20 April, 2011

A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life

Title: A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life
Author: Juanita Phillips
Genre: Non Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - Library

Synopsis: Juanita Phillips is a female Australian news reader who had a very public break down one night whilst reading the 7-o-clock news. Run down and exhausted , she was struggling to work full time, run a house and be a parent. Needing to work full time as the main bread winner, she developed several systems to help her get some sanity back in her life.

What I thought: I grew up watching Juantia Phillips and remember the discussion surrounding her breakdown. A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life is a frank account of what lead to the breakdown and more importantly, how to take some of the pressure off. Phillips looks at how we have ended up here in a historical sense. How, with women joining the workforce, some things have changed for us (we have financial freedom, careers, children later, return to work quicker) and some haven't (we still do the majority of the housework, we are still expected to be the primary care givers.). Phillips also gives practical, sensible advice on how to structure things in your house to make life a little easier. For her, the rediscovery of a pressure cooker made a huge difference,
At no point does she pretend it's easy. Even with structures in place, life is hectic and out of control sometimes. And not all of her solutions will suit everyone. What she has done though, is let us know it's ok if the house isn't spotless. It's fine if the children aren't spotless. If what you are doing works for your family, then it's fine. And my favourite line in the book:

listen to the scientists, who tell us that red wine is good for the heart, and that parents obsessed by cleanliness are weakening their children's immune system...The clear scientific message is: skip the kids' baths for a few nights and pour yourself a big glass of red instead. It works for me!
So, I'm off to pour a red!

Recommended for: those who are looking for some ideas on how to streamline their life.
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