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on March 12, 2008
I LOVED this book. After being successful at nearly EVERYTHING I ever did hearing things like "It changes your life but in a good way" made me confident that not only would I love being a mother I would excel. How dead wrong I was. No one prepared me for the challenges of motherhood- not even my own mother or my closest friends. My child did not have colic and I was not post pardom- believe me I know I was in therapy. Having a child is culture shock and I wish I had an honest account of what motherhood was like. Being blessed with a "healthy" baby that I got to sleep within 8 weeks was not enough for me to "love" being a mother. It was a struggle. I would have walked through fire to save my child but mostly wanted to escape to Mexico. This book is a heart felt admission to one women's struggles and I wish more women and mothers were honest about the joys and pitfalls of the newest and hardest job you will ever have in your life. And it does not make anyone a "bad" person or mother to admit!
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on December 20, 2009
Let me say first: I'm so glad that Vicki wrote this book. Like the others of this genre that I've read in the past couple of years since I had my first child, Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out With the Diapers and A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother, it adds to a reassurance of sorts that I'm not utterly alone. And that's what I'm looking for really.

Before I had children, the closest thing I had to exposure of mothers and babies consisted of those things you witness in a store. And there's usually two kinds of mothers (with a small fraction falling in between, and thus being less-noticeable) - the ones that are flogging overtired screaming kids at a time when any reasonable mother would have their child in bed, and you're thinking "Oh, poor kid, I am SO not going to be *that* kind of mother." And then there are these placid-looking women, their hair is done, they wear make-up and pretty (clean) clothes, and everything their kids say, they respond to with a sentence that ends in a high lilt. I don't suppose I really thought I'd be that kind of mom, but since I've had children, I've wondered, are these women really as happy and engrossed as the lilt would have you believe, or is it just part of the social we're-in-public script?

I've wondered how many women enter parenthood, having all their lives been utterly prepared to be independent, feminist, autonomous beings, only to have no preparation at all for the realities of motherhood?

As evidenced by the birth and rearing of my second child, preparation for the for the absolute worst case scenario can allow you to enjoy having any child-rearing situation that is the exception. Our first was 2 weeks sleepy, 5 months colicky (8-10 hour screaming spells. daily). Our second, though I expected her to be the same, was an entirely different - though not blissfully easy - baby. But I was prepared, and overall was better able to cope with the difficulties she presented (like when she developed eosinophilic proctocolitis at 4 months of age and began pooping blood).

So, unlike many of the terrified readers of this book, I think it should be mandatory pre-childbirth reading. I wish I had read this *before* having kids. Like my dad always said (almost jokingly, mind you), "Keep your expectations low and you'll rarely be disappointed." I mean, if you go into this whole venture knowing that you might not sleep for 5 months, that the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding contains only one true statement - and that's the title - and by the way, that some of just don't have what it takes to be great 'artists' - And if you know that babies sometimes don't just cry, they scream and scream and scream until your brain feels like its been in a blender, and you don't remember your own name, and you find yourself browsing the refrigerator when you intended to go pee, and you can't remember just how long you've been sitting there staring at that bottle of ketchup not understanding what you're seeing, and then... wait, what was I supposed to be doing again? When your life is turned freaking upside down, you can comfort yourself by saying you knew this could happen, and it isn't like a meteor dropped out of the sky and blasted everything you thought you knew and understood about the world out of existence. Maybe it could prevent that massive train wreck of disappointment, inadequacy, and self-loathing when all the sometimes-half-truths you read in the Sears' books turn out to have no relevance to you or your current situation.

So, I think that in a world where we don't communicate 'real' things as often as we should, that a book which lays out one woman's truth for all to pick apart and critique and maybe glean some profound new knowledge of motherhood from - whether it's applicable to your own situation or not - is an act of bravery and kindness to all women. I know that I still censor myself in daily conversations, and that I've avoided altogether writing about my experiences as a mother because I simply don't have the confidence to overcome the inevitable negative comments and blatant judgments (i.e. Vicki would have bonded with her baby if only she'd had a midwife) that this account of mothering and others like it draw.

So, why did I give it only four stars?

I wish I'd read it sooner. There were things in the book that didn't 'click' for me, because of differences in viewpoints, parenting styles, and there are certain parts of the book where Vicki portrays her attitude as being really cavalier on a number of occasions. I'm not sure if this is how she actually felt or what was conveyed by her style of writing and the distance she had from her situation when she began writing.

Too, I couldn't relate to virtually anything in the second half of the book. I've never gone back to work. And, in spite of my reservations about allowing the whole breastfeeding, co-sleeping, stay-at-home-mom thing (and all the many many details of trying to attain perfection in that area) rule my entire existence, they are things which for all practically purposes have swallowed the person I used to be an spat her out in some murky form I don't recognize or know what to do with. So maybe I'm a little envious of Vicki's release from a good percentage of the day-to-day drudgery and repetition of motherly duties, and her ability to find herself again. I don't think this works out so quickly for stay-at-home-moms. Or maybe I'm wrong and the rest of them are 'loving every minute of it'

In any case, I certainly wouldn't write the book off just because you, as a reader, might not agree with or understand every moment of it. The truths and the honesty it contains are worth far more than these small differences.
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on May 28, 2008
My oldest child is now 10 years old. But reading this book brought back the brutal reality that I felt all those years ago.
Kudos to the author for exposing her deepest feelings of inadequacy and "bad mommy" moments. I myself was plagued with the same thoughts.
It does get easier as your child gets older. I myself did not bond with my firstborn until he was at least 5 months old. Take heart new moms, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Great book!
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on January 17, 2008
I picked up this book and could not put it down until I'd finished it. Glembocki has a real gift for being brutally honest - saying what so many people think but rarely utter - and doing so in a really hilarious and page-turning way. Memoirs can often seem cheesy or self-aggrandizing and this was neither. Sometimes shocking, often funny, extremely well written, and very moving.
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on February 11, 2008
What a great book! Vicki has written what most of us are afraid to say aloud-that becoming a mother isn't all peaches and cream! I think many new mothers will relate to this book. I highly recommend it!
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on January 6, 2015
This was a real page-turner. Very well written. The way Vicki told her story was very touching. I am grateful for having discovered this book. The style and the sense of humor may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it really spoke to me. I enjoyed this book so much, I was sad to see "100%" on my Kindle progress bar.
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on April 4, 2011
I read this book cover to cover in one day. It was totally therapeutic. The author was refreshingly candid and open about how she felt after the birth of her daughter. It was a remarkable read. I didn't know how much I needed to read this book until I was finished. Thank you, Vicki, for writing this book. Wonderful!!! Very much needed by many women.
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on May 21, 2011
I purchased this book because it seemed entertaining, and had pretty good reviews on amazon. I can't put this book down! The author Vicki gives a brutally honest look at the first nine months of motherhood. After having my son, I noticed that the "sugar and spice and everything nice" attitude didn't exist for me and my child. Lot's of feelings that no one warned me about and no one dared to discuss (not having an immediate attachment to my child, longing to go back to work to get a break, not sure if mommyhood was the right choice) Vicki mentions them all. I found myself nodding in agreement for much of the book. Since all of my family and friends seem to be perfect mothers whose main passion in life is the color of their child's poop, this book gave me a big sigh of relief, and let me know that someone out there feels this way, and it's actually normal! Thanks Vicki :)
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on March 11, 2013
I appreciate a mom who tells it like it is -- but I feel this writer focused a little TOO much on the negative and barely mentioned the good parts, which she says that she has. She devotes page after page to the lack of emotion she feels toward her daughter, the help she doesn't get, the problems that came up... and then there are a few sentences about the good, how she came out of the problem times, etc. I'd recommend this book for moms who might want to feel that they weren't alone in feelings of isolation/being overwhelmed, etc. but NOT for anyone who is just looking at an honest take at motherhood. I read this while pregnant and it basically terrified me.
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2008
I loved this book. The second nine months is the true story of Vicki Glembocki's journey into those first few months after childbirth. Although the story is a memoir, Glembocki writes it so well that it reads like a novel - a novel you won't put down until you are finished. From beginning to end, Glembocki bravely bares her soul for the new mom's benefit and cleverly manages to hit all the "new mom" topics through her personal experience. From breastfeeding, to newborn crying, to changes in relationships, to new mom bonding, to finding other new mom friends, to back to work issues, Glembocki manages to cover them all with wit and candor. I found her new mom tale "spot on accurate." It is so exciting that truth is finally coming out. Take advantage of the gift this author has created, New Moms, and read about her experience. You will find that you are not alone, that you will survive, and that success as both a mother and an individual is possible!
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