SAHM VS Working Mom — The Ten Year Nap

Our book club picked The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer this month based on my recommendation.  I had won this book from Iiliana over at Bookgirl’s Nightstand last year.  It’s a book about mothers who are struggling with being stay-at-home moms now that their children are 10.  I thought this would be a great book discussion for our book club since we have both SAHM and WM.  After finally reading it though, I’m nervous about attending our next meeting.

The book centered around four moms that met in NYC and regularly got together each week at a coffee shop after dropping their sons at a private boys school in the City.  The chapters alternated between the women giving their perspective of themselves, each other, and other women/men they knew.  The book focused on the women’s feelings surrounding their daily life  and their perceptions of working mothers.

I have very mixed feelings about this book.  First, I like the concept of the book.  I could relate to some of the feelings of the mothers.  I struggled with staying home vs. working when my kids were born.  I just didn’t know what I wanted to do (actually I still don’t, so I’ve compromised with PT work).  However, I felt like this book was a little too preachy.  The women were very judgmental of themselves as well as others, but mostly others.  I didn’t feel like it was told in a productive way.

The chapters were long and not much happened.  I usually don’t mind a book that doesn’t have a lot of action when I feel like the characters keep me interested. But,  I felt like the characters were just negative (most of them, not all) and not a lot of change was occurring.  Some acceptance occurred, but not with any positive feelings about it.

As for the title of the book, I get it, but I kind of resent it.  Staying at home with the kids is anything BUT a nap.  I guess after reading the book I understand the author was saying that some of these women felt like they’d been “sleeping” and no longer knew who they were.  They wanted to wake up and find themselves again.  But, the conotation was there, in my opinion, that SAHMs have it easy.

My opinion on this subject is this:  it’s a personal choice (hopefully) or a necessity when it comes to working or staying home.  I don’t understand why people get so judgemental about one side or the other.  I can see the difficulties of both camps, hence my indecision about what I really want to do.  I just think mothers (all) should support each other rather than spend time judging the working habits of others.

I hope my book club can have a positive discussion of this book, even though it was a relatively negative one.  We’ll see.  They may stop letting me pick any books.  My picks haven’t been much fun!

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5 responses to “SAHM VS Working Mom — The Ten Year Nap

  1. I’m sorry that this book wasn’t a hit for your club. My book club read it a few months ago and I thought it was an amazing discussion. Everything you said above is true, but I still found a lot of value in this book. We had some who hated it, some who were indifferent and some who thought it was a very good book. No matter the opinion about the book, the discussion was terrific for us.

  2. I definitely thought the book could be better and you are right there was a lot of negativity.

    The title didn’t even click with me really but I totally see what you mean!

    I hope your book club discussion will be a good one though and you’ll have to let us know how that goes!

  3. Wow, this would be an excellent book for some heated discussion, but I’m not sure I would enjoy the preachy tone!

  4. Pingback: The Verdict Is In…The Ten-Year Nap Discussion « Book Escape

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