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***Life's Work

Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom

by Lisa Belkin

Reviewed August 24, 2004.
Simon & Schuster, New York, 2002.  221 pages.

This is a collection of essays from the “Life’s Work” column in The New York Times.  I’m always interested in how people struggle to balance life and work.  I enjoyed these columns, only reading one or two a day to give me time to think them over.

I like this paragraph from the introduction:  “This book is the story of how I gave up on straight lines; how I learned to zig and zag, to leapfrog and jump backward.  It’s also the story of how I gave up on balance and decided to settle for a close approximation of sanity, instead.  (Disclaimer:  I have not actually attained sanity yet, but am ever hopeful.)”

She says later, “If there’s a theme to this entire book, that’s it.  My own life’s choices don’t represent a solution, because no choice is a solution so much as a new packet of complications.”  She’s able to look at different ways different people approach the problem of balancing life and work without condemning other people’s solutions.

This is a funny and insightful look at working, parenting, loving, and living, that will appeal to many more people than work-at-home moms.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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