#5SmartReads - March 2, 2022
Jessica on healthcare moms, the invisible need of diapers, and fertility in the workplace
Jessica Wilen is a mom of two, an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and an executive coach specializing in the unique needs of working parents. She recently started a newsletter focused on working moms called A Cup of Ambition (please subscribe--it's free!)
The unique exhaustion of healthcare moms (A Cup of Ambition)
As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it's important to acknowledge the very real sacrifices of our frontline healthcare workers. I interviewed five medical moms who all work in the ICU or ED, and they "described how the anxiety and adrenaline that characterized the early days of the pandemic gradually morphed into exhaustion and empathy fatigue. They grappled with the fact that healthcare workers have gone from being heralded as 'heroes' to being dismissed as 'liars'. And they spoke about what it was like to be surrounded by death and trauma, and then have to pull it together so they could go home and parent their kids."
Let’s make sensitive the new strong (Marie Claire)
I love everything about this article. “When boys exhibit qualities stereotypically reserved for girls—sensitivity, care, compassion—they are often undervalued or, worse, mocked. Boys who show emotion other than strength could face ridicule. It’s past time that we all learn to embrace, and even celebrate, these so-called ‘feminine’ attributes.” (Side note: these attributes are key components of emotional intelligence, and research unequivocally shows the values of these skills in the workplace.)
Diaper need is an invisible part of poverty in America (The 19th News)
This article was published back in November, but it’s really stuck with me. Diaper insecurity is tied to poor health outcomes for both infants and moms, so I was shocked when I first learned that diapers are not an allowable expense under WIC or SNAP (neither are pads, tampons or toilet paper, for that matter). Between inflation and COVID, the National Diaper Bank reported a 70% increase in demand since March 2020. As always, The 19th offers excellent reporting on this important issue.
As companies struggle to recruit and retain employees during the Great Resignation, an increasing number of organizations have begun offering fertility benefits. This is great news for full-time professional women, but there are several women excluded from these sorts of benefits (i.e., those who work for small businesses/nonprofits that can’t afford additional benefits, contract workers, etc.) This article is an interesting summary of how the US came to rely on the private sector to offer fertility healthcare.
With my first pregnancy, I eagerly awaited the start of each new week so I could check my various pregnancy apps to see what size fruit my son had grown to. This article exposes the mistruths and profit motives of many of these pregnancy apps, reiterating how important it is to get medical advice from an actual medical professional and not the internet.