Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brinkby Katrina Alcorn
Winner of a Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year Award
Katrina Alcorn was a 37-year-old mother with a happy marriage and a thriving career when one day, on the way to Target to buy diapers, she had a breakdown. Her carefully built career shuddered to a halt, and her journey through depression, anxiety, and insomniafollowed by medication, meditation, and… See more details below
Winner of a Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year Award
Katrina Alcorn was a 37-year-old mother with a happy marriage and a thriving career when one day, on the way to Target to buy diapers, she had a breakdown. Her carefully built career shuddered to a halt, and her journey through depression, anxiety, and insomniafollowed by medication, meditation, and therapybegan.
Alcorn wondered how a woman like herself, with a loving husband, a supportive boss, three healthy kids, and a good income, was unable to manage the demands of having a career and a family. Over time, she realized that she wasn’t alone; many women were struggling to do it alland feeling as if they were somehow failing as a result.
Mothers are the breadwinners in two-thirds of American families, yet the American workplace is uniquely hostile to the needs of parents. Weaving in surprising research about the dysfunction between the careers and home lives of working mothers, as well as the consequences to women’s health, Alcorn tells a deeply personal story about “having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after. Ultimately, she offers readers a vision for a healthier, happier, and more productive way to live and work.
“. . . the book is a brave admission that we are not all successfully managing our overbooked lives, and should not feel alone. On the whole, the book provides a powerful reminder that even well-to-do mothers do not thrive in our current system, that having a positive attitude, leaning in, or opting out aren’t viable choices for many women, and that other countries (such as Denmark and Sweden) serve working mothers more effectively.”
“Alcorn tells a gripping story of how the demands of work and parenting sent her over the edge. She brilliantly connects her experience with key changes we must make to end the insanity and make work fit our lives.”
Joan Blades, author of The Motherhood Manifesto and co-founder of MomsRising.org
“This is a deeply important story told by a highly gifted writer. So many working mothers are living in 'emotional debt' these days that this book is bound to strike a chord.”
Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift
“Katrina Alcorn wrote the book that desperately needed to be written. In Maxed Out, Alcorn goes where most memoirs don't, recounting the terror-inducing triple play of work, marriage and motherhood which give rise to extreme depression and anxiety. From her darkest days to her recovery, Alcorn tells an awfully compelling story, giving us insight into a world where most fear to tread, and inspiring us to rethink how we spend one of our most precious resources: our time.”
Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs a Drink
“This is important, even essential, food for thought. We have to stop and take stock of our lives. We have to make sure that if it all ended tomorrow, we would feel right about the way we spent our time. That’s the conversation this book wants to start.”
Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Lift
"Every once in a while you pick up a book that just grabs you by the scruff of your neck and commands your undivided attention. [Maxed Out] was just that kind of book for me.”
Sarah Welch, BabyCenter.com
“. . . once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. Maxed Out is elegantly written and beautifully structured, with a logical, almost inevitable narrative . . .”
Katherine Lewis, About.com Working Moms
“. . . I could not stop reading even though it had become the deep, dark of night . . . [Alcorn's] story is riveting, and it is one that will resonate with any mother, or woman thinking of becoming a mother, whether she works outside the home or not.”
Maureen Langloss, Project Eve
- Avalon Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Katrina Alcorn is a writer and an experience design consultant. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and documentary filmmaking from UC Berkeley, and is a regular blogger at WorkingMomsBreak.com and for The Huffington Post.
Since 1999, Alcorn’s day job has been leading design projects with corporations in a variety of industries to help them put technology in the service of people. This work has given her an insider’s glimpse into dozens of companies—from Fortune 500s to small startups—and she has spoken at more than a dozen design conferences internationally. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and three children.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Finally, someone out there has written a book on the day to day challenges us Mom's face between working full-time, parenting full-time, being a wife full-time, maintaining friendships full-time, managing family finances full-time, keeping up with housework full-time, while being depressed and sometimes miserable at the same time! It's tough, but I really appreciated reading Ms. Alcorn's take on these issues and hope more women read this if they are feeling or starting to feel "Maxed Out."
A must read for all working moms to know that you're not alone!
This book helped me realize that the way I was feeling was pretty normal for a person in my situation. It's hard to be all things to all people...and finding a balance can be a challenge. After the birth of my third child in December, I am certainly feeling the strain. This book was worth reading!
This book is the first of its kind that I've read that truly captures the challenges faced by educated mothers with successful careers. Alcorn's story about her struggles as a working mother is poingnantly written and will resonate with many modern families. While she tries hard to be inclusive of many different family types, giving a nod here and there to single parents and those of lower economic status, her own story may seem, to some, the rantings of someone who is part of a spoiled, affluent class. To her credit, she is self- deprecating and sensitive to this, suggesting that if her proposed solutions would benefit her, they could most certainly benefit those in even worse shape. Alcorn's proposed solutions aren't exactly groundbreaking and are highly liberal in nature. Some will embrace this and others will be turned off. However, what is groundbreaking is that Alcorn alludes to the real complexity of the problem, and to the fact that modern day families are indeed part of a new, grand, social experiment. Furthermore, it will take everyone working together to ease the career burdens faced by today's parents. Her message is a powerful one, and opens the door for further discourse on the topic.