Monday, April 4, 2011

Statgrrl Features - Books ALL Working Moms Must Read

I must apologize for being completely off of the grid for over a month. My day job has been in peak season and I have been flitting about the country and missing StatBaby quite more than I expected to. Also, StatDog is on chemo (Yes, you read that right. I made the choice with the full knowledge that I am completely irrational when it comes to the ones I love.) At any rate there has been the usual onslaught of BS stats but I haven't even had time to deal with them other than to write myself notes that say things like, "BS on page A4 of the Journal", only to find the post-it five days later buried at the bottom of my laptop bag. As in all things, context is everything.

I thought about some things that might be fun for everyone. So, I have assembled the StatGrrl reading list. The list is called, "Working Mommy Must Reads." It comes in no particular order:

When you think that it's just you...
Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by: Kristen van Ogtrop.
"Sisterhood of the black, lightweight wool pants: The tribe of working mothers who are united in their reliance upon the just-right pair of pants that can be worn for three seasons, at least once a week, year in and year out."

When you are this close to giving up all those years of education, promotions, late nights working on presentations and give in to some bizarre thing called "guilt"...
Getting to 50/50 by: Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober
Dual career couples have pretty strong marriages and can eventually retire! Plus, there is NO data to show that kids in daycare perform differently than kids who aren't.

When you are comparing yourself to "Perfect Mommy" (as if you don't know what I mean)...
The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women by: Susan Douglas
"...when our kids say, "but all the other kids are doing it," we laugh in their faces. But when the magazines suggest, "All the other moms are doing this, are you?" we see ourselves being judged by the toughest critics out there..."

When in search of perfect devastating pithy prose...
Gut Symmetries by: Jeanette Winterson
"Matter: A witticism. At a sub-atomic level, that which has a tendency to exist."
"It remains that a woman with an incomplete emotional life has herself to blame, while a man with no time for his heart just needs a wife." 

When what someone said in a meeting is absurd, but you can't pinpoint why...
Crimes Against Logic by: Jamie Whyte
" purpose here is to stop you from believing in another right that you really do not have, namely, the right to your own opinions."

The list goes on and on. For me, I know that the statistical reporting of journalists is only enough to make me irrational some of the time. So for that, I thank the above authors and my daughter. She shows me everyday that it's not about me and my performance as a mother. She is unique; a person already unto herself, with goals, talents, a sense of humor and a sense of justice and fairness. She is not yet two. This isn't my "work". This is who she is. No study can ever begin to explain the definition of children, "unexploded potential".


  1. Laughed out loud at your post-it's. I made myself a note yesterday "send me an email" while editing a proposal, while listening to a conference call, while nodding to my daughter who had just come to tell me that she was going to go poopy. It took me until this morning in the shower to remember what the ROCK that note meant!
    Getting to 50/50 intrigues me the most. Is it an easy read? I don't ask those kinds of questions at work but I definitely do about the books I choose to read when I am not at work. I realize when people are recommending books top at the list is not "ease of digestion"; however, I would love a quick comment on exactly that for your recommendations. Maybe on a scale of Shopaholic to Linear Algebra III.

  2. Getting to 5050 is quite readable. It's also easy to get a lot out of a few chapters at a time.