Hilarious & honest warts-and-all account of what it's like to try to juggle kids and career. I found I related to it with several YES! moments - it really reflects my experience. She mixes anecdotes from the many parents she has interviewed with social research and advice from experts to give the lowdown on how hard it can be and how you might make it a bit easier. Spat my wine out several times as laughed out loud at some of the horror stories she relates. Heard her interviewed on Woman's Hour about it last week and yes, depressing though it is, we ARE still having to talk about this in 2018! Very enjoyable read.
I finished this book last night and would absolutely recommend it to anyone exploring or interested in working and parenting.
What I really like, is although there’s some recommendations at the end (although largely based on cultural or societal and then pragmatic hints and tips, rather than right or wrong), the book is largely based on all the different perspectives and musings gained from interviewing other parents.
I found it really interesting and it’s given me some thought on how I approach things. There isn’t a silver bullet but there are changes we can try to make and in turn be good role models for the future.
I’ve never left a review on Amazon, but feel I need to so I can recommend this book to everyone! It’s the first book I’ve ever read which looks *honestly* at the realities of being a working mother (women are faced with the impossible task of being the primary career to their children AND giving everything to their jobs) and explains the impact our work culture has not just on women, but the whole family unit. Somehow, Armstrong manages to convey all this while managing to not thoroughly depress the reader (the book is effectively a call to action) and there were even excerpts which made me laugh out loud. For anyone looking for a more honest and realistic alternative to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, this is it.
This is a depressing- and great - book. Funny, too, and well-researched and sharply written. But it pretty well establishes that our society is crazy: we've just not organised it right. Raising kids should be easier but Armstrong's no-holds-barred stories (mainly from hard-driving 'career women') shows it ain't so. I'd make every 18-year-old and every politician sit an exam in this book. It's that important.
I loved it. Honest stories, great structure (each chapter addresses a life phase, e.g. thinking about having kids; mat leave; dealing with school; teenagers), very funny. The standout thing for me was the way that Christine is *not* trying to advance one magic mode of living, rather she is putting forward the stories of *many* women (families, even) and the compromises they made to make things work (or not). "Compromise" being the key word that runs through this: children, partner, parents, friends, work today, work aspirations, money, mental health, the gym - how others have chosen to prioritise, and how they feel now about those choices.
I would recommend this to other Dads as well as Mums. I definitely found myself asking "is that me" at various (unflattering) points; more generally, we all need to make these choices together.
Glad this book exists. Useful for introducing things one might consider when deciding how to balance career aims and motherhood. The writer has a nice, very readable style. On the downside, it seems a bit disparaging about some types (the involved school gate mum, the driven career mum) and, while giving the various trade-offs, seems to suggest it’s all a bit difficult and, in this respect is not very inspiring. The chapter near the end where the author gives her own view and take-aways from all the interviews she has done is worth getting to and, in my view, the best part of the book. Would be nice to hear from women that have completed the journey with the career they wanted and a good family life to show lots of people do this!