Pandemic or not – It’s Single Working Women’s Week 2021!


It’s that time again to reflect on what an amazing single woman you are. You not only earn the bacon yourself, you also bring home the bacon, cook it, clean it up, and take out the trash. You keep the house clean (in whatever way makes you comfortable), keep the pantry and fridge stocked, and pay the bills. You comfort yourself when you get hurt. You find joy in the small things as well as the big ones.

And if you’re lucky, you have a few other amazing single friends to share your joys, trials and tribulations with. Friends are precious – golden. Chicago has been a gold mine of friendship for me. Happily, we’ve been able to maintain our bond via virtual gatherings/happy hours while we’ve remained sequestered during this pandemic.

If you’re also a single mom, extra-extra kudos to you. There are no words to describe the joy – and agony – of meeting the challenges of single parenthood.

Congratulations on your successful single life, ladies. Hope you are vaccinated and surviving the pandemic with grace and good humor. Even if you haven’t achieved all – or even any of – those lofty goals you hoped you would during lockdown, you’re still afloat. Be proud!

Happy Single Working Women’s Week – August 4-11 – AND Single Working Women’s Day August 4, 2013


Our special holiday is upon us once again. Single Working Women’s Week is August 4 to 11 this year. And now we have a Single Working Women’s Day on August 4 every year!

We urge everyone everywhere to  honor your single working women friends. Send her a card. Offer to take her garbage out. Or babysit her kid(s). Or cook dinner for her, or surprise her with a meal at her favorite restaurant. Sometimes just even spending a few hours together can feel special – even just going to the store together.

My life as a single semi-retired working woman has been mighty busy these last couple of years. Between health challenges and helping raise my lovely granddaughter (now 6), I haven’t had much time to reflect on living single. But this coming holiday week is a good time to do it. Rosie the Riveter is the image that caught on to represent all the women who went to work while the men fought WWII. Today women are everywhere in the work world. And nearly half of  women in the U.S. today are single (including divorced, widowed and never married).

A real-life

A real-life “Rosie the Riveter” operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tennessee, working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber. Downsampled from original and sharpened slightly and resaved to increase managability of file. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many single women today who find the elusive “right” guy simply isn’t coming on the scene, my daughter decided almost seven years ago to have a baby on her own. Her greatest passion in life has always been for children – she even spent her pre-teen and teen years working in a home daycare setting across the street from our house.  She is great with kids. I cheered her choice; I was sure she’d do a wonderful job despite all the challenges I knew she’d face being a single mom.

And she is.

I love being able to watch the future taking shape in the mind of a bright and happy little girl. Whether she ends up finding her soulmate one day and chooses to marry or she chooses the single life, she will never forget the passion, the energy, the devotion and the commitment of her single mom – and her single grandmom!

So here’s to all of us SWWANs: Happy Single Working Women’s Week and Single Working Women’s Day! Kudos to you for the passion and energy and creativity you  put into making your single life a celebration every day.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Single moms: How to protect your kids’ future


Universal Life Insurance Company

Universal Life Insurance Company (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

If you’re a single mom, whether divorced or never married, you’re likely always thinking about how to ensure the health and welfare of your child(ren) no matter what happens to you. The task of picking someone to become guardian is the first and most daunting one. What if you don’t have a friend or relative who’d want to do it—or who’d have the required patience and energy? Here are 7 big questions you need to consider when it comes to appointing a guardian for your kids.

Then there’s money. If you aren’t around anymore or become disabled and can’t earn an income, who’s going to finance the rearing of your kid(s)? Recent stats put the minimum amount to raise a child at $286,000, according to a CBS report on figures from the Department of Agriculture (huh? the DoA?). And the more money you make, the more you spend on rearing your child(ren) so if you’ve got money, that number could be substantially higher.

The cost of life insurance is not included in that hefty figure. Now I’ve not had any life insurance since the days I was married, so I’m not an expert on this topic. But I do know I wished many times that I could have afforded some. And I know that many sources I’ve checked over the years advised that term life insurance was the best type to invest in. That said, here’s an article that talks about the potential benefits of life insurance, either term or whole life, for single parents. It makes some good points. But consult other resources that aren’t affiliated with the insurance industry before you make a decision.

For myself it was a huge relief when my kids grew up and became independent. My daughters did have to put up with a lot because there was a divorce, but we are lucky. They’re both wonderful adults I’m proud to call my family. Be strong. Be creative. You can do it, single moms!

And don’t forget to congratulate yourself and all your single friends this July 29 through August 4—it’s Single Working Women’s Week again. Celebrate your courage and creativity. It’s a special time to be good to yourself and to all your single women friends.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Who are you now, and what do you really want?

Mothers love
Image via Wikipedia

We women—single, single-again, married, cohabiting—all face unique situations and circumstances. But the ways in which any one woman suffers or feels confused or worries or wonders “what’s next” are not so different from those of other women.

Got a newsletter today from Dr. Karen Gail Lewis. She’s a warm and kind professional therapist who helps couples and families but also specializes in helping women who are single, single-again, or thinking about becoming single-again, or who’ve done all that society expected and just don’t know what they want now—she calls them “Empty Nexters.”

Dr. Karen has an interesting list of questions in her newsletter. They’re directed at women who are questioning “what’s next” about their own lives. I’m directly quoting it here so you can respond—in your head, on paper, or in your heart—if any of these questions resonates with you.

  • Think back to childhood, young adulthood. What were some of your dreams back then that you lost along the way?
  • Read magazines and even want ads. See what topics catch your interest. Don’t apply for anything; just be open to see what draws you.
  • Silence the inner voice that says, “I couldn’t,” or “I’d love to, but….”
  • Finish this sentence, “I would love to….” Don’t think about it, just write it out and see what words come.
  • Whose voice is inside your head saying, “You can’t!”?
  • What would your husband and children say if you were to say whatever came at the end of that sentence above?
  • What would your mother, father, siblings say if you were to do something entirely new and exciting with your life now?
  • Give yourself space to flush out old tears – for lost lovers, lost opportunities.
  • Attend a weekend retreat, just for women like you, Empty Nexters, figuring out what comes next.

Dr. Karen’s weekend retreats are specifically designed for women. Even if you don’t end up going to a retreat, she’s very generous about sharing her wisdom. You can read her inspiring words by visiting and subscribing to her newsletter at Dr. Karen Gail Lewis’s website.

Oh, and PS. There’s a special deal on pricing for the retreat—good only until September 15, so check it out today.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chicago real estate and single women

Lincoln Park during the winter.
Image via Wikipedia

Hate the heat. So I thought I’d show you Lincoln Park in the snow.

Growing pains—well, changing pains.  I’m happily settled in my new digs in the busy Lakeview area of Chicago, learning even more about why people love this city.

My condo in Logan Square is on the market. I bought it from a single woman. I owned it as a single woman. And there are two other single-woman-owned units in our beautifully rehabbed building. Chicago—as is the case with most large cities—is a great place to be a single woman. So many job opportunities. So many things to do and places to go and people to meet. Full of adventure, yet not overwhelming. I’ve met and made friends with more single women in the few years since I returned to Chicago than I did in my 33 years in Cleveland.

My granddaughter (she was 3 in July) and I are spending more time together lately while her single-mom Perri is busy working for her real estate customers. How’s the market in your neck of the woods? Perri says it’s still pretty slow in Chicago, except for some precisely circumscribed areas known as “the” hot areas of the city—Lincoln Park and Bucktown being two of them. But even a block or more outside the boundaries of those neighborhoods, she says, sales are still slow.

For more tips about the market, single-mom ideas, fun stuff to do, and ways to make your home more beautiful, subscribe to Perri’s blog, ChicagoLifeandStyleBlog.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How do you define courage?


Being a single working woman takes courage–in our society or anywhere. Being a single working mom takes even more courage. Just saw a movie on Netflix instant view about a single working mom in 1960s-70s Poland who quietly spearheaded a movement that turned into a massive triumph for labor rights. After numerous struggles–she didn’t even know how to read or write and had to learn that in order to get a job running a crane that would allow her to work somewhat fewer hours each week than her former welding position–and including watching overworked fellow workers die in fires related to crappy work conditions, she suffered jail, beatings, firing, and more. Her championing the cause of fairness to workers eventually led to an industry-wide strike that at last crippled the Polish “party” politicians who’d taken over the oppression of the workers after Hitler was kicked out.

The bonus is that embedded in the film is a beautiful, though brief, love story.

Most of us aren’t firebrand activists and never will be. But God bless the people who are willing to sacrifice so much to fight for justice. Check it out on Netflix–it’s called simply Strike. You won’t find it on Amazon.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave It to Beaver family values aren’t outdated


Leave it to beaver_Game_Board_01Watching an episode of the old Leave it to Beaver TV series from the 50s. Beaver is showing his mom some beautiful drawings he found in a sketchbook. Mom tells him they’re his father’s work. And Beaver decides he’ll ask his dad to draw his school poster for him. Mom, by the way, is dressed in an elegant shirtwaist dress with a ring of pearls adorning her slender neck and nonchalantly dabbing furniture polish on her perfectly clean rag and tenderly dusting the top of an elegant cabinet in the front hall. Looks just like the way most moms live today…not.

The lesson of the show was great. Kids need to do their own posters for school–not get their parents to do the work. But there was an interesting scene in the classroom. After two girls volunteered to dress dolls up in costumes of the American revolution, a boy raised his hand, too. The teacher sternly corrected the boy. “That’s not funny,” she said. “Everybody else thought so,” said the boy.

Makes me think of the changes that have gone on in our culture in the several decades I’ve been an adult. Interestingly, many modern parents who offer dolls to their young sons find the boys still tend to choose guns and tanks anyway—or at least dolls that turn into huge-monster fighting guys.

But the most beautiful part about Leave it to Beaver is how much the dad respects the mom. I’ve always remembered a quote I read years ago. “The best gift a man can give his children is to love their mother.” Beaver and Wally’s dad loved and respected their mom.

That’s one thing a child might miss when being raised by a single mom alone. But, oh, the wonderful things that baby may have with its single mom can be forces just as powerful–for the positive or the negative. It’s more about the mental health and self-esteem of the custodial parent, no matter what the marital situation.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Begging ex-spouse for help with child care?


Saw a good post over at “Work It, Mom!” about a single mom having to “ask permission” to get the father to take responsibility so she can have some time to herself. Whereas the dad just calls up and says “I can’t make it this weekend, I’m going away” – even though it’s his scheduled time and the mom has plans she’s expected to drop.

Classic stuff. I can totally relate to this scenario of frustration. The worst part is it can feel like you’re still married to the person–which you went through the hell of divorce to get out of!–but without any of the partnership benefits (even if they were pathetically small at best).

The comments are interesting. Some claim it’s a man vs. woman thing rather than a single vs. married mom (‘cuz lots of married moms report the same thing). Others–including the lone single dad who responded–claim it’s a case of not handling the situation assertively and aggressively enough–that you’re a doormat if you let someone (male or female) get away with treating you like that.

They all have valid points. If I’m being a doormat because I don’t know how to assert myself, maybe a little training is all I need. If I’m a doormat because I don’t believe I’m worth it, a little therapy might be in order (or at least a bunch of positive affirmations).

But if your ex- (or spouse) is a pathological type who couldn’t care less about the kids and is more concerned with controlling/manipulating you–and unhappily, people like this are not uncommon–you can certainly try the assertive stuff, but you’d better take care how your kids are treated while they’re in that other’s company. And, of course, those of you who are in, or suspect you’re in, such a situation, probably already realize that issues around your children need to be handled with special care to protect them as much as possible.

Single moms and city living


Found a great post by a single mom about raising your child in a big city. Interesting points. And while you’re there, check out some of her cool posts about Chicago, in case you’re interested in visiting or living there!

Have a kid, lose a job – the sad state of affairs for American moms and famliies


What an amazing organization! At they are fighting all over the United States for legal rights and fair treatment for mothers of all kinds, single and married, who are discriminated against in the work place. According to their research, single moms make only 60% of what men make, even less than the average woman. Then adding it all up, female college grads forfeit a million dollars over their careers.

In the US, mothers and familiies receive less support than in any other industrialized country.

Parents must have time to bond with newborn or newly adopted. Bonding decreases infant mortality, improves child health, reduces juvenile delinquency. Yet only 1 in 7 US mothers receives paid childbirth leave. We are at the bottom in this area – US is on par with New Guinea and Swaziland.

Calif. is the only state that has mandatory 6 weeks’ paid leave for parents. The American Federation of Labor advocated for it there. It’s financed because Calif. workers agreed to pay through small payroll deductions.

I got this information and a cool DVD–The Motherhood Manifesto–about it from Kiki Peppard, a single mom who’s been fighting for 10 years to end discrimination against mothers in PA. She moved there from New York and no one would hire her when they found out she was a single mom!

Here are a few more points and some organizations worth knowing about:

Center for New American Dream – “More of what matters.” 4 day week, flexible hours. Time off for kid stuff.

Center for Work-Life Law. No benefits for part-timers hurts mainly women. Business in gen. will not address.

Once businessman learned he was unwittingly discriminating against women. His decision to give everyone flexible hours attracted new, stronger talent, turnover slowed dramatically. Business is great, costs are down.

We need legislation like European – equal treatment for part-timers and flexible hours. UK – soft-touch law, through which any employee can ask employer to grant a different schedule- compressed work week, etc. when need to care for child.

If we give workers flexibility, productivity does NOT have to go down.

The Motherhood Project- concerned about the media, US kids spend 8 hours a day connected. 1000 murders, doubled sexual incidents on TV, millions of children
home alone after school. More juvenile crimes up during times kids are unsupervised. Need more after-school programs. Seattle pays for buses to take kids home after scchool.

Health care. Medical bills figure in 50% of all bankruptcies. People without insurance are 2-3 times more likely to die of same disease as those with. 9 million US kids have no insurance. Life expectancy, mother/child mortality we are far below other nations. Should have all kids insured through program like Medicare. this plus paid sick leave would make a huge difference for mothers.

Center for Social Law/Policy. Children get better faster when parents are around. Only US does not require paid sick leave, incl. time to care for kids.

Childcare – quality matters.average cost of childcare is more than cost of university tuition. Average child care worker earns $17000/year. There’s a union for home child care providers in Chicago. The US once passed a universal child care bill–Richard Nixon vetoed it.

Equal Rights Advocates – fights for minimum wage.
Take Back Your Time – fights for well-rounded life rights.

A Better Balance – young lawyers on work/family conflict. More flexiibility, esp. for low-income workers.

The balancing Act – bill for Rep. Woolsey. Women’s #1 issue is no free time, not enough time.