My first book party to celebrate the publication of The Roads Taken was given by my most wonderful and generous friend Suzy.
Suzy prepared an elegant and delicious spread. A total of 35 people came: members of Suzy’s family, more of our swimming friends, AND twenty-two of the mothers who participated in my dissertation study in 1994 and my follow up study in 2008.
I had never met any of these fabulous mothers nor had they met one another. Even though we were all meeting for the first time, we felt a strong sense of community; an amazing and very special experience!
My husband and I hosted a book party–another celebration of the publication of The Roads Taken. We had 90 guests who listened to my talk and asked interesting questions; an engaging and fun exchange!
In August I was an invited guest to a long standing book club in Bethesda, MD. I never really had a chance to give “my talk.” The women were so busy sharing their experiences and feelings about their thoughts and feelings. Two women were not mothers. One spoke passionately about her own mother’s choices and challenges. The other talked about her struggles trying to continue with her career and keep her marriage going. After the wonderful evening, several of the attendees emailed me that the group had been together for years but had never learned so much about each other until this discussion about the challenges they experienced trying to grow their careers, families and self as adult women.
In October I went to another book party–this time in Alexandra,VA. This party was comprised of long standing friends from different nationalities. Not surprising, issues about motherhood and challenges maintaining a career and growing a family are similar to all mothers. The big difference is that mothers who lived in Europe or the Netherlands when their children were young had government support for family leave. This support was leave or absence, paid leave and then day care.