THE SINGLE MOTHER'S HANDBOOK by Elizabeth S. Greywolf

THE SINGLE MOTHER'S HANDBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A little something--but almost nothing of substance--about various aspects of the single mother's situation: from post-divorce adjustment to career advancement to living on welfare. Greywolf is connected with the Stress and Families Project at Harvard, and the text is ostensibly based on two recent studies of 240 Boston-area women. Whatever the studies yielded (only one is described, and that cursorily), the chief reflection here is an occasional vignette of a typical overburdened working mother--whose getting-to-work or coming-home-from-work problems could be those of a woman with a husband too. As it also happens, one of Greywolf's salient remedies, Quiet Morning Time (""This should be the first item on each single mother's agenda"")--along with others of her nine take-care-of-yourself prescriptions (a physical outlet for stress, ""concentrated tender loving body care"")--would be more available to single than to married women. The book, in short, demonstrates little knowledge of parenting, in or out of marriage. At times, it makes one wonder about Greywolf's competence as a researcher--even her good sense. ""Almost half of the women interviewed,"" she relates, ""said they spent more time with their children than they would like."" (Given the way the question was structured, more than half presumably said they spent less time with their youngsters than they would like.) The sections on specific, related topics offer advice on everything from buying a meat thermometer (so you don't ruin expensive roasts) to coping with vaginal infections (""quite possible sooner or later""). For psychological or practical guidance, single mothers can do much better--with knowledgeable, closely focused works.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1984
Publisher: Morrow