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The Working Mother's Guide to Life: Strategies, Secrets, and Solutions [Paperback]

Linda Mason
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 19 2002
After you’ve made the decision to return to work following the birth of a child, you may still wonder, “Am I doing the right thing for my family?” and “How on earth do I make this work?” Now, The Working Mother’s Guide to Life sets out to offer you hundreds of answers to these types of questions, from nuts-and-bolts advice, such as finding top-notch child care and stress-free ways to manage your household, to more complex issues like separating from your child without feeling guilty and creating a rich, strong family culture that will thrive regardless of whether or not you are working.

Author Linda Mason—herself a working mom and founder of an award-winning company that cares for the children of working parents across the country—provides a reassuring, practical, and comprehensive guide based on interviews with more than 100 successful working mothers from diverse backgrounds. Here are countless strategies and tips from these experts on everything from household chores and returning to work with a newborn to finding communities of support.

• Building the Three Pillars of Success: A supportive workplace, a “partner-in-parenting,” and excellent child care
• Running a household, holding down a job, and thriving while keeping
it all together—from getting food on the table to getting out the door in the morning
• Setting your priorities, including nurturing your family, satisfying your employer,
and taking care of your own needs
• Tips from caregivers on how to help your
children blossom and grow in a variety of child care settings

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mason, a mother of three and co-founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, draws on her strong background in employer-based work-site childcare as well personal experience to outline steps working mothers can take to make their lives easier. In some instances, however, her utopian ideas conflicts with reality. Although Mason did include poor single mothers along with middle-class professionals in the study she conducted, women with greater financial resources will have a far easier time following her program for successfully combining work and motherhood. Based on interviews with mothers and childhood educators, Mason has concluded that it is necessary to have a partner in parenting (not necessarily a husband), a supportive employer and excellent childcare as the three basic "pillars of support" for working mothers. Although she does offer strategies for achieving this ideal situation-such as how to convince employers of the value of a family-friendly workplace or ways to identify quality caregivers-many of these proposals are simply not available to most working mothers. Mason is more successful when she offers practical ideas for maximizing everyday quality family time. She suggests, for example, that when the traditional family dinner conflicts with schedules, gathering for dessert, playing games together or taking a family evening walk can provide the same degree of closeness.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

This all-encompassing manual is separated into three sections: "You're on Your Way," "The Three Pillars of Successful Working Motherhood," and "Making it Work for You." The majority of the book focuses on the third section, in which all working mothers find help in achieving balance in their lives by following Mason's solutions. Although Mason tries to fit moms into pre-defined labels (for instance, a mother's management style can be as a "Strategic Planner" or a "Camp Counselor," or her approach to work and family can make her a "Blender" or a "Separator"), these categorizations help mothers identify their own patterns, so they might find ways to resolve potential conflicts. The back matter, substantial but not daunting, is strengthened by short bibliographies at the end of sections, where Mason lists book titles and relevant Web sites. Mason herself is a working mother, running an acclaimed child-care services company (which gets a few too many plugs throughout), so she knows of what she speaks. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful guide and great gift Nov. 26 2002
By A Customer
After buying this book for myself, I went out and bought copies for all the other working mothers in my life (as well as a couple of expectant moms). It's full of practical advise -- true to its title -- with strategies, secrets and solutions pulled from real life examples. Mason clearly has a gift for getting other mothers to reveal the truth about their struggles and how they overcame them. It's wonderful to see someone take the approach that you can work and parent at the same time -- and the advice from her own experiences and those of the others she interviewed provide practical approaches that will fit the styles of a variety of women.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful Jan. 10 2003
This is a wonderful book! Not only is Linda Mason's nonjudgmental approach to different mothering styles and support systems very refreshing, but mothers from all backgrounds will also be able to relate to the many touching and humorous stories shared by other women. I am sure my whole family will benefit from the workable suggestions about managing the morning and evening routines and getting household chores done! I would definitely recommend this book to any mother, especially if she is working or planning to go back to work in the near future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guide a Working Mom can have! Jan. 24 2003
By beth
This book is an absolute lifesaver for a busy working FAMILY. Tips for Moms and Dads, but mostly a supportive guide for the mothers trying to do it all. I've been a working mother for 5+ years and wish Linda Mason had published this book years ago. She is a truly inspirational woman making great improvements in the childcare field. I applaude Bright Horizons, Linda and her husband for creating such a great place for kids and parents to learn, grow and be nutured. I look forward to her next book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great real and practical advice Nov. 30 2002
This book is great! Linda Mason's advice is so practical and doable. I wish it had been written when my first child was born. Unlike other books, this book really works for all women -not just professional or working women. I especially liked her advice around building a sense of community and mutual support. We don't need to do everything all on our own!!
I took pleasure in the tone of the book - very engaging, uplifting, universal and practical. Bought a half dozen copies as holiday gifts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Guide for Working Mothers Jan. 15 2003
By A Customer
This book is a must for any mother considering joining the work force! The Working Mother's Guide to Life offers great tips on choosing child care, making the transition from maternity leave to work and balancing home and work life. I found it particulary easy to relate to the many working mom's that were interviewed. Their stories of struggles and successes are inspiring. I would recommend this book as a valuable resource not only for working Mom's, but for their families and employers as well!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Written Book Nov. 24 2002
Linda Mason has done a masterful job at pulling the essential elements together for working women -- and their families -- in this highly readable field guide. Her compassion for the wide variety of challenges that working families face in keeping our children physically safe, emotionally secure, intellectually challenged and socially engaged shines through in every chapter. It belongs on the bookshelf of every family that is striving to bring up bright and happy kids. Bravo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Working Mothers Will Enjoy! Dec 3 2002
This book highlights an area which is not often written about. In a society where pursuing a career and being a mother is not extirely accepted, I found comfort in Linda's words. Each chapter has details that can be helpful to all working mothers. The excerpt on finding quality childcare is certainly beneficial to those searching for the best care possible. This would be a nice gift for an expectant parent getting ready to return to the workforce.
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