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Mother’s Day not all flowers

Of the 3.7 million women with infants under the age of 1 in 1998, 59 percent of these moms work.

The U.S. Census Bureau statistic, brought up with Mother’s Day coming up Sunday, represents a record high, almost double that 31 percent participation rate of 1976.

Are the times any easier for new moms juggling motherhood and work?



“It’s tough. I think moms put a big guilt trip on themselves about going back to work, even when studies show day-care centers are generally good for babies,” said Tracy Saunders, who lives on Kingsbury Grade. “You want to provide the best care for your child, but you know the salary is needed.”

Saunders, who gave birth to Jacob Alan in February, is making her own special arrangement to accommodate her hectic schedule.



The senior sales manager at Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe received word Thursday that the hotel is allowing her to job share with a sales department co-worker who is also a new mom.

Saunders still needs to decide whether she will elect to share babysitting duty with her co-worker or if the duo will supplement babysitting with day care.

“For me, it’s been a challenge. I think what’s hard in Tahoe is that you feel isolated in the winter time. There are no support groups for new moms either,” Saunders said.

Saunders has no family members in the area, as her siblings and parents are spread out in the nation. Her parents live in New York City.

It appears Saunders isn’t alone in her challenges.

“I don’t know if Tahoe is any different than anywhere else,” Choices for Children Director Tina Barna said. The local nonprofit organization helps new moms find child-care resources.

Tahoe Youth and Family Services provides services for teen-age Moms.

“It’s very scary for the brand new mom to find day care,” Barna said, referring to their confidence level.

Accentuating the stress, comparative studies sometimes contradict themselves in terms of illustrating the benefits and downfalls of day care versus the state-at-home mom.

“What we have in the middle is mom,” Barna said, sympathizing.

The latest on child-care development found that children felt fine about the amount of time they spend with mom, whether or not she worked. The 1999 survey of 1,000 schoolchildren by Ellen Galinsky was conducted by the families and Work Institute.

Other interesting statistics released by the Census Bureau include: 24.5 is the median age for first-time mothers, according to the bureau’s 1999 survey.

Also for stat hounds, the number of single mothers in the United States essentially leveled off to 9.8 million. The unchanged statistic follows a quarter-century period in which the number nearly tripled.

For many single mothers, the Sierra Club’s fastest growing section – the Family and Youth Group – serves as comfort for those wanting to camp, hike and enjoy the environment.

A Sacramento chapter member of the national environmental group, Saunders plans to take Jacob on some of the outings.

The theory of the mobile society gained some weight with another Census Bureau statistic regarding motherhood.

The value of shipments of Mother’s Day cards in 1997 surged to $212 million, up from $148 million five years prior. In comparison, the value of these greeting cards exceeded Easter cards reported at $116 million


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