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Is Your Job Tot-Friendly?

The term family-friendly benefits has been touted so much lately, you might think employers from Washington to Waikiki are lavishing cushy perks on their staffs to ease the demands of being a new working parent.

The truth is, when it comes to "family-friendliness," the workplace is a mixed bag. Some companies consider you lucky to even have a job; others provide a range of perks  -- lactation advice, an education fund redeemable when your child is 18, even reimbursement for childcare costs if you work overtime.

Naturally, your goal is to have your family and work life mesh as seamlessly as possible. The trick is to first assess how your employer registers on the family-friendliness scale, and then work with what you have  -- either by using what's available or suggesting ways to improve the situation.