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Customer Review

24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Author brags too much about herself, superficial advice, June 26, 2008
This review is from: How Did I Get So Busy?: The 28-day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most (Paperback)
I got this book from the library with high hopes but I am disappointed in it. There are many instances I felt the author was just bragging about herself, in the guise of "sharing". By that, I mean she makes opportunities to "share" her own story, but somehow even her so-called problems seem contrived to promote herself. For example, in one part of the book, she was relating that she thinks her own tendency to be busy all the time started in childhood, when her mother put her in kindergarten at the age of four. She then goes on to say she was trying to prove to the world she is "smart" by getting her masters degree at age 21. Well, that does prove she is smart, and surely she knows it, but by the time she is done with telling the story, I was annoyed by the obvious self-promotion. In another segment, she relates of how she and her husband took a leap and bought a home that "nourishes" them physically, emotionally and spiritually. She then gushes about how lovely it is to walk in the streets near her home, how happy she is they took the leap and bought it. Well, that's great, but in these economic times, that sure does seem like bragging.

I got the feeling the author led something of a life of priviledge, and cannot relate to why many of us are busy. She never mentions having children and as a busy mom, I can say a large part of why I am overly busy is the care of my children. Like many moms, I was looking for advice on things like how to slow down without shortchanging the kids, but kids were never really addressed in this book. That is a glaring omission, because kids (or the care of adult parents, or both) add tremendously to one's busyness and most women are in some sort of caregiving role for a large part of their lives. It is very easy to make the adjustments listed in the book if you are a woman with few caregiving obligations, but if you have those issues, then many of the suggestions here will be difficult, if not impossible to put into practice.

The author lacks insight into the reasons why people are so busy, the very real obligations some of us face, and cannot simply reduce by self examination. Some of her points are good, but there appears to be a lack of understanding of the serious responsibilites many of us face.It is very easy to say "slow down" and "take time" but when one is faced with the care of parents and children, or working two jobs to save a home from foreclosure, such advice seems worse than trite.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2008 9:16:52 AM PDT
PG says:
I was considering this book because I am a full time working mother of two children. Care for the children is the source of my hectic life, and I was looking for discussion around the topic --> work/family balance. This review was very helpful in weeding out this book.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 3:58:05 PM PST
SHerbert says:
Thanx for the feedback. Was considering purchase...but will visit the library and check it out.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 3:46:55 AM PDT
could her attitude be encouraging. it appears this woman fought a war to be hope-filled, happy, & satisfied with her choices and lifestyle. i think she's just testifying of her personal story and all God did for her.

also, duly noted that she may not have children yet, but she counsels several thousand people a year (several of which, im sure, do have children & are impacted by her work) plus she single-handedly raised over half a million dollars to help struggling women in shelters (who certainly have children impacted by her contribution), pretty impressive for one person, alone. perhaps the way she impacts children is indirect compared to a real mom (which is irreplaceable), but it does still impact, doesnt it...?

also as for mothers, i noticed that her website does include some articles directly specifically related to mom challenges, see below...:

You do it all - work hard, take care of your kids, keep up with chores and errands, and even try to squeeze in time for romance and relaxation. In a survey of over 300 women for my book, How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most, 80% of moms said they don't spend enough quality time with their children and 70% of those who are married said they didn't spend enough quality time with their spouse.

The top three time management challenges for busy moms are no surprise - not enough time for the kids, little time for the husband, and almost no "me time" for you. But if you are intentional, you can create more meaningful moments with the people you love most. Here's how:

Challenge #1: Not enough quality time with my children

Solutions: Make the simple moments count.

Have breakfast together (10 minutes).
Turn off the radio in the car and use the school commute to reconnect.
Eat dinner together (only 28% of Americans do) and ask, "What's the best thing that happened to you today?" or some other positive question.
Make sure your child isn't left feeling he always has to compete for a slice of your attention - stop what you are doing, look at him, talk to him, listen.

Challenge #2: Not enough quality time with my spouse

Solutions: Make your spouse a priority.
Plan it, schedule it, and prioritize it.
Keep a fun file of things you'd like to do together, but keep it simple and doable.
Work together to set up a date night and stick to it - trade babysitting with another couple, ask family or hire a sitter;.
Put the kids to bed on time so you have alone time together every evening.
Occasionally, take a weekday off and spend the day together while the kids are at school.
Call each other during the day just to check in, say "I love you." Don't talk about the kids, focus on your spouse.
Intentionally make the connection with your spouse a priority - ultimately it creates security for the entire family.

Challenge #3: Not enough time for me!

Solutions: Schedule "me" time.
Schedule appointments with yourself just like any other appointment: an at-home bubble bath, a visit to your favorite bookstore or just a much-needed nap!
Engage regularly in a hobby or activity you enjoy; you need something you do just because you love it; this will help you reclaim your sense of self.
And remember that time for yourself doesn't always mean time by yourself - the fact that 55% of women surveyed haven't had a friend over in more than two months points to a big issue for moms: isolation.
Join or start a book club; initiate a once-a-month girls' night out; take a walk with a girlfriend, with or without strollers. These are ways to invest in your sanity while also meeting a need for connection.
And if you're not inviting someone into your home because it's not Martha Stewart perfect, you need to ask this: "When I visit a friend, am I more interested in whether her coffee table is dusted or whether we have fun together?" Then turn that around and assume their friends also care more about friendship than furniture--and invite someone for coffee this weekend!
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