Work/Shift: Review and Giveaway!

Please note: the giveaway at the bottom of this post is now closed, but the review is still valid!
The night after I wrote my post on defining “it all” I read Anne Bogel’s book Work Shift: How to Create a Better Blend of Work, Life, and Family, about how a new paradigm for work can help women (and men) craft a full life that works for them.  Bogel, who blogs at Modern Mrs. Darcy, takes issue with the concept that women have to choose between working or being home, and advocates a more flexible blend of work and life.

The book includes a brief overview of the history of work, which helps to put our modern struggles with it in the broader context of how men and women viewed work in the past, and also helpful sections on how to make work and family fit together in different fields, situations, and stages of life.

Bogel points out that recent figures show 40% of workers operate as free agents rather than working for traditional companies, and offers broad but how-to advice that would be applicable to people in a range of fields.  As someone who appreciates real life examples even if they don’t exactly match my situation, I liked Bogel’s inclusion of profiles of women from all sorts of jobs and family situations.  I do think that the ages of your children, your own work history, and your husband’s situation play in to decisions about work and life balance, and I found it instructive to read about what women do in all sorts of circumstances.

Another helpful section covers how to overcome common barriers to achieving work/life balance and advice on issues such as how to work without incurring childcare costs.  Childcare costs are wildly under-discussed in the work/home debates, and I think childcare can be a big hurdle.  Government-subsidized care wouldn’t help the many moms who work flexibly, and good babysitters are hard to find (extreme understatement).  I know that for me being able to work mostly from home and having a good family friend who watches the kids when I have meetings is essential, but not everyone can arrange that situation.  I’m glad that Bogel included the issue in her book.

I think Work Shift would be a helpful read for women who work, who work part-time, or who have or have contemplated a side gig of some sort.  The book is available as an e-book directly from the author or from Amazon.

Giveaway! (Note: the giveaway is now closed)

If you’d like to win a copy of Work Shift, just leave a comment on this post.  You could tell us what you find the most challenging aspect of figuring out work/family balance, or just say hi.  I’ll draw a winner with a random number generator on Thursday, September 20, and will post the winner on Friday the 21st.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Work/Shift: Review and Giveaway!

  1. Ok so I love the article about do it all. I just stared to log the time I spend working.
    Also, I love your books recommendations, but Im frustrated that I can’t read faster; I’m a slow reader (English is my second language). What can I do to be a faster reader?.

    1. Gladys, I was just talking about this with a friend (also not a native English speaker) and we concluded that it doesn’t matter how fast you read as long as you read and get something out of the material! I’m impressed with anyone who can read in more than one language. I do think that some people just naturally read faster than others, maybe because people process information differently. For example, my husband stops to think about things AS he reads, which makes him read more slowly, whereas I just toss in a tab marker when something catches me, and I go back and think about it later. It’s just a different approach, but as I said, as long as you’re reading and thinking, it’s all good.

      I’m not sure that’s the answer you were looking for, but I don’t personally speed read nor do I like the concept of skipping things and not reading every word that speed reading requires, so I wouldn’t recommend that. I’m sure practice over time will help you read faster, if that is your goal. I wish I had something more helpful to contribute!

  2. Hi,
    I happened on your site by looking for book reviews on Tim Keller’s Galatians study. I love that this is something your Great Grandmother did! Also, I really like the title, A Spirited Mind.

    Anyway, this happens to be a “hot” topic with my fellow age and stage believer friends. Tim Keller in one of his Marriage Series discussed this briefly about how “being stay at home mom’s didn’t really come up until the Industrial Revolution” when work left the home. Yet many Christians believe “staying at home” is prescribed in Scripture.

    I grew up in a single parent home, my mom was a full-time nurse. I also am a nurse, and I didn’t enter the profession because it would be a stable job. I entered the profession because, I believed it to be a tangible way to show God’s love and help to others and felt like it was a calling. I love children and have loved children since I was a child. I grew up close to my Mom and my sister and we have always been able to talk. I guess I have a really hard time understanding why so many believers say things like “I want to raise my kids myself” in response to being a stay at home mom. I feel pretty confident my Mom raised me even though I was in daycare around age 3 (with my Grandma before that, my parents separated at 6 months old) and went to public school. I don’t have children of my own, but this is something that I struggle with understanding what is best. I also think what is best is very likely different for each family.

    Thanks for reviewing and sharing on so many books. I’d love to have a chance to win Work Shift. Maybe it has some insight I’m missing.

  3. I’m enjoying your posts on this topic. I have two toddlers and work outside the home 20 hours a week, plus we are very busy as a family. I just added making exercise and a diet change for myself into the mix as my (almost) highest priority. I’m still trying to find the balance and what works for us. 🙂

    P.S. I read Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog and enjoy it. Fun to see her mentioned over here.

  4. Enter me! I’ve done a little of this in the past (and my husband does similarly now, though a much weightier work load), but right now I think one of my big challenge comes from paralysis of choices and feeling the need to do a lot of research on the front end for things I’m not yet “in my groove for.” But, like you mention, it’s adding in the big rocks, which may take some people more time and may come about more gradually.

  5. One of my struggles is transitioning from work (my stuff) to the kids and family (others’ stuff). I work at home, and I have found I need to give myself some transition time (20-30 minutes before kids come home from school, and 20-30 minutes after they leave for school) to better give my kids/work my full attention.

  6. I am ever so slowly getting organized and managing my household responsibilities in addition to taking on mew responsibilities outside of the home with my new business and involvement in more church activities. Needless to say, it’s very difficult to find a balance and keep priorities straight! At least I can finally say I do something besides laundry and chasing a toddler around all day!

  7. I would like this book because I’m coming at it from the “full time stay at home mom” angle and I want to continue to grow in my understanding of a full picture of what women’s roles and callings are and can be, so that I don’t become self righteous in thinking what I do is “better” or “best” compared to my girl friends who work outside the home. So, this book sounds like it could serve me! I am also a Pastor’s wife, so my husband cares for a diverse congregation who finds its unity not in our varied occupations but in the gospel, so I want to be able to have faith to encourage women in their jobs even though I personally have a strong conviction about my role in the home. I’m not there yet, I need more illumination on these things!

  8. I too am enjoying your posts on this topic, as they are quite timely for our situation… newer, higher demanding job; two toddlers; commuting husband. Thanks for the reading suggestions.

  9. The biggest work/life balance challenge I find is that at work, I’m thinking about home stuff and to a lesser degree, vice versa. Actually, I don’t think about work stuff at home, but sometimes feel/wish I could spend a weekend day at work.

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