Leave It to Beaver family values aren’t outdated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.

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Working mom missing her baby – what to do?

Saw a question from a new mom about how can you stand to only see your 7-week-old baby when you get home exhausted from work and he’s fussy and crying ‘til he goes to sleep.

How do you cope, indeed. I was a single mom for 11 years, and now I’m a single grandma of a single-daughter’s little girl. It’s heartbreaking to leave your baby–there’s no way around it. It never gets easy, either, though perhaps only slightly less wrenching when they’re older. The only thing you can do is try to put things in perspective. Making sure the baby is well-cared for when you’re at work is most important, and then follow the good advice of other moms for finding ways to make your time with your little one count as much as possible. Remember, you are the mom! Nobody and nothing can take that away from you.

But one of the most empowering things you can do is to think creatively about what other ways you can earn a living besides the 9 to 5 grind. Even if it means cutting back on your lifestyle, what’s it worth to have more time with your little one? Read all you can about freelancing and about alternate ways of generating revenue. Think about your talents and how you could turn them into a business to meet some unfilled need out there in the world.

It’s not that you’d be putting in a whole lot less time with your own business–but you could do it more on your own terms. Work in the evenings after the baby goes to sleep. Work during the day by paying a babysitter for a few hours a day instead of all day. If you have another income in the household, it should be easier. But even single moms can get creative this way. One single mom I know recently decided to become a real estate agent so she can have more control over her schedule.

Think with your whole soul! You’re sure to find a way out of this agonizing dilemma.

Glass ceiling? Well, duh

Yes, here’s a report on women in hospitality and how they aren’t chosen for the top jobs. Guess what? It’s going on in every industry. Just read a long article in the Harvard Business Review by a guy who’s trying to say it’s not really a glass ceiling, but things at every step in women’s careers that keep them from being chosen for the very top jobs.

“Verbally intimidating others can undermine a woman’s influence, and assertive behavior can reduce her chances of getting a job or advancing her career.” The old idea that women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Gosh, we could have told him that and saved him from having to do all that research. But, then, he wouldn’t have believed us anyway because we’re just females…

The bad news is plenty:

  • Women’s leadership styles have been proven over and over to be more effective than those of typical males–but only lead to advancement when used by men.
  • Women are putting in more child care hours than previous generations ever did, despite the fact that many men are doing more than they used to.
  • Hiring authorities are actually prejudiced–plain and simple–against women.

And the worse news he also shares is that though everybody seems to think women are going to continue to make headway, he sees a boatload of reasons why they won’t. That in fact, women’s progress into leadership positions has stalled and even slid backward slightly and is permanently halted.

His suggestions:

  • Raise awareness of the psychological drivers for prejudice against women and try to dispel those perceptions.
  • Change the long-hours-and-hanging-out-in-bars-after-work-equals-great-performance norm.
  • Reduce the subjectivity of performance evaluations to minimize conscious and unconscious prejudices.
  • Recruit openly and fairly rather than from informal social networks–in most of which females are largely excluded.
  • Hire women in executive positions to eliminate the problems that come with tokenism.

Ever happen to you? You’re the lone woman on the Board of Directors and you make a suggestion that is completely ignored, only to find that two minutes later the same thing is proposed by a man and accepted. It has to me and lots of other women I know. Now imagine the difficulties faced by single working moms in regard to those long hours? It’s a no-win situation today. We’ve got a long way to go, and miles before we rest.




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