Life's Work

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Simon and Schuster, May 30, 2002 - Family & Relationships - 224 pages
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Life's Work is the story of one woman's search for balance -- and the realization that it can't be found. It is the story of modern motherhood, where true happiness is often reached when you finally give up and give in.
A few years ago, while trying to make sense of her own hectic world, award-winning journalist Lisa Belkin was asked to write a very personal column for The New York Times. She called it "Life's Work" because it was about the intersection -- or, more accurately, the collision -- of life and work.
Since then she's been inundated with stories of other people trying to catch their "balance": the CEO father-to-be who restructured his entire company so he would have time to see his baby, the divorced mom who thought she might have to give away the family iguana because the store that sold live food closed before she got home from work. But after hundreds of columns and thousands of reader e-mails, Belkin has yet to hear from a single person who has everything neatly under control. Finally, while trying to confer with her editor from a cell phone in her pediatrician's office, she reached an epiphany: No one can do it because it can't be done.
With natural wit and hard-won wisdom, Belkin takes on the myth of the Supermom. Fans of her "Life's Work" columns will find them at the heart of this book, but they will also find the life lived behind those columns -- stories of her husband, who really deserves more attention; of her two young sons, who might eat more vegetables and fewer chicken nuggets if she had more energy; of her editors, who expect her to fit some work into a day filled with school plays and science projects; and of her mother, who is always happy to offer advice about how things used to be. The book that results is a conversation between a columnist and her readership, between a work-from-home mom and her generation.
Lisa Belkin's Life's Work speaks to anyone trying to find meaning in a world where work has become life (and vice versa). Hers is the funny, poignant, and always dead-on story of trying to do it all...and learning that doing just some of it is enough.
 

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Life's work: confessions of an unbalanced mom

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New York Times reporter Belkin needed an outlet for discussing the trials of being both a modern working woman and a modern mother, so she founded the newspaper's "Life's Work" column, which often ... Read full review

LIFES WORK

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You can separate church and state, but in today's world, argues Belkin, who writes the New York Times's popular "Life's Work" column, you can't separate home and work. ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
11
Work Ethic
21
By Any Other Name
33
Firewalls
39
Pregnant at Work
45
Maternity Leave
52
LOVE AND WORK
61
The Grapes of Marital Wrath
71
Riley the Dog
135
The Internet Babys Birthday
141
Seasonal Guilt
161
My New Computer
166
Life from a Pay Phone
175
Home Office Charades
184
Back from Lunch
191
Succession
200

Take Our Daughters to Work 2000
78
Take Your Parent to Work Day 2001
84
Going Home Again
115
Trying to Connect
122
Getting Organized
129
Time
206
September 11 2001
212
Acknowledgments
219
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Lisa Belkin is a reporter for The New York Times. She lives with her husband, Bruce, two sons, Evan and Alex, and dog, Riley, in Westchester County, New York.

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