Torn True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood

Publisher - Coffeetown Press Editor - Samantha Parent Walravens

Real Mothers. Real Careers. Real Conflict.

Striking the right balance between career and motherhood is one of the most stressful, heart-wrenching tasks facing women today. In Torn, forty-six women examine the conflict between the need to nurture and the need to work, and reveal creative solutions for having the best of both worlds. The stories in the collection offer hope and inspiration, but they also reveal the messy realities of modern motherhood and life's inevitable crises, both small and large: from breast pump mishaps to battles with cancer; diaper blowouts to debilitating depression; competitive cupcake baking to coming home from war. In the end, the reader can take comfort in the knowledge that there is no perfect mother; nor is there a perfect balance when it comes to kids and career. The real challenge facing women today is not juggling their many roles, but realigning their expectations of what is possible and accepting that success does not equal "doing it all."

Torn was selected as a Mom's Choice Awards Gold Medal Winner for 2011.

"Torn is filled with the voices of women trying to solve an impossible equation, all doing the best they can. These nearly four dozen writers include a wide swath of the real world - attorneys and professors, software designers and social workers, soldiers and stay-at-home moms. They live on good incomes, and reduced incomes, and, in one case, on welfare. They are married, divorced and single. They write about big things (cancer, depression, regrets, teen pregnancy, readjusting to being a mom after being a soldier in Iraq) and small (worm bins, cupcakes, speeding tickets, Dora the Explorer, dirty diapers.)

All of them have one thing in common--they have all compromised. Whether theirs is a compromise they can live with is the central question."
    --Lisa Belkin, The New York Times

"For those of us who live in a constant state of anxiety about how we’ve compromised our careers for our kids or the other way around, books about the the work/life balance and how other women have dealt with it remain perennially  interesting. Torn is a welcome addition to this body of work... The point that nobody actually has it all is made all the more compelling when it is made by a choir of voices."
    --Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times

"Torn offers up the finest imaginable gift for today’s moms, no matter whether you work or stay at home: the comforting truth that we all juggle life and kids as best we can, and that moms ride this nutty ‘mommy wars’ roller coaster together."
    --Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Mommy Wars and the NY Times bestseller, Crazy Love

"A fascinating look at Mothering 2.0. In Torn, a new generation of mothers explores the delicate balancing act of work and family life with intelligence, wit, and candor."
    --Willow Bay, Senior Editor, The Huffington Post, and Special Correspondent, Bloomberg Television

"A tender, humorous, and sometimes heartbreaking collection of experiences as unique as the women who lived them. For those of us who were guided, and often defined, by the women's movement, these stories resonate in a way that is both sustaining and essential."
    --Victoria Zackheim, Editor, He Said What? Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed

"Torn is a poignant look at how a generation of mothers is trying to forge its own identity while honoring the legacy of 60s and 70s feminism. Sometimes freedom can be its own trap, and this book illustrates that principle beautifully."
    --Neal Pollack, Vanity Fair columnist and author of Alternadad and Stretch

"Finally, a reality-based look at life, love and motherhood for real women from real women. No quick fixes or fantasy escapes here. Just good, old-fashioned, in-the-trenches camaraderie that lets you know you are not alone and that the fight is worth it. Really!"
    --Allison Glock, author of the award-winning memoir Beauty Before Comfort and mother of two girls she still hugs in public

"Torn speaks a bold, discomfiting truth: there is no easy solution when it comes to balancing career and parenting. These unflinchingly honest stories reveal the unusually high stakes of women's choices about work and family--for their marriage, their children, their career, their financial life, and especially for their own identity. This book is a vital contribution to the conversation about the value of domestic life and the hidden costs of work for women and their families. Offering neither easy solutions nor judgment, its hope lies in its willingness to fully engage the messy realities that so many women face every day."
    --Lisa Harper, author of A Double Life, Discovering Motherhood (Winner of the 2010 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award)

"Sharp, poignant and sometimes funny stories about some very unfunny issues that mothers grapple with daily. If you have a mother, are a mother or know a mother, read this book."
    --Katherine Clifford, Founder of

"As a therapist who sees many women torn between the conflicting demands of motherhood, marriage and career, I believe that the deep empathy and understanding created by these remarkably honest and moving personal testimonies makes this book a 'must read' both for women struggling to create work-life balance and for men trying to understand the plight of the women in their lives."
    --Geraldine Alpert, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California Medical School, San Francisco

"With Torn, Samantha Walravens offers a diverse collection of voices making a valuable contribution to our ongoing discussion about trying to maintain a career while raising a family. These writers are sometimes rueful and sometimes quite raw, but always compellingly honest. They insist we set aside guilt and judgment and instead listen to their truths--complicated and difficult as they are--in the hope that someday our children will feel less torn."
    --Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief, and co-editor, Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life

"Suffice it to say that I started reading the book in the subway and missed my stop! These little essays, often poignant, capture where American mothers find themselves today."
    --Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, Founder/ Director, Center for WorkLife Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Where to buy a copy:
Visit your local bookstore or favorite online retailer

Also available as an eBook!

Category: Anthology Suggested Price: 18.95 Release Date: 04/15/2011 ISBN: 978-1-60381-097-5 Product Type: Paperback # Pages: 288