Remaking Motherhood: How Working Mothers Are Shaping Our Children's Future

Remaking Motherhood: How Working Mothers Are Shaping Our Children's Future

by Anita Shreve

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Expanded from her cover article in the New York Times Magazine, Shreve's book resounds with the conviction that benefits accrue to children of ``working mothers.'' (The author regrets the semantic necessity of the phrase that is ``grossly unjust'' to housewives who work hard at home.) Wife, mother, editor and freelance writer, Shreve is among the majority of women whose occupations separate them from their children daily. Supporting her theory that her small daughter is growing up strong and independent, she here interviews other mothers in like situations, as well as specialists in child development, etc. Their observations will prove reassuring to parents who devote a goodly portion of their time to their careers. Some of Shreve's claims, however, may incite argument. Not all will agree that little boys and girls profit from androgynous fathers and mothers. 20,000 first printing; first serial to Working Mother, Parenting and New York Daily News; author tour. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Although these titles reaffirm women's need and right to work as well as to nurture, their different focuses minimize overlap. Shreve, a journalist and mother herself, evaluates the risks and rewards of being a working mother. At least one chapter (``Stresses and Strains'') counterbalances Shreve's obvious, albeit intelligent, bias, but the book generally lacks objectivity. Yet Shreve offers good documentation and thoughtful insights based on many interviews with researchers, mothers, and child specialists; wonderful glimpses of private moments with her daughter; and compressed accounts of other mothers' lives. If there is any resemblance to Sanger's REAP program, it's in the prescriptive chapter, ``How To Be a Positive Role Model.'' Sanger and Kelly provide specific strategies for Reality Attuned Parenting (REAP), a program begun in 1982 for working mothers by Sanger, founder of the Early Care Center in New York City. Chapters deal with techniques like ``reading your child,'' ``active guidance,'' encouraging the ``evoked companion,'' ``limiting,'' and ``pacing''; there are helpful anecdotes relating to the three maternal styles (the optimist, the worrier, the achiever), the support network (father and caregivers), the single working mother, and 13 reasons for not feeling guilt. Both titles are readable and suited to general audiences. Much more limited in appeal is Spouse, Parent, Worker , a compilation of 12 1984 conference papers that center on the relation between women's multiple roles and their self-esteem and sense of well being. As expected, the papers vary stylistically (some dense in jargon, others more straightforward), but they are essentially research reports by academics, for academics. Even editor Crosby's ``Note for the General Reader,'' which explains the logic behind multiple regression analyses, won't convince the average layperson to wade through 50 charts and dull exposition to arrive at conclusions destined for coverage in more popular sources. This title is appropriate only for academic and research libraries. Janice Arenofsky, formerly with Arizona State Lib., Phoenix

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Random House Publishing Group
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