The Smart Woman's Guide to Staying At Home By Melissa Hill
giving it up about giving in?
Melissa Hill's book is as smart as the title and practical too with
bits on the stuff that make working mums cringe - such as walking away
from much needed cash to be with your expensive offspring.
Melissa begins by running through all your other options first: job-shares,
telecommuting, special arrangements at work. But she makes it clear
from the outset that spending time with your kids at home is a winner
- IF you are smart enough to sustain the independence and identity that
you get from working.
And here lies the crux of her argument. Staying at home is a smart
move - if you can get on top of the business of mothering.
The part about mothering is the easy part. What Melissa has observed
(acutely) is that it is not so much the nitty gritty of mothering (ie.
nappies, finances, housewifery) that gets you down, it's your new status
- or your new status as perceived by others. That's why she's got a
chapter titled "Building a Positive Foundation for Life" which
encourages the mums who have started nurturing a low self-esteem to
shake off this self-destructive state and seek inspiration.
This may involve editing out friends who are cynical and put you down,
being discriminating about the media you read, making time for creativity,
and giving up TV. Good advice - though, confirmed couch potato that
I am, I would have preferred a less definitive take on TV watching.
What I question is the emphasis on being smart throughout. The message
is that smart women too can stay at home. Because normally smart women
wouldn't. Which is disturbing because it unintentionally implies that
intelligent women have a low regard for staying at home.
It also implies that successful motherhood is dependent on one's IQ.
Sure, the brain may have a role to play in successful motherhood. But
staying in love with the little brats will ensure their (and your) survival.
And most importantly of all, you 've got to have stamina.
HERE to read reader reviews and order the book
HERE to go to Melissa Hill's website