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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

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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
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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

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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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Simon Maple on December 3, 2009
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
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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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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