How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making It Work

Overview

Typically, when a woman thinks about getting pregnant, she considers whether to give up or cut back on her career or use daycare or a nanny. Now families have another alternative - mothers and fathers can share family responsibilities.

Having made almost every pre-baby planning mistake that exists, when Julie Shields became a mother, she did the same thing most other new moms do. She fell in love with her daughter, took on more parenting and household duties than she ever ...

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Overview

Typically, when a woman thinks about getting pregnant, she considers whether to give up or cut back on her career or use daycare or a nanny. Now families have another alternative - mothers and fathers can share family responsibilities.

Having made almost every pre-baby planning mistake that exists, when Julie Shields became a mother, she did the same thing most other new moms do. She fell in love with her daughter, took on more parenting and household duties than she ever expected, cut back at work, and complained that her husband’s life hadn’t changed much at all.

After noticing that many women felt trapped by the alternatives they saw available to them, Shields interviewed marital counselors, childcare workers, negotiation experts, employers, child development experts, work-life counselors, researchers in many disciplines, and lots of parents, to find out how to create a family balance. She discovered that the happiest families had created personalized work and parenting arrangements that took every family member’s needs and desires into account, and did not rely on outdated gender roles.

"How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" is the result of all the interviews, conversations, research, and observations Shields made on her journey. It emphasizes real-life solutions and strategies, highlights common missteps, and demonstrates the value of a flexible new paradigm—sharing parenting. Whether you are looking for an equal parenting partner, a way to balance life and family, or just a break now and then, the portraits of couples who share parental responsibilities will help you design the life you want to lead.

This is the first book to go beyond analysis to offer life-tested answers for men and women in the twenty-first century. Full of practical and honest advice, it can change your life.

Author Events

August 15, 2003 - WCUB Breakfast Club, 10 a.m.

August 26, 2003 - WFHR Radio, 10 a.m.

August 27, 2003 - WBKC, 8:30a.m.

August 29, 2003 - KLPW Radio, 12:10 p.m.

September 12, 2003 into September 13, 2003 - WBZ Radio, 1 a.m.

September 13, 2003 - WFAS "Here’s to Your Good Health," 11 a.m.

September 27, 2003 - KTKK Interviews & Interactions with Linda Strasberg, 5:30 p.m.

October 29, 2003 - Speaking Engagement at the 92nd Street Y in New York City

November 1, 2003 - WFHG 92.7 FM / WXBQ "The Barbara McFaddin Show," 10am

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931868556
  • Publisher: Capital Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/24/2003
  • Series: Capital Ideas
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Shields is an intellectual property attorney and freelance writer. She has successfully lobbied her employer for more flexible work arrangements and is spearheading an effort to improve federal employees' parental leave options. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in McLean, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Part 1 If it's Broke, Fix it
1 There's Still A Long Way To Go, Baby 3
2 Why Quality Substitute Care Is Not a Complete Answer 17
3 Yes, Men Can, and It Will Be Good for Them, Too 31
Part 2 Before You Say, "I Do"
4 Negotiation 101 47
5 Think about Work and Family Issues before Angling for the Ring 61
6 Marital Calisthenics: Building a More Perfect Union 77
Part 3 While You're Still Just the Happy Couple
7 Look before You Throw Away the Birth Control 93
8 Men Must Get Involved Early: Rethinking Maternity and Paternity Leave 109
9 Divide and Conquer Your New Roles 125
Part 4 If You Already Have Kids
10 Getting Unstuck 143
11 Strategies That Work: More on Mommy Letting Go 157
12 Sharing the Career Accommodation 173
13 Laws That Can Help 189
Notes 203
Resources 227
Index 231
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    What a great Book!

    I'm a single mom and read this book. It was recommended to me by a friend. I figured it was for couples. A great reminder of how wonderful your kids are and how you can impact their lives and enjoy life and your kids. I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    innovative

    This book takes a fresh look at the problems of parenting and offers solutions that are both innovative and practical. This is a great book to share with your friends who are getting married or considering having children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    A must read for every parent

    I read this book cover to cover in one sitting and have since been recommending it to every parent I know. 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. I see very clearly how the fathers and children benefit from a shared approach to parenting. 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2002

    How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making it Work

    Like most really good ideas, this one is so obvious that is remarkable that somebody else hasn't come up with it sooner. While many books of late have bemoaned the challenges and pitfalls facing today's professional women as they balance work and family responsibilities, this book actually goes beyond diagnosis and prescribes solutions. The problem, as author Julie Shields identifies it, is that many young, educated professional women have been led to believe that they can have it all only to find that childbirth changes everything. Marital partnerships that once seemed loving and equitable, now seen unequal and adversarial; husbands who once seemed progressive lurch back to traditional roles, expecting wives to pick up the lion's share of child rearing responsibilities. The result, all too often, is friction, frustration, and unhappiness -- especially for women. Couples in the throes of romance very seldom discuss these extremely important issues prior to childbirth; as a consequence, the kid drops like a bomb on the family unit. The deceptively simple solution that Shields prescribes is for women who are newly married, or contemplating children, or pregnant (or even new mothers) to lock-in in advance commitments from their husbands to share the family responsibilities -- before they are stuck. She then goes out to outline, through real-world case studies, different tactics and strategies for successfully balancing. She goes, quite persuasively, to show that the men are better off this way as well. The book is extremely readable, impressive in the depth of its research and yet often humorous and not at all "academic." Simply a must read for the modern family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2002

    How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making it Work

    I found "How To Avoid The Mommy Trap" smart, practical, thorough, and hard-hitting. Julie Shields shows that women have more choices than they think they do, and gives great examples that show how to achieve the life you want. I really liked that she included strategies for those who are dating, those married but with no kids, and those expecting children as well as for those who already have kids and are stuck doing too much. She also acknowledges the value of childrearing and doesn't discount stay at home or working mothers, and presents a fair and non-shrill way to approach these issues. And my boyfriend liked it too. It gives power and rights to men, who too often get pushed out and then complained about. A lifesaver and great planning tool whatever your life stage.

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