I attended a book reading last night at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland. One of my favorite blog writers, Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child and Babble.com’s Straight From the Bottle, has released her first book entitled Rockabye: From Wild to Child. I devoured the first few chapters yesterday before attending the reading, and I was completely engrossed.
Even though her story is different from mine, as all aspects of my pregnancy were planned out way ahead of time, her story resonates with me. She describes so well the feelings of a woman who abruptly switches gears in her life and questions her identity as she transitions to the role of mother. Planned pregnancy or not, parenthood feels like the first time you are thrown into a pool when you don’t know how to swim – you have to act on instinct and do your damnest to stay afloat as the water tries to suck you down. Surviving is more important in the moment than doing a perfect job!
I love Rebecca’s depiction of her relationship with her husband, as well. At the reading last night she described how difficult it was to remember why she fell in love with her husband amid the chaos of new parenthood. I doubt anyone is able to anticipate how their relationship with their partner will change when the family expands, and I share her amazement over the enduring marriages of her parents and grandparents. I have found it difficult at times to push aside the mama bear and remember that my husband is on my team – that it is not all up to me to protect and nourish our son.
I highly recommend this book (and Rebecca’s blog) to any new parent, but especially those out there who struggle with the new identity that comes along with motherhood. I think there is something in this book for all of us parents, not the least of which is a feeling that we aren’t alone in the struggles and celebrations that come along with creating life.
Rebecca was completely charming and absolutely delightful to meet. I personally love how much she curses, and laughed heartily when she explained that her son’s limited vocabulary is heavily laden with curse words. Maybe it’s a California girl thing, maybe it’s a young mom thing, or maybe it’s just our stubborn refusal to give our pre-baby selves up completely. Whatever it is, I love it. I will cherish my signed copy of her book, in which she wrote:
Ewok Mama, you are wild and wonderful and rockin’!! All my love to you and kisses for Jack. Love always, Rebecca
Rebecca Woolf is currently touring the west coast to promote her book; see her schedule here. For you local bay area folks, you can see her in San Francisco tonight at 7:30pm!
Contest time! Leave a comment to tell me a little something about your transition to motherhood (or planned transition!) and win a free copy of the book! (Winner will be chosen at random. Contest ends 4/30/08.)