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    Can working parents in America—or anywhere—ever find true leisure

    According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of
    Iowa, true leisure is “that place in which we realize our
    humanity.” If that’s true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're
    doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In
    Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post,
    asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses
    making it impossible for us to experience anything but
    “contaminated time”?
    Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The
    Washington Post Magazine: “How did researchers compile this
    statistic that said we were rolling in leisure—over four hours a
    day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there
    anything useful in their research—anything we could do?”
    Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our
    leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back
    together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and
    hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors
    contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed,
    seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates
    progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace;
    she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries
    accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim
    to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and
    meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found