Author: Esther Walker
Type of Book: eBook
Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor, Parenting
Release Date: January 22, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
** Warning – This book contains profanity.
There are so many books on the market that offer parenting advice and “tried and true” tricks to ensure that your child will be happy, healthy, smart, productive and, well, perfect. Instead of reassuring parents, these books seem to achieve the opposite affect. They make parents hyper-aware of their shortcomings and ensure that they feel inadequate. This is NOT healthy. Too many women think they have to be perfect mothers. It is actually detrimental both to the mother and to the child she is raising. That is why I think books like BAD MOTHER must exist. Using humor and blatant (and sometimes brutal) honesty, Esther Walker talks about the feelings that all parents have, but that no one ever says out loud for fear of being labelled a “BAD MOTHER”.
For example, she states that “Parents of young children are always thinking about sleep.” This is the truth as anyone who has ever had a crying baby at home can attest.
She also says, “I lie to everyone about breastfeeding. I tell people that I tried, but I didn’t really. I mean, I did try, but not very hard.” It makes you wonder just how many people have done the same thing. Media and so-called “experts” make mothers feel guilty and tell them they are “bad mothers” if they do not exclusively breastfeed their children. What these experts seem to forget is that breastfeeding is an individual choice and mothers who are unable or unwilling to breastfeed should not be chastised for it. If a mother has had a mastectomy does this make that mother “bad” simply because she can no longer breastfeed? I think not. So why should other women be berated for not breastfeeding? (And, just in case anyone reading this thinks that the only reason I feel this way is because I did not breastfeed my own children, they are wrong. Both my children were breastfed for the first nine months of their lives.)
In BAD MOTHER the way the author describes life with her second child at age 13 months will make you laugh out loud while also recognizing just how authentic her description is. “It was like having a stalker, a madly passionate lover who just wanted to cling to me and often pinched me or bit me out of sheer, crazed, wordless feeling.”
I enjoyed this book, however because my children are older now (ages 20 & 16) I found that after reading for a while, my interest waned and I had to put the book down and read something else. I think that if my children were closer in age to the author’s children that the book would have held my attention fir longer periods of time. However, even though my children are older, I still remember what it was like to have young children and to feel utterly overwhelmed.
I highly recommend this book to all parents of young children. Every parent of children under the age of six will be able to relate to what Esther Walker talks about in her book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter entitled “Motherfu**er.” Anyone who has ever had to deal with another mother who thought she knew everything and thought that she was motherhood perfection will be able to identify with the writings in this chapter. The author talks about “Mom Tribes” which made me laugh, but also struck a truthful chord with me. These “Mom Tribes” (unfortunately) are not exclusively the domain of young mothers, they persist throughout the teenage years and even exist when your children are young adults.
All in all I think this book is worth reading. I rate BAD MOTHER as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Esther Walker is a journalist and a blogger. She is married to a Food Critic and is a mother of two small children.