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The feminist movement promised women freedom of choice. All it did was take away our choice of being a mom. Today, stay at home moms are criticized and looked down on as lazy. Career women often don’t understand the feelings of co-workers who are tormennted by the need to by home with their children, taking care of their house and being domestic. “Domestic” is the new insult. I know, because I used to feel the same way. These moms are told, “You’ll get used to it,” or “They’ll be fine.” But what if you don’t want to get used to it? What if you are plagued every moment of every single day by the belief that this is wrong? You are not where you should be.

It is very difficult these days to survive on one income. Short of cutting out all phones, movies, internet and moving out to a cheap plot of land in the country, many can’t do it. Those who can are often only one paycheck or emergency away from trouble. Medical bills, unemployment, reduction in hours and natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding take their toil and push many families over the edge.

We are told to deal with it. “No one wants to work. You just do what you have to do. Stop being so selfish. Besides, what if your husband dies or leaves you? You need work experience so you can take care of yourself. You can’t depend on any man to take care of you.”

We used to plan our futures based around family, love and hope. We now plan based on everything falling apart. We used to dream of big families full of laughing children. Now every child is just another daycare bill and mouth to feed, who we only see for a few hours a night between dinner, baths, homework and whatever other chores need to be done. No one is at home to help keep up the house, so everything piles up. Nothing gets doen. Couples fight, because even with both of them working, there still isn’t enough money to keep up, Marriages fall apart, children are raised by daycares and schools. And we wonder why there is so much violence and dispair.

I am not saying every mom should stay home. I am saying there should be a choice. Whether you work because you have no choice or stay at home because you have no choice, the result is bitterness and anger. But what do you do about it? Do you give up or fight for what you know in your soul is right? And how do you reverse a problem that has been 50 years in the making?

Why does it matter?

So, say you don’t have kids, don’t want kids, or you have kids and want to work. Why should you care about women who want to stay at home? Well there is the old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The argument is that happy moms will lead to happier families and children, which will lead to a happier society.

But let’s look at some less emotional arguments:

1. Pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers are a burden to businesses.

2. Working moms who want to stay at home are unhappy workers.

3. Because of financial burdens, they will push themselves to work, often at the expense of their health or the health of the baby.

4. This leads to increased healthcare costs for everyone.

5. If women who don’t want to work are able to stay home, it frees up those jobs for the many unemployed workers who need and want the jobs.

 

During pregnancy, many women work until the birth of the child and return promptly after maternity leave, purely for financial reasons. They need their paycheck and employer based health insurance. This puts a tremendous strain on businesses who must make countless accommodations. Pregnant employees have doctor visits and physical restrictions. This can be an annoyance, a hinderance, unfair to co-workers who must pick up the slack and it puts a lot of stress on the health of the mother, which can lead to complications, premature births, increased health costs, and sick babies.

(See my earlier blog post on Inequality in the workplace)

Breastfeeding moms are still a burden on their companies and often stop sooner than they would have if they were at home. This can also contribute to health problems in children and increased healthcare costs.

Unhappy moms working just for the paycheck, wanting to be home, are more likely to be less productive workers. If they are allowed to leave the workforce, they can clear those positions for the many on unemployement who are looking for and want a job. Businesses get workers who want to be there and moms get to be home with their children. Everyone wins.

What do we do?

Step 1: Access to financial planning. There is a lot of bad advice out there. It can be easy to get lost trying to do the right thing. The right financial advice early on can help get a family on track and stop many problems before they begin.

Step 2: Work at home. Sometimes cutting costs and clipping coupons isn’t enough. You need more income. We need a network of businesses who have legitamate work at home or telecommuting options, both part time and full time, to get together and offer these jobs to moms. By hiring these contract workers, companies save on benefits and health insurance they would have to pay to full time, regular workers. They also save on things like utility costs, misc. office supplies, paper, toner, coffee, water, etc. by having work done by people at home. They aren’t using company computers, producing garbage, using the phones. Meanwhile, the moms have the flexibilty they need to take their children to doctor appointments, playdates, for breastfeeding and time spend on bedrest.

This plan would have applications beyond pregnant women and mothers. It could be adapted to allow fathers to take paternity leave or time off when children are sick or in the hospital. While federal guidelines do allow people to take off for things like this, financial burdens often prohibit the use of these policies. It is time we come together as communities to take care of our own and help our friends, neighbors and family to produce happier families and provide more productive workers for our businesses. It can be done, but we have to work together.

I am gathering information to help local moms at www.BeAMom.webs.com.

This is just the start, but together I believe we can begin to change things.

Many of the news stories this past few weeks center around employees being forced to come in to work on Thanksgiving. Opponents say it is an attack on a family holiday and unfair to the employees. There are strikes and petitions and everyone is mad at those evil, greedy companies who only care about profit.
But what of the customers who go to these sales? Do they share no blame? Are we so weak-willed that if they open we must shop? In these difficult economic times companies are grasping at every sale they can get, desperate to survive until things can get better. Is it right to open on Thanksgiving? Probably not. I am one of the many who roll my eyes at the forgotten holidays trampelled over on the way to Christmas. I actually saw Christmas decorations up at stores before Halloween this year. Even the Halloween decorations were sparse this year, but when was the last time stores even bothered promoting Thanksgiving? (other than a few generic fall decorations of brown and orange leaves and maybe a sale on turkeys).
But whose fault is that? Is it the evil, greedy corporations, or are they just reacting to us? Maybe we hate them, because they reflect who we have become, and we don’t like what we see. It is easy to blame the stores, but that is just addressing the symptoms without attacking the illness.. We could end this trend right now. All we have to do is not shop on Thanksgiving. That’s it. If no one comes in th to the stores to shop on Thanksgiving night, the stores won’t open. we pay lip service to family, but we aren’t spending quality time with our family while standing in line, running and pushing and shoving to get to the deals before anyone else?
So the next time we want to jump on the “Blame the Companies” bandwagon, take a look in the mirror and look at the checkout person at the store. Ask yourself if that deal is worth making that employee work on Thanksgiving, and instead of shopping, go home and give your kids a hug. We get so few days to spend with our families, let’s not waste it  with arguments, lawsuits, petitions and shopping. If you think the stores should be closed., don’t shop on Thanksgiving. It really is that simple.
Amanda McLain-Young

Farewell City of Heroes/Villains

It is with a heavy heart I saw farewell to City of Heroes and Villains, now entering its final months. I still remember those early days of the game, the newness of it all. Never before had a MMO had so much customization available to its players. It opened a new world to me and my friends, and I loved it.

City of Heroes came to me at a time when I needed an escape, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the years that followed, I did not play as often as I would have liked. Blame it on life. Got married, had two children, moved in to my house, published three books and had full time jobs a good bit of that time. Finding time to play was difficult to say the least. But I always thought it would be there, waiting for me when I was ready. I dreamed of when I could get a second computer so my husband and I could play together, instead of needing to take turns.  When they made a “free to play” option available, that dream came even closer. No longer would we both need to pay for an account to play together. Finally, this year, everything seemed to be coming into place. The kids were a little older. We could begin to budget more time to playing, maybe even sharing the game with our kids. But the game could not wait for us. The game we enjoyed for so many years is now coming to an end. The servers will be shut down, and our time has run out.

It is sad. The game will be missed. I don’t know that we will ever invest so much time and money into another MMO, knowing how it can be closed and taken away, leaving us with nothing. At least with a console or PC game, you will always be able to return when you are ready. I still have stages on Twisted Metal Black I want to beat, and I can, whenever I want. We introduced my son to Soul Callibur II the other day. There is something to be said for the permanency of that, of knowing those games will always be there as long as I have a console to play them.

But I will miss COH/COV. It was fun. It was unique and it gave us something we needed at the time. A console version of the game to keep for years to come would have been nice. I know, despite my limited time actually playing the game, I will miss it and miss not having the choice to play, when I have time between work, my books and the kids. So goodbye City of Heroes and City of Villains. Thanks for the memories and the innovative, addictive game. And please consider putting out a console version of the game for Playstation.

-Amanda

The next book in my fantasy series is in the works. I currently have 7000 words typed. I also have over 10,000 typed on my third romance book, but that is another post.

I am really excited over where this book is going, but haven’t had a lot of time to work on it lately. Working a full time job and taking care of two small children can make it difficult to get time in front of the laptop to type. I am always thinking about my characters and story. I just can’t always get it typed in a timely manner. Add to that all my other crazy projects and chores, and trying to market my other books, and I am a very busy person.

Book two will continue to follow Kern, the main character from “Suriax.” (On sale during the month of October. See here for details.) Readers will also learn the secrets behind the raiders from the Southern Plains. If you enjoyed Maerishka and her disfunctional sibling relationships, you are in for a treat. The siblings will come together in a meeting for the bards to sing about for generations. Book 2 promises to be an explosive action packed book of war, survival and family. Keep checking back for updates.

 

-Amanda Young

http://www.wotpast.com

http://www.facebook.com/wotpast

wotpast@yahoo.com

Enjoy “Suriax” on ebook or paperback. Special Spooktacular savings, now through the end of October. $0.99 ebook with special code on Smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164307

Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: NF25X
Expires: October 31, 2012

Please read, review and recommend. Don”t forget you can also download a preview of the book on Smashwords for free.

Paperback $5.99 on Createspace and Amazon
https://www.createspace.com/3884960

-A.D. McLain/Amanda Young

http://www.wotpast.com
http://www.facebook.com/wotpast
wotpast@yahoo.com

Congratulations to my uncle for publishing his book of short stories. We love you Uncle Bill Dickey. (currently available in paperback and ebook ).

https://www.createspace.com/3984638

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/230817#

–Amanda

www.wotpast.com

 

Rich Man’s Daughter

by Betty McLain

When Carol discovers her father plans to force her into a marriage she does not want, she must take matters into her own hands. But how can a girl who has always had everything prove to her father and herself she doesn’t need money or good looks to make her way in the world?

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Buy the eBook on Smashwords for $0.99 here
Buy the paperback on Createspace for $5.99 here
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View the Teaser Trailer here

Congratulations to my mom for publishing her first book! You can read more about her and her writing at

www.BettyJeanMcLain.webs.com

www.facebook.com/BettyJeanMcLain

BettyJeanMcLain@yahoo.com

 

My pizza month research continued today with “The Big Murphy,” a stuffed pizza made at Papa Murphy’s in Mandeville, LA. There are two crusts with toppings in between the crust and on top. For just over $14, I was able to get a pizza with chicken, bacon and cheese on the inside and pepperoni, ham, black olives and mushrooms and more cheese on top. Instead of the regular red sauce there was a garlic cream sauce. After two pieces I was done for the night. It was filling, great flavors and a great price.

At Papa Murphy’s they make the pizza right in front of you with the toppings you chose and wrap it for you to heat up at home. So, the incredients are fresh and you can make it when you want it (within 24 hours). Biting into “the Big Murphy” was like eating a large sandwich or lassagna. It was a big bite full of a variety of flavors and textures. It reminded me of a stuffed crust, but it was so much more. I’m tempted to rate this one above Pizza Hut, but they have a completely different appeal with Pizza Hut’s buttery, crispy crust. Instead, I will give Papa Murphy’s a 9 out of 10, a tie with Pizza Hut.

-A.D. McLain

www.wotpast.com

www.facebook.com/wotpast

Okay, so here’s the last motivational poster challenge. Can you come up with a quote to go along with a toy robot? Last chance. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of “Suriax,” on sale through Saturday for $0.99.

Today is day six of my week long “Suriax” Independence Week Launch Party.

Ebook on sale $0.99 (free with purchase of paperback)

When: July 1-7th, 2012 In honor of Independence Day, for the first week of July the eBook version of “Suriax” will temporarily go on sale for $0.99 (down from $3.99) Check this blog each day that week for fun activities and door prizes. As a Special Bonus Offer, if you purchase a copy of the paperback between now and July 7th and email a copy of your order confirmation to wotpast@yahoo.com, you will receive a code to download the eBook for free.
Buy “Suriax” on eBook for $0.99 here
Buy Paperback for $5.99 here
“Like” fanpage and feel free to invite all your friends to this event!

-A.D. McLain

www.wotpast.com

www.facebook.com/wotpast

It is day five of the Motivate Me game. We all known those goofy motivational posters that show pictures of random stock images and tell us some moral message to inspire us. Well, I challenge everyone to make up some good motivational sayings for some less than inspiring photos. Today’s challenge is a baseball cap. So, Motivate Me. What can you come up with?

Today is day five of my week long “Suriax” Independence Week Launch Party.

Ebook on sale $0.99 (free with purchase of paperback)

When: July 1-7th, 2012 In honor of Independence Day, for the first week of July the eBook version of “Suriax” will temporarily go on sale for $0.99 (down from $3.99) Check this blog each day that week for fun activities and door prizes. As a Special Bonus Offer, if you purchase a copy of the paperback between now and July 7th and email a copy of your order confirmation to wotpast@yahoo.com, you will receive a code to download the eBook for free.
Buy “Suriax” on eBook for $0.99 here
Buy Paperback for $5.99 here
“Like” fanpage and feel free to invite all your friends to this event!

-A.D. McLain

www.wotpast.com

www.facebook.com/wotpast