Monday, August 25, 2003

Book Review: Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea Buchanan

Book Review: Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea Buchanan
Stacey Greenberg

Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It is a collection of essays on the culture shock of new motherhood. (As an anthropologist and world traveler, I am disappointed in myself for not coming up with this idea first!) The essays are broken into four sections: Mother Love (Honeymoon stage, the first month), Mother Shock (crisis, months two to six), Mother Tongue (recovery, months seven to nine), and Adjustment (months nine to twelve). Having a son who just turned one, I related to all four sections.

Andrea’s writing is really relaxed and engaging. Mother Shock contains 31(derful) essays, all of which are fairly short and often sweet. I especially loved “Fear of the Double Stroller,” “Confessions of a Bottle Feeder,” and “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Playgroup.” Andrea’s essays do not tell stories of the “super mom” or the “soccer mom,” but the stories of real life moms like my friends and me. Her analogies and references to the feelings one experiences upon entering the realm of motherhood are enlightening and thought provoking. While reading this book, I felt compelled to nod my head and constantly inform my partner of my disbelief at how much I could relate to Andrea and her adventure into motherhood. I realized that I was not strange or inadequate, that there are indeed mothers who feel the same tinge of uncertainty that I felt in my new roll as “mother.” Andrea’s stories leave the reader feeling good, not guilty. This book is a true celebration of Motherhood and a resource for mothers everywhere.

Please, do yourself a favor and buy this book. Or buy it for a friend. At the very least, ask your local library to stock it.

Andrea Buchanon’s work has been featured in the collection Breeder: Real Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers and in on-line parenting magazines, including's MomsOnline and Her syndicated column "The Dark Side" runs on various websites, including the site she created for Philadelphia mothers, Before becoming a mother, Andrea was a classical pianist. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, back before she knew how to play the Teletubbies theme song. She lives with her family in Philadelphia. For more information about Mother Shock, visit

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