When I first sat down to read Bad Mommy by Willow Yamauchi, I had no idea what to expect. I knew a little bit about Willow’s philosophy from the recent guest post she wrote for my site, but I wasn’t sure how the book would come together for me. Would it be humorous recounts, matter-of-fact memoirs or a lightly presented parenting manual? It’s been a long time since I sat down to read a book without having a clue what it would be like, but that’s how I felt when I first opened the pages of Bad Mommy. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book:
Women are expected to embrace the beautiful gift of becoming a mommy. Giving birth, nourishing our young – these things are the fulfillment of a life’s ambition. You’ll be spoken of in the same breath as patriotism and apple pie. There you’ll be: on a pedestal, admired, happy. All you have to do is be a good mommy.
Alas, that is a lie. That creature: a figment of our imaginations. The truth is, you will fail. The truth is, we all fail. Bad Mommy celebrates the parenting continuum from Joan Crawford to June Cleaver. Chances are you already know the mistakes you make, but what about everyone else’s?
Wonder no longer; you are not alone. For the first time ever, twenty-two of your comrades will peel back the veil of denial to confess their fears and shame and reveal the dirty little secret – every last one of us is a bad mommy.
Once I’d read through a few chapters, I figured it out. The book is often humorous, always lightly written and packed with all the high standards we, as mothers, hold ourselves to in order to ensure that we are being the best mothers that we can be. The only problem is, often the rules completely contradict each other in a very classic “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” manner. And once a mom realizes that, she’s free to stop trying to do the impossible and just do the best she can.
The true-life stories in the book range from heart-warming to hilarious to downright absurd and are sure to help any hesitant new mother feel a bit better about herself. Because once I started reading, I noticed that women were getting inappropriate questions and “you should know better” attitudes whether they were old, young, meat-eaters, vegans, working parents, homemakers, single or married!
Which to me, made the true message of Bad Mommy one that we can all use now and again: “Lighten up, Momma! You’re doing just fine!” In our efforts to be the best mother possible, Willow feels we’re all chasing the dream of being a “good mommy.” And the dream is impossible to achieve because there’s always going to be a new study, scientist, celebrity or nosy neighbour to let you know that you’re doing something “good moms” don’t do.
So if you’re looking for permission to relax and loosen up a little, Bad Mommy is a great choice for you. It’s a fun and entertaining read that reminds every mother that we’re all bad mommies in some way or another, so why not embrace it, accept it and move on to the only thing that’s really important…loving our little miracles for all we’re worth!