Making Up with Mom: Why Mothers and Daughters Disagree About Kids, Careers, and Casseroles (and What to Do About It)

Overview

Young women today have infinitely more options than their mothers and grandmothers did decades ago. “Should I become a doctor, a writer, or a stay-at-home mom?” “Should I get married or live with my boyfriend?” “Do I want children?” Women in their twenties, thirties, and forties today are wrestling with life-altering decisions about work and family—and they need all the support they can get.

But the very person whose support they crave most—their mother—often can’t get on board,...

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Overview

Young women today have infinitely more options than their mothers and grandmothers did decades ago. “Should I become a doctor, a writer, or a stay-at-home mom?” “Should I get married or live with my boyfriend?” “Do I want children?” Women in their twenties, thirties, and forties today are wrestling with life-altering decisions about work and family—and they need all the support they can get.

But the very person whose support they crave most—their mother—often can’t get on board, and a rift is created between the two generations, even for women who have always had a strong relationship.

A mother’s simple question, like “How can you trust a nanny to watch your children all day?” can bring her poised, accomplished CEO daughter to tears, or provoke a nasty response more suitable to a surly teenager than a leader of industry. Why can’t mothers and daughters today see eye to eye when it comes to important choices about love, work, children, money, and personal fulfillment? Why does a mother’s approval matter so much, even to the most confident and self-possessed daughter? And when daughters choose paths different from their mothers’, why is it so painful for the older generation?

Making Up with Mom answers these important questions by focusing on three core issues: dating/marriage, career, and child rearing. Relying on interviews with nearly a hundred mothers and daughters, and offering helpful tips from more than two dozen therapists, Julie Halpert and Deborah Carr explore a wide range of communication issues and how to resolve them, so mothers and daughters everywhere can reclaim their loving relationships. This enlightening book is a must-read for all women today.

Advance Praise for Making Up with Mom

“A sympathetic, helpful, and accurate look at a topic that affects us all and grows more important every day.” —Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University and author of Hard Choices: How Women Decide About Work, Career, and Motherhood

“A well-written, thoughtful book that could help every mother and daughter connect—or reconnect—at a deeper, more fulfilling level.” —Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., coauthor of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap and lecturer at Harvard Medical School

“If Nancy Friday’s My Mother, My Self helped a generation of daughters understand their conflicted relationships with their mothers almost thirty years ago, Making Up with Mom may well be the book that helps mothers and daughters today understand both themselves and each other. It is a book I’ve been waiting for.” —Deborah Siegel, Ph.D., author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild

Making Up with Mom is a must-read for women who want better relationships with their mothers or daughters (or both!). The book is chock-full of support and good sound advice, culled from the authors’ interviews with many women across generations. . . . This practical book considers many of the most important issues that women face, and in so doing it invites the readers, both mothers and daughters, to find ways to relate to each other in healthier and more effective ways. . . . A good, thorough read.” —Dr. Dorothy Firman, coauthor of Daughters and Mothers: Making It Work, Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312368814
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Halpert is a freelance journalist with more than two decades of experience writing for national publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Self, FamilyFun, and Parents. She has been a contributor to public radio programs such as The Environment Report, Marketplace, and Living on Earth. She lives in Michigan with her husband and three children.

Deborah Carr, Ph.D., is a sociologist at Rutgers University; her research has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and other national media.

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Table of Contents

Prologue     ix
Mothers and Daughters: Why We Get Under Each Other's Skin     1
From Good Housekeeping to Working Woman: Why Are Mothers and Daughters So Different Today?     17
Courtship, Cohabitation, and China Patterns: Choices About Love and Marriage     38
Having a Baby: Whether, When, How, with Whom, and How Many?     67
The Struggle Over Work: Career Choices, Crises, and Compromises     85
Breast-feed or Bottle? Time-outs or Spankings? The Rules of Parenting and How They've Changed     123
From Playing Outside to Playdates and PlayStations: Changing Ideas About Children's Social and Emotional Growth     168
His, Hers, and Theirs: The Changing Terrain of Household Responsibilities     207
Personal Time: Caring for One's Body and Soul     221
Managing Crises: True Stories of How Mothers and Daughters Undermine-or Inspire-Each Other     241
Peacetime and Parting Thoughts: Final Tips for Bridging the Generation Gap     267
Epilogue     281
Getting to Know You... Through Oral History     283
Mother-Daughter Movie Night and Book Group     287
Notes     293
Acknowledgments     301

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