The review of Mama, Ph.D. yesterday reminded me that I have two other books in the queue to write about, book reviews that are overdue through no fault of the books themselves, but just because I’ve been busy and distracted and all of that.
One of the books I loved when I was a new mom of two was last year’s release, The Other Mother, by Gwendolyn Gross. We talked about it as a group last Fall, but it’s one of those books that just keeps coming to mind in its sharp observations, its comforting prose, and its insight into the daily lives of two neighbors who don’t know whether they have anything in common.
Both mothers are busy, caring moms, who love their children more than life itself. They’re appealing characters, although not in quite the same way. The one is a brand-new mom of a newborn, worried about going back to work, worried about not going back to work, you know — doing the dance of maternity leave as she adjusts to the demands of new motherhood. The other is painted as the experienced stay-at-home-mom who has all the answers and lives a happy, if not quite jam-packed life. But as the story grows, the reader becomes invested in both their stories, truly seeing through the eyes of each mother and wondering how this maze of motherhood is best to be lived.
But the truth is somewhere far less certain. If we were to choose one character over another, the point of the book would be lost. There is more than one way to “do” motherhood, more than one solution to finding your bliss without losing yourself in the process, and more than one way to love your babies fully, completely, and with abandon. That is the beauty and the majesty of The Other Mother.
Have something to say? Leave a comment. Write a blog post. Or write a blog or journal of your own. A great resource for helping us put these thoughts into words is the new paperback Writing Motherhood: Tapping Into Your Creativity as a Mother. From daily prompts to encouragement to take the time to write, this book is a nifty little handbook that any writing mother will be glad to receive. Check it out. There are some amazing writing mothers out there, and this blog will feature a few of them as we can.