Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Book Review: Momaholic

Book Title: Momaholic
Author: Dena Higley
Pages:232
Cost: $15.99
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Booksneeze)
How I got it: Review from Booksneeze
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Synopsis:
Every mom has felt the need to be perfect.
MOMAHOLIC is one woman’s private, dramatic, and often comical invitation to peek inside a time in her life when everything fell apart, causing her to take an honest look at what she was doing right and what she’d been doing terribly wrong. With this discovery, her wacky family’s season of becoming unraveled found a new glue that would re-bond her family and unite them in a deeper and more functional way than ever before.

The real life characters: A MOM who is literally the head writer of a network soap opera … at work and at home; A HUSBAND who can’t help but scratch his head in frustration as his family’s troubles seem to spiral out of his control; an autistic SON; a popular DAUGHTER who is suddenly pregnant; an ADOPTED DAUGHTER pulled from the jungles of Vietnam; and an ADOPTED SON rescued from the streets of Ethiopia.

This is a story showing the speed with which a “normal” family can fall apart. With the family running around as the tornado sirens roared warnings to take cover, mom becomes the biggest mess of all and ends up finding a whole new freedom for her soul.
My Review:
I enjoyed this book, I got a few chuckles and even thought about things I never thought of before. Now granted this book is written from a Christian perspective and the author discussed her faith a bit, but it wasn't a 'preach to the masses' kind of book, she simply shared how her faith helped her navigate through her life.

Even as I read I took a few notes and these are the things that occurred to me while reading, many of them she answered and many more are for each of us to ponder, but mostly I loved that she pointed out that many women who are mothers are setting themselves up for some serious disasters later on in life.  She got down and dirty about what she was doing wrong and how she learnt the hard way to fix it. I loved that she didn't attempt to make it seem as if her life was better because she lived a certain way or went to a certain church, she shared the good the bad and the ugly about her family and her life and what gave her the strength to make it through those tough spots and come out better on the other side.  I personally think if more people shared their stories this way then more people would be willing to listen to them instead of writing them off because they are attempting to say they are better than everyone else because of their chosen faith.

While I was reading it occurred to me to be very thankful for my mother, she was never a helicopter mom, she worked and we had a nanny, but my mother passed off most of the household cleaning to the nanny so that she could spend time with us doing the important things which included everything from homework to teaching us how to cook, and bake. As I was reading i wondered where did American women get the concept that they had to do 'everything', it was only a few generations ago that women had helpers in the home, heck when I was younger my mom had one, if you suck at cleaning why stress over it?? Why not pass it on to someone who can?? And why aren't your children allowed to help in the home?? My mother NEVER came into my room to clean, for as long as I had a room as a child it was my duty to clean it up, the only thing the nanny would do is the things I wasn't physically able to do, like dusting the tall furniture or the windows, but I learnt early on how to sort my laundry so the nanny could wash it and when i was old enough I learnt how to use the machines.

Perhaps this is a class issues?? I grew up solidly upper middle class, I went to private school, but my mother wasn't one to believe that meant I wasn't allowed to learn how to take care of myself, as she pointed out, the only way I was getting her money or her house was when she dies and she wasn't ( and still isn't) dead yet so I have to do it on my own. I met many girls in college who had my similar background who didn't know how to operate washing machines, how to hem a dress or even some who didn't know how to iron; I also had classmates and friends who were from the lower socioeconomic scale who could do a whole lot more, is it that those who don't have it teach their kids how to get it, keep it, maintain it, & appreciate it?? One of my classmates bought enough sweaters to wear everyday so she didn't have to do laundry because her mother never taught her, so she needed to last until her mom drove into school in two weeks to pick up her laundry.  I read this book and laughed but totally understood what she was talking about because I knew so many classmates who had these parents. In the book Higley talked about women she knew who refused to let their children work for minimum wage because they shouldn't work so little, and that right there explains so much about the American culture. People act as if they are too good to do 'those jobs', what happens when you get laid off?? In this economy it's best to teach your children to get an education but NEVER turn your nose up at a paying HONEST job.

I did however have a few issues with her writing, in the very beginning of the book, when she discussed her children she made a distinction I'm not even sure she herself noticed, but it stuck out to me, or maybe I'm sensitive because I'm Black, but when discussing her children, she noted her son Conner, her daughter Jensen & her other daughter Addie, then she states " my Ethiopian son" when she mentions her last child the FIRST thing she mentions is his race and the fact that he is adopted. Umm looking at the pictures we can see that their are two adopted children, yet when she first discusses her second daughter she doesn't mention that she is Asian and adopted. Perhaps because I am currently studying to become a foster mother, and have read and know that making the distinction like these separates the child and puts them at a distance, even as she was describing his endeavours she kind of distanced him from the rest of the family. I don't know maybe I'm being sensitive, but it stuck out to me in those first few chapters, she then later on discusses the adoption and the birth of all her children and how they fit in the family and you can read how much she loves them and how they fit as a unit (at least from what she has written it , it's almost as if two different people wrote the book, it started out distant and then she gets more personal.

Even though she doesn't get into all the deeper issues that clearly there in her life, including her relationship with her husband, she did grow( at least that's what she said). I recommend this as a good what the heck not to do (she even says so). It's a quick fun read.  She does have some stuff in there I wasn't really sure she needed especially the story about the Cat who had AIDS (didn't know it was possible but there you go you learn something new everyday).



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