Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mother Daze: Tales from the Imperfect Playground by Christine Carr

Description from
"Have mothers gone mad? They magically do it all, yet never quite think they've accomplished enough. Christine Carr helps us to realize that we need to start recognizing the comedy, give mothers some credit, and take a good hard look at the ridiculousness of high-octane parenting. While she does not pretend to have all the answers, nor claim to have this parenthood thing all figured out, she does provide some hard-hitting anecdotes and advice in her first book, MOTHER DAZE."

My thoughts:
This book was just right for me, I found so many points where I agreed with the author and loved the way she expressed herself. There were parts of the book that were laugh out loud funny and it was an easy, quick read. It never felt like work, it kind of reminded me of how when you open a bag of potato chips and mean to just eat a few you somehow look down and see you ate the whole thing. I would sit down to read and find that I had read just about the whole thing.

I enjoyed how Carr was realistic about a lot of things and really recognizes how all moms are doing a lot, even when they don’t feel like they are doing enough. I was a bit jealous of the school district she worked for that offered one year maternity leaves. When my first two children were born I was had a teaching position but our district offered 6 to 8 weeks (depending on the type of delivery you had) and you could take up to 15 weeks by using Family Medical Leave. I also had the option of taking a leave of absence but there was no guarantee where you would be working when you returned, just that you would have a job at one of the schools and our district was huge!

It was nice to hear someone admit that pregnancy isn’t always fun. I love my children but did not really enjoy being pregnant most of the time and she got that. She told a story of how her own mother jokes that if anyone made an advertisement for the job title of “mom” with all it’s responsibilities no one would apply or if they did they would demand better pay.

Even as a PE teacher she recognizes the crazy demands for youth sports organizations, plus points out how so many moms feel pressured to sign really young children up for multiple classes. She was frank about conflicts and misperceptions with her husband, like his idea that playgroups were just relaxed time with other moms that she was so lucky to have. (While a playgroup can be fun, it is rarely all that relaxed as you do need to watch your own children as well as monitor how they are interacting with other children and depending on the personalities of who is playing there can be some tears, fighting and more. Not always of course, but it is always a possibility in the playgroup pot!) She suggests that before a man criticizes how things are done he should actually try doing them.

Most importantly she really suggested that as moms we remember to make time for ourselves. Her solution of a 6 am Saturday yoga class isn’t my idea of time to myself, but I can see her point about the need.

Overall this was a fantastic read. I am so glad I had the chance to read it and I already know a friend or two I am going to suggest it to.

About this book:
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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good read for moms. I had a friend who was allowed 2 years maternity leave from her school district. Though I think they were trying to get rid of that.