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August 06, 1993 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-08-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A Day In The Life Of
A Working Dad


at's a typical
school day like for a
single father? For
Michael Layne, a
West Bloomfield resident, it
means waking up every
morning at 7 a.m. to pre-
pare lunch for his 5-year-old
son, Josh.
"I try to make Josh's
lunch very balanced, which
means a lot of fresh fruit,
maybe a turkey sandwich,
and yogurt," said Mr.
Layne, 42, a partner with
Marx Layne & Co., a mar-
keting and public relations
firm in Farmington Hills.
"Then I get ready, take a
shower, get Josh up and
help him get dressed.We
have breakfast together and


then Josh takes a school bus
at 8:30 a.m."
Fifteen minutes later, Mr.
Layne is at the office assist-
ing companies with new
product introductions, event
marketing or crisis manage-

Michael Layne is
adept at balancing
his career and
caring for 5-year-
old Josh.

Following school, Josh
takes the 3:30 bus home

and is met by Soraya Azzi, a
former kindergarten teacher
in Brazil, who now works as
a nanny. The two spend the
rest of the afternoon going
over homework, reading
books or attending any
number of private instruc-
tional programs like karate.
"I usually get home
between 7:30 and 8 p.m.,"
said Mr. Layne. "Josh and I
will eat a late dinner, read a
book and then he's in bed by
9:30 p.m. On the weekends,
I'll read the paper (on
Saturday mornings) while
Josh watches cartoons. "In
the afternoon, we'll either
go to work together if some-
thing needs to be done or
head to the Franklin Health

Club and swim in the pool.
During the summer, Josh
has day camp, so he gets
home a little later (4:30
p.m. on weekdays) and is
met by the nanny."
A child of the '50s, Mr.
Layne said he grew up in a
home where his father
worked in an office while
his mother attended to the
"Being a parent today is
a lot different than it was
when I was growing up,"
said Mr. Layne. "There are
more demands on your
time, but somehow I man-
age to get everything done.
But on some days, I can
tell you, I'm just exhaust-

A Day In The Life Of
A Working Mom


ast June, Wendy
Shepherd-Bates, a
marketing expert who
specializes in child
advocacy issues, exchanged
corporate life for a home
office staffed in part by her
two children, Frannie, 9,
and Jesse, 6.
"We have two telephone
lines, one for the home and
one for business," said Ms.
Shepherd-Bates. "If I'm on
the business line and
Frannie needs to get my
attention, she'll write me
elaborate notes like: 'Sorry
to interrupt, Mom. But can
I have a snack?'
"But Jesse will just stand
at the door and assess the
situation. If he feels I'm
going to be a long time,
he'll go and come back.
The children are also in
charge of the house
phone, so in a sense
they're my helpers."
While Ms. Shep-
herd-Bates said she
misses everyday
contact with her for-
mer colleagues at Family
Works, a non-profit group in
Troy which specializes in
promoting issues common to







working families, she holds
no longing for weekday traf-
fic delays, office stress and
countless meetings.
Of her first two months
away from corporate
America, Ms. Shepherd-
Bates, who equipped her

always has been
an advocate for
children. A mother
of two, she
recently said
goodbye to
corporate America
to work out
of her home.

residential office with a
Macintosh personal comput-
er, printer, modem, fax
machine and answering
machine reflected on the
highs and lows of working
at home.

"It's been an interesting
experience. Things will
change when the kids go to
school. If one of them gets
sick, it's easier to flex my
schedule and I don't have to
call into the office to get the
time off. You can also set
your own vacation hours,
something I wasn't able to
do before," she said, from
her former sewing room.
"But I'm still figuring out
where work stops and the
kids start. The reason I
made the switch was
because of a strong desire to
be with my kids. I'm able to
address their summer needs
much better and participate
in PTA meetings or camping
trips or shop for groceries
during the day."
The switch to a neighbor-
hood setting has also meant
sizeable savings. When Ms.
Shepherd-Bates commuted
every weekday to the office,
she spent a considerable
sum on fuel, car phone
charges and professional
attire. Those reductions are
offset somewhat, however,
by an increase in residential
phone charges.
On occasions when Ms..

Shepherd-Bates, whose resi-
dential dress code entails
comfortable apparel and no
shoes, attends meetings or
seminars out of town,
Frannie and Jesse either
spend time with nearby rel-
atives or go to work with
their father, Dan Bates, an
attorney in private practice
in Waterford.
"Right now I'm looking for
a laser printer and a copy
machine," said Ms.
Shepherd-Bates. "If I get a
copier I'll never have to
leave home. But (working in
a home office) isn't for
everyone. I am lucky in that
I have a real cooperative
husband who is very sup-
Ms. Shepherd-Bates said
a home office allows her to
better practice what she
preaches —providing the
best possible support for her
family. "I love being with
my kids and I feel very for-
tunate that my home office
allows me to better manage
my time. My husband and I
are a couple of former hip-
pies and quality of life is
very important to us."

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