Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by: Stephanie Land          (Hachette Books)

As a single mother, Land finds herself trying to provide a life for herself and her daughter but is continually struggling to keep up. With as little as $10 in her account at various times, she fears the next car repair bill or any other unexpected bill. She can never quite settle her anxieties – and she wrote that worry so well. Because of that constant worry, she makes poor choices – especially in regards to the men in her life. She puts herself in relationships with abusive men to provide a little bit of stability for her daughter. I was so happy when she was able to find a way to pay her own bills and moved out of those homes where she was emotionally abused and manipulated. Many times, I wanted to reach through the pages of this book to give Land and her daughter a hug. Her determination was admirable, and for her, she was eventually able to reach her personal hopes and dreams of going to college.

**Now, for the  #unpopularopinion part of this review.** While this book is honest and an important addition to the social injustices of economic inequality in our country, I found myself almost too annoyed with Land and some of her decisions to really be able to relate to the book. She made various poor decisions, yet continually wrote about how desperately she wanted a better life for her and her daughter. I hated the way she talked about her daughter’s father – not because I don’t believe her and think he was a scumbag, but because she advertised that to the world…without her daughter being emotionally mature or old enough to form an opinion about him without that influence for herself. (Don’t @ me about this – I have personal experiences with this and I believe, no matter how hard it is to do, that parents do not talk poorly about the other one…no matter what. Children should be able to form these opinions on their own!)

Listen, I grew up similarly to the daughter in this book and I would have been mortified if my mom had written this book. To me, there are better ways to bring attention to the important issues presented in this book without using my childhood story to sell it. I know I’m in the minority on this given society’s obsession with sharing any and everything on social media…but I wish parents would protect their children a little bit better when they’re young and allow them to write their own story instead of writing it for them. Maybe this shouldn’t have been some of the reasons I didn’t like this book overall, but because it’s highly personal to me, I can’t help but feel persuaded by that. My mother made many, many sacrifices and she did so selflessly and without sensationalizing that story to a mass market. I wish Land would have focused on the social injustices and her personal experiences with less emphasis on her daughter’s dad and her issues co-parenting with him. There was enough of a story without that addition, in my opinion.

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