Betsy Hart

Does having it all lead to giving nothing?

The fallout from the essay “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in the current Atlantic Magazine is still loudly echoing in the blogosphere. But for the most part, the cacophony of voices in response has rung as hollow as the original piece. In her essay, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote that, as a very successful middle-aged […]

July 10, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Drinking for two

By the time I was visibly pregnant with baby No. 4, I would get a charge out of going to dinner and telling the waiter, “I’m drinking for two now, so I’d like a really big glass of cabernet!” It was a joke, of course, yet it was always fun to see the waiter or […]

July 03, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

The truth about divorce

“10 Things Divorce Attorneys Won’t Say” is the title of a piece in a recent issue of SmartMoney, the financial magazine of The Wall Street Journal. Nine of the 10 are about financial issues: The fact that one rarely imagines how much divorce will cost, how it can potentially change a lifetime of income, and […]

June 26, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Dawn Loggins’ story a great reminder about my own parenting

You may have read the story of Dawn Loggins. Now 18, she was abandoned by her drug-addicted parents last year. Literally. According to news reports, the North Carolina teen was away at summer school when they just packed up and left town without her. Of course, Dawn had a tumultuous life before then dealing with […]

June 19, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Planning a wedding is a little different this time around

So let the wedding festivities begin! I recently wrote that after eight years of being a single mom, much of that spent hoping I might find the right man to share my complicated life with, I have in fact become engaged to my dear Tom. There are a lot of things to prepare for, of […]

June 12, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Getting a second chance at first love

I wonder if some folks reading this might remember what I penned about a year and a half ago, something about how it was time to take the online-dating plunge. It was no accident that column followed one in which I asked: Who needs marriage? Answer: I do! A few months later, I was frustrated. […]

June 05, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Hart: For the love of my daughter, Olivia

This is how I know I love my children: I hate running. Stay with me here. I don’t mind working out hard. I love “spin” class, which is done for an hour on a stationary bike in a climate-controlled, slightly darkened gym. Typically to really good music, depending on the instructor. I simply refuse to […]

May 29, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Just get me to the bank on time!

I received a notice recently about refinancing my mortgage. I get these all the time, but this one was a little different. It suggested that if I could come up with some $80,000 to lower my loan amount, I could get the rest down to a 2 percent interest rate for 30 years, well below […]

May 19, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Women and work: There’s always a job for social engineers

Are these attempts at social engineering ever going to end? Apparently not when it comes to women and the workforce. To review: Women now make up the majority of recipients of undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral degrees awarded in the U.S. each year. On average, young college-educated women in most major cities out-earn their male […]

May 15, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

So what to say to graduates this commencement season?

Let the commencement addresses begin. Of course, if college graduates are not being encouraged by a speaker to pursue their dreams, it’s probably because they are being told to “chart their own course” or “find their passion” instead. Such are the mainstays of modern American culture, you see. Case in point: Steve Jobs, then CEO […]

May 08, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Hope in a jar for the wrinkled set

Hope really does spring eternal. At least for women. As I perused the shelves at my local drugstore the other day, my teenage daughter said, “Mom, if this stuff really did all the things the labels say it will do, everybody would walk around looking great!” No kidding. I remember my mother, when she was […]

May 01, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Hart: Wedding bells for Brad and Angelina?

Who knew that Brad and Angelina were such traditionalists? OK, I use the term more than a little loosely. But in case you’ve missed the hype, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are finally, officially, engaged. After seven years together and six children — three adopted — I guess it was time. Pitt had said a […]

April 24, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

A healthier perspective on our health care

A few years ago, my elderly father’s internist advised him not to have more routine colonoscopies. Why? Because any cancer found would probably “outlive” my dad, who is now 87. I have a friend whose grandfather, age 100, had a little bump on his head and the folks at the nursing home where he lived didn’t […]

April 17, 2012 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Divorce means splitting from the children, too

By BETSY HART Scripps Howard News Service If a woman who was both a wife and a mother died, would anyone suggest that she left behind her husband, but not her children? Of course not. And yet, when a spouse chooses to leave a marriage, the conventional wisdom we hear all the time is that he or […]

| Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists

Hart: Hollywood portrayals of childbirth deliver misconception

It continues to amaze me that women in the Western world have babies at all today. Why? Because of the excruciatingly painful — and very loud — way that childbirth is almost always portrayed by Hollywood. My girls are already terrified at the prospect. Again this past weekend, one of my daughters and I had […]

January 28, 2012 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Ignoring a child’s tantrum is not in my emotional makeup

Constructively ignore my kids to get them on the path to good behavior? Well, that’s a big part of a new parenting technique gaining a lot of traction, at least according to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, “Tantrum Tamer: New Ways Parents Can Stop Bad Behavior” by Shirley S. Wang. As Wang describes it, […]

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Hart: When the toy-buying years are over

My four children — the youngest is already 10 — are now beyond the “little kid” toy range when it comes to Christmas lists. Case in point: The youngest opened her list this year by asking for an iPhone 4S (not a chance, honey). And then, a page of requests later, she closes with: “remember, […]

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Hart: It’s still OK to say ‘Merry Christmas’

It’s not that I’m overly wedded to the idea of celebrating something called “Christmas” on Dec. 25. Almost everything we associate with the traditional day of honoring Christ’s birth is some kind of a pagan import anyway, including the date itself, which probably was chosen because it was near the winter solstice. And bringing a […]

| Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists

Women, work and ambition

Women and work. More magazine, a monthly for “women of style and substance” (read: over 40) weighed into that minefield recently, though perhaps a bit unwittingly. In its November feature “10 Great Careers for Women who want a Life,” the piece by Virginia Sole-Smith looked at jobs — pharmacist, web professional, physical therapist — that […]

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Late-comer to the baby craze

My children were all buzzing around me one day recently. I finally cracked, as I sometimes do, and offered a general, “Oh, good grief. Where did all you people come from, anyway?” To which one of my daughters immediately responded, “Well, Mom, you see, when a man and a woman love each other very much […]

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Hart: As a woman ages, she should lighten up

Over the last several months I have gone blond. Well, kind of blond. Light caramel with blond streaks, you might call it. But enough that the change is very noticeable. This is not all-out brassy blond, as I did for a little while when I turned 40, much to the chagrin of my children — […]

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Hart: Odds and ends about divorce

Another anniversary of mine has just come and gone. I completely forgot this one until I noticed the date a week later. Sort of interesting in its own way, at least to me. It’s the anniversary of my then-husband “choosing to go in a different direction,” as I sometimes put it, in June 2004. Well, […]

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Hart: A tale for two girls

Our story starts at a girls’ soccer game in the western suburbs of Chicago. Actually, a semifinal. “Hannah” is the daughter of my friend “Katy” — not their real names — and was one of a few alternate kickers not called in during overtime in the important game. I know this kid. She’s 12 and […]

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Missing the manly men on TV

Get ready for a fall line-up of television sitcoms that feature men trying to find themselves as, well, men in a world where dads race to get to their child and change his dirty diaper before the wives do. As The Wall Street Journal chronicled recently in “A New Generation of TV Wimps,” some half-dozen […]

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Sometimes, less is more

My siblings and I recently started cleaning out my father’s condominium in Chicago. He hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, he’s just fine. And he’s no hoarder. But we decided — and he agreed — that it would be a good idea for us to clear his place out a little in anticipation he’ll likely put […]

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Hart: Wedding tips to aid bride, groom and guests

One of my daughters’ and my favorite shows to watch together is “Four Weddings” on the TLC channel. It works like this: Four brides attend each other’s weddings over a few months, vote on them using a scale of one to 10, and critique them on camera. The highest vote getter among the four goes […]

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OMG! Bracing to tell the kids about our Internet outage

I waited, fearful and trembling, for my children to get home from school so I could tell them. Yep, it was that bad: Our Internet was out of commission, and likely would be for some 40 hours until the cable company could get here to fix it. For-ty hours. Knowing I would have to face […]

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Hart: The village needs to cut down on eating

More evidence is pointing to the fact that having fat friends can be, well, contagious. According to Arizona State University research just published in the American Journal of Public Health online, the more overweight a woman’s social circle is, the more likely she is to be obese herself. Interestingly, researchers found that this may have […]

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