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NOT YOUR MOTHER'S LIFE: Changing the Rules About Work, Love, and Family

Joan K. Peters, Author
Joan K. Peters, Author . Perseus $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7382-0346-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7382-0682-0
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With strategic planning and a few sacrifices, today's mothers can have it all, just not all at the same time, argues Peters (When Mothers Work). Because of their economic clout and knowledge gained from past generations' mistakes, contemporary young women are uniquely positioned, according to Peters, to achieve the balance of work and family that eluded their mothers and grandmothers. The keys to success are knowing what one wants, planning accordingly and avoiding the traps of a traditional marriage, in which the mother bears primary domestic and childcare responsibilities. Choices of college majors, careers, nurturing partners and even residence (close to family for child care) all affect the child-rearing experience. Real-life case studies are scattered throughout the book, showcasing a wide range of strategies. In some families, dad stays home; in others, mom chooses flextime or a less-prestigious but more family-friendly employer. A chapter on entrepreneurialism instructs women on how to strike out on their own; another titled "Understanding the Workplace 2000" teaches women—and men—to negotiate and redefine the workplace: its hours, pressures and benchmarks of success. Extensively researched and highly readable, this book offers a road map to a more balanced future for mothers, fathers and the children who will benefit from happier, more fulfilled parents. Agent, Susan Ginsburg. (May)

Forecast: An entire generation of middle-class women faces the problem Peters discusses. Her optimistic and accessible book should have a wide appeal.

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