Now, I’m not being paid for this review/promotion and I wasn’t asked to do it either. This is just one of my favorite books and I thought I would mention it. ;o)
I think many new (and not new) mommies go into pregnancy and motherhood with some pretty unrealistic ideals. Yeah, you can say unrealistic is harsh, but for the most part, yeah, they’re unrealistic. Pregnancy is not always easy or perfect, it very rarely is. Having a newborn isn’t easy at all. Shoot, having a child of almost any age isn’t always easy. A woman will go into pregnancy with all these hopes and expectations and then be crushed when some of them don’t go as she planned. Be it the way the pregnancy progresses, her OBGYN, or her birth. (Though from being a parenting forum I must tell you I hear so many times about women being just crushed when they did not get that ideal perfect birth they planned and then end up being scarred forever because of it. – insert sarcasm in that last bit)
Let me give you my most wisest piece of Yoda-esque advice:
”Perfection, can not one plan and organize into pregnancy and children.”
(imagine scratchy Yoda voice in that convoluted way he speaks)
I got Jennifer Weiner’s “Little Earthquakes” somewhere between having Ryan and Bella. Since I hadn’t read any of her other books before this one I didn’t set out reading it with any expectations. (As you will find many of the negative comments on it put that it doesn’t hold up against this book or that book by her.) What I came away with after reading this book is the thought that an author finally got it. This isn’t a how-to book on pregnancy or child rearing. It’s a book that follows 3 women through the ends of their pregnancies and most of that first year after having the babies, and through the grief and coping of another woman whose baby has died. It isn’t all sunshine, flowers, and rainbows. It shows how hard it can be. Another big comment in negative reviews is people saying they don’t like the negative to positive ratio. That it doesn’t show enough of why the women would love their babies if it is so hard and tiring. If you’re a first-time pregnant mommy let me tell you this, yes, it is very very hard, but when it’s your baby, for the most part, that fact alone is why it’s worth all the trouble and sleep deprivation. Yes, these women go through many worst-case scenarios; be it the death of the child, husband getting laid off, cheating husband, or mother-in-law from hell. BUT you can find a way to relate to almost all of them and see bits and pieces of your life in one of theirs.
This is a great great book. (Yes double adjective necessary.) While I’m not saying all (or maybe any) of these things will happen to you, it helps you to relax and see that it’s ok to just go with the flow. Things don’t have to be perfect or even close to it. If you find something that works for you, go for it! As the author says in the interview at the end of the book, “Nobody can make a mother feel worse about her screw-ups than another woman.” Don’t listen to those women who want to make you feel bad, you’ll know what works for you and your baby.