Getty ImagesMy husband has several wives. Me, of course. But he also has a wife who is his dietitian for the medical study he's involved in, and another who sits just a few feet away from him at the office -- his work wives.
There's no flirting involved; his dietitian is engaged, and his work wife has been happily married for years, with kids who are grown and out on their own. And though my husband and I work for the same company (and have since long before we were married), at the office, for the most part, we are married to each other but I am not his work spouse.
When it comes to work, we tend to operate independently -- and his having a work wife makes that a lot easier in many ways. When we both have to weigh in on a work-related issue, there's no assuming that he speaks for me or vice versa; we're both part of an office Facebook group, so for late-night work-related discussions he and I are often in the same room, on separate computers, posting nearly simultaneously, from separate
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse
Getty ImagesMy husband has several wives. Me, of course. But he also has a wife who is his dietitian for the medical study he's involved in, and another who sits just a few feet away from him at the office -- his work wives.Read More »from Are you OK with your husband's "work wife"?
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Shine Food – Tue, Jul 7, 2009 7:32 PM EDT
One of most basic ways to do more with less is to bring your lunch to work; if you usually spend just $7 a day on lunch, bringing it four days a week (splurge and buy lunch on the fifth, if you like) can easily leave $100 or more in your wallet each month. Though you do end up spending a little more on groceries, the savings -- especially if you learn to love leftovers -- can be substantial.Read More »from User post: Bringing your lunch to work (without resorting to PB&J every day)
Bringing your lunch to work doesn't mean throwing a soggy sandwich into a baggie and tossing it in your purse, though. It also doesn't mean a dazzling selection of non-nutritive items from the snack machine. Here are five lunches that take little effort to prepare:
Steak and Bleu salad: Fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and thin slivers of leftover london broil, pot roast, or even shredded roast beef from the deli. Fill a small container with bleu cheese dressing and drizzle it over the salad just before you eat it. (Don't have any small jars? A zip-top plastic bag can keep the dressing contained;
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Work + Money – Fri, Jun 26, 2009 6:32 PM EDT
Savannah Redding/AFP via Yahoo! NewsRemember what it was like to be 13? Awkward. Gawky. Embarrassed by your changing body. Worried about social pressure, fitting in, and being bullied by "mean girls."Read More »from Should schools be permitted to strip search students?
Now imagine being strip searched in front of adults who are practically strangers. At school.
The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a public school in Arizona violated the privacy rights of one of its students in 2003, when officials forced her to undergo a strip search after accusing her of bringing over-the-counter medication to school.
Savana Redding was 13 at the time, an honors student who had never been in trouble. According to Reuters, the assistant principal ordered a school nurse to search her after another student said Redding had provided her with over-the-counter ibuprofen pills. (Yes, like Advil or Motrin.) Though the tips was unverified, and no pills were found in Redding's backpack or pockets, the 8th grader was made to remove her clothes, move her bra to the side and pull her underwear out, exposing
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Work + Money – Tue, Jun 23, 2009 9:09 PM EDT
Getty ImagesI think that one of the reasons my own work-life balance is so awful is that my husband's is nearly nonexistent.Read More »from How does your husband's work-life balance affect yours?
He's a multimedia editor, which often keeps him up editing video until the wee hours of the morning or has him out covering events at night or on weekends. I'm a newspaper editor by day who juggles a freelance writing career at night. We work for the same company, and we're parenting the same five kids. But he's dealing with a wrinkle that I don't: As a man, no one really expects him to be struggling with work-life balance.
That's not to say that he doesn't struggle with it. Believe me, he does. It's just that, if he has to work late, it's assumed that I'll handle all things kid- and house-related. And I do. But if I have to work late, I always feel like there's a price to be paid.
And I know that's coming from within -- I'm the one keeping score, not him. Over at Sparkplugging's The Man Page, Derek Semmler asks working father of six Leo Babauta if women have a harder
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Work + Money – Thu, Jun 11, 2009 6:16 PM EDT
It's no secret that working moms are under a great deal of pressure. Work It, Mom!'s recent survey of 400 breadwinning mothers found that 73 percent worked full-time outside the home, and 68 percent found it stressful -- with many becoming resentful of having to support their households. The recession isn't making it any easier.Read More »from Can working moms hope to find work-life balance in a recession?
Several surveys have come out recently, trying to gauge the effect the economy has had on work-life balance in general, and working mothers in particular. As you've probably guessed, the results aren't pretty.
We often say there's really no such thing as work-life balance; it's more of a juggle and, from time to time, you have to forget about keeping all of those balls up in the air and just try to catch them as they fall. But guilt is still a factor, according to a recent survey by Splenda. The survey of more than 1,000 moms in the United States with children under 18 was meant to focus on wellbeing, health and nutrition, but it also found that 61 percent of
There's stress -- boy, howdy, is there ever stress right now -- and then there's overwhelm.Read More »from 5 ways to get over feeling overwhelmed
Right now, I have both, and one is feeding the other. When I'm overwhelmed, I get really withdrawn (if you've ever met me in person, you'll understand that it's a strange thing to be around a very quiet Lylah). Sometimes, I seem angry, but I'm not, I'm just really frustrated. And my to-do list seems to grow by the second, because I can't seem to get anything done. Which, of course, adds to the frustration, and to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
So, how to you break the cycle? Here are five things I try to do to overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed:
1.) Put it in perspective. Yes, times are tough. In fact, they're pretty horrible. But where do you stand, in the grand scheme of things? Take a hard look at what's going on around you. Look for the bright side -- there always is one, somewhere -- and hold on to it like a lifeline. One excellent way to put things in perspective: Cuddle your
Getty ImagesI'm not a PR person, or a career coach; I'm just a journalist who gets a lot of press releases. A LOT of press releases. If I had a dime for every press release I deleted or threw in the recycling bin, I wouldn't need a second job.
I've had quite a few people ask me for advice on pitching products or events to journalists, and I found myself giving the same bits of advice over and over again -- so, this time, I wrote them down. Here are 10 tips for crafting a press release that will actually get read, from someone who is on the receiving end:
1.) Pitch it to the right person. Make sure you're sending your press release to the right place. I write a regular column about gear and gadgets for family travel; any press releases about exotic destinations, fabulous cruises, expensive resorts, or romantic getaways to other countries go right into the trash.
2.) Spell everything right. Especially the name of the person to whom you're sending the press release. Use spellcheck, ofRead More »from How to write a press release that gets noticed
TwitterConfession: I've jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. And I really like it. Maybe as much as I like Facebook.Read More »from Do you use Twitter? Here's why you should
I started doing it as a way to promote some of my freelance writing, but pretty soon I was using it as a way to keep up with a few of my friends on the fly. In spite of my crazy-hectic life, I feel like I don't have all that much to say when a friend emails to ask "So, what have you been up to?" But with Twitter, I can fire off a status update into the ether, and read ones from my friends. It's like staying in touch without actually, you know, touching.
I was on the fence about Twitter for months. If I tweet, who will follow? What would I call myself (WriteEditRepeat, of course!). Am I too busy to add yet another layer of social networking to the mix? Would I ever check it? What kind of thing could I possibly say in 140 characters or less?
A lot, apparently. I end up tweeting about my work, of course, but also firing off quick congratulations to friends when they post about
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Work + Money – Tue, Apr 28, 2009 1:45 PM EDT
Getty ImagesMy company is talking layoffs, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't stressed out about it. Who stays and who goes may come down to things we can't control -- seniority, for instance, or full-time vs. part-time status, or the number of people in a given job category. But there are a few variables that can be controlled, and they can make a big difference in how valuable you are as an employee: Dedication, visibility, and special skills.Read More »from 5 tips for making yourself more valuable to your company
Here are five tips for keeping up with the things you can still control.
1.) Designate one day per week when you will come in early. Get there before the boss does; if you can manage it, get there before everyone else does, too. It doesn't have to be the same day each week, and it doesn't have to be by much, but that little extra bit of facetime can go a long way toward keeping you on the office radar and reminding people that you are, indeed, dedicated to the company.
2.) Designate one day per week when you will stay late. Later than your boss, later
- Lylah M. Alphonse | Work + Money – Tue, Apr 7, 2009 8:40 PM EDT
iStockphotoThe axe is falling at my company right now, as it is at many, many others across the country. Understatement: This is a stressful time.Read More »from 5 non-financial ways to help a friend who's lost her job
While I sit here with my fingers crossed and my heart in my throat, I've been thinking about other friends of mine in other industries who have lost their jobs. I'm hardly in a position to help much, given my own precarious situation. Or am I?
Support doesn't have to involve money, and you don't have to be in a position to hire in order to help someone else get back on their feet. Here are five simple things you can do to help a friend who has been laid off:
1.) Ask them to network with you. I've seen a huge uptick in the number of LinkedIn invitations and recommendation requests I've received lately, and it makes sense -- sometimes, the best way to land a job is to know someone in the business. An email asking them to peruse your LinkedIn contacts or be your friend on Facebook costs you nothing, and may help them meet someone who can help them get