Saturday, May 1, 2010

Books for Moms....Two New Titles

Two great "Mom" books came my way over the last two months, and I want to let you know about them.  The first is Just Let Me Lie Down, from the editor of Real Simple magazine, Kristin van Ogtrop.  I enjoy the magazine so I knew I'd love this title.   It's a dictionary format, with a humorous slant, but it's not simply snarky anti-Harriet diatribes like many of the newer "Mom" oriented titles.  There's no pushy political agenda or religious ideology.  This has real suggestions and real anecdotal experience in a 'this is what I did, so now you can do it better' style.  It acknowledges the struggles mothers have without trying to elicit pity or accolades.

I personally loathe 99% of "mothering titles" because of the silly positions they push:  stay at home vs. working, disposable vs. cloth, or bottle vs. breast. The arguments that so impassion so many authors are just plain annoying to most of us without the leisure of analyzing every move for future reference. 

She explains what "creative control" is to the stressed mom:  "knowing when to micromanage, when to let go, and tricky ways to appear to let go while continuing to micromanage."  Her experience indicates "I have learned to give up those things without feeling like I am an absolute failure as a parent, a woman, and a human being."    Thanks to Karen Ukraine from Hatchette for the Advanced Review Copy.

The second title is Mom-Over by Dana Wood, the "New Mom's Guide to Getting it Back Together".  Wood addresses the struggles new mothers face with time and how putting the kids first often leaves moms unravelled and cranky.  Actually, not often.  Always.  So the thinking is that if a mom feels great, the whole family will benefit.  A great idea, really.  Except that in some ways, it puts additional pressure on new moms already overwhelmed!  The "nudge" it tries to give feels a bit forced at times.  Many of the suggestions are cloaked in "getting it together", which assumes the mom reading it doesn't have it together at all. 

I'm not against any of the advice, it's all great and sensible and would be beneficial to implement.  But as a mom, I really feel that a bit of a pat on the back with a 'you'll do just fine' can also be helpful. "Ditch the sweatpants" is a great idea, but does a new mom really need to consider breast implants at any time in the first few years? Some of it is just a bit over the top. 

I think this would be a great gift for a new mom, as long as they understand that the suggestions are idealized in most ways and that no one expects them to be that 'together'.  That enjoying their baby is the first priority and worrying about saggy skin can come later!
Thanks to Adams Media for the Advanced Review Copy. 


  1. I love Real Simple, too. I have been thinking a lot about downloading this book.

    Thanks for the reviews!

  2. Oh, my, breast implants for new mums! The mind boggles. I don't think we should make any extra decisions until the youngest kid is at least 3! In my experience, there's just too much sleep deprivation and wild hormone fluctuations to think clearly.