From Publishers Weekly
columnist Teitell gives her unvarnished view of life as a new mom in this latest in a spate of "tell it like it is" motherhood memoirs. Like its predecessors, Teitell's memoir is a mom-centric comedy beginning with pregnancy and ending with the revelation that she really is a good parent. Her observations walk the fine line between comic and horrifying, as when she describes a friend as "one who might
go with the less expensive softer mattress—the increased risk of SIDS be damned—if it meant she could still go to the expensive highlights place." Teitell's insistence that nannies "have become cappuccinoed, which is to say anyone can have one," is a little off-putting, although her riff on her subterfuge to hire one is amusing. Teitell occasionally comes across as self-indulgent, but for the most part, her observations are on the mark. Her account of "mommy dating"—that treacherous world of finding a mom and toddler both you and your child like for play dates—is so eerily and wonderfully accurate it'll have moms cringing. In fact, anyone who's ever felt insufficient as a parent at one time or another will empathize with Teitell. Moms, especially those dealing with toddlers, will certainly find glimpses of themselves.
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This witty memoir of one mother's first year of parenting will resonate with many new moms, especially professionals of a certain socioeconomic status who are taken a bit aback by the reality of new parenthood. Details ring true, from the fear the nanny will sense maternal incompetence, to the tendency to pack for a day's excursion as if parent and baby were climbing Mount Everest, to the temptation to put the stroller on a treadmill for babies who seem to sleep only in motion. The portrayal of a playdate as similar to an actual date is particularly hilarious, and spot on, with babies sporting new clothes in order to impress the other mothers, and moms nervously posing and responding to the perennial closing question, "Shall we do this again sometime?" Nearly every paragraph ends with an arch witticism, which gets a bit repetitive, and the leavening of genuine emotion found in Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions
(1993) is missing here. Even so, this makes for amusing light reading for new moms with a few delicious minutes to themselves. Diane FooteCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved