Monday, April 21, 2008

A Book to Soothe the Mother-Daughter Soul?

Well if this isn't the most timely book ever published, I don't know what is. Deborah Carr, a brilliant sociologist at Rutgers, has teamed up with journalist Julie Halpert to write Making Up with Mom: Why Mothers and Daughters Disagree About Kids, Careers, and Casseroles (and What to Do About It). If they had timed it a bit differently, they could have easily added "and Candidates" to the subtitle. The book shows how generational differences in women's lives have created (fixable) frictions between Gen X/Boomer women and their moms. I like the emphasis on "fixable."

Here's from the book description:
Young women today have infinitely more options than their mothers and grandmothers did decades ago. “Should I become a doctor, a writer, or a stay-at-home mom?” “Should I get married or live with my boyfriend?” “Do I want children?” Women in their twenties, thirties, and forties today are wrestling with life-altering decisions about work and family—and they need all the support they can get.

But the very person whose support they crave most—their mother—often can’t get on board, and a rift is created between the two generations, even for women who have always had a strong relationship.

A mother’s simple question, like “How can you trust a nanny to watch your children all day?” can bring her poised, accomplished CEO daughter to tears, or provoke a nasty response more suitable to a surly teenager than a leader of industry. Why can’t mothers and daughters today see eye to eye when it comes to important choices about love, work, children, money, and personal fulfillment? Why does a mother’s approval matter so much, even to the most confident and self-possessed daughter? And when daughters choose paths different from their mothers’, why is it so painful for the older generation?

Making Up with Mom answers these important questions by focusing on three core issues: dating/marriage, career, and child rearing. Relying on interviews with nearly a hundred mothers and daughters, and offering helpful tips from more than two dozen therapists, Julie Halpert and Deborah Carr explore a wide range of communication issues and how to resolve them, so mothers and daughters everywhere can reclaim their loving relationships. This enlightening book is a must-read for all women today.

The perfect gift for Mother's Day?! The authors will be reading at Barnes & Noble in North Brunswick on Tuesday May 20 at 7:30 p.m. For more, check out www.makingupwithmom.com.

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