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Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink | [Katrina Alcorn]

Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink

Mothers are the breadwinners in two-thirds of American families, yet the American workplace is uniquely hostile to the needs of parents. Weaving in surprising research about the dysfunction between the careers and home lives of working mothers, as well as the consequences to women's health, Alcorn tells a deeply personal story about "having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after. Ultimately, she offers readers a vision for a healthier, happier, and more productive way to live and work.
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Publisher's Summary

Katrina Alcorn was a 37-year-old mother with a happy marriage and a thriving career when one day, on the way to Target to buy diapers, she had a breakdown. Her carefully built career shuddered to a halt, and her journey through depression, anxiety, and insomnia - followed by medication, meditation, and therapy - began.

Alcorn wondered how a woman like herself, with a loving husband, a supportive boss, three healthy kids, and a good income, was unable to manage the demands of having a career and a family. Over time, she realized that she wasn't alone. As she questioned other working moms, she realized that many women were struggling to do it all, crashing, and feeling as if they were somehow failing as a result.

Mothers are the breadwinners in two-thirds of American families, yet the American workplace is uniquely hostile to the needs of parents. Weaving in surprising research about the dysfunction between the careers and home lives of working mothers, as well as the consequences to women's health, Alcorn tells a deeply personal story about "having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after.

Ultimately, she offers readers a vision for a healthier, happier, and more productive way to live and work.

©2013 Katrina Alcorn (P)2013 Katrina Alcorn

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (57 )
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4.1 (52 )
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  •  
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 09-09-13
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 09-09-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The definition of insanity..."

    I read somewhere that the definition of insanity is to be able to hold two contradictory beliefs in your mind at the same time and believe both equally. That's where Maxed Out left me. Half of me really agreed with the thesis that the American system (as opposed to Sweden which is portrayed as a working parents' Nirvana) is broken and working mothers are set up to fail.

    The other half of my mind found Katrina Alcorn an over-priveleged whiner who had a great spouse, healthy kids, owned her own home, full health insurance for whole family debt free except the mortgage, high-paying, creative job (where demands such as having to review project proposals wete viewed as mind-breaking stress. Really?) Fantastic, understanding boss who loved her. Got her daughter in one of the very, very few good public schools in the East Bay. (I live here too.) Got invited to the Ted Conference. Had to sacrifice mommy yoga, making organic baby food, and cloth diapers when she returned to her job where she was highly valued and over praised and allowed to work a four day week. AND WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT?

    So, a dilemma. I think the subject is worthy, but I didn't buy Katrina Alcorn as the poster child for the working mother. (Though she is quite childish in places...) I found myself thinking most women I know would love to have her problems. But these are women with real problems - addicted kids, cancer either in themselves or close family members, unemployment, houses in foreclosure, etc. I look forward to more reviews to see what others think. The book is well written and supported by interesting sociological research. More interesting than the author's story, in fact.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Woodinville, WA, United States 09-14-13
    Mrs. Woodinville, WA, United States 09-14-13
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    "Perfect Timing, Powerful Message, Personal Account"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Maxed Out to be better than the print version?

    I loved listening to Katrina read her story. I felt like I was on a phone call with a best girlfriend who was telling me about her life and relating it to mine. The print version is powerful, of course, and I own both, but I prefer hearing the inflection of her voice and the emphasis and emotion she ads to the story. Also, it's hard to read while driving. ;-)


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think there are a lot of women who can relate to this story. Not only that, though, this is a bigger, global issue of valuing family and supporting parents in the workplace. This story is a personal account but also provides factual data in a journalistic style. When a dad tells me, "Dads struggle with that, too," I can relate, of course, I know dads struggle with balancing family and work but there's the additional data backing up why women, specifically, still have the bigger burden of guilt, childcare, family planning, etc.


    Which character – as performed by Katrina Alcorn – was your favorite?

    Herself.


    If you could give Maxed Out a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Everyone, especially your CEO, should read this.


    Any additional comments?

    Katrina is the every-mom. She's telling her story but relating it to all of us. She's the most personable author and even reaches out to her readers. I've enjoyed knowing her through her book but now feel like I've found a friend through her story. As I, personally, am in the grips of leaving a corporate job in the same field as Katrina, facing the prospect of another corporate job, looking at how many schedules we balance and bills and laundry, I needed to hear this story at this very time. Thanks for recommending it, Audible. It was because of your suggestion of titles, I found this life altering, powerful message.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Paynter 09-23-13
    E. Paynter 09-23-13 Member Since 2009

    kittibites

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    "This could have been my story"
    Where does Maxed Out rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is a stand-out work of non-fiction. It not only tells you the author's personal story, but it provides structure and perspective from outside sources. And beyond that it gives you a message of hope and purpose.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    As a full-time working mother, I swear this could have been my narrative spoken straight from my lips. I had experienced my breaking point not two weeks before I stumbled upon this book. It helped me so much to know that I wasn't alone.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 09-18-13
    Sara 09-18-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic story, great narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Maxed Out the most enjoyable?

    I loved this book... it should be a Ted Talk. I would write in more detail, but I have to finish a project and pick up the kids...


    What did you like best about this story?

    its honesty


    Which character – as performed by Katrina Alcorn – was your favorite?

    Katrina


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley United States 09-17-13
    Ashley United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Reads like a conversation with a friend"
    What did you love best about Maxed Out?

    Alcorn isn't dramatic, preachy or angry. She's just a great storyteller and a real person.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    She's just like all of us and shows what happens if you don't have balance or boundaries.


    Have you listened to any of Katrina Alcorn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listen to lots of books, and Alcorn's voice is one of my favorites.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When she actually snapped, I had to stop and really think about my life. She helped validate my professional decisions. I left work, got a massage, then had fun cooking dinner with my kids. I can overachieve when they're older.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri 10-19-13
    Sheri 10-19-13 Member Since 2008
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    "A "Must Listen" for Moms who are Self-Critical"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Maxed Out to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed listening to the author's actual voice in this memoir format. Only she could bring her own experiences, emotions and frustrations to life in the way that was true to her story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "When a Mother walks away from Societal Expectations"


    Any additional comments?

    As a mother of three children, I could truly relate to this memoir. I found it very encouraging and would definitely recommend it to any mom, (stay-at-home or working outside the home) who is trying to do it all. This book just makes a woman realize that so many of us go through the same stressors and struggles, but it takes guts to be genuine about it, like Katrina did in her book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Ocala, FL, United States 10-04-13
    Julie Ocala, FL, United States 10-04-13 Member Since 2009
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    "That you for this book!!!!!"
    Where does Maxed Out rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most important books i've read in a long time.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The book made me realize that I'm not the only working mom that finds this crazy life so difficult.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    What is wrong with our society?


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Tustin, CA, United States 09-25-13
    Erin Tustin, CA, United States 09-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "ME TOO!"
    What made the experience of listening to Maxed Out the most enjoyable?

    Katrina invited me into every part of her experience. As I journeyed with her and her story unfolded I discovered that her story was also my story.I couldn't wait to see how her story ended so that I could have hope for my story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Katrina gives herself the rest she, and all of us, desperately need and then she triumphs! Woo Hoo, Katrina!


    Which character – as performed by Katrina Alcorn – was your favorite?

    KATRINA!!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and cried. Mostly, I cried while I laughed.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for articulating what has been running through my head and heart since my son was born 14 years ago and my daughter 12 years ago. Thank you for putting your loving words out there... they made me feel less alone and way less freakish. I'm going to listen again. Right now! Every mom I know who is bravely pretending not to feel exactly like I do is getting this book for Christmas. I'll also be placing a copy in the magazine rack in our lunch room in hopes that one or more of our C level leaders will pick it up and read it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Henderson FELTON, CA, US 08-20-14
    Jessica Henderson FELTON, CA, US 08-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Book"
    Any additional comments?

    This book appealed to me as a working mom. Would recommend to anyone doing too much and feeling overwhelmed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly S. 06-06-14
    Kelly S. 06-06-14
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    "Loved it!"
    Where does Maxed Out rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In general, I love audiobooks. I especially love them when they're read by the author. And now with this partnership with amazon (and the audible.com app), the audiobook picks up right where I leave off with the book on my Kindle. So Katrina Alcorn read her awesome book to me in the car, picking up the story where I stopped reading the night before. I love it, since I don't have hours to sit and read quietly (sigh - someday)!


    Any additional comments?

    As for the book itself, it is terrific. Readable and relatable and throughly enjoyable because it made me feel like others are in the same boat, trying to earn a living and raise healthy, happy children and and run a household. And not doing it perfectly and sometimes feeling like a big failure. I love that Katrina shared her story without sugarcoating - it is honestly written and I really, really appreciate that! Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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