Friday, April 9, 2010
I was a full-time working mom for over 8 months before making the decision to stay home, so I've had the unique opportunity of wearing both pairs of shoes. I must say both are equally challenging in their own right. My boss is a good bit shorter these days and highlighters and media plans have been replaced with coloring books and finger paint. In either case, my life as a mom often leaves me feeling utterly exhausted, like a candle burning from both ends. So, when I received the opportunity to review Kristin van Ogtrop's Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom, I knew it was something I'd be able to relate to.
As the editor of Real Simple Magazine, Kristin van Ogtrop has an enviable career, dependable husband and three healthy children. You could say she "has it all". Except, like most of us, she is in desperate need of a nap. And is veritably half-insane. We all need some guidance and organization for the chaos of our hectic lives. So, Kristin compiled what she refers to as an "alphabetically arranged dictionary of terms, observations, lists, complaints, questions, musings and the occasional diatribe about the little joys and major nonsense that define life for me, and untold women like me, on a daily basis."
As soon as I saw the hilarious Lego-inspired cover art, I knew I was in for a real treat. And I was right! Kristin's lexicon of domestic and career-oriented nomenclature is written with laser-sharp wit and refreshing candor. Even though I no longer work outside of the home, I found myself nodding right along in agreement, even laughing out loud in parts. Take for instance "accounting error", where you have one more child than you can reasonably handle. Or "benign neglect", in which you let go of your over-attentiveness with your first child in favor of a more negligent nature with subsequent children. One of my personal favorites was "child abuse (harmless)", which is when you're talking to a childless person who is irritating you so you begin to tell stories about your kids to get rid of them. Hilarious! I will have to make a mental note of that for future use.
I could definitely relate to the "boredom fantasy", where you think back longingly on your teenage years, when you were free of responsibility and would give your right arm to be bored again for just one afternoon. I also found the "delusions of SAHM grandeur" - or when a working mom thinks that she can be a talented stay-at-home mom because she has one fine day alone with the kids - quite amusing. I'll admit I was guilty of that myself and now that I am living the SAHM life, I can tell you it's not nearly as glamorous as it appears!
I was relieved that Kristin abstained from the "mommy wars" and was respectful of all moms, regardless of their employment status. Her words definitely made me feel less guilty for my parenting screw-ups and misadventures. The format of the book was very easy to follow and allowed you to skip sections or read out of order. Because each "chapter" consists of just a few pages each, any busy mom can squeeze in some reading during her lunch break - or in my case, naptime.
Bottom line: Just Let Me Lie Down should be a bedside table staple for all moms, working at our out of the home. Just when you feel you've reached your breaking point, just reach for this book and have a good laugh.
BUY IT: You can purchase Just Let Me Lie Down from most major book retailers and online at Amazon.com (ARV $16.49).
WIN IT: Three lucky winners are going to win their own copy of Just Let Me Lie Down!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Tell me what drives you half-insane when it comes to motherhood. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count! Remember to leave one comment per entry.
1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. If you already follow and/or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)
2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the tweet below or come up with one of your own:
Overworked mom? Find comedic relief with Kristin van Ogtop's Just Let Me Lie Down. @kris10chumley 3 WINNERS http://bit.ly/9UJced
Just leave a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)
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Giveaway will end on April 24, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by the Product Review Place. I received a free copy of this book from Anna at Hachette Book Group to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.