Maxed Out (Book Review)


I’ve been following Katrina Alcorn’s blog, “Working Moms Break” for a while now and was so excited when she posted about her book, Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink (Seal Press/Perseus Books, September 2013).

As soon as the book came out I waited for it to come to my public library, but it never did (well, eventually it did, but by then it was too late).  As soon as I saw the price of the e-book dropped to $1.99 on Amazon, I couldn’t resist and bought the book.  It was the first e-book I ever bought and I’m so glad I did.

About the Book

Katrina was a full-time working mom who eventually had a breakdown and literally “maxed out.” Here’s the book trailer (cuz books now have short movies…)

From the book site:

At 37, Katrina Alcorn had it all: a loving husband, healthy kids, and a dream job. Then one day, she lost her ability to manage the stress of competing demands. Just like that, her carefully built career shuddered to a halt, and a year-long recovery from depression and anxiety began. Over the months, Alcorn started talking to other working moms and was shocked to learn that many of them, too, were maxed out—sick with stress, and blaming themselves.

Alcorn tells a deeply personal story about “having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after. Ultimately, she offers readers a vision for a healthier, happier, and more productive way to live and work.

And here’s a link to the audio clip I posted a while back.

Who is this book intended for?

Any person with a job and a child can relate to something in this book.  We may not have had a full-on nervous breakdown like the author, but we’ve all had hard times struggling to reach the perfect work-life balance.  I know for me, finding time to pump while breastfeeding, having co-workers who just cannot relate, and mom guilt are all things I struggle with and are extremely common.

What did I like about this book?

I really liked how the author was honest about everything that happened to her.   The book flowed from chapter to chapter even though it was interspersed with short essays throughout.  The story, along with the essays really showed how our work-life balance in America is flawed.  The book was filled with encouragement and suggestions to make our personal situations better.

What disappointed me?

I want to point out that this book is not for the sensitive reader.  There were a few “choice” words that were used while telling the story that I could’ve done without.  I honestly didn’t expect this type of book to have those types of words, but I guess this is the age we live in {sadly}.

In conclusion…

If you’re looking for a book to make you feel better about your hard work-life situation and give you encouragement and support, read this book.  It was worth the time and showed that work-life balance is hard for everyone!

What good books have you read lately?

Until next time,