Category Archives: Book Review

My Story Featured in Seth Godin’s ebook “Tales from the Revolution”

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My friend Beverly Schoff Belling over at Creativity on the Loose submitted a story about me and the impact of my work with mothers and my book, This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, to Amazon’s The Domino Project.

Inspired by Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box, designed to be “a call to action about the initiative you’re taking – in your job or in your life,” The Domino Project encouraged submissions of “stories of passionate self-starters who regularly go above and beyond to make a difference by doing.”

People voted on the hundreds of submissions. (Thank you!) And the story about me that Bev submitted is one of the 100 stories collected in the free ebook Tales from the Revolution: True Stories of People Who Are Poking the Box and Making a Difference. (Free now, regular price 99 cents.)

Hope you’ll download it to your phone, Mac or Kindle. It’s a great collection of stories to inspire you to take action on whatever you care about!

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Book Review: “Good Enough is The New Perfect” is Out Today!

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Good Enough is the New Perfect” by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple hits bookstores today!

Becky and Hollee are the work-life columnists for the ABA Journal, the professional journal for lawyers. Using their own stories and the voices of real women, they highlight the results of their survey of 905 mothers born between 1965 and 1980 (diverse in many ways but largely college-educated and on solid financial ground). What they found is that the women who were happiest were forging their own version of modern motherhood and letting go of a “perfectionist,” one-size-fits-all, out-of-date version of motherhood in favor of “the new perfect.” As Becky and Hollee say in the introduction, their survey and interviews showed them that the “key to success was, quite simply, to redefine it.”

I’m happy to be featured in the book along with so many other experts like Cali Yost and Ellen Galinsky and so many amazing mothers! Order your copy now and for more information visit The New Perfect website.

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Remodeling Corporate Ladders to Lattices

Wandering the gargantuan exhibit hall at the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach ast week I noticed up ahead a sign for Deloitte. Wondering if anyone at the booth might know about the book Mass Career Customization, I dodged the crowd – including Al Roker – to get closer, only to recognize the author herself, Cathleen Benko chatting with a conference attendee.

As she finished her chat, I introduced myself to her colleagues and explained that I’d referenced Mass Career Customization extensively in my own book This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today even getting permission to include the graphic that illustrates the four dimensions along which a job can be customized.

In return, they generously gave me a copy of the new book The Corporate Lattice.

So when I had the chance to chat with Benko, I had a book for her to sign. She wrote:

“If we want to change the result, it’s time to change the model.” Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Book Review, Career-Life Fit, Workplace and Employment

Book Review from LaCrosse WI

My sister emailed me tonight that my book was reviewed in the Coulee Parenting Connection, a parenting magazine in the LaCrosse Wisconsin area where she lives. Always fun to discover a review – especially one as good as this one is!

Impassioned, blunt, and reading much like a Motherhood Manifesto, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be” is one of those books that obstetricians and midwives ought to recommend to first-time parents, plural.

Thanks to Terri Schlichenmeyer for a great review!

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Father’s Day Gift: “Home Game” by Michael Lewis

Looking for a Father’s Day gift? My husband and I both recommend Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis – author of The Blind Side and most recently The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood chronicles Lewis’ experience following the birth of each of his three children. In the process of telling great stories that are often laugh-out-loud funny, he also provides a commentary on modern fatherhood and parenthood that is sure to resonate with many men. For my husband and I the book also sparked great conversations as he shared bits with me that made him laugh or reflected his own feelings.  Continue reading

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Book Review from The Motherhood Cafe Makes My Day

After a long day (I mean long – job stress, close relative in hospital, our public schools lose a parcel tax at the polls), I wasn’t sure anything could pick me up. Then I got the email with the link to this review of my book This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today by Stephanie at The Motherhood Cafe.

“Of all the motherhood books I’ve read over the years, Kristin Maschka’s This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today is one of the best I’ve ever come across.

Part memoir, part self-help, part comprehensive cultural analysis, this book gets to the crux of the paradoxes and tensions and difficulties so common to the experience of modern motherhood. With total honesty and openness… (Read full review.)

Guess it had to be a REALLY good review in order to balance out the rest of my day!

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Cali Yost’s Remodeling Tools for Work+Life Fit™

Cali Yost

Since my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, was released, Twitter has connected me with a host of people I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise, or I wouldn’t have found them for months. Cali Yost at Work+Life Fit is one of them. Twitter even gave us the opportunity to meet in person – briefly – while I was swinging through the East Coast this past fall. (Sick kid at home, Cali came out to a book signing to introduce herself.)

I just wish I had stumbled across Cali’s book, Work+Life Fit: Finding the Fit That’s Right For You, and her blog before I finished my own because I would have included both in my book. (I’ve added them to my Remodeling Tools web page now!). In my book I talk about the importance of shifting our language away from terms and phrases that have come to embody outdated assumptions about mothers, fathers, money, marriage and work. To that end I suggest replacing “work-family balance” – which tends to reinforce the separation between work and family- with options like “work-life integration” or “career-family fit.” But frankly, I’ve found that Cali’s term, “work+life fit,” is the one that now rolls off my tongue most easily and busts all the cultural assumptions I’m interested in busting up. Her book is a great tool for challenging our own assumptions about “work” that can keep us from envisioning and then taking responsibility for crafting our own “work+life fit” plan.

Cali recently published on her blog Continue reading

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Interview with Equally Shared Parenting Authors Amy and Marc Vachon

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m thrilled to share a special Q&A interview with my friends Marc and Amy Vachon whose book, Equally SharedParenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents just came out last month. Listen in to our conversation here and then check out their book and the additional resources on my Remodeling Motherhood Tools page!

~ Kristin

Amy Vachon, Kristin Maschka, Marc Vachon in MA

What were the hardest assumptions of your own that each of you had to overcome to make ESP work? And can you each share your most memorable example of a time when your ESP arrangement challenged someone ELSE’s stereotypes about mothers and fathers?

Marc: Early in my career, I presumed that it was my responsibility to maximize my earning power to support a family someday. This led to the standard male prescriptive to forge ahead with long hours and an unbalanced dedication toward work. Letting that assumption go took courage (especially since I didn’t have role models to follow as I approached my boss with a request to work part-time – as a single guy). But it allowed me to create a life that I love daily. My work focus changed from wanting to retire early to wanting to work forever.

Amy: The most difficult assumption I had to shake was probably the notion that I had more responsibility for the home and the children. I still catch myself stressing out about little projects or an upcoming dinner party, and have to remember that these tasks can be jointly planned and handled – as long as I let Marc work alongside me as a true peer.

Both: We can think of two separate examples that highlight how others’ stereotypes can rub up against the notion of an equal partnership. In the first, Amy was picking up our daughter from Kindergarten in the school playground when our then 2-year old son threw a temper tantrum and stomped off a few yards away. A random mother was heard commenting snidely, “Who is that kid’s mother?” Yet a couple of months prior, Marc was handling the same pickup, in the same playground, with the same 2-year old throwing a tantrum (what can we say – a 2:20 pickup time doesn’t always mesh with a toddler’s nap schedule!). This time, a random mom approached Marc to ask if she could intervene to calm our son down. She explained that she was “very good at these types of things.”

The second example happened when our daughter was about 2, and fell off a swing at a friend’s birthday party. She ran right past Amy, all the way across the yard into Marc’s arms for comfort. The other parents at the party were too polite to say anything, but we often wonder if they thought Amy had failed as the “mother” in that moment. Amy felt a twinge of self-consciousness, but we both mark that event as one of those times when we could say, “We did it – we gave her two parents she could go to and this is cause for celebration!” Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Family Work, Fatherhood, Interview, Marriage, Motherhood

MOMS…in a Blog Book Review

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Angela Moore over at MOMS…in a Blog gave a fantastic review of This is Not What I Thought it Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today.  Read it here. Angela writes:

I was sent This is Not How I Thought it Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today by Kristin Maschka. (Sidenote: I LOVE getting books in the mail. It’s just like Christmas!) I was actually in the middle of another book but picked this one up on a whim and read the first page. Every word was something that I could identify with. So I kept reading. And reading. And, well, you get the idea.

Kristin Maschka has written a book about her struggles as a new mother and figuring out what her role was supposed to be. She struggled (just as I did) to feel at ease being predominantly focused on being a mom. She traded in a corporate job to stay home with her daughter but felt that the work at home was being unevenly divided. She had a hard time dealing with her new identity and with the guilt of those feelings on top of that.

Boy can I relate.

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Heather Edwards of reviews my book, This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today. Heather writes:

Mothers need oxygen.

That’s one of the messages behind the book, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood To Get the Lives We Want Today.”

The author, Kristin Maschka, is a former Minnesotan who returned this month to sign copies and discuss her new book.

By “oxygen,” Maschka is referring to the things that make women who are mothers feel well-rounded and allows them to be good mothers. For women, “oxygen” can vary, but spousal, employer and society support are big components.

In her book, Maschka disputes many assumptions, including the one that mothers are better at taking care of children than fathers are. “Women learn this through osmosis from the society we live in,” she says.

She also argues that mothers, fathers and society in general needs to acknowledge that family work – the stuff generally done by moms – is, in fact, real work. “It’s not just something that mothers do,” Maschka writes. “… (it) requires time, energy and skill.”

But family work is so disregarded as “work’ that mothers who are not employed outside the home don’t get Social Security “credit’ for the time they are home with the kids.

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