The Truth About Motherhood
Motherhood is beautiful, chaotic, confusing, overwhelming, and amazing- sometimes all at once. It can bring you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. To grow and birth a human from one’s own body is an amazing, monumental experience. At some point though, we started treating it like it should be an easy, leisurely walk in the park. This mindset sets us all up to feel like failures when things don’t go as smoothly as we anticipated. The problem really comes in because are so entangled in the weeds that it is hard for us to see no, it isn’t because we are weak or incapable- it’s because it really is hard.
A while back, I was listening to Lauren Conrad’s “Asking for a Friend” Podcast and her guest was Leslie Anne Bruce, a best-selling New York Times author who was coming out with a new book about transitioning into motherhood. The podcast quote started off with this quote from her-
“I always say when it comes to mom guilt, we try so hard to to avoid it but I say lean into it. Bathe in that guilt. Let it cover you. Because I think that feeling guilty is a really, really awesome reminder of how much we care about our kids.”
I had never heard anyone put it quite that way, it’s always been ‘ignore the mom guilt’ or ‘push past the guilt’ and her statement just clicked. You don’t have to ignore it or try and push past it, just accept it’s a reminder that you are aware that you want to do your best for your kid(s) and that you’re conscious of how you try and handle things.
The book is titled “You are a F*cking Awesome Mom: So, Embrace the Chaos, Get Over the Guilt, and Be True to You.” I’ll be totally upfront and honest… I grew up in the south, in the bible belt, so when I saw the title it wasn’t something I would have just picked up, which I why I felt it was important to create this review.
“You are a F*cking Awesome Mom” is one of the most brilliant, honest books that I have ever read. In listening to the first chapter, I literally started crying because it was like validation that I was not alone in my feelings of just how overwhelming it all is. The book also helps connect the dots of why motherhood and transitioning into it is harder for women now. Leslie points out that while many of us have been raised as “hear me roar” girl, which is incredible and great, we sort of lost some of that generational knowledge of motherhood being passed down.
While (as it points out in the book) it is fantastic that women are now recognized as being capable of more than just motherhood it also makes it way more difficult than it was for previous generations because women today are having children later than prior generations meaning they’ve experienced more and know themselves a little better than they did at eighteen. I love that at one point in the book Leslie asks the question, that many of us have wondered after having a baby, “how did those teen moms do it?” Once again, it comes back around to the older we get, the more experience and knowledge we have which makes us view things from a different perspective.
I was growing someone new and somewhere in my subconscious, I must’ve known I was becoming someone new. Which meant I had to say goodbye to the woman I’d spent 32 years being. I just didn’t realize this at the time. So instead of preparing for my own transformation on top of stockpiling diapers and burp clothes, I kept telling myself I’d get back to being myself soon.
In the book, Bruce talks about how we expect ourselves to “tackle motherhood with the same self-sufficient self-gusto that we exhibited in our pre-baby lives” which is like comparing apples to…a chair. It’s two completely different things. Growing a baby inside your body and birthing that baby is a big deal. It’s a monumental experience that we’ve tried to make just another Tuesday which leads us to feel like we’re not up to par because we are judging ourselves by this measuring stick that just doesn’t apply.
You are an F*cking Awesome Mom is the book that delves into the true pre-baby checklist that all of those other baby books and baby prep classes skip over. How you are changing during pregnancy and why we feel that post-partum identity struggle.
About the Author
Leslie Anne Bruce is a New York Times Best Selling Author, Award-Winning
Entertainment Journalist, Online Community Builder, Wife, and Mother of two as well as one of my new heroes. You can check out her blog, Unpacified which was launched in 2016 with the goal of connecting with women and offering support as they fumble through motherhood. You can also find her on Instagram as leslieannebruce.
Major Points in the Book
- Motherhood is gonna come at you like a thief in the night. You never had a chance because you never saw it coming.
- No one tells you the full story
- Pregnancy is not just about growing a baby, it’s about you preparing yourself to be a mom and transitioning into this new life.
- The importance of self-care
- The truth about the Insta Mom
- Conflicting feelings are OK
- Sleep is a REQUIREMENT not a luxury. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a torture technique.
- How you feed your baby is NOT up for public debate.
I could write a much longer list, but you’ll get more from it if you read the book.
What I Loved
I related so much to this book it was just insane. My youngest is now six, and my oldest nine, but it helped me understand so much of my struggle and that it was ok. Motherhood is a big deal, which is why we struggle and sometimes fumble through. I wish this book had been around the first time that I got pregnant, I feel it would have made things easier.
I feel like OB’s should give a copy of this book to women at their first sonogram. It’s completely and totally legit. It’s the parenting book that talks about how pregnancy is the time that is preparing you for motherhood, it’s not just about growing a baby inside you and getting the world outside ready for that new life.
I understand the reluctance with the title; however, this book is full of so much that expectant moms/new moms/ moms in general, can find helpful that I think it’s worth checking out. There’s some colorful language but it’s not in an offensive manner at all (which is probably why it’s referred to as ‘colorful’).
If you have someone in your life that is expecting, or that has young kids this makes a great gift. If you are expecting or have kids, it’s something worth reading. Even though it is focused on expectant and new moms, there is a lot in there for experienced moms as well such as knowing that you weren’t alone with those feelings and understanding some of the reasons behind the struggles you face(d).
Make sure you check out Leslie on Instagram, she’s one of my favorite accounts because she is entertaining and thought-provoking.