LIFE'S WORK: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom

Lisa Belkin, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7432-2541-0

Belkin, the New York Times's "Life's Work" columnist, has gathered some previously published pieces with some new material for a lighthearted look at many career moms' reality: juggling career, kids and personal needs. No one can give 100% to each, Belkin reassures, so "let's start by forgiving ourselves when we can't do it." To get readers in the mood, Belkin shares her own worst moments: potty training her son while on the phone with "Very Important Sources," having to finish work on some galleys at—gasp!—the pediatrician's office and her son's tantrums at discovering his work-at-home mom wasn't available for play. Tears at work, morning sickness, breast pumping, laptop addiction, work addiction—Belkin at least mentions all the usual career-mom issues. But since the entries are only a few pages long, treatment can be disappointingly superficial: when stressed at work, eat a chocolate; consider buying a second computer for kids to channel them away from Mom's. Hidden in all the feel-better solidarity are some valuable nuggets. Describing the importance of the nanny/babysitter's happiness to her own mental health, Belkin identifies a feeling many women share, but rarely discuss. Also on target is her observation that her mother's generation "did it all," but serially—first the family, then the career. Despite its old-hat thesis, Belkin's book will serve as a pick-me-up to some career mothers in need of sympathy. (May 1)

Forecast:With a first serial in Glamour and second serial in Ladies' Home Journal, Belkin's sure to gain national stature, even if her short takes work better as newspaper columns than in hardcover.

Reviewed on: 03/25/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-7432-2895-4
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7432-2543-4
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