Last Friday at my La Leche League meeting, the conversation turned toward staying home with ones' children when they are young, and the current attitudes of American society concerning this. Sequencing by Arlene Rossen Cardozo was mentioned by the leader as an interesting book concerning this topic. I took it home and read it over the last weekend.
Written almost twenty years ago, it is interesting to think that much of what is discussed in this book about the issues concerning womens' combining of career and parenting is relevant today. In the first part of the book, Cardozo begins the book with a review of the feminist movement. She also discusses the Superwoman Myth (the women who has a full-time career, family, social life, etc, all while getting enough sleep,) and proposes that women are finding a new way to have it all, and that is through Sequencing their lives. Sequencing, a term coined by Cardozo, is when a woman has a full life (career in her definition, though I would not define it so narrowly) before having children, then takes some years off to stay home with her children, and finally reintegrates career into her life when her children are a bit older. The first part continues with how a woman comes to the decision that she will stay home with her children.
The second part of the book discusses the reality of staying home, from how women cope with a change in identity, to what these women who stay home actually do to make there lives rich. It ends with a chapter that discusses how women make the transition from staying home to reintegrating career back into their lives.
The third part of the book discusses how and when these women go back to work. Cardozo discusses how things like the ages of ones children and field affect the time and type of reintegration of career.
Overall this was a good overview of the subject of mothering and career, and how one can integrate the two in realistic ways. The book is full of interviews with women that give it a feeling a practicality. I would recommend this book to anyone who wonders not only if it is possible to raise children and have a career, but also how; it really can be done, just not all at once.