Saturday, July 3, 2010

When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson

When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer & Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be by Amy Wilson
(Non-Fiction)

Motherhood is a walk of life unlike any other. No matter how many opportunities you have to be around kids, until they are your own you can't possibly understand the complete affect that mommyhood (or daddyhood) will have you. You strive every moment of every day to be your absolute best. With television, magazines, and self help books promoting the utmost perfection you see your options as limited. I must not fail. I must not be subpar. Being a parent will not own me; I will own being a parent. Thoughts like these rush through any parent's head as he or she is in the throws of parenting an at home child. It's God's gift to us. He has to worry over us and we in turn have to worry over our own offspring. It is simply a fact of life.

But even knowing this is a fact that encompasses EVERY parent and not just you alone does not make living through the situation(s) any easier. Raising kids is a chore and a half. It's a hard job, and it wouldn't be completely with lots of up's and down's. You know what else? It is completely and utterly worth every minute. Being a parent is a gift unlike any other, and you can never fully understand that until you've had the opportunity to try it on firsthand.

Amy Wilson, author of When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be, understands this theory all too well. As she goes on to describe in her book, being a mother is anything but easy. You constantly feel like you have to measure up to the world's standards and by the world's standards I mean those of all parents within a 100 mile radius of you. You don't want your child to be considered "that" child or the one whose parents do everything wrong. You don't want to be solely responsible for scarring your child for life simply because you didn't get him/her into the best preschool available in your area or because you choose to spend time washing your hair and dressing yourself instead of using that valuable time to pick out darling son or daughter's best outfit for church. It's a constant struggle to live up to the expectations that society puts upon you as a parent, and still at the end of each day as long as you've done your best you have to realize that nothing more is necessary. Your children will not grow up stunted. They will not, in all likelihood, hate you. Infact, they'll probably even love you.

I myself adore being a parent, even when the times get tough and it's hard to know what I should do. Now 7+ years in, I couldn't even being to imagine my life without my little girls. All the joy they bring to me on a daily basis is well worth the internal struggles I may go through when weighing up my own inadequacies as a parent. Amy Wilson, like me, understands this. She understands that no matter how perfect a parent you strive to be, you'll never quite attain that golden halo. Because despite your best efforts, you'll often times end up being merely mediocre.

I think Amy put it best when she said, "Again and again, motherhood will throw at me things for which I will feel, and may indeed be, completely unprepared. What will decide whether or not I am a good mother is not whether I am ready for such times, but how I move through the door." Does that not sum it up beautifully? Parenting is such a simple yet completely complex adventure. Like those childhood books where you choose how the story plays out, there is no definitive plan you must follow. There will be options along the way where you will have to decide what is more important and what direction you want to go. Assuming you truly put your child's best interests at heart then in the end your child will turn out just fine.

As a parent you will bend over backwards on behalf of your child, and still you may not always feel appreciated. Even when you've lived up to and surpassed your own incredibly high expectations, you may not find yourself receiving that nod of acknowledgment you so deeply crave. Whether it's at home, school, church, or even among friends; unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Amy describes just this in the story she tells about helping her son work on an extravagant class scrapbook which was to detail, in pictures, his weekend visit with the class [stuffed] pig. All the previous entries in the photo scrapbook were very extreme and anything but boring. Amy felt an urgent need to spice up her family's usually boring weekend at home, but no one else was feeling the urge. Met with a lack of indifference from her son, Amy was left to complete the project on her own. Spending an unseemly amount of time making it just right, Amy anxiously awaited her son's return from school that Monday afternoon so she could hear all about how much the teacher and class loved the newly scrapped pages. "Once again, I had been had. Not only were my exertions unappreciated, they were not even noticed. However, had I handed in a picture of Connor's unopened backpack with a caption saying "This is where Penny spent the weekend at our house. Then she suffocated. The End," that would have been certain to come back and bit me in the ass. The things a mother does well are always invisible compared to the things she does badly." This just goes to show that in the end it really shouldn't be about what other people think, say, or do, but what you, yourself, are ready and willing to do for the pure and simple fact of doing it for your child.

Truthfully, I could go on and on about this subject, but it's one I too find particularly close to my heart. The honest to goodness truth of the matter is though, I'm no where near as funny as Amy. So, rather than me prattling on and on about my own thoughts and opinions on the subject, let me just direct you to Amy's book. When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be is by far one of the funniest books on parenting I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It's no wonderful Amy is the star of her own popular one-woman show titled Mother Load. (Which I might add, I really really wish would come to Oklahoma!!!) It's a hilarious tale of motherhood through the eyes of one of us. Amy writes from within the inner sanctum of mommyville, capturing perfectly the charm and sheer craziness of being a parent (mom or dad). With a unique perspective that only someone on the inside can have, Wilson shares some of her darkest mommy moments and how through them she became an even stronger mom, woman, and wife. It's candidly smart and funny, and is for sure a book any mother would be blessed to read.

Thank you to Amy and her agent who allowed me this review opportunity. It's been an incredible delight and honor!

~Bookish Mom aka RebekahC

5 comments:

嘉玲 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

陳延doraramirezDGD尹 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

竹青 said...

人生最可憐的是半途而廢,最可悲的是喪失信心,最遺憾的是浪費時間,最可怕的是沒有恆心。..................................................

吳婷婷 said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................................

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...

有用的才華若不用,便如同日晷儀放在陰暗之中............................................................