Postings for July 2010

You need a raise
Yes, you, mom!’s annual estimate of what you should be paid for all those mom duties is a whopping $117,856 for stay-at-home moms; working moms should earn $71,860 above their outside salary. Those figures come from average salaries for the 10 basic jobs a mom does, including housekeeper, cook, psychologist, day care center teacher and van driver. Estimated salaries are down a tad from last year, thanks to the economy, but one number that continues to rise: the number of hours the average working mom puts in. Moms with full-time jobs outside the home now work more than 96 hours a week, when you combine her job, mom hours and mom overtime. Not considered by the survey: the numbers for single mothers. Laugh? Cry? Caffeinate?

SexsomniaDo you have ‘sexsomnia’?
A frightening new disorder to worry about: sexsomnia! The “disorder” — in which a person initiates sexual contact while asleep — appears to be more prevalent than previously thought. Almost 8 percent of people in a sleep-disorder study had symptoms of sexsomnia; three-quarters of them are men. Oddly, doctors say, patients rarely if ever complain about the symptoms of this disorder.

Sexless in Seattle
Wish it weren’t so, but our latest poll turns up evidence of something missing in parents’ marriages: sex. A full 40 percent of parents tell ParentMap that their sex life is DOA; 25 percent say they’re rarely in the mood for sex — but still making the effort. Some consolation: Eighteen percent say they’re getting plenty, thank you very much. Read our report on why making time for sex really, really matters.

Sobbing softly …
… over my keyboard after reading the newest stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): A full 40 percent of teens — ages 15–19 — have had sex at least once. What’s more, 14 percent of the girls and 18 percent of the boys say they would be “pleased” if this resulted in a pregnancy. Experts say that little bombshell shows there are many misconceptions about pregnancy and parenting among teens. Ya think? The upside: Most teens — 79 percent of girls and 80 percent of boys — report using some form of birth control during their first sexual experience.

Obesity and birth
Another sobering CDC report: About one out of every five pregnant women were obese when they got that way, and that could account for a big rise in cesarean sections, birth defects and deaths. The CDC defines obesity as having a body mass index of at least 30 (for instance, a 5-foot-5 woman weighing 180 pounds). Read a fascinating New York Times article on this study.

Horrid hybrid
The worst new idea in kids’ entertainment: advergames! Here’s how they work: Your kid watches a show on Nickelodeon or the Cartoon Network and sees an advertisement for a food company’s website. That website features online games that incorporate loads o’ product placement and branding (brainwashing?) into the fun. The food companies also incorporate nutrition and/or physical activity messages — but only at the rate of one healthy message per every 45 brand identifiers. Thanks for nothing, Chester the Cheetah (though the Cheetos sushi recipe rulez!).

Flight plan
If you’re flying with your family this summer, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants you to buy a separate seat for your infant. Children younger than the age of 2 are not legally required to have their own seat, but the NTSB says holding tots on your lap can be dangerous if you hit turbulence. “The safest place for young children in turbulence or an emergency is in an approved child-restraint system or device, not on an adult’s lap,” says the NTSB, which is urging passage of a law mandating that separate seat.

Of note …
Huzzah for Seattle Children’s Hospital, which has just been ranked among the best in the nation for the 18th year running by U.S. News & World Report …The first-ever drop-in center for homeless youth has just opened in East King County. The Family Resource Center is at 16315 N.E. 87th Street in Redmond. Details are at Friends of Youth.

—Kristen Russell Dobson

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