Advice for (Privileged) Mothers

you can't do it all cover

You Can’t Do It All
Ideas that work for mothers who work

Books like this make me mad. They particularly made me mad in the late 1980s and early 90s when I was in child hell. I would bet I read every single one of these books and no one had a “solution”. Because there isn’t one.

What all these books fail to understand is that regardless of what you do (or don’t do), someone will criticize your choice and make you feel lousy. Take your choice: you can be a bad mother or a bad employee.  If you are really trying, you can be both!

This book is probably the least offensive in terms of not trying to do everything and getting a husband/father involved, it is still for the privileged. As long as you have some money, you can outsource!  (Hire a driver! Hire a cook! Hire a babysitter! Make the kids do chores!)

The disturbing part is the time it takes to fill out and organize umpteen self evaluation quizzes. Just getting through the book seems like a chore. (D-Day probably took less planning.) I am here to tell you that I did not magically solve anything by making a few casseroles ahead of time.

Yes, I still have some anger about this.


back cover

inside flap

establish priorities

household duties

ideas for working mothers

self evaluation quiz



  1. Idle query: In what universe, outside of Downton Abbey, are “Plans meals” and “Cooks meals” done by different people?

    Still idler query: Is “Neatens medicine cabinet” an actual, recurring household task that people allocate time for? If so, something was omitted from my own upbringing, because I never knew this.

    1. We plan meals on the weekend—all four of us do it before grocery shopping for the week. Then different people cook each day (usually one or both of the two adults), pulling off that list.

  2. Yes, this book makes me mad too. It seems designed to push all my buttons. Instead of a book like this, I recommend reading Dropping the Ball by Tiffany Dufu – an excellent current book (2017 pub date).

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