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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • 8 ways moms are helping America

  • In recent weeks, stories about dads have flooded news sites everywhere. But what are moms doing to help the United States and its culture?
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  • Father’s Day has passed and it left a bundle of stories on dads in its wake.But what about the moms of America? Is there something to say about what they’re bringing to society, too?It appears so, as recent articles and news reports are looking at what moms are doing. And much of what they are doing is receiving positive remarks.Here are eight things moms are doing in today’s society.They’re fighting for social changeYes, moms are on strike.Working mothers across the United States are walking out of their local Walmarts and petitioning for better wages, according to Socialist Worker, a social issues news website.The mothers are shining a light on the large retail chain that has been under scrutiny for its low wages in recent weeks, wrote Stephanie Schwartz from Socialist Worker.“Given WalMart's size and strength, it's important to note the courage and tenacity of workers who continue to organize,” Schwartz wrote. “Small victories like rights for pregnant workers and improved scheduling systems can help build the confidence of workers to take on Walmart. There is a ways to go in this struggle, but with Walmart moms leading the way, Walmart looks a little less invincible than it once did.”They’re staying homeMore women are deciding to be at home, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2012, 29 percent of mothers with children younger than 18 stayed at home, which is an increase from 23 percent in 1999.“The share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen over the past decade, reversing a long-term decline in stay-at-home mothers,” Pew reported.Not all stay-at-home mothers are thrilled with the idea, though.They’re also workingFor those mothers who are working, there may be benefits for their kids. NBC News reported on June 17 that kids whose mothers go to work tend to do better when they’re tested in kindergarten. However, this seems to apply only to children from low-income homes."Moms going back to work when children are still babies may affect the children differently in contemporary society because there are so many more working women today with greater responsibility for their families' income," said Caitlin McPherran Lombardi of Boston College, the leader of the study, told NBC News. "Different cultural attitudes, more readily available and higher-quality child care and more fathers participating in child rearing are other possible reasons for the difference."They’re having a tough time with baby No. 2Having a second kid is weighing more heavily on mothers than it is on fathers.FiveThirtyEight reported on June 12 that mothers and fathers are usually equally happy with their first child. But once the second child is born, women decrease in happiness by a near 10 percent margin, FiveThirtyEight reported.“It means that women are much more likely than men to experience a drop in happiness with the birth of their second child,” wrote Heather Krause for FiveThirtyEight. “For women, the short-term impact of the second kid is harder than the short-term impact of the first.”They’re influencing corporate AmericaCorporate America has a new group to please: mothers.In recent years, mothers have become an important demographic for corporations and businesses, wrote Jillian Berman for The Huffington Post.Mothers are constantly shopping, accounting for $29 trillion in spending, which has indirectly forced corporations to take notice of them, Berman wrote.“Mothers have been cajoling huge companies into changing their ways for more than a century,” Berman wrote. “Though American women now have far greater choices and opportunities, the power of the ‘mom’ has only increased. In part, that's because women are a huge consumer force.”They’re going to warBalancing life and work might not be easy, especially when work includes going to war. Lane Anderson of Deseret News National reported in May about how mothers are spending time with their families even though they’re also spending time in war zones and in the military.And — as Kim Olson, a retired colonel who now works for a nonprofit group that aims to help women veterans, explained to Anderson — mothers are still expected to care for their children once they get home."When she gets off the plane, guess what the expectation is? She's home! Here's the kids. Here's your house. Here's your job," said Olson to The National. "She's expected to just roll into these roles with no space to reintegrate."They’re using social mediaMothers aren’t shying away from social media.Mashable reported in November of last year that a new study found that mothers who have children under 5 years old are more active on social networks.And it seems Facebook is the go-to social media platform for these mothers. As for devices, mothers tend to use iPads more than anything else.“Together, the data from both reports indicate that mothers are setting an example for their children through their mobile-device usage habits,” Mashable reported.They’re helping people get healthyLooking to get a solid six-pack? One mother in Montana may be the one to help you out.Robyn Mendenhall Gardner, a mother of eight children, posted a 30-day ab workout online and it went viral across the Internet, NPR reported. Since then, Gardner has been trying to keep people motivated to work out and be healthy.“Encouraged by the attention her 30-day challenge has drawn, Gardner hopes to host other challenges that focus on different muscle groups,” NPR reported. “For now, though, Gardner is working to complete the task at hand. She says she has stuck with the challenge so far, and she plans to see it through.”And of course, there's this McDonald's commercial where moms are asking their kids to eat healthy. You can decide for yourself if that's healthy or not.
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