When one thinks of the subject of working mothers, many differing opinions come to mind. What will happen to the child, will the mother have sufficient time to bond with the baby, how will household chores be divided, and so on. When thinking of working women, two models come to mind. One of which is paid employment that has a protective and beneficial mediating effect. Employment protects women against certain negative aspects of being full-time homemakers and mothers, such as monotonous housework, dependence on the male partner for financial and emotional support, increases self-esteem because they are contributing to the world they live in. These women receive a renewed interest in life because they are in the thick of it. They are living life to the fullest. This model is the one that is constantly referred to as “bad” because it paints the woman as someone who does not really care about the effect of working will have on the baby. In fact, most of these mothers have made this choice with painstaking care. They are constantly feeling what everyone is thinking, and this in turn causes undue stress on these mothers.
The other model of the working mom is the one most people think of when discussing working mothers. This model is one of a woman having too many demands of her –housewife, mother and paid employee – which may lead to role strain due to fatigue and role overload. The competing demands of such roles may also lead to conflict and psychological stress. Both of these models can be seen in the working mother at any given time. They are simply a fact of life, a by product of the world in which we live. Mothers are constantly jumping back and forth in these roles, striving to find a sense of balance. But is there such a thing? Most of the time the scales are tipped one way or another, there is never a true sense of balance. I believe this is how the mothers survive. If the scales were balanced, it would seem that they would either be cruel heartless women, simply concerned with their jobs, and caring less about their children. This is simply not the case. It seems that the ideal situation is when the father helps around the house, as to alleviate some of the stress the mother feels from working and the ability for the mother to have a flexible schedule.
Role decisions within the family unit need to increase when the mother returns to work. In order for both partners to be happy and feel fulfilled, there needs to be a clear definition of roles with in the family unit. This is something that should be discussed and decided well before the mother returns to work. In making role decisions, the parents must somehow combine their perceptions of the rewards and costs associated with each role in order to determine which combination of roles will provide them with the best role position. In other words, they need to figure out what they can do best for the family when they both parents work. If this is accomplished, the family will function better as a unit, and stress will be alleviated for all.
Another set back that is constantly facing working mothers is that their work is looked upon as optional, it is also viewed as less important than their partner’s. When these attitudes are confronted, it makes the transition for the working mother all the more difficult. The constant backlash from the public makes these mothers feel so guilty that some may even quit just to alleviate the stress. In order for working mothers to feel needed, and to have their work mean something, others need to look upon their work as something substantial, something important, not simply an option. When workplaces provide flexible scheduling and childcare services, these are the first steps in getting working mothers into the workforce and alleviate their feelings of guilt.
Many working mothers today are facing the reality of the “second shift”. This is where they put in a full day of work at the office only to come home to start their “second shift”, the one that entails all the housework and the raising of the family. Mothers feel that they have no choice in the matter, in order to be the “perfect” mother, they need to put in this shift, because it is their responsibility. But why is it their responsibility? Why does the father feel it is his right to come home and relax, when the mother is busy fixing dinner, and disciplining children. In order for the working mother to keep her sanity, the father needs to jump in and help with the chores that were previously held by the homemaker. In this day and age, the ideal homemaker is a thing of the past. Many women today want and desire careers and a place in this world. They want to stand on their own two feet, to become a self-sustaining individual, free of dependence on another individual.
When the mother considers the idea of working and raising a family, many things need to be considered. The responsibilities need to be divided evenly so as to alleviate the stress that will evolve due to all the changes. For the working mothers, understanding is first and foremost needed in order for the psychological well being. They need to feel that their work is important, and necessary, and that they are not sacrificing their child’s well being in order to benefit themselves. The danger involved is that the mothers could feel so guilty in working that they feel that they are abandoning their child to the caregivers that they are in contact with daily. The mothers need a support system in order to survive the roller coaster involved when they go back to work. If all these factors are taken into consideration, the transition to working mom will be that much easier for the entire family and the child will not suffer.
Brannen, Julia, Moss, Peter. Managing Mothers: Dual Earner Households After Maternity Leave. London: Unwin Hyman, 1991.
Mahony, Rhona. Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining Power. New York: BasicBooks, 1995.
Thomson, Elizabeth Jean. Employment and childbearing Decisions of Mothers of Young Children. Seattle, University of Washington, 1979.
March is here, and with that means the most exciting month in College Basketball, a stretch of action known as "March Madness." March is always the end goal of any collegiate team in all corners of America, playing for their lives in front of packed arenas with the mantra: Survive and Advance. This Sunday, the brackets will be revealed, and 68 of the best teams in the nation will scramble across the country and go for glory.
A is for At-Large Bids
Each conference tournament champion gets in the NCAA Tournament automatically. Whenever a team who doesn't win their conference tournament gets into the large tournament, it is known as an at-large bid. Because Miami did not win the ACC last year, they were an at-large team.
B is for Bracket
When the teams are revealed, the bracket shows who plays who, and show the winners of game X play the winners of game Y. When this is revealed, millions of people will fill out their own bracket to show how they feel it will all play out.
B is also for Buzzer Beater
When a player shoots a game-tieing or game-winning shot with no time left when the shot goes through the basket, it is a buzzer beater. March Madness is known for historic buzzer beaters, most recently when Kris Jenkins's shot beat North Carolina in the title game two years ago.
C is for Cinderella
When a relatively unknown team makes it much farther in the tournament that everyone is expecting, they are known as a cinderella team. Butler University and Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) are examples of double-digit seeds to go all the way to the final four, thus are classic cinderella stories.
D is for Dance
A slang term for the tournament is the "Big Dance" or "Dance." That is why a cinderella team is called a cinderella because they crashed the dance.
E is for Elimination
The big danceis a war because two teams are fighting for their season each game. If a team wins, they advance, but if a team loses, they are eliminated and their season ends. It can be very sudden, like when Miami's season last year was going great until it fell apart at once against Michigan State and poooff the season was over.
F is for Football Domes
Because the championship games have so much demand, they are often played in huge domes meant for football. While more people can attend the game, the top row is not an ideal place to watch the game unfold on a small basketball court.
G is for George Mason
George Mason was the first modern cinderella. People mistook the team name for a player's name. But they went to the final four in 2006 under the direction of their head coach, Jim Larranaga...
H is for Half-Court Shot
One of the most iconic moments in basketball is when any player hits a shot halfway between both baskets. It generally only happens at the end of halves or games, but its rarity makes it special.
J is for Joe Lunardi
The "Bracketologist" makes his predictions for the tournament before the brackets are released and continue his analysis thought the whole tournament. He is a well-regarded resource for any fan, from casual to hoops geeks.
L is for Larranaga
Jim Larranaga? Didn't I just mention him? Yep, after guiding George Mason through their improbable run, he found his way to Miami and remains our fantastic coach. Here, he is celebrating the Cane's win in the 2013 ACC Championship.
M is for Mid-Major
A mid-major is a program that is good enough to compete in the tournament despite being a smaller school or from a weaker conference. Florida Gulf Coast is a mid-major who often makes the NCAA Tournament.
N is for National Champion
Each team who makes it in dreams of cutting down the nets and raising a banner in their arena, celebrating a national championship. North Carolina won last year's championship.
P is for Play-in Game
Every year in Dayton, Ohio the play-in games are played. Eight borderline tournament teams are given a last-minute chance to get themselves into the main event, you win, you're in.
R is for RPI
The best way to make sure you're in the tournament is by having an elite rating percentage index, better known as an RPI. This number ranges from .000 to 1.000 with the higher number being better. The number goes up by winning games and doing them against teams who also win their games.
R is also for Regions
Each team is seeded (see below) 1-16. There are 4 regions, each with its own set of 16 teams. The winner of region gets to advance to the final four.
S is for Seed
Each team gets a magic number as they head into the tournament. A good team is likely to be closer to 1, while the teams got weaker and weaker as their seed falls all the way through 16. A 1 seed will play a 16, a 2 plays a 15, a 3 plays a 14, all the way to the 8-9 contest.
S is also for Snub
When a team who may get in, or is confident they will make the tournament is cut and is not selected it is called a snub. Most teams who believe they're tournament bound have selection show watch parties the players and fans, so snubbed teams end up showing their reactions for the world to see.
T is for True Seed
Because more than 16 teams obviously make the tournament, a team's seed is not reflective of how they stand nationally. All 68 teams receive a 1-16 seed and a true, 1-68 seed. This picture shows that Miami had a #10 true seed two years ago.
U is for Upset
In order for a team to be a cinderella, they must pull off multiple upsets. An upset is one game where a much lower seed defeats a more well-known, higher seeded team. There has never been a 16 seed to beat a 1 seed, but several 15 seeds have advanced, like two years ago when tiny Middle Tennessee knocked off college basketball blueblood Michigan State.
W is for Women's Basketball
Women's Basketball is a growing sport that has their own version of March Madness. There have been some incredible games in the Women's Final Four. One of the best game I have ever seen (Women's or Men's) was last year's final four game between UConn and Mississippi State. UConn's winning streak was in the triple didgets, but Mississippi State hit a buzzer beater to clinch one of the biggest upsets in the sport's history.