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Life's Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom
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Life's Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The woman Mediaweek says "could very well be the next generation's Anna Quindlen" steps out from behind her celebrated New York Times column in a book about the intersection -- or more accurately collision -- of life and work.

A few years ago, award-winning reporter Lisa Belkin left the office to work from home, amid the chaos of two young children, writing deadlines, and

Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 8th 2003 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2002)
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Aug 26, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
This book normalizes how divided women feel, trying to have a family, marriage, and career. It says outloud, "I feel like I'm not doing a great job at any of them!" It dispels the myth of super-wife, super-mom, and super-employee. It made me laugh and feel hopeful.
Mar 23, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are told, “You can have it all!” Then when we have difficulties trying to have it all, we are then told, “yes, but you must have balance”. Ms. Belkin tells us that you really can’t have it all – at least not all at the same time. Life is made up of choices. If you choose one thing, you generally must give up or postpone another. Also, we definitely CAN’T be perfect, so let’s stop trying to be and ease up on ourselves a bit. Maybe, just maybe, it is better to enjoy life, our children and our ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Belkin examines the idea of “doing it all” in perfect balance, and concludes that you simply can’t do everything so you should focus on being mindful of the great moments and blessings within your own particular brand of (un)balance. If, like me, you tend toward the frantic overachiever end of the spectrum, you may find her take enlightening and freeing.

Belkin writes in a few places about her mother and grandmother’s generations. She observes that women in her mother’s generation were OK with do
Jul 08, 2009 Eileen rated it it was ok
I have been looking for a book to help me adjust to being a working mother. I haven't gone back to work yet, but likely will soon and I want to be reassured that I am doing the right thing (even though there probably is no right/wrong answer to this). This book is not that book. The author works from home, which is not an option for me. That's not to say she didn't have some good things to say about work/life balance. It's always important to maintain perspective and not get too swept away in ...more
Rachel McCready-Flora
I picked this up in the feminist-mothering section of the library at Columbia. I gave it a good shot of about fifty pages, but there just isn't anything great here. I feel like maybe I should read more, but I'm bored and I don't feel like I'm going to read anything that will speak to me or enhance my understanding of the challenges and moments of grace in mothering.

I'm annoyed that there doesn't seem to be any depth here. It's like I'm reading small blog posts, and the themes are loose at best.
Oct 06, 2015 Kit rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-finance
Cute book. Really just a collection of her columns, I believe, with some commentary on what was going on in her life at the time. I'd never read her column so it was all fresh and new.

I've started to groan out loud with how many books are written about being a working mom, by working writers. I know it is a challenging and engrossing career. However, it is one of the most flexible careers in that you can remain relevant while making more time for family. Engineering is rarely like that.
Jul 25, 2010 Clare rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Disappointing. This was a few old columns and a few e-mails rehashed into a book.
I expect a book by a columnist to be better written and it wasn't.
I expected a book by an author to be interesting, and it wasn't.
I expected a book about balancing work and kids to be funny, and it wasn't.

It's okay if you have a different life than me, but does yours have to be so boring?
Sep 19, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting, memoir
(Non-Fiction Parenting) I skimmed the first half of this book back in March. At that point, I had read a whole slew of mommy memoirs, parenting books, and baby care books. In this book, Belkin captures her working-mom life in small snippets of anecdotes and wisdom. This book didn't offer anything special, but those interested in working mom memoirs may find this book valuable.
Dec 01, 2009 Mum rated it really liked it
Another of the "journalist" books I selected this library trip. Pretty good actually. More like a blog than a novel though. Some VERY good sentences. I especially like "Over time, doors close and options dwindle. One day you realize that you are whatever it is you were going to be." And I am happy with that. :) Are you???
Worth the reading time, I think.
Kelly Coyle DiNorcia
Jul 27, 2011 Kelly Coyle DiNorcia rated it really liked it
I found this book very readable and enjoyable. It was split up into short essays, easily read by busy moms, but there was still some forward thrust of the story. As a huge fan of Belkin's NYT column/blog, I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed.
Nice book. I am always attracted to women writing about their mothering experience and I liked that she thinks finding balance is impossible.
The writing was a bit disappointing for a NY times columnist but she states it's because moms can't readfor long stretches of time...duh!!
Juli Simon Thomas
Aug 05, 2008 Juli Simon Thomas rated it liked it
Easy read, relatively interesting. I could relate more to the beginning than the end. At a certain point I got tired of her excusing her foibles, and thinking, gosh I hope I don't become that way. Which wasn't really the point of me reading it in the first place.
Literary Mama
Part of Literary Mama's Essential Reading on Beginnings:
Jan 04, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Very finny short episodic chapters that allow you to grab a chapter and get back to your unbalanced life.
Jul 15, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The collection of short essays was entertaining, but in the end the book left me quite unsatisfied.
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