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.
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 WilkensCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved