From Publishers Weekly
When Israeli scientists gave 100 brand new mothers an IQ test, they scored significantly lower than non-pregnant childless women. To this, Ellison, a Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist and mother of two, bluntly answers: "Duh... you are now looking at your future for at least the next eighteen years in its yowling red face. It's possible that your performance on standardized neuropsychological tests simply isn't a top priority." Throughout this well-framed argument for the intellectual pluses of motherhood, Ellison expertly demystifies the legend of "the mommy brain"—an assumption that pregnancy and parenting make women a little ditzy. By juxtaposing entertaining anecdotes from her own life and the lives of her friends with fascinating studies in neurobiology and psychology, Ellison substantiates her claim that motherhood is an "advantage in the lifelong task of becoming smart." Her argument's foundation is that learning changes the brain, and she makes a larger argument about the kind of intelligence motherhood fosters. Traits such as perception, efficiency, resiliency, motivation and emotional intelligence, she says, are present whether one's a good mom or "a CEO of a Fortune 500 company." Both, for example, must have the "logistical capacities that take you through the day with the minimum bloodshed and maximum productivity." Ellison's often humorous and always thorough approach reveals plenty of other illustrations of these skills that will amuse and intrigue smart mothers everywhere.
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"It's a revolution for the brain when you have a child... an epoch of learning and brain-induced changes, because everything matters so much. I don't think there are a lot of better things you can do for your brain than have a child."