This isn’t your mom’s workplace: How work culture is changing in 2018

For women attempting to strike a balance between career and family, one thing is clear: This isn’t your mama’s workplace. Today’s options range from traditional, full-time jobs, to flex work gigs from the comfort of your home, to starting your own business for the price of an internet domain.

What does this all mean? There is more power in the hands of workers than ever before.

This was demonstrated by the 2017 State of the American Workplace Report, where 51% of the nearly 200,000 American workers surveyed said they are “searching for new jobs or watching for openings.” Women, especially, are no longer content to go along with the status quo as we call for gender equality, parental benefits and flexibility.

Finally, it seems employers are starting to listen.

Here is how leaders believe work culture will change for women—and moms in particular—in 2018:

Grassroots movements will pay off with better parental benefits

Workplace improvements for women and mothers in 2018 will be led by employers, regional government and startup innovations rather than through the national policy changes many were hoping for.

We can expect CEOs to advocate for more flexible, inclusive work environments, especially as they struggle to attract and retain top talent in the tightened job market.

Other bright spots in the new year will be the roll-out of New York's 8-week paid family leave plan and the power of startup innovations like Maven, HopSkipDrive, Milk Stork and Mom Project, which will enable working parents to more seamlessly manage the demands of work and family.

—Allison Robinson, CEO & Founder of The Mom Project

Better protections against sexual harassment—and more empowerment

I think that we'll continue to see sexual harassment headlines in 2018 as I believe #MeToo is truly a long overdue movement. I believe companies will respond by sharing—and improving—their sexual harassment policies and adopt more employee training in this area.

I also believe that companies will continue to expand their flexible work arrangements and improve parental leave policies in 2018, both of which are continuations of multi-year trends. At Fairygodboss, we believe that every woman has the power to use her voice to improve the workplace and we think that the national attention on women in the workplace creates strength in numbers, which will embolden more women to speak up about injustices they see happening.

All of this makes me sanguine that we will see further progress in the areas of equal pay and greater numbers of women being promoted into leadership positions in 2018.

—Georgene Huang, CEO & Co-founder of Fairygodboss

More partnerships and purpose

Ever since I read about the ambition collision in The Cut, I’m hyper-aware of how much pressure we as women place on ourselves. I think 2018 is going to be the year of us holding each other (and our companies) accountable in a certain way—more women’s marches, more speaking out, less impostor syndrome, more asking for what we deserve—but also the year of women teaching the world what forgiveness means.

We need to remember that work doesn’t always look the way we intended and that work/life balance doesn’t either. I think we’re going to move increasingly toward embracing the ambiguous without losing sight of each other. It’s going to be the year of the woman ally.

—Lauren McGoodwin, CEO & Founder of Career Contessa

Women moving on up ?

2017 is a year that will go down forever in American history, we’re sure of it. We don’t know a single woman who isn’t re-evaluating how she’s spending her time in 2018. Whether it’s leaving a company that’s misaligned with her core values, or one that doesn’t provide her the flexibility she needs to live her best life—women will be making moves next year.

—Annie Dean, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Werk

It seems we’ll look back on 2017 as the year many women in workplaces found their voices. Now, let’s aim to look back on 2018 as the year we used them to change the world for the better.

We’ve got this. ?

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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.


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!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


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.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less