Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink

Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink

by Katrina Alcorn


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An intimate and revealing examination of today's motherhood overload crisis

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 insomnia—followed by medication, meditation, and therapy—began.

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 all—and 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580055239
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 08/28/2013
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 1,010,478
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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 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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Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for all working moms to know that you're not alone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago