A work of nonfiction by a certified career coach designed to help mothers decide which post-baby career path is right for them.
Abdilla identifies seven career lanes ranging from forgoing income and staying home with the kids to continuing to work full time and arranging for child care. Her tone is both warm and no-nonsense, and reading her advice feels like listening to a trusted friend who just happens to have a leg up on life experience. While she immediately comes across as an authority on juggling motherhood and career management, she’s also refreshingly realistic, admitting in her introduction, “We all screw ourselves in one way or another when it comes to our set up at home and our careers.” Her detailed descriptions of the pros and cons of each “lane” bring into relief common-sense arguments that might not be apparent to emotional and overwhelmed parents-to-be. In the chapter titled “The Slow Lane,” Abdilla notes that although working reduced hours might seem like the ideal solution for a career-minded mom, “You might condense a full-time job into less pay and have fewer hours to accomplish it.” While the specificity of the scenarios Abdilla outlines allows parents to decide which lane is best for them, it also means that readers will be able to skip inapplicable sections. There’s enough general information, however, to make the whole book a worthwhile read for most new parents. Interactive exercises are helpful and straightforward; some include sample answers to guide readers in completing them. Abdilla also offers information about her own past to help readers see how a person’s history influences his or her parenting style. A chapter about dividing household chores in a way that feels fair to both parents could be useful for any couple.
Most parents could benefit from reading this smart, insightful guide about the realities of creating a work/life balance.