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How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073821017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738210179
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the wake of major media attention paid to the complexity of women's professional choices during their childbearing years, Sachs, a former network television producer turned freelancer and mother of two, sets out to reveal winning strategies for mothers who wish to continue working after having children, interviewing celebrity and "everyday" moms about their decisions and work-life arrangements. Of course, there is no magic secret to reveal, but what Sachs does provide is an in-depth consideration of the successes and failures of various choices individual women have made. A major theme is the importance of being flexible in both schedules and expectations. The women also agree that excellent child-care options, supportive spouses and an ability to let go of perfectionism in all realms are key to obtaining a happy life/work balance. Stories from women like cosmetics entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien and NBC News anchor Ann Curry provide motivating models of determination (though readers will note that these women can afford child-care choices unavailable to many). But celebrity splash aside, Sachs has a clear focus, examining the personal priorities of women who may or may not have the choice to continue working, but who all believe that their professional identity is an integral part of their satisfaction with life and a beneficial component in their ability to be good mothers. (May 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Movie titles pose the question. Book after book attempts to find the answer. And legions of psychologists and psychiatrists grapple with the issues hourly. Broadcast journalist Sachs does not even try; instead, she interviews more than 100 stay-at-work mothers to uncover tips, tricks, and techniques. Many celebrities grace her pages, all with very personal stories, including designer Vera Wang, who adopted two late in life; Soledad O'Brien and Ann Curry, brilliant TV anchors and loving moms; and even Sex in the City's Cynthia Nixon. Every aspect of "having it all" is explored, from pregnancy and maternity leave (163 countries--but not Australia and the U.S.--offer guaranteed paid leave in connection with childbirth) to women entrepreneurs and the new opt-out revolution (a five-year hiatus from the workplace). The consensus? It's up to the individual, with no neat and tidy answers. Or as former secretary of state Madeline Albright explains: "Women's lives don't go in a straight line, they zig-zag all over the place." Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book for all moms!
Nicole Rosenson
First, I could not relate -- at all -- to any of the women in the book.
Wahini
Wendy Sachs has written the book that every working mom needs to read!
Laurie Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Morris on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I went back to work when my son was 8 months old. Like many mothers I worried incessently about how this would effect my relationship with my son. I wanted to stay home, but couldn't financially, so I've resigned myself that I have to work and make the best of it. So, I pick up this book thinking that it will give me concrete ways to be an effecting "working mom." Basically, it doesn't. All this book does is tell stories about super rich and powerful women who go to work because they want to. I could not relate at all to a bunch of upper-class exectives living in Manhatten who can afford a nanny and special schools and all the other perks that wealth and or celebrity bring. This booj offered no advice and was completely irrevelent to the middle class, who like me (a teacher), wants to really get some ideas on how to balance work and children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By emory2001 on July 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
How is it that a book that offers not a shred of practical advice gets the title "How She Really Does It"? This is a story-book about a bunch of executive women and their decisions to go back to work after baby, and how their employers handled it, with some commentary on whether such employer handled it well or not and how society needs to accommodate office-working moms better. Duh.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Alexander on February 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I cannot believe I wasted my time on this book. This is the first time I have ever written a review of a book, but I don't want others to think that they are getting something that they are not. It was a lot of women that work b/c they want to (which I respect), but gave no helpful information. How does she really do it? The moral of this book is you do it by making a lot of money.

I do not think by any means that money buys happiness, but you cannot argue that money makes life easier.

I want to know how working moms without a sizeable income REALLY do it...and this book did not go there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah L. Brooks on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As others have expressed, I was disappointed that "normal" people were not interviewed for this book. Teachers, nurses, computer people etc. All the celebrities and highly-accomplished people made me feel small. It seemed kind of elitist to me. If it wasn't some lawyer or doctor, it was someone related to producing in broadcast television.

I am struggling with the SAHM and SAWM issue right now and am part-time SAWM. Some of the "unsuccessful" stories where the woman came back and said she shouldn't be in the book were very interesting to me.

The overall impression I got is that you have to work if you want to stay competitive. This I am not sure is true. Also no mention of normal type jobs. I guess it all comes down to your definition of success. The elitism I felt was that the definition of success in the book had to do with money, degrees and where you could get before having a baby. Then she was pushing for you to keep working if you could. I felt it was very anti-SAHM.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Izzey VINE VOICE on June 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of the moms profiled are truly high profile (Vera Wang, Liz Lange, Ann Curry, Soledad O'Brien) celebrities who make millions of dollars (though they work their butts off for their success) *and* are married to men who make money. Thus it was hard for me to relate to such women, who presumably have their pick of live-in legally documented nannies. Still, it is fun to read (schadenfreud) that even such women find it hard to work and raise small children at the same time. So much harder for the rest of us... True to their class, the celebrity moms complain in oblique, muted ways, not in a gut wrenching way. At first the writing struck me as fluff and PRish, but after finishing the book, I found it was innovative in getting these glamorous moms to bitch a little. Although some of the women Sachs profiles are non-celebrity upper yuppies, I would have liked the book more if she had profiled more middle class professional women from a greater mix of careers. Few perhaps no single moms or divorced moms or lesbian moms. The male income is a unspoken subtext. One irritating feature of the book was the physical descriptions ("pin straight black hair," "almond eyes," "stylish brunette," "attractive," "looks ten years younger") that (I thought) detracted from the stories and degraded the women by emphasizing their good looks. Isn't that what everyone else does.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wahini on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A previous reviewer's title was "Are you kidding me?" It summed up my experience so much I wish I had thought of it.

This book was so bad I was almost angry when I was finished. I bought this book right before I came back to work from maternity leave. At the time I had a newborn. Like most new moms, I was barely sleeping. I thought I had accomplished a lot in a day if I showered AND ran an errand. I didn't know how I was going to get it together to balance a demanding job and motherhood. I thought this book would give me some tips on holding it together.

Boy was I wrong. First, I could not relate -- at all -- to any of the women in the book. I went back to work out of financial necessity. These women were trying to decide between being a SAHM or six-figure salaries. Neither of those are options for me!! Second, it seemed the women who did decide to go back to work (again, to jobs with the earning potential to hire excellent live-in childcare) did it for themselves. I am satisfied with my career, but going back to it was not a choice.

I picked it up again after I had been back at work for a while. The only upside to this book is that I could relate when some of the working moms said, "It's really hard to balance work and motherhood."

But then again, that's not particularly insightful. It didn't take this book for me to figure THAT out.
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