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Tales of Motherhood

May 2006, SearchMothers.com

(Editorials) We look around in our neighborhoods, at playdates, and workplaces and we see many different kinds of Moms. This Mother's Day SearchMothers.com looks at commentary from two moms who we see represent two rapidly growing groups of moms in the U.S. ---Work-At-Home Moms and Non-Custodial Moms.

Tales of a Non-Custodial Mom

Non-Custodial Mother and Unfit Mother are NOT Synonymous
By Beverly Morris

There are over 3 million Mothers in the United States alone who do not have primary custody of their children. A large and growing percentage of these women are fit and loving Mothers. In addition to paying child support, having visitation denied, and having their relationships with their children minimized, non-custodial Mothers also face society's knee-jerk reaction to think they must have done something wrong to have lost custody. It is extremely difficult for us to meet new people or make new friends because we're so quickly labeled before someone takes the time to listen and get to know us.

My name is Beverly Morris, President & Founder of the National Association of Non Custodial Moms, Inc. (NANCM). I founded NANCM in late 2004, approximately six years after my ex husband used a legal loophole to move our children from Florida to Pennsylvania in 1998. After years of being emotionally distraught and feeling as if I was the only fit and loving Mother in the world to lose custody of her children, I searched for support and found none. Now, less than two years later, tens of thousands have visited www.nancm.org from all over the world and hundreds have joined the organization and found support, understanding, encouragement, and love.

With the termination of the Tender Years Doctrine and the family court system attempting to eliminate gender bias, more fathers are being designated as the primary custodial parent not because the mother is unfit, but because the father is probably in a better position, both financially and with a better job, to provide a more stable environment for the children. A large percentage of non-custodial moms were the children's primary care giver and didn't have a career or any other form of financial stability to show the courts how they could provide for the children. Some mothers still do win custody initially, but once they have to get a second job to make ends meet, they get taken back to court and lose primary custody because of the long hours they are away from their children. Please, the next time you meet a non-custodial mother, take the time to reach out a hand of friendship and take the time to get to know her before you rush to judgment. It's the greatest Mother's Day gift we could ask for.

Beverly Morris, President & Founder NANCM, Inc. - The National Association of Non Custodial Mom, Inc.ís core belief is that children have a right to both parents in their life when and if both parents are fit and loving.

Tales of a Work-At-Home Mom

I am Cereal Mom
By Sharon Davis

I recently heard a woman say that being called a "work at home mom" was professionally demeaning. Being one myself, my initial reaction was to agree with her. "Thatís right, Iím a professional, Iím not just a bored housewife dabbling with a hobby here," I said to myself.

Upon reflection however, I came to realize that I disagree. Deeply.

Working out of your home while caring for children makes for some unique (and comical) situations. If you canít have a sense of humor about these things, then maybe a field job is more your style.

But letís face it, just how professional can you be when much of your work is done with a toddler on your lap? And that is, after all, one of the great benefits of working at home; you can consult with clients wearing bunny slippers if you like. Whoís to know? Sometimes we just need to keep things in perspective. I know that the work that I do is top quality, and I donít sweat what others think of my work environment.

But I do wonder how that woman deals with some of those little challenges that come with being a work-at-home parent.

For example, maybe she feels that going out of the house with soggy Cheerios stuck to her behind would be professionally demeaning. She must have found a way to avoid this. I should call her...

Not being able to locate a pen because theyíre all in use fishing Barbie clothes out of the toilet. This might be seen as unprofessional.

Or, while trying to convince a potential client how you would be the best choice if heís looking for quality, professional results your 2-year-old is proclaiming proudly, "I went poo-poo Mommy!" over and over.

I've known others who have tried to mask their true work environments using some creative metaphors. For example: "As soon as my colleague completes his current assignment" really means..."As soon as my 5-year-old is done with his Mr. Potato Head CDROM".
"We'll be outsourcing the finishing work" really means..."My teenaged daughter will be earning her allowance by collating and stapling your reports".
"I have an urgent matter to attend to" really means..."My 3-year-old has been awfully quiet for the past few minutes and she was recently asking for a haircut"

Does this mean I should lock my kids in their rooms while Iím on the phone? While that can at times seem like a perfectly sensible idea, usually basic time management helps to avoid these situations. My view is that if a client thinks that the quality of my work will be less just because I have children, he can look elsewhere.

Maybe Iím shutting the door on some business, but I refuse to have my children feel that they come second. And I do, in fact, think of myself as a Mom first, and a business owner second. Besides, I think that the day is getting nearer that people really wonít mind their projects delivered with a few soggy Cheerios on them.

Sharon Davis is the Mother of two girls, the owner of www.2Work-At-Home.Com. In her spare time she reminisces about what it is like to have spare time.

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