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July 31 is another reminder of how much the Mommy Tax hurts us all

Women, men, families... We ALL deserve better than this.

July 31 is another reminder of how much the Mommy Tax hurts us all

Earlier this year, on April 4th, we celebrated Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far into 2017 women had to work in order to take home the same salary for the same type of work as our white male counterparts in 2016. The thing is, for many women, Equal Pay Day comes later in the year.


In fact, today, July 31, is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day—meaning, black women must work seven additional months in order to catch up to white men. We feel it’s important to acknowledge that the wage gap is not one size fits all. It is not enough to recognize, in general, that women are unfairly compensated and deserve equal pay. We must also acknowledge that the wage gap disproportionately affects women of color, and it marginalizes mothers, too.

How Much Does Your Kid Cost?

Here’s what’s fascinating: Did you know that the wage gap between mothers and childless women under age 35 is now greater than that between young men and women? Research shows a 4 percent wage penalty for having one child and a 12 percent penalty for having two or more children for women. When we talk about the cost of parenthood, we often limit conversation to the hard costs—childcare, education, healthcare, etc—but, how often do we discuss this “mommy tax”?

In The Price of Motherhood, Ann Crittenden defines the mommy tax as the “highest tax on families,” and goes on to acknowledge that the impact of the mommy tax on a household, with a child and a total income of $81,500, could result in a loss of as much as $1,350,000 in lifetime income.

Considering that 81 percent of American women become mothers by age 40, the mommy tax, on top of the wage gap, absolutely impacts a woman and her family’s ability to build wealth and work towards greater economic mobility.

Rethinking Harmful Policies

As women of color professionals, we struggle with the reality that our race could net us lower offers, and as working mothers, we resent that our children are often seen as demerits by employers. In the same way that the color of our skin should not impact our ability to obtain equal pay, neither should the status of our uteruses.

This isn’t only about individual employers, though, this is also about the policies and culture that govern their actions. Until the United States requires employees have access to paid maternity leave (we’re one of only five countries that doesn’t), until higher-paying jobs no longer demand 24/7 availability, and until affordable, high-quality childcare is a right and not a luxury, families will be forced to decide that one parent must take a less demanding job, reduce hours or turn down a promotion. These types of decisions particularly disadvantage women, women of color, mothers and the intersection of all three (which we happen to be) with permanent sacrifices to earnings and long-term security.

#RepresentHer

An investment in mothers is an investment in families and communities. Women drive 85 percent of business and consumer purchasing, with $2.1 trillion of spending attributable to moms alone. We volunteer countless hours—at schools, community programs, athletic programs, etc—subsidizing our economy at our own expense. Women also invest 90 percent of their income back into their families and communities. Creating economic opportunity for us is one of the most effective ways of creating positive social change for everyone, well into the next generation.

And it’s up to us to move the needle. That’s why The Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign and The Representation Project are teaming up: We are challenging the status quo that pays women less, sees less of our numbers in leadership and particularly devalues those of us who come from communities of color.

Join us by using #RepresentHer to demand more women in office and more women- and family-friendly policies. Let’s fight for ourselves like we’d fight for our children, because marginalizing us marginalizes them, and we won’t stand for any of it.

Let’s see to it that Black Women’s Equal Pay Day no longer exists. Let’s roll back the mommy tax. And let’s build a culture that allows each of us to reach our full human potential.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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