Friday, November 2, 2007

The Other Mother

I’m speechless. I have too much to say. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to begin. But there is so much to say.

The book was amazing. I almost always read the last chapter when I’m a few chapters in. I like figuring out how it’s all going to end, while knowing the ending. I didn’t with this book. I wanted to rush through it to see how it ended. I didn’t want to rush through it because I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to be down yesterday. I wanted life to keep me from reading it so it would take longer.

Quick summary for those of you who have not heard of this book yet: 2 Mom’s. A SAHM with 3 kids and a Working Home with a newborn. The WM moves in next door right before her baby is born. The WM asks the SAHM to take care of her baby. It doesn’t work out. Instead it opens the door to so many insecurities each has about their decision. It opens up jealousy and competition. It ends their friendship. There are twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. You’ll need to read the book for those details.

Let me back up some. As you know, I also post at DC Metro Moms. We were invited to read Gwendolen Gross’ new book "The Other Mother". I got to exchange emails with her! Our sister site Chicago Moms Blog is having an on-line book club.

In the beginning of the book Thea, the SAHM mentions a neighbor who uses a leaf blower to shovel the snow off his driveway. He also uses a chain saw to weed. If I needed any more convincing of how much I would enjoy the book (which I didn’t BTW) this was it. MY HUSBAND HAS DONE THIS!!!! (But all that is for another post another day.)

As the story continues we truly get to know both Moms. OMG – I loved them both. I hated them both. I wanted to hug them both. I wanted to shake them both. I wanted to crawl into the pages and bang THEIR heads together. There was so much of ME in both of them.

You see, I used to work – full time. Well, most people don’t think teachers work full time – but we do. We pull in way more than 40 hours a week. But then we have 2 weeks off during the year and 8 weeks off in the summer. I always felt I never belonged to either camp. In the summer I would get to hang out with all the SAHM at the pool. But never felt comfortable and that I belonged in their group. I never felt I belonged in the WM camp either. They work till 5 or 6 and also worked throughout the summer. They had to deal with before/after school care and summer camps. I didn’t.

Now I work part-time. Kinda of. I’m doing some in-home behavior therapy for families with children on the Autism Spectrum. I’m hoping to do some home-bound teaching (but no one has gotten expelled yet). I’ve started up my own business, but it hasn’t started yet. I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I have found the right balance, for me, for right now.

But I still don’t ‘fit’ in either camp. I’m still somewhere in that ‘gray’ area. But there is something else I came to terms with sooo long ago. There is no right. There is only what works for you. For my family this works. For my family me teaching worked at the time until it didn’t work. For the 2 Mom’s in the book each works for them. What so many Mom’s don’t realize and/or forget to realize is that there is not a one-size-fits-all for parenting and finding life’s balances. We all have the same goal – to be the best that we can and to raise the best kids that we can. Instead of judging each other for our decisions we should be supporting each other. Being proud that we can all make it work in our own way.

This one is an absolute must read!!! Don't forget to join the discussion over at the Book Club too!!

Thank you Ms. Gross :)


MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Ok, you've just peaked my curiosity and will have to read this. The tease worked!

Toni said...

Me, too! I am going to have to put this one my Christmas book list.

zdoodlebub said...

so many thoughts:
1. I also read the last chapter very early on with any new book. (The only book I've ever refrained from doing that with is the last Harry Potter).
2. I also work part-time and don't know which camp I really belong to in the mommy wars - and oh how I hate that term.
3. Thanks for the tip on the new book. I've gotta get it!

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

What about praying the Rosary?
Oughta try that. If you have faith
the size of a mustard seed, your
son shall get better. I know.
I'm a NDEr. God love you!!!
-Saint Fulton Sheen