Sunday, April 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Getting to 50/50 by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober



ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober are professionals, wives, and mothers. They understand the challenges and rewards of two-career households. They also know that families thrive not in spite of working mothers but because of them. You can have a great career, a great marriage, and be a great mother. The key is tapping into your best resource and most powerful ally—the man you married.

After interviewing hundreds of parents and employers, surveying more than a thousand working mothers, and combing through the latest government and social science research, the authors have discovered that kids, husbands, and wives all reap huge benefits when couples commit to share equally as breadwinners and caregivers. Mothers work without guilt, fathers bond with their kids, and children blossom with the attention of two involved parents.

From “baby boot camp” for new dads to exactly what to say when negotiating a leave with the boss, this savvy book offers fresh ideas to today’s families offering encouragement, hope, and confidence to any woman who has ever questioned her choices regarding work and family.

Winner of the Independent Publisher Award Gold Medal in Parenting

MY REVIEW:

As a working mother, I feel like I am supposed to love this book.  I did like it, and I enjoyed reading some of the statistics and encouragement for working women, but I'll be honest that I found it a bit dull.

The title of the book is "Getting to 50/50" and on the cover it states "How working couples can have it all by sharing it all and why it's great for your marriage, your career, your kids and you."  There are three parts to the book:

Part 1 -- The Good News About Work: Why Two Careers Are Better Than One
Part 2 -- Three Truths to Bust the Myths About Work, Women and Men
Part 3 -- The 50/50 Solution and How to Make It Yours

I found the first part fascinating.  It is full of studies and data about why a woman staying home with her children is not necessarily the best thing for the children or her marriage and how one of the most important factors in a child's development is actually the father's involvement (whether or not the mother works outside the home).

The second part is where I started to lose interest. It started to feel a little whiny to me about how women with children are so persecuted in the workplace.  I think that's because I personally couldn't identify with many of the examples, although that's actually part of the point -- I probably do experience some of the things the authors describe and I'm just not paying close enough attention.

I was hoping the third part would be a good conclusion, but I found it more tailored to brand new working mothers.

I like that the authors make women think about their own part in the responsibility of the 50/50 split (i.e. communicate with your partner about sharing the responsibilities, don't expect him to read your mind and allow him to do things his way).  However, I do think the authors missed an important piece of the whole thing -- i.e. "what happens when your husband is not on board with the 50/50 mentality?"

Overall, I think the book is good.  I would recommend it more for newer working mothers who are just starting to navigate this new world of balancing family and career.