1.31.2008

Book Review: Nursing Mother, Working Mother

I found this book damn near perfect. It seamlessly combines all the practical advice a working mother needs about pumping and storing her milk with the emotional wisdom about how to meld the two spheres of a working mother's life in a way that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved, especially her baby. The authors also give a nice nod to all of the working mothers in our anthropological history and point out that the phenomenon of stay at home "homemaker" mothers is a relatively recent one. The book continually emphasizes that a healthy attachment is the best way to minimize the effects of frequent lengthy separations on mother and baby. There were great tips on living life as a nursing, working mother unapologetically in both realms. I really enjoyed the discussion of how women are often encouraged to "compartmentalize" their lives, minimizing their role as a mother in the workplace in order to be seen as able to compete with men. Women entered the workplace often attempting to emulate men, while the authors postulate that a better option is for women to offer our unique set of strengths and talents. There are some excellent tips for maintaining credibility in the workplace after having a baby and avoiding the "mommy track."

Inspirational and empowering, I highly recommend this to all mothers, working outside the home or not, to foster respect amongst ourselves for all the different shapes and forms motherhood can take.