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How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making It Work (Capital Ideas) [Paperback]

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Item description for How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making It Work (Capital Ideas) by Julie Shields...

Typically, when a woman thinks about getting pregnant, she considers whether to give up or cut back on her career or use daycare or a nanny. Now families have another alternative - mothers and fathers can share family responsibilities.

Having made almost every pre-baby planning mistake that exists, when Julie Shields became a mother, she did the same thing most other new moms do. She fell in love with her daughter, took on more parenting and household duties than she ever expected, cut back at work, and complained that her husband's life hadn't changed much at all.

After noticing that many women felt trapped by the alternatives they saw available to them, Shields interviewed marital counselors, childcare workers, negotiation experts, employers, child development experts, work-life counselors, researchers in many disciplines, and lots of parents, to find out how to create a family balance. She discovered that the happiest families had created personalized work and parenting arrangements that took every family member's needs and desires into account, and did not rely on outdated gender roles.

"How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" is the result of all the interviews, conversations, research, and observations Shields made on her journey. It emphasizes real-life solutions and strategies, highlights common missteps, and demonstrates the value of a flexible new paradigm---sharing parenting. Whether you are looking for an equal parenting partner, a way to balance life and family, or just a break now and then, the portraits of couples who share parental responsibilities will help you design the life you want to lead.

This is the first book to go beyond analysis to offer life-tested answers for men and women in the twenty-first century. Full of practical and honest advice, it can change your life.

Author Events

August 15, 2003 - WCUB Breakfast Club, 10 a.m.

August 26, 2003 - WFHR Radio, 10 a.m.

August 27, 2003 - WBKC, 8:30a.m.

August 29, 2003 - KLPW Radio, 12:10 p.m.

September 12, 2003 into September 13, 2003 - WBZ Radio, 1 a.m.

September 13, 2003 - WFAS "Here's to Your Good Health," 11 a.m.

September 27, 2003 - KTKK Interviews & Interactions with Linda Strasberg, 5:30 p.m.

October 29, 2003 - Speaking Engagement at the 92nd Street Y in New York City

November 1, 2003 - WFHG 92.7 FM / WXBQ "The Barbara McFaddin Show," 10am

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Item Specifications...

Pages   238
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 24, 2003
Publisher   Capital Books
ISBN  1931868557  
ISBN13  9781931868556  

Availability  0 units.

More About Julie Shields

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Shields is a writer, parental-leave activist, and intellectual property attorney who has successfully negotiated many flexible work arrangements. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in McLean, Virginia.

Julie Shields currently resides in McLean, in the state of Virginia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Relationships > Marriage
3Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > How-to & Home Improvements > Household Hints
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Health
5Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Fatherhood
6Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Motherhood
7Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > General
8Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about How to Avoid the Mommy Trap: A Roadmap for Sharing Parenting and Making It Work (Capital Ideas)?

Amazing!!!  Aug 12, 2008
Well Done!!! I think this book is really amazing and practical for addressing all stages in the "parent-sharing" process and what to do to prepare you and your spouse. It also really gets to the bottom of REAL issues and how to have proactive discussions to limit problems that may arise.
Off-putting Title; Fabulous Book  Mar 23, 2006
Shields is a parental leave activist, but she's got a lot of suggestions on what new parents can do until then. She addresses some of the reasons women gatekeep on domestic stuff and childcare, and how to stop doing that. She proposes two part time jobs and a limited amount of child care as a strategy for caring for small children in a way that includes both parents while still allowing them time to work (about thirty hours a week) and nurture their relationship. While primarily addressed at heterosexual relationships, she includes numerous examples from same-sex couples.

Great stuff, especially about negotiation, for peer marriages/marriages where both adults work for pay. Not so great for other situations. Also take a look at Coleman's _The Lazy Husband_ (another book in search of a better title).
I wish I'd found this book 6 years ago!  Aug 6, 2005
Julie Shields' excellent book "How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" provides a thorough exploration of strategies to help women and men share parenting responsibilities in a way that benefits everybody in the family.

"How to Avoid the Mommy Trap" illuminates the status quo and the calcified gender roles that many couples default to once they become parents. Shields belives that family life doesn't have to unfold that way, and she encourages couples to look beyond the standard choices of nanny, day care, or mother at home. Shields says 'The term Mommy Trap does not refer to giving birth and then having a child to take care of, or give up something for your child....More than anything else, the Mommy Trap describes a failure to understand the wide range of options available to modern parents.' She gives many examples of what it looks like to be caught in the Mommy Trap, including:

'The Mommy Trap snares a mother when she takes on parenting or household responsibilities that result in more unpaid work, and less leisure time and personal time, than she would like, particularly in comparison with her husband.'

Sound familiar? Do you feel like you couldn't even ask to expect things to be different without feeling selfish or guilty? Get this book! It is a primer that illuminates what marriage and parenting could look like if we stuck up for ourselves, let go of controlling the way our husbands parent, and worked to create truly equitable partnerships.
A wonderful book  Sep 26, 2002
I read this book in one sitting, and when I was done I found myself going back through it again in order to digest it more completely. I really wish it had been available when I was just starting my family, but even though my kids are now older I don't feel it's too late. A wonderful resource for any two-parent household, full of practical advice and suggestions on how to improve the whole family's quality of life. Julie Shields cuts through to the heart of many emotional, complicated parenting issues and presents solutions from a fresh, logical perspective. This is not just another book telling women how to reduce stress in their lives by making time for relaxing baths. I highly recommend it to any parent, or anyone thinking of becoming one.
A must read for all parents and potential parents!  Sep 12, 2002
This book is one of a kind. Whether you are parents already or just thinking about it, How to Avoid the Mommy Trap will help men and women alike think about parenting as a partnership as never done before. This book has been a lifesaving eye-opener for me and my marriage and I am sure I am not the only one out there for whom this is true.

Shields is an innovator. She has changed the paternity leave policies in the State Department. In the book, she gets readers to think about the importance of where your ideal partner stands on work and family issues before meeting him/her or where your current partner stands on such issues before making the making the final commitment.

I am a full-time stay at home mom and I love my job. It is the hardest yet most rewarding job I have ever had and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I had begun to lose my identity in my mommyness and this book is a guide on how mothers can "let go" without guilt. Julie Shields is helping me get my sense of self back and she doesn't even know me!

Just read the Table of Contents and you'll be hooked too!

Amy Beal


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