Work Title: A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum
Work Author(s): Meredith O'Brien; Jana Christy, illustrator
8 illustrations, 304 pages, Softcover $16.00
Reviewer: Chris Arvidson
Young mothers who feel that American culture is sending them "all the wrong messages about motherhood" will find a dose of camaraderie from this book. The author aims, humorously, to dispel tired suburban-mom myths, combining one part of her own mothering experiences with another part of her observations on popular culture's judgments and expectations.
A Suburban Mom compiles a series of O'Brien's columns previously published in Boston's Parents & Kids magazine, organized by subject, including sections on: "Motherhood, etc.," "Pregnancy, Birth, and Other Bloody Things," "Growing Pains," "On the Home Front," and "Random Ramblings." The length of the essays is in keeping with the likely reader's daily reading availability---they are short and succinct in their language and messages.
O'Brien is a former political reporter for The Boston Herald and The Union-News; she understands how to get to her topic quickly. Her essays cover the time period in her life from the birth of her twins through sending three children to elementary school. She takes herself in stride, and most of the humor is at her own expense. When she relays her experiences as a mother of toddler twins, readers will get a sense of her desperation for time alone. She confesses that her internal nickname for her children...