Torn: True Stories on Kids, Career, and Conflict of Motherhood

Today is the first day of distribution for Samatha Walraven’s book Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career, and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood. I got an advance copy and it’s a good read: for working moms, of course, but also for working dads, and everybody else who cares about understanding some of the people they work with. book cover

The book is a series of chapters from contributors, which makes it a great collection of experiences and point of view. It’s about how it feels, working through the problems, dealing with guilt, the importance of choice — which includes choosing to be stay-at-home mom too, by the way; there’s a whole section of pieces from that point of view too — and similar topics.

For example, this, from a Chapter called MommyCEO, written by Sabrina Parsons, my daughter, CEO of Palo Alto Software. I’ve taken a couple of snippets from a larger paragraph, just to give you the idea:

…there are things I have to deal with in the workplace that no man will ever face. No man will ever be in his office using a breast pump during a partner call … and very few men will ever face the reality that no matter how much government protection there is for maternity and family leave, there are some jobs that don’t allow a three-month leave of absence.

And here’s one from the following page:

Last night, as I sat in my boys’ room at bedtime, I thought about how much I have on my plate, how much I am juggling, and the items that fall by the wayside: my blog, my workouts, my sleep. My wingspan is simply not wide enough. If you saw me sitting in their room, you could actually envision this ‘wingspan’ — my arms stretched out wide between my sons’ beds so they can each hold a hand as they fall asleep.

That’s just one of 50 chapters, divided into seven sections, each written by a different woman. They divide into sections on balance, guilt, the superwoman, divided lives, the stay-at-home struggle, and, last but not least: “Maybe, Baby.”

Last week I posted about entrepreneurs needing empathy. Let’s have more empathy for the working moms, and for stay-at-home moms too, when they make that choice. This is a really good book.


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