Murphy, Ann Pleshette
Murphy, Ann Pleshette
PERSONAL: Married Steven Murphy (a chief executive officer); children: Madeleine, Nick. Education: Harvard University, B.A. (cum laude).
CAREER: Parents magazine, New York, NY, editor-in-chief, 1988-98, contributing editor, 1999-2002; parenting contributor to "American Family" segment of Good Morning, America television series, 1998-. Has also worked as editor of Good Food, executive editor of Diversion, and senior editor of Redbook magazine. Parenting expert for The News at Noon, WCBS-TV, 1994-99, and for Lifetime Live, 2000. Has appeared on television shows as a parenting expert, including on Today Show, CBS This Morning, Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, Montel Williams Show, and Oprah. Chair of Greyston Family Inn; board member of Child Care Action Campaign, Parents as Teachers, and Zero to Three.
AWARDS, HONORS: Named to Academy of Women Achievers, YMCA, 1990; National Council on Family Relations media award, 2002, for two "American Fam-ily" segments broadcast on Good Morning, America; Mothers Against Drunk Driving award, 2003, for an "American Family" segment.
(Editor) Parents Magazine's It Worked for Me!: From Thumb Sucking to Schoolyard Fights, Parents Reveal Their Secrets to Solving the Everyday Problems of Raising Kids, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 1997.
The Seven Stages of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Mom, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to periodicals, including Parents and Family Circle. Columnist for Family Circle.
SIDELIGHTS: Ann Pleshette Murphy has made a career out of the art of parenting. After serving in various posts at such magazines as Good Food, Diversion, and Redbook, she went on to spend a decade as the editor-of-chief of Parents magazine. In 1998 she joined the ABC morning news show Good Morning, America as their parenting contributor. Her "American Family" segments for the program became a regular feature and won awards from the National Council on Family Relations and Mothers against Drunk Driving. Murphy also writes a bi-monthly column, "Mom Know-How," for Family Circle.
Murphy's The Seven Stages of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Mom is unusual in that, instead of focusing on the development of the child, Murphy turns the tables and addresses the phases of development as a mother. She traces the alterations a woman goes through from the moment she becomes pregnant, through the life of the child, and up until he or she graduates from high school. Murphy believes it is necessary to stress not just the needs of the child through its life but the mother's needs as well. In an interview on her Web site, Murphy stated, "We rarely take the time to reflect on where we are as women and, more important, where we want to be. I don't believe you can be an effective mother if you don't ask those questions and find the time to nurture your own development." Regarding her assertion that there are seven stages a mother goes through, Murphy says that "There are certain challenges… that mothers experience with more intensity during a particular stage of development. I've tried to highlight what those challenges are at each stage and to focus more attention on resolving the problems that crop up with greater intensity."
Murphy draws on her own experiences as a mother, as well as information she gathered over her years working at Parents, and from friends, family, and acquaintances. Vanessa Bush, in a review for Booklist, commented that "mothers will welcome the point of view expressed here, which gives them a reason to focus on themselves for a change." A contributor to Publishers Weekly called some of the information "tired," but concluded that "the calming tone, plus the fact that" the author herself is a mother "make this a comforting book for uncertain mothers." Prevention contributor Rosemary Ellis called Murphy's advice "pragmatic," and the book a "good read for moms."
Murphy is also the editor of Parents Magazine's It Worked for Me!: From Thumb Sucking to Schoolyard Fights, Parents Reveal Their Secrets to Solving the Everyday Problems of Raising Kids, a compilation of child-care tips form the pages of Parents assembled by Murphy during her tenure as the magazine's editor-in-chief. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "while not all the advice is equally palatable… this is a quirky, sprightly, and useful collection."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of The Seven Stages of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Mom, p. 30.
Library Journal, August, 2004, Heather O'Brien, review of The Seven Stages of Motherhood, p. 103.
Parenting, October, 2004, Charlotte Latvala, "New Challenges for Toddler Moms," p. 221.
Prevention, November, 2004, Rosemary Ellis, "Good Read for Moms," review of The Seven Stages of Motherhood, p. 135.
Publishers Weekly, January 27, 1997, review of Parents Magazine's It Worked for Me!: From Thumb Sucking to Schoolyard Fights, Parents Reveal Their Secrets to Solving the Everyday Problems of Raising Kids, p. 99; July 19, 2004, review of The Seven Stages of Motherhood, p. 157.
ABC News Online, http://abcnews.go.com/ (November 12, 2004), "Ann Pleshette Murphy."
Ann Pleshette Murphy Home Page, http://www.annpleshettemurphy.com (November 12, 2004).