Working Mothers Outraged Over Urban Outfitters’ New Flex-Time Policy

Image via iStock

Image via iStock

To outsiders, the headquarters of Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia might seem like a great place to work. Employees at many of the Urban buildings down at the Navy Yard are allowed to bring their dogs to the office. Urban will give you a bike light and helmet if you pedal to work. And having an on-campus gym and top-notch cafeteria doesn’t hurt one bit. But women who work there say it’s not so great thanks to a new policy that they believe discriminates against working mothers. Read more »

How Philly Moms Are Fighting for the Right to Pump Breast Milk in Privacy

Illustration by Anna Parini

Illustration by Anna Parini

Like most moms, I’ve breast-pumped while perched delicately atop toilets, while wedged into filing closets, while idling in Target parking lots.

This is all de rigueur in the pumping world, which is one of endless workarounds. For one thing, being topless at work and milked by a motorized pump is nobody’s first choice; for working moms, pumping is the only way to feed their kids breast milk for the full year recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Secondly, even though federal and city laws require most employers to provide non-bathroom private space for moms to express milk, there’s wide latitude in what those spaces look like and how consistently they’re available — particularly in our increasingly open-office society. Not to mention all the public spaces that offer, like, zip. So … hello, Wawa bathrooms, hotel lobbies, broom closets. Read more »

In Defense of Trigger Warnings

Left: Kutztown University Director of Women's and Gender Studies Colleen Lutz Clemens. Right: The trigger warning that appears on her new syllabus. (Highlighting added.)

Left: Kutztown University director of Women’s and Gender Studies Colleen Lutz Clemens. Right: The trigger warning that appears on her new syllabus. (Highlighting added.)

Last week, the University of Chicago made national headlines when the school announced to incoming freshman that it does not support trigger warnings. (You can read the school’s letter to students here.) But Colleen Lutz Clemens, the director of women’s and gender studies at Kutztown University says that the University of Chicago got it all wrong. We reached out to her to learn more about the origin of trigger warnings, why she uses them, and why parents may be to blame for their existence. Read more »

How I (Painstakingly) Reformed My Picky-Eater Toddler

Picky-Eater Toddler Tips: Noah eating his food happily.

Behold! My picky-eater toddler, Noah, happily eating a sandwich. (I thought this would never happen.)

I think most first-time parents will sympathize with me when I tell you the following story. The rest of you might think I’m a tad nuts, but whatever. I’m willing to risk your judgment.

So here goes: It was 8:30 on a Monday night, about an hour after my nearly one-year-old son, Noah, had been put to bed for the night. My husband, Chris, was out of town for work, so I’d had a particularly long and logistics-laden day juggling a needy baby, yippy dog, work deadlines, etc. (Side note to single parents: I do not know how you do this day in and day out, and I salute you. I believe you are actual superheroes.)

In a word, I was tired. Really tired. And on that particular night, I’d battled with my kid for nearly an hour at dinnertime while he rejected — with gusto, I should add — every last item of food I put in front of him.  Read more »

Philly Mom Gets Nasty Anonymous Letter About Her Son With Autism

Left: The anonymous note. Right: Mayfair's Bonnie Moran with son Ryan, who has apparently been upsetting one of the neighbors.

Left: The anonymous note. Right: Mayfair’s Bonnie Moran with son Ryan, who has apparently been upsetting one of the neighbors.

Bonnie Moran has been through it. The 32-year-old Mayfair mom suffers from spina bifida, and two of her three sons are autistic. Still, she says that most of the time, she’s able to hold her head high and enjoy life. But last week was a bit rougher than normal. Read more »

Should Kids Be Banned from Bars?

South Street bar Tattooed Mom allows children of any age to hang out until 7 p.m., accompanied by a responsible adult, of course.

South Street bar Tattooed Mom allows children of any age to hang out until 7 p.m., accompanied by a responsible adult, of course.

It’s Thursday night. You’ve had a rough day at work. And all you really want to do is belly up to your favorite bar and have a few beers and talk about grownup things with your friends, as people are wont to do in drinking establishments. But when you get there, you are horrified to find a group of young kids sitting at the bar.

Read more »

Every Judgmental Facebook Commenter Owes the SEPTA Kids Mom an Apology

septa-kids-new-video-940x540

Since early this week, the city has been reeling over that viral video that shows a group of out-of-control young children on the Market-Frankford El. Commenters have been brutal toward both the kids and their mother. The children’s behavior was appalling, and many feel that the mother didn’t do anything to intervene. But new video has emerged that sheds more light on the incident. Read more »

Mom From SEPTA Kids Video Speaks Out: “He Came at Us, We Didn’t Come at Him”

Left: Screenshot from video of incident on SEPTA. Middle: Jessica Carrera with son. Right: The children from the video enjoying a snack at Old City's Wexler Gallery, shortly before the video was shot.

Left: Screenshot from video of incident on SEPTA. Center: Jessica Carrera with son. Right: The children from the video enjoying a snack at Old City’s Wexler Gallery, shortly before the video was shot.

UPDATE, 3/31/16: Read the latest on the SEPTA kids video.

By now, you’ve probably seen it: A disturbing viral video that shows a group of out-of-control young children on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford El. It has been all over TV news in the last 24 hours.

The group of African-American and Latino kids are seen spitting, cursing, and punching, seemingly targeting the person behind the camera, a white man named Patrick Coyle. Meanwhile, the woman accompanying the children stands quietly nearby.

Well, Philadelphia magazine has seen a different video, captured in the moments before the viral video began, and this new video shows a different perspective. The woman can be seen trying to get the kids in line, and Coyle — who continued to record the children after the woman says she and the kids repeatedly asked him to stop — can clearly be heard calling one of the children a “monkey kid.” Twice.

Here, the woman in the video, Jessica Carreras, 38, tells her side of the story. Carreras is the mother of the Latino children and the aunt of the two African-American kids. The children range in age from 7 to 11. We repeatedly reached out to Coyle, who did not respond to our requests for an interview. Read more »

Lesbian Poet Julie Gard Opens Up About Same-Sex Parenting in New Book

Julie Gard reading from her new book Home Studies.

Julie Gard reading from her new book, Home Studies.

​What inspired you to write this collection of poems, and how did you prepare for it?
I was inspired to write this book by relentless curiosity about the world around me and a love of the prose poem form. Preparation consisted of many years of a regular writing practice. I have a fortune taped up in my study: “Little and often makes much.” I wrote this book bit by bit over many years of journaling, generating, shaping, and revising. Read more »

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