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How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making It Work (Capital Ideas) Hardcover – August 1, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Capital Ideas
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Capital Books (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892123886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892123886
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,912,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amy Tiemann on August 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Julie Shields' excellent book "How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" provides a thorough exploration of strategies to help women and men share parenting responsibilities in a way that benefits everybody in the family.

"How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" illuminates the status quo and the calcified gender roles that many couples default to once they become parents. Shields belives that family life doesn't have to unfold that way, and she encourages couples to look beyond the standard choices of nanny, day care, or mother at home. Shields says 'The term Mommy Trap does not refer to giving birth and then having a child to take care of, or give up something for your child....More than anything else, the Mommy Trap describes a failure to understand the wide range of options available to modern parents.' She gives many examples of what it looks like to be caught in the Mommy Trap, including:

'The Mommy Trap snares a mother when she takes on parenting or household responsibilities that result in more unpaid work, and less leisure time and personal time, than she would like, particularly in comparison with her husband.'

Sound familiar? Do you feel like you couldn't even ask to expect things to be different without feeling selfish or guilty? Get this book! It is a primer that illuminates what marriage and parenting could look like if we stuck up for ourselves, let go of controlling the way our husbands parent, and worked to create truly equitable partnerships.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is one of a kind. Whether you are parents already or just thinking about it, How to Avoid the Mommy Trap will help men and women alike think about parenting as a partnership as never done before. This book has been a lifesaving eye-opener for me and my marriage and I am sure I am not the only one out there for whom this is true.
Shields is an innovator. She has changed the paternity leave policies in the State Department. In the book, she gets readers to think about the importance of where your ideal partner stands on work and family issues before meeting him/her or where your current partner stands on such issues before making the making the final commitment.
I am a full-time stay at home mom and I love my job. It is the hardest yet most rewarding job I have ever had and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I had begun to lose my identity in my mommyness and this book is a guide on how mothers can "let go" without guilt. Julie Shields is helping me get my sense of self back and she doesn't even know me!
Just read the Table of Contents and you'll be hooked too!
Amy Beal
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one sitting, and when I was done I found myself going back through it again in order to digest it more completely. I really wish it had been available when I was just starting my family, but even though my kids are now older I don't feel it's too late. A wonderful resource for any two-parent household, full of practical advice and suggestions on how to improve the whole family's quality of life. Julie Shields cuts through to the heart of many emotional, complicated parenting issues and presents solutions from a fresh, logical perspective. This is not just another book telling women how to reduce stress in their lives by making time for relaxing baths. I highly recommend it to any parent, or anyone thinking of becoming one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shields is a parental leave activist, but she's got a lot of suggestions on what new parents can do until then. She addresses some of the reasons women gatekeep on domestic stuff and childcare, and how to stop doing that. She proposes two part time jobs and a limited amount of child care as a strategy for caring for small children in a way that includes both parents while still allowing them time to work (about thirty hours a week) and nurture their relationship. While primarily addressed at heterosexual relationships, she includes numerous examples from same-sex couples.

Great stuff, especially about negotiation, for peer marriages/marriages where both adults work for pay. Not so great for other situations. Also take a look at Coleman's _The Lazy Husband_ (another book in search of a better title).
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Format: Hardcover
I am a working mom and I found so much truth, as well as so many good suggestions, which are really practical, in this book. Julie Shields describes a common problem (without wasting too much time on the problem before getting to the answer) and shows that the word "mother" doesn't have to mean martyr, and how to actually do that kind of sharing parenting that many of us idealize. Without judgment, she explains how women make choices which then lock them into being the Super Parent, and also how we sometimes prevent men from getting involved.
If you're a mom and feel like your husband does more than you would like, and especially if you think your experience will be different when you have children, or you haven't even gotten married yet, you will find useful advice and strategy so that you can create the life you want. It really made me think about what I was doing and we have made better changes in our family already. The concept of BATNA is really powerful, and I can attest to that.
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