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Kathy Marshack News

Working Moms – Create More Flexibility in Your Work Schedule

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


working moms juggling work and home life“I never miss one of my child’s ballgames.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say that? With the busy work schedules that working couples have, especially entrepreneurial couples, it seems like it’s nearly impossible to accomplish something like that. One of the things working moms and dads regret most is that family time gets sacrificed in order to keep their job or stay in business.

In today’s world, very few women want to be stay-at-home moms. Most women prefer to have a career. However, statistics show that many are working much more than they’d really like. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed that only a quarter of mothers with school age children want to be working full-time if money were no object.

That’s where thinking outside the box and taking the initiative is beneficial for creating a flexible work schedule. One great alternative is working from home one day per week. That’s what one enterprising mom did. After 9 years of working full-time for her employee, she mustered up the courage to ask to work from home on Fridays. You can gain inspiration from her story in The New York Times, Coveting Not a Corner Office, but Time at Home.

Some advocate that women should seek careers of leadership positions while depending on a partner to help with the childcare, however not everyone wants to live that way. It’s important for you and your partner to figure out your work-life priorities, and then not be afraid to ask the boss if you can work in an out-of-the-ordinary way, e.g. part time or from home. True, the boss may say, “no”, but there’s a good possibility you’ll get a “yes” instead.

But what if you are the boss? Of course, if you and your partner are in business together, then you have more flexibility of how and where work is done. If you’re having trouble coming to a satisfactory arrangement for your work-life circumstances, you might benefit from talking with a family therapist. Contact my office and set up an appointment in either my Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington office.

Check out my book - Entrepreneurial Couples Making it Work at Work and at Home that’s now available as a Kindle edition. You’ll find the true-life experiences helpful and inspiring.

Can Marriage Survive When You Have a Child with Autism?

Friday, July 05, 2013


Happy marriages and happy family

There’s a lot of confusing data and misinformation out there, such as the oft repeated, but unsubstantiated, statistic that 80 percent of parents of autistic children will divorce. Granted, raising an autistic child does add more stress, especially since parents must suddenly become experts in education, health care, early intervention, insurance policies and so much more amidst the storm of emotions connected with learning of your child’s diagnosis. But that in no way means your marriage is doomed. 


To the contrary, researchers have found that, if the marriage has a strong foundation of good communication, flexibility and conflict resolution, then these qualities will draw you closer together as you work to provide your child with the training and attention needed. You can read more about this in the Psychology Today article, “Love in the Time of Autism”.

Parents are encouraged to draw boundaries to preserve the quality of life with each other, with their neuro-typical children, family, friends and careers. You can’t let the guilt and grief of autism consume you. It’s important to discuss a division of labor between you and your life partner so you make decisions together and express appreciation for what each is doing. It’s damaging to spring emotionally charged decisions on a mate who is already stressed out.

Another crucial element to keeping your marriage strong in these circumstances is to reach out for support and not try to go it alone. If there are strains in marriage before the diagnosis of ASD, then these will be magnified. The good news is that even strained marriages can be salvaged by consulting with a mental health professional who specializes in autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. If you’re ready to talk, contact my office and set up an appointment in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington.

Download a free chapter of “Out of Mind - Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome”. It’s my new book that addresses the unique issues that comes from co-parenting with an Aspie partner and how you can detach from the emotional distress.

The Long-Term Effect of Poverty on the Brains of Children

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


poverty effects child's brain

Poverty may actually be changing the brains of children as they respond to the stressful circumstances found in the low socioeconomic status. Research has found that the cortex thickens when children are exposed to factors such as stress, poor nutrition, lack of healthcare, and environmental toxins such as second-hand smoke. 


It’s indisputable that living in overcrowded, dangerous neighborhoods without adequate education or parental warmth will cause more stress. However, the stress in the children of these recent studies is disproportionately magnified. (To learn about these studies, read the article – How Poverty Might Change the Brain at CNN.com)

The good news is that researchers have found that “later enriching experiences can at least partially compensate for the effects of early-life stress on the hippocampus.” The brain compensates by creating new pathways. If you would like help to change how you think about yourself and your life, speak to a mental health care professional. The many forms of Psychotherapy available have helped thousands to overcome negative childhood experiences smoothing the progress toward full, rich lives.

For more information, visit my website – Depression & Stress or contact my office to set up an appointment.

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Help Your Special Needs Child Prepare for the New School Year

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Summer is flying by and before you know it you’re kids will be back to school. For parents who have children with special needs such ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) it can be stressful preparing your child for the new school year. I have put together a few tips to help make the transition from summer to school a little easier for you and your child.

Be Positive
It is only natural for your child to feel apprehensive about the new school year. You can help ease their worries by speaking positively about what they are going to experience this year. Get them excited about that they are going to learn. Recall to their minds the thing they enjoyed from previous years.

Get into a Routine
Even though school hasn't started yet, it’s a good idea to start getting into a good routine that will ease them into their school schedule. Set a wake up time and bedtime for your child. This may need to be done gradually for them to adjust. Also start with a few academic games/projects to refresh their memories and get them to prepared for what to expect when school starts. Consistency is key for both ADD and ASD.

Get Prepared
Include your child when you are getting prepared for the school year. Take them with you when you do their school shopping and let them pick out things that they like. Help them put together their backpacks, discuss lunch and snack options, and help them lay out their clothes for school the night before. Make the preparation a joint effort.

One other thing I really recommend doing – once you find out who your child's teacher will be – is to put together a packet about your child for the teacher. Take a look at the article How to Assemble a Teacher Information Packet for some helpful tips.

For additional back to school and safety tips, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics - Back To School Tips. My website also has information about Parenting a Child with ADD.


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