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Customer Review

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, honest account of emotional frailty and strength, September 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (Paperback)
This book is a pleasure to read. Fast, nervous, searching--it's a great reassurance to any woman experiencing the very real demands of pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering.
Lamott is a self-confessed non-superwoman--preoccupied with Sam in the early months of his life, it is as much as she can do to brush her teeth, let alone get out of bed. Writing, her life's work? She obviously misses it, but for a few difficult months, even as she is sole-breadwinner for her little family--she just can't get up the energy to do it. The reader knows that she finished this book, that she kept on writing--but the reader also understands that for a certain time period Lamott was paralyzed by her new experience.
The book is very obviously adapted from a real journal--prior to Sam's birth, she worries about the fact that he is male. She worries about his alien genitals, and goes for circumcision because it's obviously what she likes in a man, as much as it is for any health reasons. These worries fade once Sam is born, replaced by the reality of colic, poop, and struggle for a balance between "Sam-time" and "Mom-time." It shows Lamott's talent as a writer that this sequential experience of changes in her baby's life comes as a strength, not a weakness.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2007, 2:26:57 PM PST
J. Swift says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 19, 2010, 5:34:58 PM PST
I totally agree. I think what may have drawn me to and kept me in this book to the end was the fact Lamott is not, as you point out, supermom, not expert doling advice and how-to's or the six step plan for successful parenting. Instead, she just provides the raw, honest, funny stories of her first year of parenthood. Getting ready to be a dad, nearly every other book out there just made my head spin. But something about Lamott's take set me at ease. Gave me hope I would figure it out. I didn't find anything similar from a dad's point of view, so I wrote one - The Faith of a Child

Posted on Jan 19, 2010, 5:38:17 PM PST
I totally agree. I think what may have drawn me to and kept me in this book to the end was the fact Lamott is not, as you point out, supermom, not expert doling advice and how-to's or the six step plan for successful parenting. Instead, she just provides the raw, honest, funny stories of her first year of parenthood. Getting ready to be a dad, nearly every other book out there just made my head spin. But something about Lamott's take set me at ease. Gave me hope I would figure it out. I didn't find anything similar from a dad's point of view, so I wrote one - The Faith of a Child

Posted on Feb 7, 2014, 10:54:15 PM PST
L. Wilson says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2014, 3:10:32 PM PDT
Candy says:
Much better to make this healthy choice when he is an infant than to wait until he is old enough to make it for himself. The pain and suffering is much greater as he is older. And, it is silly to compare to a female being circumcised...who would do that?
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