of work and family.

October is National Work and Family Month

…and I’m proud to be part of the cause.

October isn't just for Halloween anymore (my family as the Star Wars gang!)
October isn’t just for Halloween anymore (my family as the Star Wars gang!)

World at Work and its Alliance for Work-Life Progress, as well as many other organizations and advocates (include yours truly) are participating in National Work and Family Month (#WAWNWFM) in order to raise awareness of work and family issues. Part of this effort is a blogfest on the Huffington Post (of which I will be a part), plus events and social media outreach throughout the month.

Robin Hardman wrote an excellent blog piece, entitled “Musings on National Work and Family Month” to get things kicked off. In the piece, she discusses the progress being made in raising awareness of work and family concerns. Hardman provides a chart of the number of times “work-family balance” appeared in the New York Times over the past two decades. Her findings are very encouraging:

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The “Opt-Out Generation,” Mothers, Fathers, Work and Family

Welcome HBR Readers! Please take a look around (see the “best of” category link on the right-hand side of the page) and feel free to like/follow the blog and spread the word.

Most of us don’t want to opt-out of a rewarding, successful career. Most of us don’t want to opt-out of being a present, involved parent. Hopefully our generation can find a more balanced, integrated path.

A screencap of the recent NYTimes Magazine cover story
A screencap of the recent NYTimes Magazine cover story

The NYTimes Sunday Magazine’s fascinating cover story, “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In” by Judith Warner, paints a complex picture of the dynamics of work and family. While it focuses on high-earning women who gave up their careers to be stay-at-home moms, it has very interesting things to say about how men’s and women’s progress towards work-family balance are inextricably tied.

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Open Letter to the New York Times: There is No “Room for Debate” About the Value of Fathers

In its June 4th “Room For Debate“, the New York Times insulted fathers by questioning their purpose, role and potential contribution to families. My rebuttal to the very question, and my commentary on the contributors’ writings.

Dear New York Times-

SMH. I expect more from the “Newspaper of Record”

The New York Times questions whether fathers have a role in modern families. Really?
The New York Times questions whether fathers have a role in modern families. Really?

I don’t know where to begin.

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New York Times Op-Ed Piece Commentary: Susan Lambert is Right, But This is Not Only a Women’s Issue

I generally agree with the sentiment in this excellent NYT op-ed piece by Susan Lambert of the University of Chicago from last Thursday (Sept 20, 2012).  In it she argues that women on the low end of the wage scale are hurt by unpredictable and inconsistent work schedules (e.g., waitress shifts) and women on the high end of the wage scale are hurt by increasingly long time demands.

However, I find it limiting that her piece is written as if these are challenges unique to working women.  It seems to me that men face many of the same problems with their work schedules and demands, and that they would also benefit from the proposed reforms Dr. Lambert argues for. 

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