Women's Work
From National Book Award finalist Megan K. Stack, a stunning memoir of raising her children abroad with the help of Chinese and Indian women who are also working mothersWhen Megan Stack was living in Beijing, she left her prestigious job as a foreign correspondent to have her first child and work from home writing a book. She quickly realized that caring for a baby and keeping up with the housework while her husband went to the office each day was consuming the time she needed to write. This dilemma was resolved in the manner of many upper-class families and large corporations: she availed herself of cheap Chinese labor. The housekeeper Stack hired was a migrant from the countryside, a mother who had left her daughter in a precarious situation to earn desperately needed cash in the capital. As Stack's family grew and her husband's job took them to Dehli, a series of Chinese and Indian women cooked, cleaned, and babysat in her home. Stack grew increasingly aware of the brutal realities of their lives: domestic abuse, alcoholism, unplanned pregnancies. Hiring poor women had given her the ability to work while raising her children, but what ethical compromise had she made? Determined to confront the truth, Stack traveled to her employees' homes, met their parents and children, and turned a journalistic eye on the tradeoffs they'd been forced to make as working mothers seeking upward mobility--and on the cost to the children who were left behind.Women's Work is an unforgettable story of four women as well as an electrifying meditation on the evasions of marriage, motherhood, feminism, and privilege.

Women's Work Details

TitleWomen's Work
Author
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherDoubleday Books
ISBN-139780385542098
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Feminism, Biography

Women's Work Review

  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    If she had cut out all the sections about her birth story (memo to authors: I know everyone's birth story is harrowing, but it's so so boring to hear), this book would have been a complete 5 start. Still, her writing is so beautiful and the topic is so rich and important that it still gets 5 stars. I was so riveted by the book and I relate so much to the stories. I had mixed feelings about her and the help throughout the book, which I think is to be expected. I felt like the author was incredibl If she had cut out all the sections about her birth story (memo to authors: I know everyone's birth story is harrowing, but it's so so boring to hear), this book would have been a complete 5 start. Still, her writing is so beautiful and the topic is so rich and important that it still gets 5 stars. I was so riveted by the book and I relate so much to the stories. I had mixed feelings about her and the help throughout the book, which I think is to be expected. I felt like the author was incredibly privileged and just as I would start to get annoyed, she would beat you to it by admitting her flaws. Her husband does not not come off very well, but that I guess is also predictable and relevant. Excellent writing and topic. It made me want to read more books like it.
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  • Scribe Publications
    January 1, 1970
    Memoirs about motherhood are exceedingly common, but Women’s Work dares to explore the labor arrangements that often make such books possible ... Stack writes sharp, pointed sentences that flash with dark insight ... ruthlessly self-aware [and] fearless.Jennifer Szalai, New York TimesWomen’s Work hit me where I live, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The discomforting truths Stack reveals about caretaking and labor transcend cultural and national boundaries; this book is relevan Memoirs about motherhood are exceedingly common, but Women’s Work dares to explore the labor arrangements that often make such books possible ... Stack writes sharp, pointed sentences that flash with dark insight ... ruthlessly self-aware [and] fearless.Jennifer Szalai, New York TimesWomen’s Work hit me where I live, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The discomforting truths Stack reveals about caretaking and labor transcend cultural and national boundaries; this book is relevant to everyone, no matter how or where they live. Stack uses her reporting acumen to illuminate domestic workers' struggles, but also fearlessly reveals the most vulnerable details of her own life in order to make her point. The masterfulness with which she tells these intertwined stories makes this book not just a work of brilliant journalism but a work of art.Emily Gould, Author of Friendship: A Novel and And the Heart Says WhateverIf Karl Ove Knausgaard himself were a woman and had given birth, he might have written a book a little like Women’s Work. Megan Stack’s mastery of language and attention to detail make magic of the most quotidian aspects of life. But the subject matter here is hardly banal. Stack goes beyond her own experience of motherhood to focus on the Chinese and Indian nannies who helped her raise her children at the expense of their own. She brilliantly dissects the contradictions of motherhood by analyzing how motherly love becomes a commodity in this modern, globalized word.Barbara Demick, Author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaMegan Stack is willing to confront hard questions that so many of us flinch from: the relationships between women and the women we hire to take care of our houses and our children, to do the traditional women’s work that gives “liberated women” the time to do traditional men's work. Women’s Work is a book of vivid characters, engrossing stories, shrewd insights, and uncomfortable reflections.Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America, and author of Unfinished BusinessWomen’s Work is an incredible follow-up to Megan Stack’s celebrated book of war reportage, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar. It is a fierce and furious and darkly funny book about the costs of motherhood: the psychological costs, the costs in time and energy and spirit, and finally the costs imposed on other women, most of them also mothers, who leave their own children so they can take care of ours. I can’t think of a work that speaks more directly to our age of increasing inequality, starting with housework and child care, the oldest inequalities of all.Keith Gessen, Author of A Terrible CountryA self-critical and heartfelt narrative ... beautifully written, informative, and sometimes harrowing as she recounts the joy, fear, and exhaustion of becoming a mother. What women — and men — can learn from Stack's story is that “women's work”, in all of its complexity and construction, should not be only for women. STARRED REVIEWKirkusMegan Stack obliterates the silence that upholds one of our greatest taboos: our universal reliance on domestic labor that women — women of colour especially — are expected to supply freely or cheaply. With journalistic rigor, Stack centres the complicated lives of women who clean our homes and care for our children, but it’s her willingness to shine a light into the dark, typically untouched corners of her own family, privilege, and ambition that makes this book soar.Angela Garbes, author of Like a MotherStack writes, unflinchingly, about what it was like for her world to shrink and her life to entwine with the lives of her hired help — who left their own kids behind in order to work in her home ... Stack’s writing is sharp and lovely, especially in the first section of the book as she deftly describes her plunge into new motherhood and year-long journey to find herself again.Erica Pearson, Minneapolis Star TribuneStack truly becomes aware of the hardships facing the women she employs: alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty. She delves into their stories with searing honesty and self-reflection … Women’s Work is a brave book, an unflinching examination of privilege and the tradeoffs all women make in the name of family.Amy Scribner, BookPage
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Such a joy to find a book that is written well, enjoyable to read and thought provoking. A book with purpose that divulges the complex world of working moms who hire other women to help watch their children and maintain their households; other working moms. It’s a complicated topic that is strongly written by a talented author who sees this world through her lens as a journalist - a reporter and a writer - with the added filter of her own motherhood. She explores through her memoir the dichotomy Such a joy to find a book that is written well, enjoyable to read and thought provoking. A book with purpose that divulges the complex world of working moms who hire other women to help watch their children and maintain their households; other working moms. It’s a complicated topic that is strongly written by a talented author who sees this world through her lens as a journalist - a reporter and a writer - with the added filter of her own motherhood. She explores through her memoir the dichotomy of our (women’s) desire to continue our careers when we become mothers by hiring domestic help who leave their own children behind, to take care of our children and houses, for a fraction of the pay of our own jobs. She explores the fragile relationships we build with our domestic help; the people we think we get to know (that some call family) but she points out we actually don’t know very well at all; how could we with the inherent imbalance of power. The author is direct and intense revealing insightful thoughts yet remaining open to living with this inner conflict; doing what she must to maintain her family and work life while struggling with her conscious and what is best for everyone. She thoroughly exposes herself through her vulnerability and dry humor. I highly recommend you read it. Thank you to NetGalley and DoubleDay for providing me an early release of this book in exchange for this honest and fair review. It was such a pleasure to read.
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  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways
  • Sally Stieglitz
    January 1, 1970
    Megan Stack's Women's Work, is an important read for many reasons. It acknowledges a number of uncomfortable and irreconcilable truths: that childcare and housework are time and energy consuming labor which are not well respected or well compensated; that women's lives are deeply impacted by pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, and childcare, but that these impacts are overlooked and dismissed by all, including the women affected, who are unable to speak up without risking equal footing in the work Megan Stack's Women's Work, is an important read for many reasons. It acknowledges a number of uncomfortable and irreconcilable truths: that childcare and housework are time and energy consuming labor which are not well respected or well compensated; that women's lives are deeply impacted by pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, and childcare, but that these impacts are overlooked and dismissed by all, including the women affected, who are unable to speak up without risking equal footing in the workplace; that outsourcing childcare is the only time it becomes acknowledged as having market value, albeit a low value; that the reality is that we are often outsourcing childcare and domestic chores to women who are compelled by economic stressors to delegate the care of their own children elsewhere and lavish affection on their charges. that there is a discomfort in balancing the transactional nature of work for hire with the close familial relationship of domestic workers. Each of these truths merits its own discussion, but gathered together in the framework of Stack's experiences of motherhood, they are a compelling examination of the strictures on all women's lives and how economics and privilege play a key role in those lives.
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  • Lisa Cobb Sabatini
    January 1, 1970
    I won a Bound Galley of Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack from Goodreads.Akin to an honest conversation with fellow mothers, Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack is a memoir that enlightens, moves, and, perhaps, hits close to home for many readers. Stack worked from home while other women, mothers themselves, labored in her home as housekeepers and nannies, and the writer explores not only the women's stories and thoughts, but also her own f I won a Bound Galley of Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack from Goodreads.Akin to an honest conversation with fellow mothers, Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack is a memoir that enlightens, moves, and, perhaps, hits close to home for many readers. Stack worked from home while other women, mothers themselves, labored in her home as housekeepers and nannies, and the writer explores not only the women's stories and thoughts, but also her own feelings about the experience. A study about the paths women choose or feel compelled to take, the roles of mothers and other women in children's lives, and the expectations of societies where families live, Women's Work is an important book for both women and men who want to build a better world for children.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I read about this book and ordered it right away. it's about how middle class women are able to have careers by hiring lower class women to take on their household tasks. stack happened to be abroad in china and india when she had her children and hired household help, but it's applicable to what happens domestically as well, because many housekeepers and nannies here are immigrants. I was taken aback at first by the poetic writing, more so than I expected in a nonfiction book (the work stack ou I read about this book and ordered it right away. it's about how middle class women are able to have careers by hiring lower class women to take on their household tasks. stack happened to be abroad in china and india when she had her children and hired household help, but it's applicable to what happens domestically as well, because many housekeepers and nannies here are immigrants. I was taken aback at first by the poetic writing, more so than I expected in a nonfiction book (the work stack outsourced the cooking, cleaning, and childcare in order to do was writing a novel - and then this book). what I love about the author is she is unflinchingly honest. she says at one point that if she could only save her husband or the woman who did her housework and childcare from drowning, she would have let her husband drown. I don't think she uses any statistics until the end of the book - she gives the narrative of her relationships with three women she hires as household help. it's very the personal is political. she points out that it's a relationship filled with guilt - these women are away from their children to take care of hers. it's also very messy. she gives up privacy. her home is a job site. the things she tries to do to make things better sometimes seem to make things worse. it's hard to see the boundaries of employer/employee in this emotional relationship. it's hard to navigate the differences in privilege. it's just very well written, very open, very well done. and although she herself doesn't do it in her own life, she bluntly writes about the heart of the problem and the solution to the problem:"all those well-meaning men who say progressive things in public and then retreat into private to coast blissfully on the disproportionate toil of women.""in the end, the answer is the men. they have to do the work. they have to do the damn work!...it's a daily and repetitive and eternal truth, because if we press this point we can blow our households to pieces, we can take our families apart, we can spoil our great love affairs. this demand is enough to destroy almost everything we hold dear. so we shut up and do the work.""cooking and cleaning and childcare are everything. they are the ultimate truth. they underpin and enable everything we do. the perpetual allocation of this most crucial and inevitable work along gender lines sets up women for failure and men for success. it saps the energy and burdens the brains of half the population...how do you manage to be out in the world, and if you are here, who is there?"I mean, there it is, laid out plainly. we know women continue to do more housework and childcare. we know that even when male partners do these chores, it is usually women who do the project management of the household - who remember who needs to be where when and with what, who plan and prepare, who delegate and explain the work. so in order to work outside the home, women must either take on this second shift, as arlie hochschild puts it, themselves or outsource it to poorer women, at great cost to those women's children.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    This is such an interesting book, since it combines the angst of new mothers with the added burden of raising children in alien cultures. As a journalist, Stack has lived in many parts of the world, but when she becomes pregnant, she gives up her career to write a novel and support her husband's career.These choices take her to Beijing and to India where she gives birth, nurtures and starts to raise her two boys. In these locations, there is plenty of "cheap" help, but the question is who should This is such an interesting book, since it combines the angst of new mothers with the added burden of raising children in alien cultures. As a journalist, Stack has lived in many parts of the world, but when she becomes pregnant, she gives up her career to write a novel and support her husband's career.These choices take her to Beijing and to India where she gives birth, nurtures and starts to raise her two boys. In these locations, there is plenty of "cheap" help, but the question is who should raise the children? Can these women be trusted? What role do they play in the life of the family?Her feelings toward the women who run her house and raise her children bring her to the writing of this fascinating book, part memoir, part journalistic investigation about the lives and families of the women who raise hers.I found this glimpse into the Chinese and Indian cultures extremely interesting, especially the role of women in the society and the low expectations they have of all around them. Slack visits their homes and meets their families and gives us a view of the life of the "help" in these societies.I really enjoyed this book, and found if incredible that the feelings Slack had, despite her household help, are not so different from the feeling of every working mother, every new mother and every one of us who has left her children in the hands of strangers.This is a must for every woman to read and will spark discussions in seminars and book groups. Thank you NetGalley.
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  • Stella Fouts
    January 1, 1970
    I gave Megan's book 4 stars ONLY because she's a great writer. By the end, I was definitely fed up with her whining about "women's work" all while using Chinese and Indian women so she could do her writing at home while they took care of her children, cleaned her house and cooked their meals. I was especially appalled at the (inadvertant) impact she had on the life of one of her helpers. She inserted herself into that person's home life in a way that had dire consequences. And then she has the a I gave Megan's book 4 stars ONLY because she's a great writer. By the end, I was definitely fed up with her whining about "women's work" all while using Chinese and Indian women so she could do her writing at home while they took care of her children, cleaned her house and cooked their meals. I was especially appalled at the (inadvertant) impact she had on the life of one of her helpers. She inserted herself into that person's home life in a way that had dire consequences. And then she has the audacity to track these women down in their own environment (in the name of getting their permission to include their stories in her story) to wrap up her book. She not only USED these people in a domestic situation, she used them emotionally. She's a person of privilege, which she acknowledges, but she also whines about it constantly (not to mention whining about having to take on the women's role in a husband/wife relationship). Give me a break.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Women's Work by Megan K. Stack is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March.Stack is an American international news correspondent who gives birth to her children while travelling through China (son Max, emotional bundle of nerves toward his colic) and India (son Patrick, his birth invoking all kinds of Indian customs) before raising them and running a household with assistance from domestic workers, who she selects and letting go of with maybe too much concern toward their personal life a Women's Work by Megan K. Stack is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March.Stack is an American international news correspondent who gives birth to her children while travelling through China (son Max, emotional bundle of nerves toward his colic) and India (son Patrick, his birth invoking all kinds of Indian customs) before raising them and running a household with assistance from domestic workers, who she selects and letting go of with maybe too much concern toward their personal life and welfare. There are many segments of whinging and grievances based out of paranoia, safety, doubt, isolation, hyper-vigilism, and not having enough hours in the day to get things done before reuniting with all former domestic workers at the end to write of what happened to them and to reminisce.
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  • Scribe Publications
    January 1, 1970
    Women’s Work hit me where I live, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The discomforting truths Stack reveals about caretaking and labor transcend cultural and national boundaries; this book is relevant to everyone, no matter how or where they live. Stack uses her reporting acumen to illuminate domestic workers' struggles, but also fearlessly reveals the most vulnerable details of her own life in order to make her point. The masterfulness with which she tells these intertwined stor Women’s Work hit me where I live, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The discomforting truths Stack reveals about caretaking and labor transcend cultural and national boundaries; this book is relevant to everyone, no matter how or where they live. Stack uses her reporting acumen to illuminate domestic workers' struggles, but also fearlessly reveals the most vulnerable details of her own life in order to make her point. The masterfulness with which she tells these intertwined stories makes this book not just a work of brilliant journalism but a work of art.Emily Gould, Author of Friendship: A Novel and And the Heart Says WhateverIf Karl Ove Knausgaard himself were a woman and had given birth, he might have written a book a little like Women’s Work. Megan Stack’s mastery of language and attention to detail make magic of the most quotidian aspects of life. But the subject matter here is hardly banal. Stack goes beyond her own experience of motherhood to focus on the Chinese and Indian nannies who helped her raise her children at the expense of their own. She brilliantly dissects the contradictions of motherhood by analyzing how motherly love becomes a commodity in this modern, globalized word.Barbara Demick, Author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaMegan Stack is willing to confront hard questions that so many of us flinch from: the relationships between women and the women we hire to take care of our houses and our children, to do the traditional women’s work that gives “liberated women” the time to do traditional men's work. Women’s Work is a book of vivid characters, engrossing stories, shrewd insights, and uncomfortable reflections.Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America, and author of Unfinished BusinessWomen’s Work is an incredible follow-up to Megan Stack’s celebrated book of war reportage, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar. It is a fierce and furious and darkly funny book about the costs of motherhood: the psychological costs, the costs in time and energy and spirit, and finally the costs imposed on other women, most of them also mothers, who leave their own children so they can take care of ours. I can’t think of a work that speaks more directly to our age of increasing inequality, starting with housework and child care, the oldest inequalities of all.Keith Gessen, Author of A Terrible Country
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  • Scott Haraburda
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent and well-written book. Helped me understand more about the way women are treated at home and in the workplace. Looking forward to ready more from the author.
  • Rebecca Cecil
    January 1, 1970
    I thought the storyline was very good. This is a true story about a rich lady ( Megan Stack who is also the author of the book) Megan once worked with her husband traveling across the country she is a journalist and a writer. When she becomes pregnant with her first born she does not want to give up her work for motherhood so she got nannies and house cleaners to work for her so she would have spare time to herself for her writing. Her husband Tom went and came for work, traveling all the time s I thought the storyline was very good. This is a true story about a rich lady ( Megan Stack who is also the author of the book) Megan once worked with her husband traveling across the country she is a journalist and a writer. When she becomes pregnant with her first born she does not want to give up her work for motherhood so she got nannies and house cleaners to work for her so she would have spare time to herself for her writing. Her husband Tom went and came for work, traveling all the time so she felt alone that was one reason she needed the help. She stayed home with the kids and watched them too but the women who cleaned her house and watched her kids gave her the time she needed to write. One of the issues she has is it is so hard for her not to get close to the help, they seemed like her friends because she had no one else to lean on. Her and her husband did not live in the United States where her family lived. She had her children in China and in India because that was where her husband worked. Later when she finished her first book she wanted to write a book about these women she had in her house and how they lived their private home lives and on how their children suffered and did not have their mom there with them because their mothers were working for rich people like her. It is not like THE HELP at first I thought that was what it was going to be but it is not. This is a true story and a rich ladies sadness for the people who have to work for cheap labor to meet their families needs and the suffering these women endured. Megan wants people to see and to know what these women give up but she also learns how much she gained just by having these women be a part of her life and her children's lives. She knows these women will forever be a part of their lives long after they no longer work for her and she will always be a part of their lives as well. I won this book on Goodreads and I truly enjoyed the read. This author also wrote the book -"Every man in the Village is a Liar'.THANKS GOOD READS AND THANKS MEGAN K. STACK
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  • Rhiannon Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review on my blog: https://ivoryowlreviews.blogspot.com/... Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Megan K. Stack and her husband traveled the globe as foreign correspondents. They worked the same hours, slept in the same hostels, interacted with the same contacts--on the whole, they were equals. When they start their family, her husband disappears back out into that "valued" working world while she stays home with their son ( Read my full review on my blog: https://ivoryowlreviews.blogspot.com/... Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Megan K. Stack and her husband traveled the globe as foreign correspondents. They worked the same hours, slept in the same hostels, interacted with the same contacts--on the whole, they were equals. When they start their family, her husband disappears back out into that "valued" working world while she stays home with their son (and plans to write a book). It is here that the avalanche of inequity begins. Realizing she can't just write while the baby sleeps (do women still believe this?), she employs local Chinese and Indian women to handle the child care, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and the endless list of tasks involved in running a household and raising a family. On the surface this arrangement looks mutually beneficial for all women involved, however, there are often numerous unseen/unspoken tradeoffs. Stack wonders "Who is caring for these workers' children while they care for my children?" and "Where are the lines drawn when you live with someone and they care for your family but they are not your family?" Obviously this book points out the privilege of situations where white foreigners can hire local help from underdeveloped communities in/near where they live, but Stack's openness about her guilt, confusion, and her daily accounts of the complicated relationships makes this less a story of the exploitation of cheap labor and more about why all "women's work" is so undervalued in the first place. I'd recommend this as a follow-up to "Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward" by Gemma Hartley and "Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive" by Stephanie Land.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Author Megan K. Stack was a journalist living abroad when she had her children. While attempting to finish writing a novel, shortly after the birth of her first son, she realized she was spending all of her time caring for her son and the house, with nothing left over for her book. She ended up hiring both nannies and housekeepers to help so she could work. Stack then began to think about the sacrifices that the women she hired made in order to care for Stack's children so Stack could pursue her Author Megan K. Stack was a journalist living abroad when she had her children. While attempting to finish writing a novel, shortly after the birth of her first son, she realized she was spending all of her time caring for her son and the house, with nothing left over for her book. She ended up hiring both nannies and housekeepers to help so she could work. Stack then began to think about the sacrifices that the women she hired made in order to care for Stack's children so Stack could pursue her career. The women left children behind, usually in the care of grandparents in other cities, so they could make enough money to give their children a better future. Stack's gift for writing lifts this up above other books of this type. Her turn of phrase gives it a novel like quality at times. The majority of the book is given over to her memories, and she really highlights the aspects of motherhood, especially in the beginning, that are so hard. Most mothers should be able to identify with at least one of her experiences. In the last part of the book she goes out to see the homes and families that her staff left behind to get their permission to tell their stories. Stack really highlights the trade-offs women make, especially low income women, who do the majority of nannying for well off women who are working. It was definitely eye-opening to think about the sacrifices child-care workers are making to come to work each day, as hiring help is usually seen as a way for women to have it all, but at what cost?
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    For all the years I've been drowning in housework while holding down a full time job and family life, I've been crying "why is no one talking about this?" And by "this" i mean the housework. There are plenty of people out there bemoaning the ways paid work takes mothers (for some reason not fathers?) away from their children, when my experience has been that the chores are what is sucking my life away. Why is it the job that gets the blame, rather than the hours of cooking and cleaning and organ For all the years I've been drowning in housework while holding down a full time job and family life, I've been crying "why is no one talking about this?" And by "this" i mean the housework. There are plenty of people out there bemoaning the ways paid work takes mothers (for some reason not fathers?) away from their children, when my experience has been that the chores are what is sucking my life away. Why is it the job that gets the blame, rather than the hours of cooking and cleaning and organizing and errands that eat up the majority of my non-work hours? The author's context is living as an expat in China and India, where comprehensive household help is affordable. I have had a nanny, and two au pairs, but I don't feel like my experiences line up very well with the author's. Mainly because they do child care, not housework, so there is still such a crazy amount to be done when I get home every evening. Stack doesn't offer solutions, just very thoughtful questions. This book is primarily a memoir, after all. There are so many aspects of this book I don't relate to and would love to chat with the author about - the role of men, the conflation of housework and child care, how "nannies" vs. "day care" are (or are not) fundamentally different, and how domestic employment looks different if migration is taken out of the equation or if nannies bring their children to work with them. If I had more time, maybe I'd write my own book - but I'm too busy with the responsibilities I already have.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy for free through a Goodreads Giveaway.This book was absolutely brutal -- an honest, introspective memoir about motherhood, work, and the work of mothering. Stack is able to focus on her writing career because she lives in places with easy access to cheap labor. And so begins her relationship with women who have left their own children to take care of hers. As a Third-Culture Kid, I grew up with maids, both in my home and other kids' homes. It was standard for anyone middle cla I received a copy for free through a Goodreads Giveaway.This book was absolutely brutal -- an honest, introspective memoir about motherhood, work, and the work of mothering. Stack is able to focus on her writing career because she lives in places with easy access to cheap labor. And so begins her relationship with women who have left their own children to take care of hers. As a Third-Culture Kid, I grew up with maids, both in my home and other kids' homes. It was standard for anyone middle class and up to have household help. Stack's memoir reminded me of those women -- Marite, Eli, Nilda, others -- who were ever in the background at our house and the house of my best friends. Women's Work could easily have devolved into White Woman Hand Wringing and caricatures of poverty, but it doesn't. What ultimately emerges is an incomplete but nuanced picture of four women: Stack, Xiao Li, Poonam, and Angie.
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  • Nandika
    January 1, 1970
    This book is definitely worth a read. Feminism is a complex topic, and Stack doesn’t shy away from it. This book contains the struggle and conundrum Stack faces when she’s pregnant and in a new country and decides to take help from the domestic workers to help her through everything. Stack describes the struggle of motherhood without any qualms. Her idea of feminism is affected, when she has to take help of other women to raise her children. To go further in her career, she has to inexplicably t This book is definitely worth a read. Feminism is a complex topic, and Stack doesn’t shy away from it. This book contains the struggle and conundrum Stack faces when she’s pregnant and in a new country and decides to take help from the domestic workers to help her through everything. Stack describes the struggle of motherhood without any qualms. Her idea of feminism is affected, when she has to take help of other women to raise her children. To go further in her career, she has to inexplicably take advantage of the cheap domestic labour available in countries like India and China. Does that make her less feminist? The growth in her career depends on these women. And she has to decide if she can sacrifice her ideals for her career.
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, brilliant memoir that's a must-read for all working mothers.
  • Isabelle Duchaine
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant and very, very awkward. Stack really owns her place of privilege in the world.
  • Kelli
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.DNF at 65% because bored to tears.
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