And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Readyby Published 10 Apr 2018
|And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready.pdf|
|Publisher||Little, Brown and Company|
for the Millennial set: a fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up.
Meaghan O'Connell always felt totally alienated by the cutesy, sanctimonious, sentimental tone of most writing about motherhood. After getting accidentally pregnant in her twenties, she realized that the book she needed--a brutally honest, agenda-less take on the emotional and existential impact of motherhood--didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.
And Now We Have Everything is O'Connell's brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O'Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the second adolescence of a changing postpartum body, the problem of sex post-baby, the weird push to make "mom friends," and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity.
Most unforgettably, O'Connell brings us into the delivery room as no writer has before, rendering childbirth in all its feverish gore and glory, and shattering the fantasies of a "magical" or "natural" experience that warp our expectations and erode maternal self-esteem.
Channeling fears and anxieties that are, shockingly, still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and intimate motherhood story for our times, about needing to have a baby in order to stop being one yourself.
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready Reviews
This is the book on motherhood that I've been waiting for. I can't count the number of times, while reading, I thought "Wow, I thought I was the only one that thought that / felt that way". Refreshingly candid about pregnancy, birth, and the early days of motherhood, And Now We Have Everything spoke deeply to me. There were parts where I was laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face, times when I was gently weeping as I remembered, and moments where I just felt so thankful that this was written proof that I was not alone in my experiences, both good and bad. Thank you for writing such a special book, Meaghan O'Connell.
I didn't expect to read this in one day but I couldn't put it down. Harrowing in a variety of ways from beginning to end, it made me think of all the conversations I've had with friends in the last few years, about living in Brooklyn and coming up on 30 and looking at the future.
Overall I thought it was gripping and devastating and also very funny where I didn't expect it. It scared me and horrified me, but it also made me feel better about everything within than I expected to. Not for the weak of heart but I am really glad I read it.
My Thoughts: Interestingly, Meaghan O’Connell’s book is subtitled “On Motherhood Before I Was Ready.” Why so interesting you might ask. Well, it’s actually for a couple reasons, one that has to do with all women and one more for O’Connell.
As a woman with now adult children, I can say for all of us that NO ONE is ever really ready for motherhood. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the more ready a woman thinks she is, probably the less ready she actually is. I think it might be a little like war. You can read all about it, and you might even get trained to go to war, but until you’ve actually been there, you just can’t know. Motherhood is an on-the-fly job. You figure it out as you go. As I said, my kids are adults and I’m still figuring it out!
Meaghan O’Connell might have been slightly less ready than the average women, but not for lack of trying. O’Connell had already known that she wanted a baby, so when she turned up pregnant at 29, the decision for her and her fiancée, Dustin, to have the baby was a relatively easy one. From the onset, O’Connell was a slave to information, to answers to the unanswerable questions of how things would go for her, before, during and after the birth of her son. She was a Google maniac constantly trying to calm her many, many fears. For me her anxiety bordered on the neurotic and her experiences, while large to her, were not really all that different from many other women’s. O’Connell implies that she wasn’t ready for motherhood because of the timing and where she was in life, but I don’t think she’d have been any more ready at 40. Her journey was her journey to take.
O’Connell’s writing in And Now We Have Everything was sharp, funny and wonderfully easy to read, though I grew weary of her unrelenting angst. I’m sure younger woman will appreciate the book more than I did. Still, I’d like to issue a warning to readers who might be considering having a first baby: And Now We Have Everything tells the events surrounding one woman’s journey into motherhood. Yours will be your own, and likely much different. Please, read with that in mind.
Original Source - Novel Visits: https://novelvisits.com/mini-reviews-...
As someone who doesn't plan to have kids, I did not expect to be so engrossed by this or to identify with it so thoroughly. It just hit a pitch-perfect tone for me; there's no navel-gazey, hippy mom bullshit in sight, just a particular mix of insecurity and mild cynicism that characterizes life for a lot of late 20-to-early-30-something women as the pressure builds to figure out your life and what you want re: career, marriage, kids.
God, did I recognize some uncomfortable parts of my younger self in the specific brand of chickenshit that she portrays early on. It's this messy mix of the drive to seem Laid Back and without needs in a relationship, the suppression of actual needs, the resulting anger and resentment (shoved down, of course), and a desperate, paralyzing pressure to figure out the "right" thing to do in any given situation. She just fucking nailed it.
Reading this book was like reading the diary of my high school friend who never grew up. It was complete navel gazing - there was no greater meaning, no truth, no deeper understanding, and most of the beginning felt incredibly false. Like she took these fleeting tiny thoughts she might have had and made them seem huge and intrusive so she could fill pages. And so it doesn’t seem like maybe I just can’t relate: I got pregnant with my fiancé before we got married too, so this should be completely in my wheelhouse. I hate that I hated it.
(To be fair, I listened to the audio and she has an incredibly whiny voice, which may have contributed to my immense dislike.)