Laura G Owens ~ Writer

Humanity. Health. Happiness.

Page 7 of 14

Changing people’s minds? Start with self-esteem.

There should be a common body of facts that everybody can agree on and yet have a difference of opinion……It’s important to make a distinction between beliefs that people hold and the facts.” ~ Dana Milbank National Political Columnist, Washington Post.

We don’t like to admit we’re wrong, our ego flinches automatically.  Admitting we’re wrong after holding a view for a long time can be excruciating.  

A study out of Michigan finds that people rarely change their minds when presented with facts and will often become even more attached to their beliefs in the face of corrective information. 

Obama isn’t an US citizen.

*Vaccines cause autism.

George W Bush is the Antichrist

Hillary Clinton’s brain blood clot hospitalization was timed  around when she was supposed to testify about Benghazi 

September 11th was a US-created attack.

You’ll have better luck convincing people the earth is oblong than changing their mind about statements they’re convinced are true because they want to believe they’re true.

“The lack of humility makes it hard to take an honest look at one’s own views and opinions, causing people to stick with talking lines they know to be contrary to the facts,” says NPR correspondent Neal Conan in his report, “In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter.

Our tendency to hold tight to our beliefs doesn’t bide well for public health officials or politicians trying to shift opinion. What’s worse is the backfire effect. If you try to change someone’s mind by showing them irrefutable facts, while the person might agree with you on the surface, more than likely after you walk away, she’ll stick to her guns even more.

This phenomenon isn’t just because our ego is bruised; it’s because we don’t like what being wrong does to our identity and self-esteem, finds research out of University of Michigan published by Brendan Nyhan, public health researcher.

“The phenomenon is called backfire,” reports NPR’s Conan. “It plays an especially important role in how we shape and solidify our beliefs on immigration, the president’s place of birth, welfare and other highly partisan issues.”

Faced with our beliefs not jibing with the facts a phenomenon called cognitive dissonance, we dig for more information to validate our view.

“As human beings we want to believe, you know, the things that we already believe. And so when you hear some information that contradicts your pre-existing views, unfortunately, what we tend to do is think of why we believed those things in the first place,” explains Nyhan.

So how can we stop people from being fact-blind and hard-headed?

What’s interesting is when researchers in the Michigan study boosted subject’s self-esteem  before they were presented with corrective facts, subjects were more likely to accept the new information and change their beliefs. 

So besides vetting issues with numerous credible fact-checking sources which most of us don’t have the time or wherewithal to do, we need to be humble by default.  We need to accept that we might be wrong and that if we are, this doesn’t mean something’s wrong with us.

“This isn’t a question of education, necessarily, or sophistication. It’s really about preserving that belief that we initially held,” explains Nyhan.

“It’s important to make a distinction between beliefs that people hold and the facts,” says Dana Milbank National Political Columnist, Washington Post.  “So a lot of your emailers and callers have spoken about, you know, evolution or nuclear energy or guns and the death penalty, obviously, people can have very different opinions, and there should be a debate on all of these things. But there should be a common body of facts that everybody can agree on and yet have a difference of opinion.”

“‘So I’ve changed my point of view just really through I think, self-education and actually really great programs like this that are offered to us through NPR.” – NPR caller named Chrissie who changed her views on gun ownership (now pro) and the death penalty (now pro).

*P.s. Vaccines. I used to worry about too many vaccines too soon although when my daughter was young she got all of them on the standard schedule.  For now I’ve opted out of the HPV vaccine until I see more research, her 2nd chicken pox and Hepatitis A.  I discussed this with my nearly 16-year-old so she can decide how she feels about it.

Years ago I researched the autism epidemic and wrote an article.  Autism is a spectrum disorder caused by a number of complex genetic and environmental triggers. To pinpoint one overriding cause is to hold fast to a chosen view rather than to consider evolving ones.

Vaccines per se don’t cause autism, but the mercury preservative thimerosal can have a devastating effect in the first month of life, and on some children in later months.  (See Vaccine Do’s and Don’ts).  “This analysis suggests that high exposure to ethyl mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first month of life increases the risk of subsequent development of neurologic development impairment, but not of neurologic degenerative  or renal impairment. Further confirmatory studies are needed.”  (“Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccine in first.”) 


In my view the qualifier “some” children is reason enough to pay attention to what role thimerosal might play in autism incidence which now stands at 1 in 88 children.

We have more to lose with partisan deadlock that leads to public mistrust, missed opportunities and health crises when we stick to our views despite evidence to the contrary.

It’s the most humble people who are open to facts, despite facts erasing all they thought they knew of the issue and therefore themselves, who break through to the other side.


NPR: “When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions.”  



Turn gays away bill: NOT business 101

No Shirt.

No Shoes

No Service.

P.S. If you’re a same-sex couple, take a hike.

Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey introduced a Bill which would permit persons and religious or denominational organizations  based on sincere religious belief, to refuse to provide services or goods in furtherance of a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by the Tennessee Constitution. 

If you can’t stomach the idea of same-sex coupling (civil unions, domestic partnership, same-sex marriage) for Biblical or other reasons then disagree without attack or taking away rights.

The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

This Bill would entitle business owners based on religious belief, the right to refuse service if a same-sex couple wants to further or celebrate their coupling. By that standard that’s everything in the store. The list of what humans use to further or celebrate their life is infinite.  Housing, food, lamps, medicine, toe nail clippers, party hats, orchids, medical care, a dog, laundry detergent, bug spray.

Go away customer; I can’t sell you Sinner-services or No Repent-ware.

My outrage is probably a waste of time. This Bill won’t pass. It’s discriminatory, arcane and laughable.

This Bill is also mean.

“I would feel like what I need doesn’t matter,” said Priscilla Majano a sophomore majoring in child development at The University of Memphis.  “Like I’m worthless,”  “State senator introduces new bill coined “turn the gays away”

But okay forget being nice. Values trump being nice, right?

Practically speaking this isn’t smart business. The gay population has weighty buying power which translates to disposable personal income or DPI, total after-tax income available to an individual to spend on personal consumption, personal interest payments or savings.

On principle you can argue losing business doesn’t matter compared to holding to one’s values. Pride comes before the fall ~ Proverbs 16:18.  I can’t imagine sending someone away who has good money to spend in my business (except sexual predators and Neonazis).

I’m curious what a Turn Gays Away scenario will look like.

A same-sex couple walks into a locally owned hardware store to buy a boatload of supplies. They want to expand their family room now that they’re living together.

“I’m sorry sirs but we don’t serve same-sex couples,”  says the store owner or clerk who discerns sexual orientation from his/her own spot on gay-dar.

“Oh, okay then,” says the couple. “Can you give us directions to the hardware store for gay people? By the way, I’m really thirsty. I have diabetes. Is your water fountain for everyone or do you offer separate spigots for straights and gays?”

For an added-value bonus some kids might be milling about the hardware store and overhear the conversation.  Kids are blind to adult idiocy until they absorb it later on. Kids ask questions about something that seems new or out of their ordinary, “Mommy, why won’t that person sell those two men a hammer?”

If this passed in Florida, (It won’t, the country hasn’t lost its mind and neither has Florida) I’d have to stop visiting heterosexual businesses with a Turn Gays Away policy. It goes against my religion.

My guess is Dan Cathy, President of Chick Fil-A who publicly opposes gay marriage, wouldn’t refuse catered chicken platters to same-sex couples who order food for a civil union or marriage reception.  Mr. Cathy disapproves but he’s not legally discriminatory.  He and gay activist Shane Windmeyer are friends so Mr. Cathy is open-minded.

Mr. Cathy and I will never agree on the foundational issues of gay rights.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” Cathy said in that interview, which can be heard here.”

Indeed. I’m prideful, arrogant and audacious enough to define marriage as love between two committed adults. I don’t define marriage by a human- created and Interpreted Guide to God.  I  don’t fear judgment in the afterlife.  I believe Hell exists in the Here and Now.

More reading:  Sen. Kelsey introduces ‘Turn The Gays Away 

Image credit

My friend: Ironman athlete’s journey with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Image: Courtesy of Joy Von Werder and Oviedo-Winter Springs Life magazine.

I wrote the following article about my friend Joy because I’m awed by her athleticism and courage, and because she wants to use her story to help raise awareness for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.  CMT is the most commonly inherited neuromuscular disorder in the world.

Joy is a premier athlete, a jogger-swimmer-biker who competes in the most intense triathlons (she’s also a personal fitness and tri trainer). These are the people who not only enter Ironman races but finish on two feet, without throwing up and consider doing it again. (Iron man definition: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run).

A certain measured degree of  endorsed “crazy” has to come with these choices.

Premier athletes seem to have built-in bulletproof mind-body discipline. They find others like them in neighborhoods, chat groups or gyms and form inner circle support camaraderie.  I find the dynamics fascinating. It’s a world I don’t want per se, nothing I’m pining away for, but I can’t help but admire and voyeur the intensity and accomplishment that hurts like hell before the finish line. (I work out 6 days a week but you won’t catch me running tri’s or marathons.)

Despite having to grapple with deteriorating muscle strength and changing balance from CMT, Joy finished the grueling  Aqua Bike event this past year.

Here’s her story….

The Great Floridian Triathlon (GFT) is a grueling iron-distance race − a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run that has been known to bring even elite athletes to their knees.

So in 2007 when Winter Springs resident and triathlon coach Joy Von Werder challenged herself to complete the GFT, she did so with some trepidation. But with the encouragement of her family, who cheered her from the sidelines throughout the day, she not only persevered, she exceeded her expectations. The good news: The 44-year-old finished the GFT much more quickly than she had anticipated. The bad news: Not expecting Joy to complete the triathlon so expeditiously, her family was having dinner when she made her dramatic finish!

Fast-forward six years: Joy once again takes on the Great Floridian Triathlon. This time, however, she entered in a physical limitations para-triathlon category, the Aqua Bike (swim-bike).  Read more…Sorry, but I have to link to the magazine who published the piece.

Church only on Christmas and Easter? What would Jesus say? I bet I can guess.

Jesus's embrace even if church is only on Christmas and Easter.

Image source: By zole4, published on 17 September 2011

My teen daughter, once a frequent flyer at church with children and youth programs, now has to be dragged to church once a month. Sleep wins.

I’m now fine with this. I’ve largely left mainstream religion and am leaning towards joining our Unitarian Universalist. My love of law of attraction and religious sciences paved the way (not to be confused with the entirely different Scientology).

“The Secret” was copyrighted by Jesus before the movie was made. “As you think, so shall you be.”

Interestingly my child still insists on going to our old Methodist church’s Xmas Eve services. I get it. I do, and I’m glad. Tradition. Carols. Fellowship. The continuity warms me as well, especially because we’re a tiny family of three who won’t be seeing family until after Christmas. We have to get our Christmas group hug from somewhere.

What if someone only goes to church one or two times a year?

Personally it doesn’t matter a lick to how I  feel about them or their worthiness. What a person believes or doesn’t won’t take away from my belief in what makes a good person — good. Following religion doesn’t rank either way on my criteria, attempting to master the Golden Rule does.

Atheist or Baptist, Wiccan or Jew, my sense of a decent divine force inside us or over you is open to other views, but impenetrable to conversion.  I want to learn from what you know, but I may not replace it with what I feel.

I might be called a heretic but I’m more than okay with that.

An excerpt from my essay “Church only on Christmas and Easter? What would Jesus say? I bet I can guess:”

…..One complimentary no-strings-attached hour of joy and fellowship might be exactly what someone who is feeling awful or spiritually indifferent needs even if the story of Jesus’s birth and resurrection sounds like the garbled murmurings of Charlie Brown’s teacher. I’ve got to think that somewhere in that not feeling awful moment Jesus walked in, sat down and patted the person gently on the back…. 

…If God keeps a sharp eye on our time card (and I don’t think he-she gives a rip) and someone happens to share this notion of faith by frequency it’s a safe bet the church will be one less stop by next year and so one less check to help pay for the youth program or choir robes or new organ. More, they might have doused a spark in someone who was moved by the warmth of the congregation and ready to give it a second, third or even fourth try.

These attitudes are still head shakers for me. Finding muddy love.

That’s all we have sometimes, some version of The Golden Rule and muddy love – Laura
In the category of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” topics that make you do one of those cartoon double takes in your mind and think, did I really just read that?

Dear Amy:

I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual. We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child. He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule.
Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.
I read this “Dear Amy” (like Dear Abby) to my husband the other day and he said it sounded like it was made up. We can hope but sadly no. I know this mom’s attitude doesn’t reflect the majority but nonsense views like this certainly swirl about, to which I’d say,
Who cares? Minority views don’t matter.
But they do. Nonsense like this hurt kids and hurt spreads.  Now, let me say that I truly understand, without caveat or conversion, why some folks can’t embrace homosexuality and gay marriage for Biblical reasons. Do I agree? Not even close, but most folks who feel this way aren’t out spewing nonsense.
This mother’s views move past Biblical loyalty into naivety, ignorance and all out cowardice.  Read more, including Dear Amy’s response…

Why I added mammogram back last year (but won’t this year)

Woman getting mammogram.By Rhoda Baer (Photographer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Updated: April 6th, 2015 

Adding mammogram or not? Now, I’m not sure.

Why I changed my mind and had a 3D mammogram last year:

Last year I spoke to a nurse at my imaging center and told her I stopped doing mammograms because I didn’t want repeated radiation (beyond what we all get day to day (See this link to summarize the increasing confusion about whether breast mammography helps or harms women).

The nurse and later the radiologist reassured me that the amount of radiation exposure during the new 3D mammogram (slightly higher than the 2D) is essentially the same as what you get flying from Orlando to LA. (The radiologist warned instead, against repeated Cat-Scans which emit high levels of radiation).

Still, why add the risk to my breast tissue if safer but equally effective breast cancer detection tools are available?

What finally convinced me wasn’t that I stopped worrying about the radiation or the potential risks of breast compression?

  • My insurance company forced my hand. Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the first time since I started doing breast MRI (and sonograms, thermogram and doctor exam) said they wouldn’t cover an annual MRI unless I had a mammogram first.  No surprise an insurance company once again dictated how I manage my own preventative care.
  • I talked to a nurse and my radiologist. The nurse at my imaging center told me mammogram is the only screening tool that can detect the tiniest micro calcifications (sometimes cancerous) and the only screening tool that can detect ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).

So, will I get a 3D breast mammogram every year?

Probably not.

I might get one every two years and possibly stop altogether when I’m older, on the advice of Dr. Christine Northrup.

I understand this is a calculated gamble.

If I wait two years and screening detects either of the two cancers I mention above this means I will have missed early detection and treatment. However, because a thermogram detects heat changes (cancer gives off heat), I’m betting on a thermogram’s detection benefits (thermography doesn’t detect cancer, it detects changes in the physiology of the breast, e.g. heat, vascularity).

I plan to aggressively appeal to my insurance company to get them to cover an MRI this year on the grounds that:

a) I’ve had abnormal findings (twice)

b) I’m adopted and therefore have no genetic history to calculate that risk factor

c) I don’t want the added radiation exposure

Breast cancer screening is highly individual

Every woman needs to make her breast screening decision based on her history, her individual risk factors and her comfort level with the plusses/minues of each detection tool.

1. Prevention however, should be our first priority. Lifestyle choices, nutrition, exercise, stress management (how we think does indeed impact our health in measurable ways) and targeted supplementation (e.g. vitamin D3).

2. Women should use a multi-modality breast cancer detection approach.  Each tool (including the all-important doctor exam) offers advantages and disadvantages. I stopped doing self-breast exam and rely on my doctor’s expertise to feel for unusual lumps.

My earlier post: Why I stopped getting mammograms and did this instead:

Two years ago I stopped getting mammograms. I’m not afraid of mammograms (although placing my breasts between two glass plates like a cheese melt isn’t exactly enjoyable), I don’t bury my head in the sand of health denial. I don’t think I’m invincible.

Here’s why.

At this writing I’m 48. That’s 16 years of radiation exposure with a tool research indicates isn’t catching the cancers we want to catch very well and paradoxically, has a high rate of false positives. This uunnecessarily scares women which leads to undue emotional distress and unnecessary pokes, prods and potentially dangerous needle biopsies (more on that in my linked article).

My decision to ditch mammograms came after over two years of research and conversations with my certified breast thermographer.

Ultimately however, I decided to stop getting mammograms after reading advice from a well-known natural health physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola. Dr. Mercola is my natural health go to guru, as is Dr. Christine Northrup. Neither speculate with loose-lipped quackery. Both back their recommendations with long-time credible peer-reviewed research.

It’s never easy to go against the norm of mainstream medicine especially if you’ve had an abnormal finding. Suddenly you panic and your doctor becomes your savior to soothe your frazzled nerves. Whatever they say — is golden. Moreover, who has the emotional energy or time to argue a case for breast cancer screenings that are outside the norm?

Who wants to?

Do it anyway.  And here’s why.

It’s time for a radical paradigm shift about how we view breast health.

  • First is to focus on
  • Second, we really need totreat all breast cancers? Some resolve on their own and to poke and biopsy and compress increases the risk of spreading cells.
  • Third, each woman’s screening should be customized to her individual risk factors.
  • Fourth, mammograms, based on long term findings, should no longer be considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening.
  • Last, breast thermography’s ability to detect physiological changes has improved radically and along WITH MRI/doctor’s exam, offers a highly effective and safe (but of course not bullet-proof approach and the MRI “dye”/contrast carries risk) screening.

“In facta study published in 2009 in the Journal of Medical Systems and the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed reported that thermography aided by the latest analytical software sensors is 94.8 percent accurate – or nearly twice as effective as mammography! With more and more recent studies supporting these numbers, it has to make you wonder what the FDA is thinking by refusing to admit the good that it is.” Dr. Joseph Mercola. “The Breast Cancer Breakthrough that’s Making Experts Angry.”

From my article: “Why I’m opting out of mammograms and doing this breast cancer screening instead.” 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Are you afraid to fire your doctor?

Healers heal with more than their medicine. Bedside manner sinks into our reactive minds and cells and makes a difference – Laura

This summer at the beach I found out I had the dreaded shingles (Here’s my shingles story and how I got rid of this nasty crud).

I’m 47ish, healthy and not under extreme stress. My case was fortunately mild, likely caused by adrenal fatigue diagnosed recently. I felt pretty sh…..y for a while. But what I want to ponder in this post is how we’re treated by medical professionals, our healers. Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and the like.

Respect them I always say, and they will more than likely respect you.


Some do, some don’t.  It’s all about the white coat ego my friend, the ego.

What I know after 25 years and moving radically (but not blindly) away from mainstream medicine and into holistic/integrative, is many in the medical DO NOT LIKE to be questioned, ever.

I once had a male Ob-Gyn ask me, “Who let you get a mammogram at 30?”

Hellooo mister doctor man who doesn’t own breasts. My girl body. When we’re talking penis and prostate health, you pick your tests on that one.

I’m adopted. No family history. Also, a doctor found a lump on my ride breast in my twenties and referred me to an oncologist (fibrocystic, benign thank God). Later another doc suggested I get a mammo at 30 (now I don’t get mammos I do MRI’s and thermograms in lieu of the radiation and compression, but that’s another story).

Mr. No Early Mammo doc and I had a few restrained but defensive words. He said these kinds of too soon tests were a burden on the system. In not exact words I said his attitude was a burden on me.  

Dare to question the great white coat and you just might get your bold little hand slapped for straying outside the lines.

Please believe me that I don’t go into my appointments ready for battle with any doctor. I smile and say hello, nice to meet you. I’m respectful and eager, sometimes supremely nervous until what I say to my doctor has her treating me a like a five year old who needs to behave.

Talk down to me and oh, it’s on. Continue reading….

How he looks at you. How you look at him. Attractiveness unraveled.


Image credit:

Men, women and how we view attractiveness. (Where I agree with Dennis Prager and where I don’t).

Driving home the other day I heard the Dennis Prager Show. As a conservative Republican he’s not my usual radio show pick (although I try to at least sample all political points of view).

But I agreed with what he said, mostly (see below for where he lost me).

Dennis discussed how men tend to view women’s attractiveness. He offered some surprising insights including that men are far less critical of how their wife or girlfriend looks than women realize, assuming we at least try to look decent.

The effort alone counts.

But unfortunately (and erroneously) women think we have to try to measure up to Charlize Theron, Angelina or Cindy Crawford or even lesser beauties to compete for our mate’s attention. (I can’t imagine where we’d get such a crazy paranoid notion except for the daily delivery of gorgeous models plastered on every media platform across every continent).

Those sexy supermodels Dennis reminds us, are often waif thin with a boyish body. Flat-chested and not much curve. Men like curves. Supermodels are mostly boys with boobs, he points out.   Read more….

George Zimmerman. Vigilant or vigilante?

Image credit

I watched HLN this morning, a day after the not-guilty verdict came down for George Zimmerman. A few points came up during the HLN discussion panel that really struck me.

My view of the Zimmerman – Trayvon case:

  • Recent criminal activity in area.  Zimmerman was vigilant of strangers in the subdivision because a number of crimes had been committed in the area recently.
  • Racial profiling. What was going on in George’s head when he saw Trayvon? Did he profile a young black male? In my opinion, probably so, but only George knows his true mindset. Friends of George say he doesn’t have a history of being racist.  The act of following Trayvon and calling the police suggest he either profiled this young man or he was doing his version of color-blind due diligence for the watch dog program.
  • Vigilant or vigilante?   In my view George was justified to call in any and all suspicious behavior he noticed whether from a black, white, female or male.  But what behavior was suspicious about Trayvon, exactly? He was walking home with snacks in hand. His hoodie was up because it was drizzling.  If George was suspicious of Trayvon because he didn’t recognize him in the neighborhood so he felt compelled to call the police, George still should have stayed in his car.  He clearly overstepped his role as a HOA volunteer. Bad, bad move.
  • Scared teen turned angry. In my view Trayvon had every right to feel profiled, stalked and scared. He was simply walking home minding his own business. If however, Trayvon assaulted Zimmerman after their verbal exchange because his fear turned to anger  (Trayvon referred to George as a “creepy ass cracker” which is a racial slur) then Trayvon initiated violence, violence that Zimmerman set into motion by confronting him in the first place.
  • George’s injuries don’t add up.  The medical examiner reported that his injuries weren’t life threatening, that they likely resulted from only one blow. George’s injuries don’t suggest Trayvon bashed his head into the concrete multiple times as he claimed, or that he was brutally beaten as he claimed. And yet, the desperate cries for help? Evidence suggest they came from George.  We’ll never know.
  • Stand your ground vs. duty to retreat. This is tricky. Florida law allows citizens to “justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.” (Wikipedia).  If George even thought his life was in danger, he was allowed to pull the trigger.  I’m unsure how I feel about this large wiggle room for deadly force.

Why did George pull the trigger?

1.      He felt his life was in danger

2.     His life was in danger. (George claims Trayvon told him he was going to die that night and that  Trayvon held his hand over his nose and mouth as              he repeatedly bashed his head against the concrete).

3.    He was trigger happy and a vigilante hellbent on killing this kid, a teen, a black teen.

Where do we go from here? Commentary from political science professor

  • A black political science professor on the panel said he doesn’t have issue with HOA watch dog groups, his issue is that George Zimmerman crossed the line by getting out of his car rather than waiting for the police to arrive.
  • Racial profiling isn’t the core issue he said; it’s what you DO once you’ve mentally racially profiled someone. Don’t assume all blacks will commit a crime and then act from your assumption.

Read more….

British study shows kids of working moms just fine. Here’s why.

Photo credit:

The Brits know. Quality childcare is key. Maternity leave, essential.

Studies had shown that children born to career mothers in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s did not perform as well, with their literacy and numeracy skills about two percent lower. But the latest research by Heather Joshi of the University of London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies found children born since the mid-1990s whose mothers worked during their early years fared just as well as those whose mothers did not. – Working mothers urged to drop guilt as study finds kids do fine.  – British Study

So, the question I have is does this study translate to the U.S. given we don’t have paid maternity leave and HIGH quality childcare isn’t the norm for all income brackets?

Joshi said the most important factor that triggered this change in Britain was the Labour government’s investment in childcare in the mid-1990s.

I already intuitively knew kids of working moms are fine, at least with the parents I know, and I’ve been home full-time with my daughter since she was 9 months. So why do I care?

I’m at home so I could finger point at working mothers. I care because I don’t believe in shaming people for what is natural and that is: some women want to work, have to work, deserve to work.

Ambition is not exclusive to men despite a woman’s biological imperative to have babies. I’ve been ambitious and remained so even when my daughter was born.  I just so happened to channel my ambition at home, via writing and other pursuits, some of which took me away from her for short periods.

My daughter is 15 now. I’ve been at home as a writer and volunteer for years.  I would without a doubt, have worked part-time but I left my marketing research job due to a myriad of guilt, employer and health reasons. I was lucky to have the choice.

Formula for a happy kid? Who knows, but we sorta do.

Kids whose parents work do just fine academically and behaviorally if, and here’s the kicker, kids are surrounded by loving people who genuinely show care and concern.
I have no facts. I’m too lazy at this moment to dig them up. Seriously, I’m going instinct and obvious here. Usually I go facts, figures, stats to be heard, but obvious transcends, sometimes.  Kids need attentive, caring parents and attentive, caring caregivers. Given that, of course the kids will thrive.  Love is love which is not to say a parent’s love is the same as a caregivers, of course not.

It’s to say parental love and care + caregiver love and care = thriving kid. The embracing village and all that. Grandma, aunt, uncle, friend or really loving, attentive daycare provider. It’s all good. Switching kids all over the place, not so good. Kids really do need continuity. Crappy half-ass childcare where the person is barely paying attention or never engaging your child in developmentally stimulating stuff? Come on. No child deserves that.

BUT who can afford the best? My question is, what child doesn’t deserve the best? They all do, regardless of income.

When high quality childcare is more affordable and accessible to folks beyond the wealthy we’ve arrived.  This goes along with my safe-car question which is: Why should the safest cars be the most expensive cars? Only rich kids get to live if they get in a car accident? But that’s another post.

Changes in British maternity leave also contributed to the finding, although the US still lags.

Drop the guilt in yourself, and other mothers.

I’ve been writing for a decade about, among other things, debunking myths and shame in the motherhoodsphere (postpartum depression, mommy wars and motherhood identity are my favorites).  One of the shame-filled issues is society bashing working moms as “less” or not a full-time mother.


As a stay at home mother this still, always chaps my hide and was a key reason I started the Orlando Mothers & More chapter while I was in another club who focused mainly on stay at homes (or part-time employed). I wanted a more “inclusive” message.

The fact is, finds the Brits, give parents accessible, affordable HIGH QUALITY childcare and time off with their kids, and children will thrive as well as those with parents at home.

 An analysis of six studies looking at 40,000 children over the last 40 years found there was no link between mothers continuing their careers and children achieving less at school or misbehaving.This research suggests changes in maternity leave and greater availability of childcare and the consequent increase in maternal employment have played a big role in enabling parents to balance work and family, Fiona Weir, chief executive of the single-parent charity Gingerbread, told Reuters



P.S. Picture is of World War II Rosie the Riveter.  

“Women worked during WWII when men went to war in droves, forcing childcare to the forefront. Unfortunately conditions weren’t always ideal for the little ones.Like men, women would quit their jobs if they were unhappy with their pay, location, or environment. Unlike men, women suffered from the “double shift” of work and caring for the family and home. During the war, working mothers had childcare problems and the public sometimes blamed them for the rise in juvenile delinquency. In reality, though, 90% of mothers were home at any given time. The majority of women thought that they could best serve the war effort by staying at home (Campbell 216). During the war, the average family on the homefront had a housewife and a working husband (Yellin 45).”

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