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The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother? Paperback – March 10, 2005
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An original book, with an interesting, well-substantiated argument on every page. A strong contribution to an important, ongoing debate. -- Kirkus Reviews
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Top customer reviews
Call it something else; call it what you want ... it's time to end the conflict, roll up our sleeves, and to unite as we work toward social improvements for all families. This book is a wonderful beginning for the new dialogue.
This book is readable ~~ meaning, that in spite of the heaviness of the topics on hand, the author has taken the time and the research to show personal stories tied in with the issues. This is a great book because it's personal and informative and interesting. It flows like a conversation ~~ even though I got constantly interrupted by my husband and kids, I knew where the conversation was when I picked the book up (couldn't do that in real life though!).
I will admit that while I opted out of the rat race when I got pregnant with our twins, I really appreciated this book. I have friends who "retired" from the work force to stay home, friends who have temporarily left the workforce, and friends who work full time and part time. The issues in this book face us all. I chose not to pursue the issue I had with my former employers simply because after five years there, I knew that they weren't going to change their minds for one employee. My biggest problem is what I am going to do when my kids are in school and I would like to work in a part time job that pays well with benefits and allows me flexibility. That is an issue that a lot of women want but aren't finding in this current state of affairs.
Peskowitz also mentioned the media wars where they focus on Working Moms Vs. Stay At Home Moms and showed an entirely different point of view that is not being shown in the television shows and in newspapers or other media. She has discovered that most moms value one another. She also has discovered that there are dads out there who would like to be home more and work less so they can be a part of raising their children. (That was a favorite part of mine because my husband doesn't get to see his kids as much as he would like to because of his second shift job and I consider him a full time dad as well as a full time employee for his company!) She also mentioned housework and the drudgery involved ~~ and that employers/governments don't recognize being a housewife is a full time job in itself. The discrimination against women is mentioned too.
A huge portion of this book is devoted to the lack of working conditions favorable to moms everywhere. Women give up working simply because it's too exhausting to work a fulltime job and come home to raise a family. Women leave good paying jobs where they travel extensively once a child is born simply because it's not compatible for their lifestyles. Women have to fight to breast-feed their children or have a break to pump their milk. Women don't want to leave their jobs especially if they have worked very hard to get to where they are at, but employers are generally not forgivable for women everywhere. They oftentimes don't even provide on-site daycare centers, or pay enough to compensate a big portion of the paycheck to daycares and still have enough money left over. The issues regarding this is numerous and while women everywhere are starting to speak up, these issues are still there and won't go away till we start speaking up a little louder.
This book is simply fascinating just because she presents the facts and shares the stories of moms and dads across the country and the world as how these facts relate to them. She writes of her own experiences as well ~~ it is a book about you and me as we try to find ways to raise our children in the best way we know how. That is just what parents want. She points out that really, there isn't a war among the mothers ~~ that is a media-reality. Women and men too, want the freedom to make their choices and not have to worry about them or second-guessing themselves. They want to enjoy their family lives as it is a priority for them and still be able to work in a productive workforce.
She provides examples of stay-at-home moms who would like to work part-time but cannot find work worth their time. She shares the stories of other moms who want to stay home with their kids but simply cannot afford it. Comparing America to 170 other countries, she concludes that America is far behind in valuing the work that mothers do every day in raising their children and that the country needs to begin valuing this work.
She also shows that this difficulty goes beyond class lines. While women in higher-powered jobs may have more choice, they, too, have to fight for flexible working conditions and often "opt out" of the workforce because no suitable choices exist for them.
This book is easy to read and is well researched. In debunking the existence of the mommy wars, Peskowitz urges *all* moms to stand together in order to start making change happen in this country.