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Work Strife Balance

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  666 ratings  ·  62 reviews
This book is for every woman who's been told success is as simple asLean In,Say Yes, Live Your Best Life, Beat Your Fear, Follow Your Dream... and then feel #soblessed.

It's for guilty friends, bad mums, crap wives, imperfect feminists, rebellious daughters and any girl with a big mouth and at least one foot in it. It's for any woman who's ever asked: 'Am I the only one who
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 26th 2017 by Macmillan Australia
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars for me - right in the middle.

There were certainly many parts of this book that I enjoyed - such as teaching young women to protect themselves (does not equal victim blaming), on understanding the context of 'empowering' yourself as a woman by making choices that actually reinforce the patriarchy, and thoughts that first time parents have BEFORE having a baby.

I genuinely appreciated Mia's honesty in sharing about anxiety, miscarriages, abortion and bulimia. But for me she failed to find
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactly what I expected. Some chapters were interesting- I appreciated Mia's candidness in her chapter about anxiety, and Luca's candidness in his chapter about Mia- but many chapters felt a bit same-old as someone who listens to Mamamia podcasts and checks the site semi-regularly. Clear feminist message, which is great for anyone reading who may not be there yet but as a well-established feminist this offered me little new food for thought.
Sarah Jones
Some parts v interesting; even enthralling.
Most parts: I did not enjoy at all.
Absolutely no idea what stars to give it.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a working mother increasingly contemplating the concept of work/life balance, I thought this would be a fun, thought provoking holiday read. Whilst Freedman is very candid and generous in detailing her personal struggles and victories in the hope of helping others (and I genuinely believe she wants to help other women), I can't help but find her to be a little too Oprah like in that the ego seems to get in the way of all those good intentions. There was little here that I found new or ...more
Hannah Dixon
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: get-to-know-you
As a member of the Mamamia community, I had been eagerly awaiting the release of Mia Freedman's second book, Work Strife Balance. Mia's weekly podcast 'Mamamia Outloud', which she co-hosts with Monique Bowley and Jessie Stevens, is at the top of my list of favourite listens.. I think it is because of this that I was a bit disappointed. I felt like I had heard it all before. There wasn’t anything new, some of it was word for word what has been said on the show, there were snippets from her ...more
Louise Umehara
Mia is candid about her life and comfortable sharing the highs, lows and mistakes in order to encourage other women. She isn't interested in creating a public image of perfection and actively works to debunk such obsessions. This is refreshing because we all learn far more effectively from our mistakes than we do our successes and no one wins when we are duped into believing perfection is attainable.

My journey has been quite different in many ways and my values diverge in some areas however the
Julia Thomas
Not a big fan of Mia's brand of feminism.
My knowledge of Mia Freedman before the book was based on sporadic encounters with Mamamia articles (which I usually avoid, apart from Bachie recaps) and a vague awareness of some sh*t going down between her and Sarah Wilson regarding their different perspectives on quitting sugar.

I admire Mia more now, having read this memoir-style book on how "balance is bullshit", partly because I feel I know her better, and partly because I can respect where she's coming from in opinions that differ from
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book has some important messages for women, but I found the writing style irritating so couldn't rate it more highly. The conversational style would be fine in a blog post or magazine column, but it quickly became wearing. Many sections were repetitive, and the same themes were rehashed multiple times. There were many sweeping generalisations about women's feelings and experiences, presented without any real evidence in most cases. I also found the name-dropping off-putting.

Some tighter
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I felt - as some do - there are some things that needn't have been put in this book because it's either just too much information, or not necessarily relevant. I loved this book. I used to be current in my reading of women's information and magazines etc, but it was great to get an update on how things have changed, and Mia's perspective on things. I respect most of her reasoning and really appreciated her ideas and feelings. If you're out of touch, as I am, because life gets in the way, I ...more
Shell Turner
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
She writes exactly as she speaks. If you’re a fan of Mia’s read the book.
I absolutely loved the lessons she has written for her sons and her daughter. Invaluable lessons which I read out loud to my own daughter.
If you listen to her podcasts there will be some things you e already heard but as a massive fan of hers I was OK with that.
As a full time working mum it’s so good to know the feelings I have are normal and not everyone has their shit together. #girlpower #beafeminist
Toni Kely-Brown
I borrowed this from the library as I expected it to be a quick read, and one that I would skim at times and chapters that wouldn’t always interest me and I was right. I do like that Mia is very open about her life and she’s not interested in selling the story of being a super mum, who bakes cakes, makes her kids nutritious lunches, volunteers at school, has a perfectly curated Instagram account, all whilst having a high-powered career (whilst looking effortlessly beautiful and perfectly ...more
Lots of interesting reflections on women in Australian culture. As a woman who is not an avid feminist and doesn't have a career I was left feeling a failure at the end of the book. Whilst there was much about not comparing yourself to unreal people that are splattered over the media, I felt I fell far short of the author's definition of who a woman should be.
Jodie Warner
Part-memoir, part life-advice. Mia is an engaging writer and a bit of a force to be reckoned with. She claims this as a “warts and all”, but she’s still in control of how she portrays herself, so is it? Her career has been incredible and her work ethic is amazing. Do I want to be like her? Nope. Would I like to meet her? Yep.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read non-fiction. Indeed, I usually don't touch it with a ten foot pole. However... sometimes I find myself stretching out of that comfort zone (as I've done recently in relation to romance and historical fiction).

And although I'm not entirely sold on the structure of the book, I LOVE Freedman's writing. Like, LOVE love it.

As is obvious from the title, Freedman's talking about the old 'work / life balance' chestnut. Utopia. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. First
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Mia's writings since Cosmopolitan, but surprisingly I wasn't even aware of the mass backlash against her. I guess I hadn't been following her whereabouts as religiously as I thought.

Mia's story is honest, unapologetic and straightforward. Qualities I always admire in people even when I don't necessarily agree nor have the same outlook and values (or feel as particularly strong as them).

I like the combination of autobiography and personal advice in this book. Also, Luca's chapter (my
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, overall. I didn't learn a whole lot, apart from the 18 month conception of mamamia which was motivating (although still very privileged). It's taken me awhile to come around to Mia and I read this while she was embroiled in the Roxanne Gay controversy. I used to find her irritating because I found she took others opinions, views, and philosophies and passed them off as her own, too often. Her book is basically made up of referencing other women she looks up to, which is handy ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
My New Years resolution is to write more reviews on the books I read throughout the year. So here it is...
I used to read the Cosmo magazines when Mia Freedman was the editor, which was at the time the "go too guides" for all things. And, I listen to some of the Mamamia podcasts. Mia has worked really hard (really, really brain-draining hard!), and her persistence in focusing on the business has really paid off, having one of the most successful female media companies in Australia.
However, I
I love listening to Mia talk and rant, I find her soothing and comforting although she's talking about harsh topics. As an over thinker myself it's interesting to read someone else do the same. When I say shes an over thinker I mean she's self conscious and has studied her past thoughts and behaviour in a way I find fascinating. Also she has had an interesting life. And when I asked my mum how many times she's been pregnant ( as Mia discussed in the book), I found out she has had a miscarriage! ...more
Cheryl Kung
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I wish it had been around when I was 16. It was like a diary of great tips and advice for girls and women on every topic they've ever stressed about. But, it's incredibly refreshing from most other non-fiction books in this subject area. It cuts through the bullshit and Mia shares real life personal examples that are hilarious one minute and deeply sad the next. Her chapters on abortion, anxiety, losing a baby, mothering, and social media and porn advice for both sons & ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is directed at women, there is a good universal message here - don't compare yourself to the fabricated perfect lives created by the media or other people's highlight reels we see on social media because they are completely and utterly fake. We can connect meaningfully with each other by being vulnerable and sharing our failures, disappointments, insecurities and challenges. not through humble brags. A perfect life doesn't exist despite what we see and are told by media - if ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God, this book is brilliant and should be a must read for every modern woman because blow me down, Ms Freedman tells it like it is and we all need to hear this dose of common sense and reality.
Enough of the lies, enough of the 'perfect life' crap. As women we need to start telling the truth and I vote Mia to be the high priestess of 'telling it like it is'.
Read this book and rejoice that you are not going to hell for not being the perfect wife, mother, girlfriend, daughter, etc, etc, etc.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this a go because when I'd just become a mum I stumbled across Mia's then fairly new website. And that website was a godsend. It kept me entertained with short sharp articles from talented writers in the wee hours of the morning. But now? I felt pretty "meh" about this book. I heard a great interview between Mia and Richard Fiedler on ABC conversations and thought the book sounded like my thing. Even Crabb and Sales liked it! It just didn't speak to me- I think I'm just not rich, thin or ...more
Heather Browning
More than anything, this felt important. The idea that women should be sharing their real selves, their real lives, rather than the Instagram-perfect version, is essential. We try so hard to achieve what we think others are, berate ourselves when we fail to, but what we're striving for isn't real. Seeing real women's bodies, their homes, their lives, their failures in work and parenting and relationships - that's what will make us feel like we are enough, it's what will bring us closer. It's ...more
Rae Othersomething
The chapters I related to, I'd give 4-5 stars, but for me this was way too broad ranging and several chapters I pretty well skipped all together, which dropped it back to a 3. Mia can get away with a book about everything she's interested in because she's a well known figure, but I feel a more focused book would be a much better book. For example, take the first chapter about her career misstep and how she turned it around, combine with related stories from say 6-10 contemporaries and it would ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part autobiography, part self-help, and part feminist manifesto, I picked up this book because Elizabeth Gilbert was quoted on the cover. The writing is good, and the author certainly puts herself out there but there were large parts of the book I couldn't relate to. There are some genuinely good nuggets sprinkled within, and I'm sure it venerates some women's experience of their lives, just not mine. Some of the sections are very preachy and I just couldn't agree with some of the precepts. ...more
S Pearlyan
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nope. Not going to finish it. Writing doesn’t work for me. Content is superficial. Maybe it will get better, but life is too short to read bad books.
My biggest annoying point was when Mia makes a statement then follows it up with ‘not that it’s a bad thing’. If it’s not a bad thing, then don’t say so. It’s falls under the realm of ‘not that I’m racist’. Using words like ‘bitchy’, ‘drama’ for workspaces with women, you are propagating the myth of women work cultures. So no, not going to read more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bought this book after going to Mia's book promotional event, which was loads of fun. The book started with loads of promise - great title, great intro and even great presentation. However, this book gave me extreme anxiety. A few of the chapters were brilliant in their ideas and frankness. But because Mia touches a lot on her anxiety and it's obviously a prevaling factor of her life, it caused me to read this as it was written - by a highly anxious person. So it became anxiety inducing every ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have conflicted opinions sometimes about the Mamamia website but it's the culture that Mia creates in her podcasts and articles which always keeps me coming back. This book was like a warm hug, very comforting, supportive and encouraging I have an infinite love of hearing Australian women's stories and this delivered. I honestly laughed out loud often and Luca's chapter in particular was fantastic.

This book promised vulnerability and honesty and it definitely delivered.
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