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The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood (Live Girls) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 22, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Live Girls
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (March 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580050298
  • ASIN: B003156C3U
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,477,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In The Mother Trip, her follow-up to the cult classic, The Hip Mama Survival Guide, Ariel Gore offers the kind of down-to-earth, truthful mothering conversations that you'd expect to have with a best girlfriend. In this collection of essays--some lasting one page, some stretching to five--Gore deftly spotlights the messy corners of motherhood: sleeplessness, depression, weird pregnancy dreams, the restless hunger for creativity, and the passionate love of children. This is comforting turf, especially for mothers who have felt patronized and bored by the numerous advice-laden mothering manuals on the market. Gore mixes straight talk with dreamier musings, using sensual details and thoughtful subtext to illuminate the spirituality of motherhood. (Her essay about being 19, pregnant, and living with a transient boyfriend in Italy is a masterfully crafted gem.) A sexy, political, and highly conscious mother who refuses to diminish herself, Gore is one of the best mothering role models to show up on the written page. In the essay "Children Need Interesting Mothers," she writes,
We need time to ourselves, moments of awareness, connections, meaningful work. We need cheap art, good sex, nights at the bowling alley and days at the beach. We need good coffee, hearty meals, lush gardens and time to relax and enjoy our lives without worrying so much that we are good enough mothers or skinny enough girlfriends or wives. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can mother our children soulfully and lead lives worth living.
Amen, sister. --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

What looks to be a breezy, sometimes irreverent, certainly untraditional book about motherhood is really worthwhile. Besides that, it's fun. Gore, a single mother, is founder and publisher of Hip Mama magazine, from which the web site originated. After a slow start (with descriptions of her pregnancy and time spent in Italy), Gore shares her feelings about motherhood and American culture in short, seemingly unordered chapters. Sprinkled throughout are autobiographical anecdotesDan unconventional childhood, parents and stepparents, welfare problems, a custody battle, and relationships with menDthat illustrate her view of motherhood. Along the way, she also debunks popular myths by asserting, "Never abandon your child, even to tough-love approaches. You are enough for your child. Loafing is good for you and your children. Never worry about having it all." (Elsewhere, in this reviewer's favorite passage, she notes, "Juggling is for circus clowns.") Gore knows that motherhood is isolating, heartbreaking, and delightful, and she's not afraid to say so.DLinda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I'm a California-born memoirist, journalist, and fiction writer--happiest working with words, trying to get closer to the truth, dreaming up ways the right words /right truths might mitigate the violence of life. I'm not sure why, but I often break my little toe. It's probably not my worst habit. I have degrees in writing from Mills College and U.C. Berkeley. I edit and publish the magazine Hip Mama and teach writing online at http://literarykitchen.com.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I read essay after essay, meaning to stop after just one more but finding myself unable to put the book down.
"artfreak"
It is like a siren-song luring you away from mama guilt and martyrdom, with headings like: "Beware Of Those Who Talk Of Sacrifice Oh, it is such a good book!
Trixie Dumont
I recommend it as the best book I have read about mothering and discovering yourself, which is The Mother Trip.
Angela Morrill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I know that I will read it again and again and pass it around to all my Mommy friends. Basically it's all about giving yourself a break and realizing that you do NOT need to be perfect to be a good mom. Perfect is an impossible notion. Good enough is good enough. Amen. Guilt is such a large part of being a parent - not being enough, not doing enough, not making enough, not having enough time, and on and on. Guilt is an unnecessary and debilitating emotion. It breeds a lack of confidence and it kills joy - two really necessary emotions for successful mommying. Ariel Gore, the author of the book is a single mom, as well as the founder and editor of Hip Mama - a `zine for women ([...] She believes that conventional advice books are "scary", and she shares her story in short essay form. There are essays about her dreams, her pregnancy, her bouts of depression, her battles with the "system" and family court, as well as her breakthroughs and personal insights. Make time for yourself (if you are unfulfilled or empty inside, you will not have anything to share with your children), throw out the concept of having it all (it's a myth and a dangerous goal to attempt to attain), be an individual (your kids will love you for it, even if you do embarrass them), and spend "no more than an hour a day on housework." I see this book as a sort of literary high-five to women everywhere. Believe in yourself and your mommying skills. Stand up for yourself. Love yourself and love your children
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ayun Halliday on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Mother Trip by Ariel Gore (Seal Press, 2000) I knew this mama was shooting from the hip by the way she cites the sheer and near-constant exhaustion of mothering a little child several times over in the first few pages. Even if you've got a little burst of energy, by the time you've lovingly, creatively, passionately wrangled the little buggers into their clothing and onto the potty, and gotten them to swallow a few morsels of vitamin-rich food, and loaded up your bag with ten pounds of pretzels and apple juice and picture books and soap bubbles (and forgotten the extra clothes that sure come in handy when they pee all over themselves), and answered 75 questions, and mopped up the spills, and combed their hair, and convinced them to wear shoes, you are exhausted. That's when you need 15 minutes, just 15 uninterrupted minutes, to lie on your side and read this book, because Ariel Gore sympathizes with your plight, while steering a mile clear of schmaltz. The few solutions she offers to the insoluble strangle hold of your own apron strings are actually helpful, like considering using the 60 bucks you were about to drop on weekly therapy appointments to hire a professional housecleaner instead; or forcing yourself to arrange time away from your child on an ongoing basis. There's no shortage of experts in the marketplace telling exhausted mothers what they need to buy, to do and not do to raise their children right. Frankly, we've got more than enough poop to deal with without paying for that kind of advice. The Mother Trip is as refreshing as a stolen cat nap in a field of clean and folded laundry.-Ayun Halliday
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By sherry on April 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ariel Gore's collection of essays is like artful finger-food served at a really good party. Each morsel is delicious, clever, well-crafted, and bite-sized -- bite-sized is something you come to appreciate in reading material if you, like I, have a pre-schooler and an infant. But I must admit, I snacked on these essays during the day and then, after the kids went to bed, I pigged out until the whole book was done.
It doesn't matter, I have a feeling I'll be reading this book in snatches for many years yet.
Like the Hipmama Survival Guide, this book offers understanding and nice big doses of reality (contrary to what the media keeps telling you, there ARE mothers of colour, single mothers, mothers who have 'jobs' instead of careers, mothers who paint, mothers who have sex, etc. out there), while avoiding doling out pat advice with a heafty side of guilt. It's an intelligent book and Gore should be congratulated on taking the stance that mothers are capable of complex thought. Maybe because the format of the book is a lot of small essays, I thought there was an excellent effort made to cover the many aspects of motherhood. Among others, there are essays about unspeakable thoughts, money and lack there of, body image, depression, housework, political activism, community, spirituality, guilt, and (my favorite) the value of giving in and indulging your inner goof-off. This should give you an idea that this isn't just another parenting book filled with advice about when babies sleep through the night and what to take to the hospital (should you opt to go to one). It's also unabashedly feminist which is a huge relief after hearing so much nonsense about feminism (esp. among women of my generation) being a dirty word.
This is pure comfort food for your brain. Fill up your plates.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "artfreak" on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Mother Trip offers commiseration and reassurance, shared experience and joyful encouragement. The Mother Trip is the friend who knows you, knows your life, loves you anyway, and best of all helps you to love yourself. At last, someone understands...
As author Ariel Gore shares her stories and thoughts, they become our stories, too. What mother hasn't wondered if she's doing the right thing, if she's the kind of mother she "should" be?
Like all my mom friends, I struggle to find time for myself while simultaneously worrying about being selfish by doing so. Do I really need to take a Shakespeare class two evenings a week instead of staying home and reading bedtime stories to the kids? Should I go to that Writers' Conference when it means I'd be gone for an entire weekend? Does it make me a bad mom if I travel to San Diego for six glorious days to visit a friend I miss terribly? Does it make me a bad mom if I love being away some times? Take the class, I imagine Ariel saying, enjoy your vacation. "However long you can afford to take," she writes, "the important thing is you take it, and take it without guilt." The beauty of The Mother Trip is that it cuts right into the core of who we are as mothers, which turns out to be far different than you may have read elsewhere. I read essay after essay, meaning to stop after just one more but finding myself unable to put the book down. A third of the way into the book I began to cry, not because the essays were sad, but because the essays, one after another, touched me, spoke to me, reminded me of the way we mothers exchange sacrifice for wholeness and then wonder why we feel incomplete. Because the essays, one after another, were so true.
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