Report reveals the best + worst states for working moms

Wallethub, a personal finance website, released a report this week that expertly explains the best and worst states for working mothers.

They used 16 metrics to analyze each state including childcare, work-life balance, opportunity and the gender pay gap, among others. States were then given a score in each category to determine which were the best and which fell short.

Blue states beat out red states—Massachusetts being number one which was due largely in part to a very favorable childcare ranking.

The lowest ranking state was Louisiana with low grades in all categories—but Alabama ranked even lower in the work opportunities category.


New York ranked highest for best day care options (but day care costs in NYC are notoriously expensive).

The top ten best states are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. Vermont
  5. District of Columbia
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Wisconsin
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Washington

The worst ten states are :

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. West Virgina
  4. Georgia
  5. Nevada
  6. Mississippi
  7. Idaho
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Louisiana

To see your state's score, hover above it on the map below:

Source: WalletHub

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 71% of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce and women represent nearly half of full-time wage and salary workers in the United States. Yet, they are only making 85% of what men made in 2018.

In fact, mothers typically make only 71 cents to every dollar a father makes, and it's costing us $16,000 a year.

WalletHubs new findings fuel the gender inequality debates around the country. Women work before they are mothers. Women need to work even after they become mothers. Women want to work after they become mothers. Women are working after they become mothers. So, what are we going to do?

Here are 5 ways you can take action today:

1. Ask for a raise

Most mothers are underpaid. This obviously isn't right. Feel empowered enough to demand your worth. Your employer is lucky to have you. Our friends at Fairygodboss share four excellent ways you can prepare to ask for the money you deserve.

Check out the salary negotiation tools on Payscale to help you prepare for a conversation with your boss—including the specific data you'll want to backup your request for a raise.

2. Lobby for affordable childcare

Get involved with activist groups in your area or online. Speak up at work. Educate yourself on the issue. Check out some of these organizations for more info— The American Association of University Women (AAUW), Moms Rising, and National Partnership for Women and Families.

3. Spread the word

Be an advocate for yourself and other parents. Talk to other moms and dads about what their childcare issues are, what they do to make things work and how you can come together to fix this problem. Use your social media platforms to start meaningful, productive conversations.

4. Advocate for more on-site childcare

Businesses can work toward providing on-site childcare opportunities for employees. Google, Cisco, Patagonia, gDiapers, General Mills all do, to name a few.

5. Contact your state reps

If you're not happy about where your state landed on WalletHub's list this year, let your legislators know that you're demanding better for yourself and all the mamas in your state.

[A version of this post was first published May 11, 2017. It has been updated.]

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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