Reviews

Kirkus Discoveries Review: December 2007

A working mother offers insight on parenting and living a rich life.

For much of her life as a mother, Barish has worked from home as a writer, crafting columns about parenting based on her own experience as well as conversations with other mothers. This slim volume gathers a selection of those pieces written over more than ten years of being a parent to two daughters. In each piece, the author addresses an aspect of motherhood and family life, ranging from whether she should rein in a daughter who lives for the competitive edge to tackling her older daughter’s questions about sex. She also covers the needs of mothers: reconnecting with herself through yoga, claiming time and space for her work as a writer and taking the occasional getaway vacation without the kids. Through these short reflections, the reader follows the author’s daughters as they grow up and as Barish herself grows as a woman and mother. She describes how just as a parent is feeling comfortable and confident about how to relate to the current stage in a child’s life, she is already growing into a new phase–a cycle that continues even after a daughter leaves for college. Throughout the book, Barish discusses her evolving relationships with her daughters, as what they need from their mother changes over the years. In a later essay, the author revisits the “mission statement” for motherhood she wrote when the girls were young and reflects on how it has stood the test of time. As a collection of newspaper columns, this is more a series of brief conversations with a mother who’s been there and who has sought out the experiences of other mothers, than an in-depth examination of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Barish’s heartfelt, thoughtful style makes her stories ring true.

Quick doses of wisdom and solidarity for women at all stages of motherhood.

Charlotte Parent Magazine (2009)
“Ellen Blum Barish. Writer and mompreneur, Barish shares her joys and struggles in being both a full-time mother and freelance journalist. Her wisdom shines in chapters like “A Mother’s Mission Statement” and rings true for mothers everywhere.”

DaughtersPlus Update
April 2008
“…Enjoy Barish’s essays on raising daughters and cultivating a thoughtful parenting life. Her delightful and thought-provoking essays on everything from nose-piercings to a parental “mission statement” remind us of what a lovely, complicated treat we receive with our all-too-brief time with daughters.”

“Telling Family Tales to the Public”
Pioneer Press, May 4, 2007
“It offers an intimate, engaging look into Barish’s life that should resonate with any parent.”
— Pioneer Press, May 2007
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“Praise for article” (Letter to Pioneer Press, May 4, 2007)
“…the compilation of essays contained in this jewel of a book represent a broad range of issues that often comprise the fabric of our lives as women…[Barish] has an uncanny ability to capture a core issue in everyday life and to analyze it from several angles, all in three to four pages.”
— Kate Mahoney, May 22, 2007, Pioneer Press
Read the entire review here