Mothers In Law Work Hard

The majority of mothers-in-law juggle demanding jobs along with a bunch of obligations and expectations.  Most of us put in a solid day’s work. Then we come home — and we work some more.

Many working mothers-in-law are in the forty+ age range. It seems logical that we’d be more employable as we become more experienced and qualified. You’d expect that we’d be paid more too!  But have we really made strides in the job and equal pay areas?  The Economist recently reported, “Globally, women earn 10-30% less than men.”

This is no sissy job!

Are the salaries more competitive in the U.S.? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “In 2009, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $657 or about 80% of the $819 median for their male counterparts.”

Finding employment and being paid a fair wage can be even more challenging for a woman once she reaches a ‘certain age’ — our age! And, have you noticed that attitudes on aging are different for women and men? For instance, older men frequently date much younger women, and there’s little stigma. Reverse the scenario, and whoa . . . society is hyper-critical! The chatter reaches fever pitch. Sugar daddies are acceptable, but what about sugar mamas? Unfortunately, age discrimination is still around.

Workin’ Women will focus on the important work we do on the job, at home and as volunteers. We will share stories about mothers-in-law who run the gamut – from top executives to school bus drivers to human rights advocates to entrepreneurs. All are equally important and inspiring. We will feature the latest employment news as well as resources, tips and links for improving skills and finding jobs.

Your work-related experiences are important to us and we want to hear from you. Share your stories! We’re advocating that mothers-in-law become the best they can be on and off the job.  Remember that hit song by Helen Reddy – I Am Woman? Well, we are women! Hear us roar (in a very good way!)

Caring and Giving

Mothers-in-law care about the emotional and physical welfare of children. We support the efforts of Children’s Hospital Boston, a leader in pediatric care. To learn more about this great hospital and to give, please visit their website at www.childrenshospital.org/giving.

The Mothers In Law will feature regular updates and stories to inform you about new happenings and the innovative care offered at Children’s Hospital Boston.

You can also find information on the latest treatments and services available to pediatric patients by visiting www.childrenshospital.org.

Celebrate Every Day

Holidays, special occasions and observances are markers that add happy anticipation and predictability to our lives. Traditions are important, even more nowadays because technology is rushing forward at warp speed, making our lives chaotic and often stressful. Planning, hosting or attending an event requires us to shift gears. We are forced to slow down and just enjoy!

Graduation celebration for daughter-in-law

Opportunities for celebration abound. Think back to an experience that made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Was it a holiday like Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve?  Was it the day you played Scrabble with your family?  Was it your grandchild’s graduation? Or was it that summer evening when you and your family sat on the back porch and gazed at stars?

A mother-in-law can be the pivot person to create a strong sense of family unity by celebrating old traditions and creating new ones. Special Days will feature important holidays and celebrations. We want to include your ideas too. How do you celebrate birthdays, graduations and other observances and make them special? How do you juggle conflicts like work, school, sports and other time-consuming commitments? It’s particularly challenging when family members are separated by long distances. But, mothers-in-law can overcome any barriers. They have the power to transform an ordinary moment into a memorable one with a simple gesture. It just takes a loving touch, a little imagination, and maybe a visit to Special Days!

Looking Good

What’s with the unflattering fashions for mothers-in-law and women our age? Attention, retailers! We are out here! Yoo-hoooo!

Judging by the limited choices, it’s almost like we’re invisible compared to the 20-something, hottie crowd with their extensive selection of fashions, shoes and accessories. It’s disheartening to shop and see tons of cute outfits for our daughters and daughters-in-law but nothing exciting for us. Many options for middle-aged women look like leftovers from the 1970’s or just dull, dull, dull!

New styles, please!

Granted, our shapely figures might be a bit fuller, and our hems might need to be a tad lower. But designers can work around a few, minor challenges, can’t they?  Often, mothers-in-law are forced to settle for two extremes – to dress as though they’re in their twenties or in their 90’s. Where are the stylish, in-between options for women who are in between? We still want to look elegant, classic and sexy, right?

Hmm.  Are we being ignored? According to a 2007 report by MassMutual’s Financial Group, women 50+ have more spending power and discretionary income compared to any other group in the country. Our net worth is $19 trillion. We spend billions on designer fashions and luxury goods.  So why aren’t we courted with wonderful fashions instead of treated like second-class citizens?  Where are the latest designs, fun fabrics and tailoring for us? Don’t you think it makes sense for the fashion industry and retailers to address our needs with better styles — especially considering our buying power?

Mothers-in-law deserve chic apparel that is comfortable and affordable whether we’re heading out on the town or lounging in our pajamas.  That’s why we’re starting a fashion-forward movement right here! Themothersinlaw.com will feature styles and accessories that distinctly resonate with us.

We’ll also feature beauty products and specialty giftware for easy shopping when birthdays and gift-giving occasions roll around! Mothers-in-law deserve more shopping options targeted to their needs and preferences.  It’s high time that shopping is more fun and convenient for all of us.

Have Fun!

Remember that song, Girls Just Want to Have Fun! by Cyndi Lauper? Well, sometimes we mothers-in-law forget that we are girls who still want to have fun! We’re so bogged down with our professional and personal responsibilities and with our laundry list of family obligations that we dismiss our own needs.

We’re part of the sandwich generation, and that’s all the more reason to cut loose and have fun. We need to let off some steam! So, get going! Ignore those ingrained messages that say we’ve reached a certain age and therefore, it’s time to take a back seat. There’s a child within who is never too old or too rusty to play. We’ll blog about many ways to introduce joy in our lives – from fun ‘girl getaways,’ crazy pets and hobbies to a good book. We hope you’ll join in.

Girls getaway in Chicago: Mothers, Mothers-In-Law, Daughters, Daughters-In-Law

Try some new and enriching experiences — instead of narrowly focusing on family at the expense of everything else. Explore activities that are enjoyable, informative, creative and adventurous. Balance is key. We can still babysit the grandkids, but make time to go on a date with a spouse or significant other. If we don’t, we run the risk of morphing into one of those martyr mothers-in-law. You know the type – the ones who whine about all the sacrifices they make for their ungrateful kids. It’s a sure prescription for family friction.

So, enjoy your family life, but cherish your independence. The stereotype of the grasping, desperate mother-in-law, who ruminates about the comings and goings of daughters-in-law or sons-in-law, isn’t pretty. It’s annoying, and we’re not! We are interesting, passionate, strong women committed to having some fun.

Embrace new points of view!

Expand those social connections! If you want to meet a bunch of girlfriends for dinner, go for it! If you’ve dreamed of traveling, start saving for your trip today! If you want to expire spirituality, the Bible or the Torah, do it!  If you want to hip-hop or salsa dance, now’s the time!  Get that new puppy you’ve always wanted or start a knitting class!  What are you waiting for?

We’ll share lots of fun-filled suggestions that are economical and even free for the asking, right here.  It’s never too late to learn something new or to make lifelong friendships.  Tap into the resources available right here and have some Fun! Life is for living. Don’t just hope for happiness to find you. Go for it.

Get Healthy

Welcome to Healthy Stuff. Join all the with-it mothers-in-law who are vibrant and healthy! Leave the negative stereotypes in the dust! Where did that distorted, old image of nasty mothers-in-law come from anyway?  Is it justified?  Well, it’s definitely NOT us! We are focused on healthy habits and on living each day to the fullest.

Life is not all downhill from here, as some might suggest. It’s uphill! It’s about being fit to enjoy ourselves. It’s about re-focusing and embracing positive attitudes. It’s time to nurture ourselves and to work at being the best mothers-in-law possible. Good health empowers us to enjoy life – whether it’s playing with our grandchildren or hiking in the woods. Exercise boosts metabolism and gives us the energy to embrace every new aspect of our life. Proper nutrition and fitness contribute to mental health.

How ‘bout a stroll on the beach?

Say good-bye to frustrations and tensions! Instead, take a brisk walk. Sign up for a Zumba class. Cook a healthy meal. Have that annual physical exam you’ve been postponing! Do whatever it takes to improve your health.  Feeling good improves your attitude as a woman and as a mother-in-law.

Healthy Stuff features everything from our personal struggles and successes with fitness to the latest news and links on diet, exercise, vitamins, meditation, sports, lifelong learning, spirituality, and more. It’s all good stuff — geared toward mothers-in-law, of course! So, what are your favorite ways to shape up your mind, body or spirit? We want to hear from you. (Keep in mind, the race is what counts – not the winning or losing!)

Meeting Awkward In-Laws

Weddings can bring out the best or worst in people – including awkward in-laws, who are meeting for the first time.

Dinner after the Bridal Shower

Although our adult children may be completely in love with each other, it doesn’t mean that their parents will immediately hit it off.  Let’s face it. We are excess baggage being dragged into their new marriage. The lifestyles and personalities of future in-laws may not mesh. The film, Meet the Fockers, depicts how two distinctly different families meet — and pretty soon, chaos breaks loose! The movie has hilarious moments, and maybe that’s the key to happy outcomes – maintaining a sense of humor!

It makes sense for in-laws to try and get along, right from the get-go — unless there’s some insurmountable, emotionally-charged barrier. Usually, that’s not the case. Most often, small miscommunications crop up and quickly resolve. The majority of in-laws have good intentions. Once we get to know each other, we typically find some common values and interests. At the very least, we can credit ourselves with having shaped our children in such a way that they discovered each other and fell in love. That’s a wonderful achievement to share!

Wedded Bliss

Amazing mothers-in-law are mature women who are loved and respected for many qualities, including their ability to open lines of communication and to nurture family relationships – not jeopardize them. Our mission is not to blame, shame or complain! Instead, themothersinlaw.com will feature success stories, comments and suggestions from those who have maneuvered the confusing, wedding process with happy results. Let’s Talk Weddings! is the ideal place to discuss the do’s and don’ts, share experiences, and learn important tips from experts in the biz.  If you click on the Fashions tab of themothersinlaw.com, you’ll even find wedding apparel for mothers-in-law of the bride. (The tired, beige dress is out – and the chic, knockout is in!)

So let’s accept that our kids are grown-ups, creating a new life together. It’s time to back off and let them call the shots. If they make occasional mistakes, they’ll learn from them – just like we did!

Welcome to our journey! The Mothers In Law are moving full-speed ahead to celebrate new experiences and insights.