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I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood Paperback – April 19, 2007

107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Trisha Ashworth has produced advertising for American Express, PepsiCo, and Levi's. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three children.

Amy Nobile has led public relations programs for Visa, FritoLay, and Webvan. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. The authors have been on Oprah, Today Show, 20/20, Rachel Ray, Early Show, Fox News and NPR.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081185650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856508
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 217 people found the following review helpful By D. Kerr on February 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's the timing. I've just read a book on Shant Kenderian's book about his experience getting out of Iraq alive. Then I read this book with ladies whining that middle class life in America with two kids is just so hard and I thought modern moms have lost their perspective.

I read the book because the title was catchy and I thought maybe there were some new insights I could glean. I soon realized that there was a lot of whining and complaining to wade through to get to any helpful advice.

The authors' position is that the problem with modern motherhood is "all the choices." (p. 20) I would suggest the problem with modern mothers is the expectation of being happy (and guilt and expectation-free). Motherhood has many happy moments but the purpose of motherhood is not to make you happy. Jewish author Leo Rosten sums it up best, "I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all." When we bring another life into this world, we are faced with the needs of someone else supplanting our own. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in "my needs" versus "their needs" we will find ourselves unhappy. If we live like Rosten suggests, we will find some happiness but I think we will also find something more valuable: peace and contentment.

I was also deeply disturbed by the quotes of "I adore my husband BUT..." or "I adore my children BUT..." Would any of us like to read about how someone's love for us is conditional? I love you but I'd love you more if you weren't so time-consuming. We should be telling our husbands and children that we adore them, period.
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145 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Mom from Hanford on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were some really good things to this book and some of the quotes from mothers and personal scenarios really hit home for me. The quizzes at the beginning of the chapters while at the beginning were funny, later just made me irate. I bought the book because of the great reviews and because the title alone hit home for me. It is NOT a self-help book. I am a counselor and so have read my share of self-help books and as one other reviewer stated most of the advice in here is common sense- we just have a hard time as a group putting it into effect oftentimes.

What really irked me the most, however, was that much of the writing was aimed at a specific target group of mothers, upper or upper-middle class and I will not get into lack of cultural awareness- not to mention the hypocrisy (though I am sure unintended). The constant mention of to work or not to work for mothers, nanny or no nanny, private or public school, organic or non-organic, TV or no TV. Believe it or not, the only of these I have ever had a hard time with is whether or not to work, and it is hard but some of us really have no choice (can't afford a nanny with working, let alone if I were at home as mentioned in the book numerous times). The writing is a lot about how not to let "bitchy" women and comments get to us and not let ourselves feel so judged, when in reality, I felt judged more from much of the writings than I have ever felt by family or friends. I found myself all of a sudden worrying about things that I would have never worried about before (the need to have the "perfect themed" birthday party with all of the "right" decorations and goodie bags?). NOT a book I will be going out and buying for my working, middle classed- though educated, friends and mothers.
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131 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Bernal on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I saw an interview with the authors on 20/20 and thought that it would be an interesting and funny read. I actually went to my local bookstore and bought it the next day and looked forward to curling up and digesting it from cover to cover. When I started perusing it, I was surprised to find out that it was written in an almost condescending style and tone and was touted as a self-help book. At the beginning of each chapter, it has these lists where you can check off the dumb things that you may have done since being a mother. Also, interspersed throughout the chapters are "Dirty Little Secrets" that the authors share with you. One of them was that the author had "locked her kids in the car not once, not twice, but THREE times" and acted like this fact was entertaining and funny. Sorry, but it was not. Also, they give advice after each chapter like the ever-present and common knowledge fact that "as a mother, you need to take some time for yourself". No kidding! As if these were the first mothers to discover this new tidbit of information! The whole general tone of the book acted like because we were reading the book, that we were dumb and did not know how to balance our lives as mothers, wives, career-woman and friends. I thought it was going to be a funny collection of essays, first-hand accounts of parenting and slices of their lives as mothers that I could relate to, but after finishing the book, I almost felt insulted. The cover of the book looks great, but I would not recommend it at all.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By T. Pitts on May 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
A friend passed this book along to me, and I read the whole thing on a plane ride after being away from my kids (4 mos & 4 yrs) for two days. I really needed a break from them, and the reality is that most of the "real" comments from mothers in this book really hit home! It was nice to know that other mothers have the same feelings about being at home vs working, and those crazy days when you can't wait until Dad gets home. However, as I read through the book, I couldn't help but notice how the authors really seem to focus on the hard or, quite frankly, sucky things about motherhood. The book came off to me as somewhat negative instead of its purpose to be a support. What about all the great things about being a mother? Even when I have a bad day as a mom (i.e. a child being diagnosed with chicken pox & bronchitis the day before the school picnic and last classes of dance & swim lessons, and same child falls down the basement steps amid screaming crys from neglected infant in background), there are always good things that happen, too. Really. I was reminded so strongly of this when I arrived home from my trip where I read this book and my husband and children came to greet me at the airport. My beautiful daughters squealed with delight and put their little arms tightly around me. Being a mom is not for the weak, but it is so much more than this book relates.
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