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What Happy Working Mothers Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Lead to a Healthy and Happy Work/Life Balance Hardcover – September 8, 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For working mothers who face endless demands on their time and attention, What Happy Working Mothers Know provides scientifically proven and practical ways to replace stress with contentment and find the right balance between work, motherhood, and life. Your own happiness is important—because happy moms make better moms and more successful professionals.

What Happy Working Mothers Know reveals that the key to being your best is to take care of your happiness the same way you take care of your health—through conscious daily choices. Cathy Greenberg and Barrett Avigdor explain how you can use positive psychology to shift from a mentality of scarcity to one of abundance to create happiness for yourself and those around you ... even when you're at your very busiest.

Based on new scientific research, this mom-friendly guide gives you the practical advice and effective strategies you need to be a great mom and a great professional without sacrificing your own happiness. You'll learn to apply lessons learned at work to your motherhood skills (and vice versa), as well as how to avoid "happiness traps" like trying to be Supermom, doubting yourself, or believing that you are your job. Inside, you'll find handy, effective tools to avoid these traps and meet a host of courageous women who share their stories and how they found their own happiness.

Many moms raise great kids and achieve the personal and professional success they desire and deserve—but at what cost? What Happy Working Mothers Know doesn't show you how to have it all, but how to have all the things that really matter—including your own happiness.

From the Back Cover

What Happy Working Mothers Know

"This book energizes and inspires me."
Marcus Buckingham, author of Find Your Strongest Life

"Delightful, inspiring, and motivating. This book really hit home for me."
Kim Martin, President and General Manager, WE tv

"What Happy Working Mothers Know is an innovative resource for leadership."
Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California; founding Chairman of the Marshall School's Leadership Institute

"Women everywhere will recognize themselves in this book."
Carolyn Kepcher, CEO, Carolyn & Co; co-star on NBC's The Apprentice

"A groundbreaking book that will become a mainstay for working moms, those who may become working moms, and for everyone who both manages and loves working moms."
Sara N. King, Center for Creative Leadership

"[Shines] a bright light on the leadership challenges of working mothers, offering practical tools and revealing case studies that will enable mothers to get extraordinary things done."
Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of The Leadership Challenge; Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

"What Happy Working Mothers Know shows that happiness is an essential element of good leadership—both at work and at home."
Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World; former press secretary for President Bill Clinton

"It's great to see a book that celebrates the working mother and her benefits for the family. It truly fits into our family credo: 'It's all how you look at it.'"
Dan Patrick, host of The Dan Patrick Show; co-host of NBC's Football Night in America; Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated; and Susan Patrick, mother of four, gourmet ice cream entrepreneur/owner of Walnut Beach Creamery

"Provides insights into new ways to tap into the incredible energy and strength of mothers in our workforce."
Anne LeGrand, CEO, Ultrasound, Philips Healthcare

"I have the privilege of working with hundreds of women year after year and I am thrilled to see What Happy Working Mothers Know touch on such an important topic."
Grace Killelea, Vice President, Talent and Leadership Initiatives, Comcast

"Touching stories, clarity, and insight that can only help build on the strengths of our Hispanic community and continue to grow our women leaders."
Rev. Luis Cortés Jr., founder and President, Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based evangelical network in the United States

"One of the most important books for working mothers in the new world!"
Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling coauthor of What Got You Here Won't Get You There and author of Succession: Are You Ready?

"This is a very important book in these turbulent times as our future is dependent on how we nurture and develop society's most valued human asset: the next generation."
Noel Tichy, Professor, University of Michigan, and coauthor of Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 82%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470488190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470488195
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Dr. Cathy L. Greenberg, PhD, Author, Speaker, Consultant and ICF Certified Coach as been named a world wide authority on leadership and human behavior by all major business and financial news organizations, and by popular media outlets such as Fortune, Oprah Magazine and Working Mother and named a "Top 100 Leadership Coach" by Executive Excellence Magazine.

She is a engaging speaker and business talk show host on Voice America: Leadership Development News. She is an active contributor to television including ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS, BBC and Prime Time Specials on CNN. Dr. Greenberg is known for achieving outstanding results for others. A former executive in her own right, Dr. Greenberg enjoyed executive positions at two of the world's largest consulting firms, founded two leadership centers, three consulting firms and works across all industries around the globe.

She specializes in executive coaching, eLeadership, and personal and organizational transformation. Cathy served as a founding partner of Accenture's Institute for Strategic change where she led the largest global research to date on the "Leader of the Future". She serves several special interest groups focused on developing leaders in challenging times including the VIG (the Vice's Interest Group) at the Pentagon. She was Winner of the CEO READ Business Book of the Year (2010), and an HBS award winning author. She is coauthor of multiple national and international bestsellers on human performance. Her research and writing partners include Warren Bennis, Noel Tichy, Marshall Goldsmith, Ken Blanchard and many others, resulting in contributions to groundbreaking leadership and training programs around the world.

Her new book "Fearless Leaders",(with TC North) focuses on how to reclaim your boldness and ambition based on performance results of top athletes, Fortune 500 innovators and tactical operations forces with both ROI and ROP (Return on People). It is being released in Fall 2014.

She is currently presenting keynotes, workshops, webinars and teleseminars to share many success secrets from the book Fearless Leaders™ and how to quickly gain these skills from an innovative, easy to use, on line program Fearless Leaders: Blue Print For Success™ developed by working warriors on the battlefield and in the boardroom.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a working father, generally happy, but currently more grumpy than usual: the economy, the weather (Chicago winter approaches) and my dear son's evolution into dictatorial toddler. This book has done wonders for my mood, my approach to life and my plans.

I actually like the fact that its teaching is in multiple narratives--central text interspersed with sidebars, charts and sketches--because these "bite-sized" nuggets of empathy, heroism, and yes, sheer wisdom, are perfect for busy working parents. I read it in spurts, dive back to recall a lesson, true story or insight and hold it in my head for the day.

Another reviewer complained that this book repeats the "What Happy People Know" messages. Sure it does. That's the point. Those messages are timeless truths that are worth repeating. In this book they've been synthesized and adapted for working parents. I really appreciate that, even though I usually don't read books that claim to speak to just one of the many roles I play in life. I usually steer away from something so specific--a whole book about happy working mothers? No thanks! Smug people who have figured out how to raise kids, succeed at work, honor your spouse and love yourself? Please, take your success stories elsewhere! I was so wrong. Greenberg and Avigdor share their lessons in happiness for all to learn. And they do it gently, positively and transparently. I've been humbled.

I share this book with parents who need uplifting and I recommend others to do so. And who doesn't need uplifting now and again? I'm a better man for having read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
In the book What Happy Working Mothers Know, they talk with a lot of working mothers regarding what they do to make their life happy. What it boils down to, is finding a balance between work and home and in the end (according to the book) not feeling guilty for your choices. While I agree you shouldn't feel guilty for your choice to work (because I for one am NOT meant to be a stay at home mom!), I think I would be more happy if there were more hours in a day! I just can't find time to do everything that needs to get done. In the book, they do talk about prioritizing your time. Spend those 30 mins with the kids instead of vacuuming - vacuuming can be done later. While I do agree with prioritizing, there does come a point, when you can't push it off anymore.

The one thing I didn't like about this book was its entire chapter (it seemed) on divorce and how to get through it etc. I'm not quite sure how that is supposed to help working mothers be happy. One of the authors went through a divorce so I can only surmise that is the reason for such in depth inclusion regarding divorce and how to handle/get through it was included with the book.

Overall, I thought this was a good book. I will go back and do/re-do some of the exercises they talked about in the book to kind of let you figure out what will make you happy and how to get to that point. They were definitely thought provoking and a great way to try to get you to your happy point. However, in the end, only you can make yourself happy. No book can do it for you!
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Format: Hardcover
We older mothers needed this book when our kids were little. Cathy Greenberg and Barrett Avigdore have done a fantastic job of providing it in a way that is neither condescending nor insulting. They state "Our goal is to give you the tools to engage your whole brain, help you develop awareness, and learn to perform at your best every day." This is neither a "we have an ax to grind" book nor a "let's make the best of a bad situation" book. Rather it is a "User's Manual" for women in the work force based on the new science of Positive Psychology. It addresses the issues facing "Working mothers" in a positive, constructive way. (I must admit , though, that I find the term "working mother" an oxymoron - is there such a thing as a mother who doesn't work? Motherhood takes more energy, more creativity and more abilities than any job I know.) This book addresses head on how you fill the role of mother, happily hold down a job and be true to yourself as a human being.

The authors found a nice balance between presenting information, illustrating the topic with examples from "real life" women, and offering exercises that allow you to come to your own conclusions about what you need for you. I found it refreshing that the authors do not try to tell you what to think, what to believe or how to act. Rather they present the issue and help you work your way to a solution that works best for you.

This book address such issues as learning to love yourself, dealing with guilt, forgiveness, gender differences, letting go of the "perfect mother" syndrome and what happens to the children when you work - or when you don't work.
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Format: Hardcover
The tips in this book are things like "make a list of your favorite movies. Exchange that list with others." and "forgive others". The gems of wisdom? How about "Pride is a form of appreciation...it is feeling good about what you contribute as a working mother". Vague and simplistic, the stories are not compelling either. Everything is almost sentimentally written; nothing paints a picture at all and there is exactly zero wit.
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