Can working parents in America - or anywhere - ever find true leisure time?
According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is "that place in which we realize our humanity". If that’s true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contaminated time"?
Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine: "How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure - over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research - anything we could do?"
Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out.
What listeners say about Overwhelmed
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While there is a lot of great advice in this book it has a very narrow perspective. As a single mum it left me feeling like much of it did not relate to my own feelings of overwhelm.
The long list at the end of things 'to do' in order to manage our overwhelm....really just felt like more to do....I felt like I should have been making a list.
1 person found this helpful
Best book ever about modern motherhood
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes will bring a new empowering perspective to all mothers, academics and professionals trying to have it all - kids, family, and a professional career. Its not a simple self help book - more of a manual to understand motherhood in a greater perspective- which I appreciate a lot.
Listening to book every Sunday while doing ordinary housework made me feel understood, visible and empowered as academic working mother with three young kids.
What other book might you compare Overwhelmed to and why?
Maxed out American mothers on the brink- also a great book on the topic- get them both.
Which scene was your favorite?
I enjoyed the whole book. Some parts are more personal other based with high quality research.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened every Sunday while I was home doing housework and my kids were outdoor playing with dad.
1 person found this helpful