JJ Keith interweaves discussions of what "it takes a village" really means (hint: a lot of unwanted advice from elderly strangers who may have grown up in actual villages) and a take-down of the rising "make your own baby food" movement (just mush a banana with a fork ) with laugh-out-loud observations about the many mistakes she made as a frantic new mother with too much access to high speed internet and a lot of questions. Keith cuts to the truth--whether it's about "perfect" births, parenting gurus, the growing tide of vaccine rejecters, the joy of blanketing Facebook with baby pics, or germophobia--to move conversations about parenting away from experts espousing blanket truths to amateurs relishing in what a big, messy pile of delight and trauma having a baby is. It turns out those little buggers are more durable and fun than we think they are
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In her first book, Keith, a mother of two, presents an irreverent manifesto for cavalier mothering. Her philosophy in a nutshell: “I try not to be a dick to my kids, but it’s okay if sometimes they are inconvenienced by my need to be a human in addition to being a mother.” Keith wants mothers to do what works for them, rather than drive themselves crazy in the quest for perfection. According to Keith, decisions that are often cast as “moral imperatives,” such as natural childbirth, are just not that big a deal. With ample self-deprecation, she recalls some of her parenting choices (such as zealously attending mommy groups), rails against the obsession with homemade baby food, and blasts the habit of thanking dad for “babysitting” his children. Though the chapter urging women to shelve the mommy wars is brave and important, and many new mothers will enjoy Keith’s musings, the book feels light on content. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Sept.)