From the Ed­i­tor

Working Mother - - Contents - Mered­ith Bodgas Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Mered­ith.Bodgas@work­ing­

Why flex­i­ble work is so im­por­tant to work­ing moms, on Hal­loween and year-round.

I’ve long en­vied towns that cel­e­brate Hal­loween on a week­end. It makes so much sense. Par­ents have jobs, kids need adults to trans­form them into witches and vam­pires (or more likely, PAW Pa­trol char­ac­ters, Min­ions, and maybe hu­man fid­get spin­ners), and par­ents want to hold the hands of their lit­tle mon­sters as they trick-or-treat. My hometown of Staten Is­land, NY, made no such ac­com­mo­da­tions. Hal­loween was on Hal­loween. And Oc­to­ber 31, 1988, was a gloomy, rainy, windy Mon­day. My mom thought I’d trick-or-treat with neigh­bor­hood kids and their moms while she worked, but I wanted to go door to door only with my own mommy. Alas, she couldn’t leave work early. So I spent the bet­ter part of the after­noon dol­ing out candy with my babysit­ter, while dressed in my princess cos­tume: a foil-cov­ered dunce hat and re­cy­cled flower-girl dress from a cousin’s wed­ding the pre­vi­ous fall. The mar­riage had al­ready dis­solved, but shelling out for a new get-up wasn’t an op­tion when my mom could force the zip­per up on the one for which she’d al­ready paid $100.

When my mother fi­nally picked me up at 6 p.m., we skipped din­ner and went straight out into the Nor’easter. (Talk about sac­ri­fice!) Ex­hausted, hun­gry and in des­per­ate need of a bath­room, she took me to 10 houses in the dark be­fore call­ing it quits.

One neigh­bor, a real es­tate agent who was usu­ally home dur­ing the week, felt so bad for us, she in­vited us in from the el­e­ments. Upon see­ing my mostly empty plas­tic pump­kin, she in­sisted that her son, my class­mate, share some of his hard-earned candy with me. My mom swears I was sat­is­fied. I re­mem­ber dif­fer­ently. My mem­ory might be more re­li­able here be­cause she took off from work ev­ery Hal­loween there­after. Her man­agers through­out the years un­der­stood: This was one day she’d al­ways be home with her chil­dren, so save the big meet­ings for Novem­ber.

Not sur­pris­ingly, that kind of flex­i­bil­ity is still what we work­ing moms crave. It’s why, for the 32nd year, we’re rec­og­niz­ing the 100 Best Com­pa­nies for Work­ing Moth­ers (page 25). It’s also why, as a spe­cial fea­ture in that sec­tion, we’ve found out how to get full-time work-from-home jobs at these top or­ga­ni­za­tions (page 74). And for us on-site folks, we’ve talked to CNN an­chor Alisyn Camerota—a mom of three who works for Turner, one of our 100 Best Com­pa­nies—to learn how the heck she swings those must-be-with-your-kids mo­ments (page 20). As for this work­ing mom, our town has plenty of cos­tumed fun the week­end prior to Hal­loween. Still, I will de­vote half a pre­cious va­ca­tion day to trick-or-treat on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 31. Much as I’ve tried, I can’t con­vince my 3-year-old to rewear his ring-bearer out­fit from his aunt’s wed­ding (for some rea­son, he has zero in­ter­est in be­ing a but­ler). No, the Force is strong with this one—he will be ask­ing for candy as a mini Darth Vader. And that’s some­thing I have to see in per­son.

Wish­ing you more treats than tricks,

My lit­tle Star Wars fan was an Ewok last year. Sadly, he won’t be as cud­dly as a Sith this time.

This was from my school’s cos­tume pa­rade, be­fore the aw­ful storm.

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