Monday, April 20, 2009
I'm not usually one for self-help books, but Mojo Mom, by Amy Tiemann, is so much more than that. It's a book that allows a woman to realize that, yes, this mothering gig really is as hard as we think it is, that we aren't nuts for feeling the way we do and then laying out some concrete, reasonable steps for ways to reclaim some of ourselves as we also raise our families. I've never seen another parenting book like it - it's the only one that addresses what the mother (and, to a certain extent, the father) feels during the long years of parenting.
Each chapter has a theme, some featuring activities you can do at home. The author cites her resources at the end of every chapter, something I found very helpful, as she also gives a one- or two-line blurb about each book, stating why she liked it or what she found helpful about it. I can see this becoming a list I take with me to the library or bookshop in the future. Some of her sources sound like must-reads. She also lists websites and blogs to check out, something moms who are immersed in the online world (*ahem* me *ahem*) will find useful.
The chapter on financial security was interesting and pertinent now, considering the financial mess we're in. Even if you don't have much in the way of spare cash (like me), there is a lot of useful advice packed in there. I also found the chapter on the mommy wars to be timely.
One of the major messages in this book is that the media and society in general have built up this myth of the perfect mom and that we are being sold a bill of goods in trying to live up to that image. It's unrealistic and self-defeating and we do ourselves no favours in trying to become an ideal. This is something that most moms know, but often allow themselves to forget as the relentless barrage of messages hits us every day. This books posits that we will be better mothers if we let some of the stuff slide and focus more on rejuvenating ourselves, that by allowing ourselves time to reclaim some of our pre-mom self, we will become better mothers. This is something I've come to realize over the years, although I've often found it very hard to accomplish.
Mojo Mom is a quick read, but one that deserves a place on the bedside table. It's something I can see myself dipping into as needed and it's definitely one that I would give to an expecting or new mom.
This is a MotherTalk book review. To read more reviews on this and other titles, please visit MotherTalk.