Mommy Time Monday: Books About Balance


Mr.Momtrends was away on biz last week. So in addition to some old episodes of SATC, I curled up with some books to keep me company after the girls were asleep.

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Ambition Is Not a Dirty Word: A Woman's Guide to Earning Her Worth and Achieving Her Dreams is penned by Debra Condren, PH.D. This book is not recommended for moms looking to re-enter the work place. It is a take-no-prisoners, feminist, pro working moms.

What I liked: Condren encourages women to live their dreams and refuse to compromise. She holds husbands accountable for contributing to the work load and. I also like her mandate of "I must believe that my ambition is a virtue, not a vice. It's a thrill to see her call women on our tendency to apologize for being smart and competent in the workplace. She has excellent negotiating tips (I am a dreadful negotiator...but I am learning).
What I didn't like: Unrealistic expectations. I don't know many working moms that have the time to cultivate 5-7 potential mentors as Condren suggests. She also suggests taking a one-woman sabbatical The woman example she offers talks of a woman who took four days off in Tahoe to ponder her next career step--not a likely scenario for a working mom.
Best for: Young, child-free women moving up the career ladder. Working women in transition in their career looking for guidance.

Happy at Work, Happy at Home: The Girl's Guide to Being a Working Mom is more my speed. The moms behind the This is the book for my spot in life. I've got young girls, a home to manage, plus I'm building my writing and consultant career. That's a lot to manage. This book is packed with practical tips. Any mom trying to do it all can benefit from the "Working Mom Mantras: I can't control everything...I deserve time for myself...My child does not love the nanny more than me."

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What I like: skip the guilt AND the empowerment talk--this book is all about getting things done. From mapping out your maternity leave to pitching the value of telecommuting to your boss, you'll find tons of practical advice. Plus, I poured over the essays and interviews with real moms offering their real problems and solutions.
What I didn't like: The books could be better organized.I'd love to see a better index in the back. It took a lot of flipping around to find topics that related to a particular topic. I'd also be interested in more statistics about working moms.
Best for: New parents trying to navigate uncharted waters, moms returning to the workplace after an absence.

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