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Top 10 Working Mom Topics of 2012


Every year we seem to find something that fuels working mom blogs and gives us room for debate. But 2012 was a year to remember. From all the controversy around the election to several high-profile working mom blog and media stories, the headlines seemed to give us entries into every hot topic for mommy blogs and real-life mothers alike.

1. Moms of the election

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Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Arguably the top story of 2012, for working moms and the entire population, was the presidential election, which touched on issues of interest to moms from the economy to the glass ceiling and reproductive rights. One notable episode involved Democratic lobbyist Hilary Rosen's comment about Ann Romney disparaging her lack of work experience. Naturally, that fuelled blogs, the mommy wars' fire and gave the talk show circuit some fresh material. And who could forget the longevity of candidate Mitt Romney's comment about the "binders full of women" that his staff collated for possible jobs in his administration as Massachusetts governor.

2. Can women have it all?

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Another lasting topic was whether women can have it all when it comes to work and family, kicked off by Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter's cover story in the Atlantic Magazine on the question. Expect this one to stick around for debate for a while. (And note that Slaughter is working on a book on the subject.)

3. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's work-life choices

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer photo
Photo credit: Getty Images/Paul Zimmerman
I wasn't the only working mom blown away when Yahoo's new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer took maternity leave of a scant week with her first child. Clearly, this is an option used mostly by the very rich or very poor, and I'm still not sure it carries many lessons for the rest of us. But we can all applaud the Yahoo board naming her CEO while expecting her son -- no pregnancy discrimination here.

4. Gender attitudes keep changing

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Photo credit: Malek Chamoun/Getty Images
As always, in 2012 we journalists relied on the work of academics and researchers to pin down the shifting societal attitudes that we merely capture as anecdotes in our articles. Two notable studies showed a growing acceptance of working moms and on the flip side, that stay-at-home dads feel fulfilled by their nurturing role.

5. Moms rock the Summer Olympics

Kerri Walsh mom blog pictures
Photo credit: KerriWalsh.com
The Summer Olympics came to London this year, showcasing Olympic working moms such as cyclist Kristin Armstrong, basketball player Candace Parker and volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, who took home her third gold medal in the summer 2012. These Olympic working moms give our daughters role models, and are a delight to cheer on.

6. The Paycheck Fairness Act fails again

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Despite President Barack Obama urging the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, this piece of legislation languished in Congress. Count on advocates to bring it up again in 2013 as they continue to seek to close the gender pay gap.

7. Choosing child care

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Photo credit: SW Productions/Getty Images
As in every year, the right child care choice was a hot topic for working moms just starting out, or managing a transition to a new job or school. Is a nanny or daycare better for your child? What about an au pair or live-in nanny? There are so many considerations!

8. Working moms in popular culture

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Photo © Mitchell Haaseth / NBC Universal, Inc.
Television and the movies provide an exaggerated or oversimplified view of the tradeoffs we all make each day, but at least they bring the key issues to light. Take Julia in the TV show Parenthood questioning her high-powered legal career. Or -- new to DVD in 2012 -- the Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle I Don't Know How She Does It.

9. Conquering the summer madness

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Photo credit: Caroline Woodham/Getty Images
Another perennial working moms blog topic is managing summer camp selection and schedules, as well as the so-called family vacation that often ends up being more work than your 9-to-5 job! Not that either is easy, but each year they seem to get a bit more streamlined. Or perhaps we're simply getting better at the juggle.

10. Advancing your career

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Photo credit: Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you're a super-ambitious working mom or simply punching the clock for a paycheck, it makes sense to maximize your earning potential for the hours that you are at work. When I blogged about moms hiring a career coach I was surprised by how many people were interested in the question. It's just one of several smart ways to climb the corporate ladder.

What will 2013 hold for working moms? Stick around this mommy blog and Web site. You can be sure I'll write all about it.

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