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Half a Wife: The Working Family's Guide to Getting a Life Back Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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"A wonderfully sane and helpful book. Better than Calpol. I only wish it had been around when I became a mother. Gaby Hinsliff has written an invaluable guide for any parent struggling to reconcile their twin passions for their children and their work" (Allison Pearson)
"Politicians should take note: politics is personal; get it right for families and business, and Downing Street will beckon" (Sunday Times)
"Half a Wife is important ... Why should we all have an awful time just because that's the way it's always been? Why shouldn't we see our children and also pursue some sort of intellectual life? We can be happy, says Hinsliff, if we just try" (Evening Standard)
"Hinsliff's ideas for how working parents should proceed are provactive and good...It had me wanting to go for a coffee with her. As she points out, Wi-Fi and the BlackBerry are as revolutionary to working women as the pill...a wholly supportive blueprint for any harassed parent thinking about working from home or currently doing so...this is a book for our age" (Observer)
"The eternal dilemma of how to balance life as a working parent is examined here with clarity, empathy and inspirational practical advice… A must-read for any new parent or those contemplating the biggest lifestyle change they will ever make" (Sally Morris Daily Mail)
About the Author
Gaby Hinsliff started her career in 1994 as a reporter on the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, and within a decade had worked her way up to being Political Editor of the Observer. In 2007, she took nine months off after the birth of her son before going back to her old full-time job, but two years later she finally decided she'd had enough of life getting lost in the rush. The piece she wrote about this in the Observer was a sensation and prompted both her blog Used To Be Somebody and this book. She now lives happily with her son and husband in Oxfordshire, working as a freelance political commentator and columnist for Grazia magazine.
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I would say this book is more aimed at professional women who have the option of working from home / starting there own business and perhaps have more flexibility. Its certainly not a typical 'self help' book. But the issues at stake are not really those that can be addressed by a 'quick fix' either.
I recommend this.
This is the sort of dilemma Gaby Hinsliff (and thousands of women) have to face - as guilt ridden parents wanting to make everyone happy, including themselves-- the basis for `Half a Wife: The Working Family's Guide for Getting a Life Back'. Gaby explains how we can get what we need, whilst thinking outside the traditional home/work/family balance set up by negotiating the hours we want more effectively, and dealing with the inevitable resistance to using our working time differently. She shares how to plan careers more intelligently from the outset, without sacrificing future pay rises - especially around the ages children head off to college/work themselves.
Further on into the book, Gaby looks into what both employers and governments can do to create a genuine market for flexible jobs, which work to everyone's advantage and how it is possible to turn your back on the rat race of corporate life and raise healthy, happy kids AND keep your career on the right track.
In practice, however, this is very much dictated by the government, the current economic state of Britain and how flexible your employer is - but it's not impossible to get what you want, when you know how. The author, Gaby Hinsliff is very good at sharing her personal experiences of how she took the plunge and side-stepped the ideal career track and took a less conventional path, which incidentally, seems to apply to all `breadwinners' these days, rather than just our biologically `male' counterparts. Yes, this book shows that there is life (and work) after marriage and kids and that it IS possible to `have it all' with a little bit of knowledge and the right attitude. An interesting, realistic self-help book, with an engaging autobiographical twist. It's not a quick fix to similar dilemmas, but it does raise some interesting issues to have a good old debate over. Whateer your personal opinion is, this book will definitely give you plenty to think about.