I feel like I’ve been reading a lot lately, but this one – which I actually finished back before school got out – somehow slipped through the cracks when it came to blogging about it; that said, it’s definitely worth sharing:
Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink by Katrina Alcorn
(Image and book description from Amazon)
I found this book by simply searching “Working Moms” in the Kindle store. I didn’t know it at the time, but the author – Katrina Alcorn – is also a blogger (here), and I immediately liked her writing style and voice. Although the story is nonfiction, it reads more like a story (with short “chapters” of research intertwined); and, from the very beginning, I felt invested in Alcorn’s experience of falling into the role of first-time-mom and learning to navigate the road of career and motherhood as they were part of my own. She and I share(d) a lot of the same “perfectionist” tendencies and I found the book extremely relatable and realistic. As I said, it’s been a while since I read it, so the details are a little bit blurry, but I remember lots of “YES” and “ME TOO” moments very early on in the book.
Towards the middle of the book, Alcorn’s own circumstances became more obviously different from mine (mainly the fact that her job in “corporate America” allowed for much less flexibility and balance) and led to a battle of severe depression and anxiety that ultimately caused her to have a nervous breakdown, resign from her job, and re-evaluate her priorities and purpose in life. Although these pages were not as relatable to me, they still read like a conversation with a good friend, and I connected with them on the broader topic of the pressures ALL American women feel from so many different avenues today.
The end of the book was probably my favorite section as it included the author’s reflections and feelings now that she is on the other side of that season. In addition, she provided some very practical tips and words of wisdom for women who find themselves somewhere in the middle of it now. Specifically, I liked the advice from her sister-in-law (I think) that she shared advising us to focus on SWEAT, REST, and EAT for our health. Those three words seem manageable and really helped make self-care more attainable for me.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book to my fellow working mommas, or anyone interested in an inside look at that life. I would rate this an 8 out of 10 for its good mix of story, research, and practical advice.
Has anyone else read it? What were your thoughts?