Daily chart: More neighbours make more fences

EUROPE will soon have more physical barriers on its national borders than it did during the Cold War. The ongoing refugee crisis, combined with Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, saw governments plan and construct border walls and security fences across the continent in 2015. On September 15th Hungary completed a fence along its border with Serbia, a major point of entry for refugees making their way into the European Union (EU) last year. Within hours, over 60 people were arrested for attempting to scale it. Hungary’s is just one of a ring of anti-migrant fences along the southern fringes of the EU’s visa-free Schengen zone. To the north, in late December, platforms at Copenhagen’s Kastrup rail station were fenced off as part of Sweden’s latest effort to control the number of migrants entering Malmo from Denmark across the Oresund bridge. Not all of Europe’s barriers are so fresh, refugees are still trying to climb or swim around fences originally built in the mid-1990’s enclosing Spain’s Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Fences were also erected on Greece’s and Bulgaria’s borders with Turkey in 2012, and Ukraine began sealing off its border with Russia in 2014. Last year the Baltic states announced they are following suit. That would leave Belarus’s as the only unsealed border between the Baltic and the Black sea.  

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, over 40 countries around the world have built fences against more than 60 of their neighbours. The majority have cited security concerns and the prevention of illegal migration as justifications. More than 30 of those decisions were made following 9/11, 15 of them last year. In the Middle East, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria as well as the associated wave of refugees have prompted most countries to close borders. When it completes its border-wall with Jordan, Israel will have surrounded itself entirely. In Asia, too, walls and fences have proliferated, generally designed to prevent illicit movement of people and goods rather than to seal disputed borders, though Kashmir’s line of control at India and Pakistan’s disputed northern boundary remains a highly-militarised example.

Some proposals for border fences are less plausible than others. In 2013 Brazil announced a “virtual” wall, monitored by drones and satellites, around its entire, nearly 15,000 km- (9,000 mile-) long border. It began work on the Paraguayan and Bolivian sections this year, which are hot-spots for smuggling. But sceptics point out that much of Brazil’s border runs through rainforest that is impassable and hard to monitor. Even given easier terrain, high-tech border security often fails. The United States, which has several times fortified its border with Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, which has shuttered five of its borders since 2003, have struggled with proposals that were either too expensive or didn’t work (or both). For most countries, barbed-wire or electric fences, combined with ditches and buffer zones, are the reality. Thankfully, in contrast with the Cold War, transgressors of Europe’s new borders are no longer shot.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/01/daily-chart-5

Homemaker – Expanded Settlements at Fallout 4 Nexus

1.41 for PC is out and compatible with Fallout 4 1.7.9 or greater.

Will not be made available for console.

I would like to thank Ethreon for the navemeshing which he applied to most if not all applicable items. Giving them about 90% functionality. If you have any comments please be courteous. I would also like to thank ccmads for improving some of the meshes. A text file is provided with the download that explains the changes.

Additional notes about navmeshing and updates: Ethreon and ccmads made the biggest changes with navmeshing and mesh updates.  Those volunteers made these needed changes and fixes in their spare time and I know everyone appreciates it.  However, with over 800 recipes and over 1000 items added by Homemaker the current volunteers are not preforming any general housekeeping.  The description page may not be up to date and notes in the plugin about whether or not an item has a navmesh has probably not been updated due to the amount of time it would take to go through all the records in the ESM file.

Note about DLC: Homemaker directly changes Fallout4.esm only.  There are no conflicts or incompatibilities with any DLC because Homemaker doesn’t require, use, access, or alter any DLC.

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Ever feel your settlements were a bit “lacking?” Want something to help spice up your shack? Homemaker is here to help!

Homemaker is a mod that greatly expands on the vanilla crafting system for settlements, and adds over 1000 new, fully-balanced objects to craft, ranging from cars, to refrigerators to working street lights and everywhere in between! The mod also features a new Institute build set, with placeable snapping walls, floors, stairways and more! Whether you’re a mad scientist, longing for the good ol’ days, just trying to scratch out a new living in the wastes, or a sadistic raider, Homemaker has something for you!

Update News: 1.33 is mostly a bugfix release which will hopefully improve usability of the mod. Items of note were some re-models of several problematic meshes, such as the greenhouse roofs, vault catwalk stairs and the brick building stairs, so that they are more easily placeable and in the case of the stairs, have proper navmeshing. This may cause them to move, however, and you will need to replace (store/scrap) the greenhouse roofs to avoid invisible walls. I also tweaked the multi-story walls a bit , fixed a couple missing properties, and added a few items here and there. You can see more info on the changelog here. I did manage to fit another build set in, however! Some of you may recognize it from a previous addon that was floating around, but the set incorporates bits of the vanilla retaining wall set with the addition of some custom meshes by Jayrun! It’s currently split between the Fences/Concrete Fences and Landscaping/Paths categories for the walls and floors respectively. See the pictures for more info, and see below for more info on the much larger 1.32 update.

1.32 is an update focused on bringing the mod up to a consistent, high-quality standard. Because of this, the focus has been primarily on fleshing out and developing items already added by the mod. To that end, I went through every single item and recipe in the game, added missing properties, adjusted recipes, icons and place/pickup sounds, and tried to make as many things as user friendly as possible. A full changelog can be found here. This update also adds a patch that fully ports the mod over to use the SK resource. (SK v0.8 is no longer available) Note that this is a patch so you will still need the full Homemaker.esm file, and it is recommended you delete the patches previously added by the mod.

Fences and walls received a lot of attention this update. I added snap points to all the mod-added chainlink fences, Junk Fences, and wrought-iron fences, as well as to the BoS Airport barriers and walkways. I also added snap points to the shop and diner counters added by the mod, which fit well together. Navmeshing was also looked at, with many fixes being tried for it, namely for the vault catwalk stairs, the the aforementioned BoS barriers, and several other assorted pieces from various build sets. It’s mostly hit and miss at this point, and I’ve noticed some NPC’s will use it fine for a second, then suddenly forget how to walk up stairs and immediately walk around it. A true fix will have to wait for the GECK.

As part of the general polish of this release I also examined the majority of the build sets in the game. The Brick building set was completely redone, making it much more feasible to actually build buildings with. I also added several new pieces to it, such as various types of roof pieces, corner doorways, and stairs with railings. Also expanded upon was the warehouse building set, which featured a near re-do of most of the sets snap points, as well as a the addition of another variation of the set, featuring much, much taller walls (see the screenshots for examples). The greenhouse set was expanded as well, with unbroken glass versions of most of the set being added. The Institute set received by far the most polish, with window walls being re-done using custom models, half balcony railings added, wonky textures being changed and more. Another structural bit of note is that all multi-story walls were also changed to use new custom modeled spacers, which not only look much better but lose that awful flickering. Bounds were also changed for most of the sets to help them snap together much easier, especially with corners.

Lastly, even though the focus was on polish, I still managed to add a good bit of new material, including a fully navmeshed snappable Diner set! This can be seen in the pictures above, and works very well together. Other additions of note are a variety of new plants, including some pre-war grass (hopefully I’ll be able to add more grass in the future), several pre-war items I missed, trash cans, arcade machines, a new prefab building, and a custom-modeled interior doorway for the wood shack set, which is also navmeshed. Work on the next update will proceed in the coming week or so, so stay tuned!

Here are a few examples of what the mod adds:

7 New Build Sets – Urban Brick Buildings, Coastal Pier Shacks, Institute Houses Greenhouses, Bunkers, Diners and Warehouses! All sets are as navmeshed as I could possibly make them and should work with NPC’s , with the exception of a couple Bunker doors. The brick building set has some known issues, all of which are marked in the items description, but it should be fixed next release.

Large prefab buildings, such as Covenant Houses, Radio Towers, and lighthouses, to help give a bit more flavor to your settlements!

An overhaul of many of the vanilla categories to make many objects easier to find. The category imprint of this mod is much lighter now.

Hundreds of new decorative objects, ranging from cars, to trees, to coffee machines and much, much more! Now includes Institute monitors and other wall-mounted objects

New farmable crops – Silt Beans and Tarberries, and working planters like the kind found at Greygarden or Vault 81.

New Beds, Chairs, Toilets, Showers, Counters and other household objects, from both pre- and post-war! The beds also all count to your settlements bed total, and yes, bunk beds and double beds count as two separate beds.

Tons of new usable lights ranging from candles, table lamps, fluorescent lights, fire barrels, lanterns, and even working streetlights! All electric lights use passive power like the other non-connectable vanilla lights.

Tons of new fences and misc barriers that can be used in your settlements, including chainlink fences, covenant walls, BoS style military barriers, Gunner barricades, and many more!

Many, Many other new buildable objects. Try it and see for yourself! The vast majority of objects have proper icon scaling and balanced recipes, and those that don’t will be getting it soon!

Homemaker overhauls the vanilla category system to make it much more efficient and easy to use. However, it keeps the vanilla categories intact, so mods that add things to only the vanilla categories should all remain compatible. See the Compatibility section below for any other compatibility related concerns.

All of the new Homemaker build sets are store in the Structures tab under Structures/Homemaker, to keep these changes simple. The new fences are stored in new tabs under the fences category, and the miscellaneous build tab was split into shipping containers, raider and super mutant items, and the default misc category. The Vanilla shacks and door categories remain unchanged, categorically speaking.

The Furniture category received the most changes. Chairs, Containers and Tables have been broken up into more manageable categories. “Chairs” has been turned into “Seats”, and separated into Benches, Couches, Chairs and Stools. “Tables” is now “Surfaces” and broken into End Tables, Coffee Tables and Dining Tables, Counters and Cabinets, and Misc. Surfaces. Containers have been broken into Supplies, Home, Office and Misc, with Supplies being the category full of containers most players tend to store their stuff in. In addition, the container objects that were once stored in Decorative/Misc section have been moved to the containers group, mostly in the Misc section. In addition, a “Fixtures” category was added that contains many larger decorative household objects that don’t quite fit as decoration, namely things like bathtubs, showers, sinks, etc.

Decorative objects sees the addition of the vehicles and landscaping categories, each with sub-categories for each family of object contained with in (cars, living and dead trees, rocks, shrubs etc). Floor coverings was broken into Large floor coverings, small floor coverings, and Paths, containing the new foot path objects. Miscellaneous was broken into Exterior, Interior, and Misc., and is now used mostly to house clutter objects like playground equipment, file boxes, etc. In addition, potted plants were given their own category under the Miscellaneous section and will show up when you find the appropriate perk magazine. 1.21 also sees the addition of Warehouse Objects, for things like pallets, crates, handcarts, etc, and Electronics, for the new Institute monitors and other computer-like items.

The rest of the categories were more or less untouched, with the exception of Lights, which were split into Ceiling Lights, Floor and Table Lights, Wall Lights and Misc Lights.

As I said above, the vanilla categories were left in and simply given new names to fit the current system. Below is a list of the vanilla categories before and after:

Structures/Miscellaneous -> Structures/Homemaker/Miscellaneous

Decorations/Miscellaneous -> Decorations/Miscellaneous/Miscellaneous

Power/Lights -> Power/Lights/Misc Lights

Power/Neon -> Power/Lights/Neon

Furniture/Chairs -> Furniture/Seats/Chairs

Furniture/Containers -> Furniture/Containers/Miscellaneous

Furniture/Tables -> Furniture/Surface/Miscellaneous

If you have a mod that adds a recipe to one of the categories on the left, it will show up in the corresponding category on the right.

Install Instructions:

Download using NMM and follow the included installer to select which compatibility patches or optional patches you want to use

When installing manually, ensure your INI is configured to allow archive invalidation, then extract the Data folder of the mod to your own data folder, overwriting if prompted. Then select any patches you may want to use from the Patches folder. The patches currently are:

The patches currently are:

Three Build Set Disablers – Disable bunkers, greenhouses or both. Use only one esp at a time.Streetlights use passive PowerUnlocked Institute Items – use if you want to have institute items unlock before completing Institutionalized. All Settlement Keywords Expanded patches are provided with SKE.

Load order:

The recommended load order for the mod is as follows:

Fallout4.esm

Homemaker.esm

|

Homemaker – Disablers

Homemaker – Unlocked Institute Objects

Homemaker – Streetlights Use Passive Power

Other Mods

The three separate patches make no edits to each other so they are fully compatible to be used together.

Update Information:

When updating to 1.2 from 1.12+, just ensure the meshes folder is added to your Fallout 4Data folder, and overwrite the ESM and the Meshes folder.

When updating from the ESP version of Homemaker (1.11) to the ESM version (1.12+) it is *highly* recommended that you make a clean save. These steps will not prevent all issues that might result from the update, but should help it go as smooth as possible. NOTE: ANY HOMEMAKER ITEMS YOU PLACED WILL DISAPPEAR UPON UPDATING

Remove all items you have in any Homemaker container and store them somewhere safe.Go far away from any of your settlements where you have placed Homemaker items, preferably an interior (Diamond City works well)Make a non-quicksave save of your gameExit and de-activate Homemaker.esp using the mod manager of your choice.Re-open the save you made last and select yes to continue loading. Save your game again.Exit and activate Homemaker.esmRestart the game and have fun!

Homemaker should be compatible with all mods that don’t touch the workshop crafting system. It is incompatible with mods that alter the vanilla crafting system, namely those that add or remove categories from the vanilla records it adds. A patch that ports the mod to Settlement Keywords Expanded is included with SKE.

Compatibility patches with mods that add custom categories are very easy to make. All you have to do is open up FO4Edit and load the mods you want to make a patch for, look at the red-highlighted conflicting vanilla formlists (beginning with WorkshopMenu), and copy the conflicting lists as an override from the mod you want to have higher on your load order first (in this case, usually Homemaker) into a new ESP. After that, just select the formlist that you copied over to your new patch and look at the highlighted records on the right. Drag and drop all the records from the mod you want to make compatible to your patch, so that the final version has all the records from both mods in its list (you may have to add list entries). After that, save, test and your ready to play! Note, I will not be offering support on any patches not made by myself, but if you have any questions about the process, feel free to pm me.

As of 1.32, this mod will no longer offer support for SSEx. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Known Issues:

The Institute monitors (with the CCTV Screens) in the Decorative/Misc/Electronics section will flash rapidly upon selection. People who are sensitive to sudden flashing lights should avoid these objects for now; luckily they are at the end of the section.Much of the navmeshing on mod-added objects is experimental and will not always work. This will be fixed in time when the GECK comes out.The Institute Consoles and Wall monitor have issues with clipping through walls due to their size, and will jut out the back. This is only cosmetic, and is not entirely aesthetically unpleasing (see my exterior house screenshot for an example). In addition, the larger wall mounted consoles tend to move right up to the front of the camera when they are placed, so when placing them try and get as close to the wall as possible. I’ve found placing them once and then picking them back up makes them slightly less spastic.For generators, wires do not tend to neatly attach themselves to the connect points, but this is due to them not having those fancy mini transformer towers the vanilla meshes have. They will come in time.Many of the smaller lights (desk lights, table lights) are movable static objects, and will fall over if you bump them. This sounds nice, but the workshop placement engine is not capable of righting them again, and they are unable to be picked back up once knocked over by holding “e”. I found a potential fix which allows them to be picked up and carried at the expense of being unscrappable. I will keep trying to get find an ideal fix for this issue.Some of the lights models are permanently set to look either “off” or “on”, or will vary between the two seemingly at random. This is an issue with how Bethesda decided to categorize light models, and should be fixable with the GECK. In the meantime, I was able to fix things by saving and reloading.

Here are some solutions that have been found to some of the more common issues people have been having with the mod:

Crashing when selecting a category – usually this happens on the Institute structures category, but can happen anywhere objects with altered models are stored. It is typically caused by a missing mesh, which either means your INI isn’t set up properly, or the folders didn’t copy over correctly. See this link for more instructions on how to set up your INI file. If that doesn’t fix the issue, try re-copying the meshes folder from the Homemaker zip file into your Fallout 4Data folder, and overwrite when prompted. Also try reinstalling the mod in NMM if you used that to install.INI in Data folder – It has been reported that some people have been having an INI in their data folder with the latest patch that is causing crashes with the mod. If you are experiencing crashes and find you have one, try renaming or moving it out of the folder and see if that helps fix your crashes.Missing categories – If categories are missing, that means you are using a mod that is overwriting the categories added by this mod, such as SSEx or OCDecorator. If you do use a mod like this, make sure to look for any compatibility patches for them if they are offered. Ensure that the patches are loaded later then the mods that they are patching, and make sure to check to make sure that two patches don’t conflict with each other either. If two mods or patches do conflict and the mod author doesn’t offer a fix, then check my compatibility section for a quick rundown of how to do custom patches in FO4Edit.Missing Institute items – Unless coupled with the missing categories issue, this is not necessarily a bug, more of a misunderstanding. The Institute items and build sets only unlock while you are a member of the Institute, and you will lose access if you are no longer a member of the faction. To gain access to the items without being a member, use the Unlocked Institute Objects patch in the files section, or type “player.addtofaction 5E558 1” (no quotes) in the console (~) to add yourself to the Institute faction. Type “player.removefromfaction 5E558” to remove yourself from it when done.Mod/Mods do not load after game update – Bethesda forgot to remove the beta patches’ mod restriction from the latest update, making it so the launcher automatically deactivates all mods when it starts. You can work around this by keeping NMM or another mod manager up while the game is launched, and re-activating the mods you want to use while the launcher is still open. EDIT – NMM’s latest update contains a workaround for this issue, and I think FO4MM was also able to fix it. Make sure you’re using the latest version of these tools (whichever your preference)Crashes/Glitches after upgrading from ESP version (1.11) to ESM – This is a problem inherent with the use of TESVSnip utilities, as they have issues with causing save game corruption. Unfortunately, when upgrading from the ESP to the ESM, it can make any previously present corruption worse and cause all sorts of issues, ranging from minor visual glitches to full CTD’s. There is not much that can be done to fix saves that have been corrupted in this manner, so unfortunately I would either recommend starting a new game with the ESM version or continuing to play with an old version of hte mod until you’re ready to start a new save.Mod Organizer – It has been reported that the current version of Mod Organizer has problems loading meshes properly, which can cause CTD’s. I have not verified this as I do not use this utility, but if you do and are experiencing crashes, try switching to another tool like NMM and see if it alleviates it for you.

Translations

Thanks to everyone who helped translate the mod so far! Some versions may be out of date, and I have not had a chance to inspect each one, so use at your own risk!

My Other Mods

Recommended Mods:

Changelog

A more complete changelog is available in the changelog section of the nexus page.

V1.41 Adds navmeshing by Ethreon and updated meshes by ccmads. For details on the changes see the ccmads changelog.txt provided with the download.V1.40 Retains menu structure from previous versions in addition to changes from 1.38. Only compatible with Fallout 4 1.7.9.V1.39 Retains menu structure from previous versions in addition to changes from 1.37.V1.38 This is preemptive update for Nuka-World as to prevent (hopefully) the need for another patch. Only compatible with Fallout 4 1.7.9.V1.37 Adds lights menu Fix. Does not contain other improvements. V1.36 This is a quickfix for the Vault-Tec DLC and does not contain other improvements. V1.35 Fix for Far Harbor. Does not contain other improvements. V1.34 Small fix for compatibility for WW. Avoid using SK v0.8 by Stuyk due to menu loss!! Does not contain other improvements. V1.33 – Bugfixes, fixed wonky meshes, added retaining wall set. Full changelog here.V1.32 – Polish update, adds snapoints to many fences, redoes some build sets. Full Changelog available here.V1.31a-d Hotfixes for missing filesV1.31 – Bug fixes, door adjustmentsV1.3 – New build sets, counters, and more, snap points added to most doors, doorway navmeshes fixed, etcV1.23 – Fixes for multi-story walls, fixes for snap-points on covenant fences, more statues, additions to missing objects.V1.22 – Multi-story walls, many long term bug fixesV1.21 – Expanded institute build set slightly, added wall mounted institute consoles and several other files, added in missing pre-war player house objects, dozens of bugfixes, including a missing category from 1.2V1.2 – Massive content expansion, new institute build set added, category overhaul, 100’s of new objects added. Navmesh bug fixed for Covenant Gate and a few other items.V1.13 – Minor recipe and item fixes, added missing changing table, vanilla disabled raider tents and new wood barrel container. Made mod-added desks act as surfaces.V1.12 – Re-coded entire plugin using FO4Edit only, added BoS Barriers and custom categories for new fences, fixed icon scaling for most items and rebalanced the majority of the recipes.V1.11 – Small Bugfixes and tweaks, added missing bed and rebalanced streetlight recipe.V1.1 – Added lights, walls, barriers, toilets, showers, and lots of misc stuff. Fixed bug preventing small objects from being stacked. Fixed the beds not assignable bug (hopefully)V1.0 – Initial Release

Credits

FO4Edit

Nifskope

FOMOD Creation Tool

Material Editor

Jayrun – for adding snap points and corners to the covenant fences, vault catwalks, retaining walls and other models

DD3Productions for helping with category ideas and allowing me to port one of his meshes for the glass floor.

Wax2k for helping with bug reports

Eni819 for helping with the file list and moral support

Mcface for testing

StuykGaming for adding categories to help accommodate homemaker to SK (v0.8 no longer available)

Batlham for helping with SK port

Unforbidable for his Darker Nights mod I used for the night screenshots of street lights DaytonaNZ for helping me fix an activate text bug

Draco856 for helping me get Simple Intersection working (check out his mod here)

Arthancourt for helping catch a lot of naming mistakes, as well as making the French translation

Ethreon for navmeshing

ccmads for updating various meshes

http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/1478

Family: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

But I kept you home today so that I could hold you.

Michelle Zunter

Co-host at “The Broad’s Way” Podcast/Blogger@ThePonderingNook/Artist/Mom/Stepmom/Wife

I’m Fred Raillard, Creative CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer with Farid Mokart of FRED & FARID, an independent creative boutique network bas…

Fred Raillard

CEO and Co-founder of FRED & FARID, Host of ‘Fred in China’ on BFM Business radio

I’ve started and stopped writing this post so many times.

Which feels crazy when you realize that I’ve shared everything with you guys. I’ve talke…

Rachel Hollis

CEO + Founder Chic Media, Author, Speaker, Mama to Three

What are some things new stepparents should know about parenting middle school and older children with their new spouses? originally appeared on Quora…

Quora

The best answer to any question

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Kathy Radigan

Writer, Blogger, Creator of, My dishwasher’s possessed

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Angela is a special needs parent, Child and Family Therapist, and epic supporter of awesome parents at www.parentswithconfidence.com

Why Have I Stopped Dreaming? This was the question that I had asked myself during a time in which I felt so lost. I always knew that I wanted to enr…

On Inauguration Day, LGBT people took to social media with a simple message for the incoming Republican administration: #RememberOurFamilies

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The year was 2000 and we were in the middle of watching Harvey (the Jimmy Stewart classic with the six-foot rabbit) when our television made a strange…

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This Old Mom’s first birthday Party-Where-Things-Got-Awkward featured a handmade trough, maybe 20 feet long and 6 inches wide, narrow and silve…

Kathleen Dennehy

Old adoptive Mom,age-appropriate Foster Mom, writer, Virgo control freak, drinker of wine. Red wine is a superfood, right?

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Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Life Transition Expert, Author, Storyteller, helping people maintain balance through life transitions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/family/

I Hated Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I know I might regret saying this… but I hated being a stay-at-home mom.

Before you come after me with pitchforks, let me explain myself.

I wanted to stay home. I dreamed of having a baby and staying home, blissfully nursing and cuddling all day. I read all of the published studies expounding upon the benefits for children who have a parent at home.

There have been countless articles written by mothers who cherish their role at home. These mothers beautifully articulate why staying at home is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.

I agree with everything these women write. But I fear I am missing a SAHM chip, because I did not, and do not, feel the same way. I have gone over my reasons for working in my head a thousand times, and I feel sad because I could not make it work for my family.

I am not part of the mommy wars. I am a regular mom who was self-aware enough to realize I never quite settled into staying home. No matter how much I love my son.

What follows is a non-exhaustive list of my issues with staying home.

Everybody has to think about money, but few people want to talk about it openly. There are many women (and men) out there who simply cannot afford to stay home. I was fortunate in the sense that we could get by on one income.

With that said, living on one income will put a dent in your cash flow. Pregnancy and childbirth are expensive. Raising children is expensive. Staying home can save you some childcare expenses, particularly if you have more than one child.

Personal expenditures become less important when you have a child, but you still want to feel human. I didn’t feel comfortable spending my husband’s hard-earned money on getting my hair dyed or my nails done. No matter how many times my husband told me he was OK with it, I could not stop feeling guilty. I had trouble buying myself clothing for the same reason.

Stay-at-home moms are an interesting subset of the population. They tend to be educated and sociable. But make no mistake — SAHMs are also subtly competitive.

Whether we admit it or not, we are always comparing ourselves to other women. You know who lost all her baby weight and who is still struggling. You know whose husband is a surgeon and whose husband is a regular Joe. It’s a girl thing.

Shows like “The Real Housewives” contribute to the glorification of beautiful, privileged women. Who wouldn’t want to be affluent, gorgeous and live in a palace surrounded by beautiful babies? If I could afford a full-time nanny, I would have a whole gaggle of children.

I get that my own insecurities played into this, but I needed some adult interaction when I was at home. Naturally, I gravitated toward other moms. I met some wonderful people whom I still socialize with on a regular basis. I also met some people who made me feel really inadequate.

Staying home was a commitment I had made to caring for my child and managing our home so that my husband could sleep at night and go to work each day unburdened by the nitty-gritty household stuff.

Activities for the week included cleaning bathrooms, the kitchen and living areas. Laundry was done on a daily basis. Meals were planned in advance and prepared every other day, with our family eating leftovers in between. I had it all figured out.

Until I didn’t have anything figured out. I started to obsess over the animal hair in my house as well as the quality of the food I served. No matter how many loads of laundry I did, there was always more. I felt like a rat in a maze.

I berated myself for not creating the perfect, dust-free, fully decorated home.

My son was a colicky, high needs infant who screamed whenever he was not being held or fed. I am pretty sure he screamed in his sleep, too, just to keep me on my toes. Assured by doctors that he was healthy, I pressed on nursing him day and night, desperately searching for a way to soothe him.

I spent so much time crying and nursing that I started to believe I was not cut out for parenting at all, let alone full-time. Eventually he started crying less and I started sleeping more, but those early memories have never left me.

When you are alone with your children all day, you have a chance to perseverate and worry about things that you otherwise would not. I worried about BPA. I worried about diaper rash, eczema, fevers and choking. I worried about his developmental milestones and his immunizations, too.

Watching my husband get ready for work in the morning, I felt resentful. He had an escape and an opportunity to interact with other adults, while I did not. He got to sleep at night without anyone chewing on his nipples, too. Everything my husband did reminded me of the contrast between his freedom and my perceived servitude.

Emotions are not rational, but they certainly are real.

After a little over two years at home, I made the painful decision to return to work part-time. I did receive a little pushback in the form of questions. I actually had someone tell me, “Unless your husband is making you work, you really shouldn’t.”

Staying at home became far more stressful than working. The self-imposed pressure to be everything to everybody left me completely disconnected from myself. I was unable to shake the feeling that I was inadequate as a parent and wife.

Everyone has to make decisions based on what works for their family and personal situation. I wish that women felt more comfortable talking about the silent undercurrent of pressure we feel, as mothers, to put ourselves last.

Staying at home was not a healthy choice for me, so I chose to go back to work.

Also on HuffPost:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-lewis/i-hated-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_8683406.html

Home.net – Connected Devices

Home.net – Connected Devices

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Networks connect all of your devices. Getting connected should be simple. Staying connected should be effortless. Security should be as important as functionality and all the impressive technical points should give way to an equally impressive and organic experience.

We develop software solutions that effortlessly connect you to more secure and dynamic experiences. Our software is built to ensure that you don’t sacrifice security for improved access to your data and devices.

It has never been this simple and secure to start getting connected. This is software that connects your world and improves it without complicating it. So sit back, relax and enjoy your connected experience.

About Us

We are a team of veteran developers with a passion for creating dynamic solutions that connect people to the world around them. We believe that software should not only provide a strong foundation for the products it supports but that it should improve the overall experience.

We use our extensive experience and understanding of network protocols, security and transmission methods to engineer solutions that make it easy to get connected when and where you want.

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Home.net audio with iBroadcast

We believe the music platform you chose should enhance your listening experience and not complicate it. iBroadcast is our flagship product in the connected market.

iBroadcast connects you to your entire music library. Wherever you are, whatever device you are on you will always have access to all of your music. Enjoying your music is just the beginning though. iBroadcast is a complete online music platform that makes it easier than ever to upload and store your music. With all of your music in one convenient place you can easily edit and organize your entire library. We are continuously developing more accurate and powerful tools to help make managing your music more organic and intuitive. Our app designers are constantly working to create visually engaging interfaces that provide you with a consistent experience that leverages all of the features and functionality that you get online.

Home.net video

The way video is created and experienced is rapid evolving with more options for augmenting and enhancing the experience. We are hard at work developing solutions that will make it easier to control any video, on any device and at the optimal resolution. You want more than just connected access to your video; you want the whole experience to be optimized for your specific devices and network. We are leveraging everything that we are learning as we develop iBroadcast to create solutions that do more than just connect you to your video.

Home.net security

Security and the connected experience may seem like opposing concepts but we aim to change all that. Security should never be at a level that you just accept you should be comfortable with the level of protection that you receive. We are hard at work developing solutions that will make it easier for anyone to get connected to a higher level of security. Security should provide an intricate level of protection from outside sources but it shouldn’t shield you from having complete access to your system. It should be just as easy for you to connect as it is for you to protect.

http://www.home.net/

Home Furniture: Modern, Rustic & Traditional

A living space isn’t a home without furniture. And ours goes far beyond just filling that space. We have an expansive selection of styles, whether you’re looking for a round table that provides dining space for loved ones to gather, bedroom furnishings to upgrade your beauty sleep or the perfect fireside chair for an inviting living room. Our home furnishings accommodate any space or design taste with the perfect fusion of style, functionality and comfort. Because we believe your furniture shouldn’t just fill your living space, it should create a home. Discover pieces that accentuate your personality and complement your life by browsing any of the categories below. Need a little guidance on turning your inspiration into reality? Talk with one of our design consultants for stressless room design and decorating help.

http://www.homemakers.com/furniture/

MetLife Mature Market Institute(R) Releases First National Survey of Adult Day Center Costs with Annual Home Health Care Rates

WESTPORT, Conn.–()–The MetLife Mature Market Institute® today

announced the first national survey of adult day center costs. The

Institute also issued its 2007 findings on home health care rates.

The Institute found that the national average daily rate for adult day

centers is $61. The national average hourly rate for home health care

aides is $19, which remains the same as the 2006 national average hourly

rate. The 2007 national average hourly homemaker/companion rate is $18,

which represents a $1 increase over last year’s

national average hourly rate of $17. Rates for services vary

considerably by region.

Adult day center costs are highest in the state of Vermont ($130 daily)

and lowest in Montgomery, Alabama ($21). For both home care categories,

rates are lowest in Shreveport, Louisiana and highest in Rochester,

Minnesota.

“Adult day center and home care services are

extremely important options to help older adults ‘age

in place,’ which, according to current

research, is a priority for Americans,” said

Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market

Institute. “This data clearly shows that

services can be costly in many parts of the country and may be difficult

for families to afford. For individuals who require more hours of care,

adult day centers can provide a less costly alternative to allow people

to remain at home.

“These care options are generally not covered

by Medicare and are only covered by Medicaid for those who are indigent,”

Timmermann added. “Our message to those

planning for retirement is to save adequate money for this type of

long-term care and/or to have long-term care insurance.”

Regional cost breakdowns for adult day centers, home health care aides

and homemaker/companions are:

Region

 

Adult Day Center

Daily Average

 

Home Health Aide

Hourly Average

 

Homemaker

Hourly Average

Statewide, AK

 

$67

 

$24

 

$23

Birmingham, AL

 

$40

 

$15

 

$14

Montgomery/Montgomery Area, AL

 

$21

 

$14

 

$14

Little Rock/Little Rock Area, AR

 

$58

 

$15

 

$14

Phoenix, AZ

 

$99

 

$22

 

$20

Tucson, AZ

 

$73

 

$19

 

$17

Los Angeles, CA

 

$62

 

$19

 

$17

San Diego, CA

 

$72

 

$20

 

$20

San Francisco, CA

 

$62

 

$23

 

$23

Denver, CO

 

$59

 

$22

 

$19

Colorado Springs, CO

 

$77

 

$24

 

$18

Hartford, CT

 

$76

 

$24

 

$19

Stamford Area, CT

 

$70

 

$22

 

$19

Washington/Washington Area, DC

 

$72

 

$19

 

$18

Wilmington Area, DE

 

$72

 

$22

 

$21

Jacksonville, FL

 

$56

 

$19

 

$16

Orlando, FL

 

$57

 

$17

 

$16

Miami, FL

 

$42

 

$15

 

$15

Marietta Area, GA

 

$56

 

$17

 

$15

Atlanta, GA

 

$52

 

$17

 

$16

Honolulu/Honolulu Area, HI

 

$58

 

$23

 

$20

Central, IA

 

$47

 

N/A

 

N/A

Des Moines Area, IA

 

N/A

 

$24

 

$20

Boise, ID

 

N/A

 

$19

 

$18

Statewide, ID

 

$76

 

N/A

 

N/A

Des Plaines Area, IL

 

$60

 

N/A

 

N/A

Highland Park Area, IL

 

N/A

 

$21

 

$19

Central IL

 

$72

 

N/A

 

N/A

Chicago, IL

 

$49

 

$19

 

$16

Peoria Area, IL

 

N/A

 

$18

 

$16

Indianapolis, IN

 

$63

 

$22

 

$18

Fort Wayne Area, IN

 

$75

 

$20

 

$17

Wichita, KS

 

$55

 

$17

 

$16

Louisville, KY

 

$58

 

$16

 

$15

Lexington, KY

 

$72

 

$17

 

$17

Baton Rouge, LA

 

$54

 

$14

 

$13

New Orleans Area, LA

 

$50

 

N/A

 

N/A

Shreveport Area, LA

 

N/A

 

$13

 

$12

Worcester/Worcester Area, MA

 

$59

 

$23

 

$22

Boston/Boston Area, MA

 

$61

 

$23

 

$22

Silver Spring, MD

 

N/A

 

$18

 

$17

Silver Spring Area, MD

 

$69

 

N/A

 

N/A

Baltimore, MD

 

$72

 

$20

 

$17

Southern ME

 

$87

 

N/A

 

N/A

Statewide, ME

 

N/A

 

$20

 

$19

Detroit/Detroit Area, MI

 

$54

 

$18

 

$17

Grand Rapids, MI

 

$83

 

$18

 

$16

Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN

 

$82

 

$24

 

$20

Rochester Area, MN

 

$46

 

$30

 

$25

Saint Louis, MO

 

$66

 

$17

 

$17

Kansas City, MO

 

$62

 

$18

 

$17

Central MS

 

$65

 

N/A

 

N/A

Jackson, MS

 

N/A

 

$18

 

$13

Billings, MT

 

$56

 

$17

 

$15

Raleigh/Durham, NC

 

$44

 

$19

 

$16

Charlotte, NC

 

$55

 

$16

 

$16

Fargo Area, ND

 

N/A

 

$18

 

$16

Statewide, ND

 

$48

 

N/A

 

N/A

Omaha, NE

 

$45

 

$21

 

$17

Southern NH

 

$57

 

N/A

 

N/A

Statewide, NH

 

N/A

 

$24

 

$19

Cherry Hill Area, NJ

 

$75

 

$20

 

$17

Bridgewater / Bridgewater Area, NJ

 

$63

 

$20

 

$19

Albuquerque, NM

 

$59

 

$21

 

$18

Las Vegas, NV

 

$78

 

$21

 

$18

New York, NY

 

$114

 

$16

 

$16

Syracuse/Syracuse Area, NY

 

$81

 

$21

 

$17

Rochester, NY

 

$74

 

$22

 

$20

Columbus, OH

 

$51

 

$18

 

$17

Cleveland, OH

 

$54

 

$18

 

$17

Cincinnati, OH

 

$51

 

$20

 

$19

Oklahoma City, OK

 

$47

 

$17

 

$16

Tulsa/Tulsa Area, OK

 

$59

 

$19

 

$17

Portland, OR

 

$70

 

$20

 

$19

Eugene/Eugene Area, OR

 

$106

 

$18

 

$17

Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Area, PA

 

$53

 

$19

 

$17

Scranton Area, PA

 

$49

 

$20

 

$19

Philadelphia, PA

 

$57

 

$17

 

$16

Providence, RI

 

N/A

 

$23

 

$19

Statewide, RI

 

$58

 

N/A

 

N/A

Columbia/Columbia Area, SC

 

$49

 

$16

 

$16

Charleston/Charleston Area, SC

 

$45

 

$18

 

$17

Statewide, SD

 

$62

 

$21

 

$19

Nashville/Nashville Area, TN

 

$40

 

$23

 

$17

Memphis, TN

 

$36

 

$16

 

$14

Austin, TX

 

N/A

 

$17

 

$15

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

 

$41

 

$19

 

$17

Houston, TX

 

$40

 

$18

 

$16

San Antonio, TX

 

$34

 

N/A

 

N/A

Northern UT

 

$36

 

N/A

 

N/A

Salt Lake City, UT

 

N/A

 

$22

 

$20

Northern VA

 

$65

 

$19

 

$18

Richmond, VA

 

$55

 

$17

 

$16

Statewide, VT

 

$130

 

$23

 

$22

Eastern WA

 

$57

 

N/A

 

N/A

Seattle/Seattle-Tacoma, WA

 

$53

 

$23

 

$22

Spokane, WA

 

N/A

 

$18

 

$18

Milwaukee, WI

 

$53

 

$23

 

$19

Madison Area, WI

 

$55

 

$22

 

$18

Charleston Area, WV

 

N/A

 

$15

 

$15

Statewide, WV

 

$71

 

N/A

 

N/A

Statewide, WY

 

$59

 

$21

 

$17

National Average

 

$61

 

$19

 

$18

Adult day centers (ADCs) provide older adults with social and some

health services while giving caregivers a daily respite. Most centers

provide lunch, recreational activities, and health/therapeutic services.

Current codes, laws, and regulations governing ADCs are not uniform

among the states. Although many require licensing or certification, they

are not federally regulated. All adult day centers surveyed for this

report were licensed, if required by state law.

Home health care aides provide assistance with daily activities such as

bathing and dressing and some health-related services, while

homemaker/companions generally provide comfort and companionship in

addition to meal preparation and light housekeeping. Based on data from

the National Center on Health Statistics, most of those receiving home

care services live with someone else (67.4%), while only 30.2% live

alone. All home care agencies surveyed were licensed, if required by

their state.

This survey of adult day centers and home care agencies in all 50 states

and the District of Columbia was conducted by telephone in June and July

2007 by LifePlans, Inc., for the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Results presented in this report are representative of the sample of

adult day centers and home care agencies in the areas surveyed. The

states were divided into three groups, according to population–under

3 million, 3 to 10 million, and over 10 million. These groupings were

determined using data from the 2000 U.S. Census. The cities/areas

surveyed were chosen on the basis of population and the ability to

obtain a reasonably balanced sampling.

LifePlans, Inc., a risk management and consulting firm, provides data

analysis and information to the long-term care insurance industry. The

firm works with insurers, the federal government, industry groups, and

other organizations to conduct research that helps these groups monitor

their business, understand industry trends, perform effective advocacy,

and modify their strategic direction.

Staffed by gerontologists, The MetLife Mature Market Institute, part of

the company’s Retirement Strategies Group,

has been providing research, knowledge management, education, and policy

support for over ten years to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, its

corporate customers, and business partners. MetLife is a subsidiary of

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial

services to individual and institutional customers.

The entire MetLife Market Survey of Adult Day Services & Home Care

Costs can be found at www.maturemarketinstitute.com

under ‘What’s

New.’

The MetLife Mature Market Institute in cooperation with the National

Alliance for Caregiving has produced two guides, Adult Day Centers and

Understanding Home Care Agency Options, as part of its Since You Care®

series for caregivers. The guides, which contain information about the

topic, tips for caregivers, worksheets, and a listing of resources, are

available at www.maturemarketinstitute.com

under ‘Since You Care.’

For more on the MetLife Mature Market Institute, visit: www.maturemarketinstitute.com.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070926005048/en/MetLife-Mature-Market-Institute-Releases-National-Survey

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