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New book - self-help for women returning to work

(1 Post)
Pochard Sun 12-Jun-11 20:53:37

Just thought people would be interested in a book which has just been published which is a kind of self-help book for professional women returning to the workplace - "Mothers Work! How to get a grip on guilt and make a smooth return to work" by Jessica Chivers.

Amazon link and some interesting reviews here.

I replied to a survey the author did last year, of 200 working women, and she has sent me a free copy to review on Amazon (although I don't have any personal connections to her). Just thought Mumsnetters might be interested / find the book helpful.

FWIW my Amazon review is this (posted under a pseudonym on Amazon):

This is a self-help handbook for women who are thinking about their return to work after their first child or subsequent children. The target audience is successful professional women who had a career pre-children and who want to continue their career post-children. Written in a friendly, chatty style, it is full of quotations from other women about all aspects of returning to work. It's very practical, taking you through eight different aspects of returning to work, with exercises aimed to help you design your ideal work / home arrangements.

The book will appeal to women who want to return to work and don't want to feel guilty about it. The author was possibly on commission for the number of times she could include the phrase "happy mummy, happy baby". It is heavily weighted towards justifying a return to work (part or full time) and the positives for the mother in working. There is a lack of balance: an absence of any information, evidence or even anecdote about the impact of parental work patterns on babies or children. The well-being of the child is hardly mentioned; rather the book focuses on the impact on the mother, or assumes that if a mother wants to work this is bound to be best for her family.

Whilst there is certainly no consensus amongst academics, or women themselves, on the impact of mothers' work on babies and small children, some inclusion in this book about the potential downsides for a child's development and attachment would have provided a welcome balance. Including both sides of the debate would enable women readers to make up their own mind. However, helping women to feel confident in their decisions about achieving the right work-home balance for their family is a laudable aim and one which this book goes quite some way to achieving.

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