Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: Confessions of a Domestic Failure

By Sara Steven

There are good moms and bad moms—and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who's trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably.

When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the Motherhood Better boot camp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she's always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

With her razor-sharp wit and knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan creates a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother. At its heart, Ashley's story reminds moms that there's no way to be perfect, but many ways to be great. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

I’ll admit to something. I made my own snap judgments while reading Confessions of a Domestic Failure. There were quite a few moments where I was aghast at some of the situations Ashley finds herself in, the awkward scenarios that crop up from out of nowhere. Like, in one scene, where a baby bottle filled with curdled, spoiled, rotten milk is discovered from the underbelly of the sofa. That image really stood out to me. I’m wrinkling my nose up right now, just thinking about it. Who knows how long that bottle had been there!

My snap judgment presented itself like this: “How could someone (a parent, no less) leave a bottle of milk under the couch for that long???” And thoughts like that one would often prelude many others while I made more snap judgments regarding Ashley’s parenting style. Which is exactly the point that I feel Laditan is trying to make here. It’s too easy to make those judgments, to have our own ideas and opinions on how someone else should raise their children. But often, we (I) judge too harshly.

Like many of us who are working hard to trudge the deep, turbulent waters of parenthood, Ashley is doing the best she can, given what she’s got. She’s been removed from the world she knew so well. A world full of corporate deadlines and paperwork, fashionable office attire and the need to be on top of her game. All of that has been replaced with poopy diapers and spit up, sleepless, endless nights and wearing the same clothing for days on end. Even if it’s covered in baby food and spilled coffee.

The Motherhood Better boot camp becomes her lifeline. A way to find herself again, and while she has her own ideas of what can come from rubbing elbows with the woman she idolizes, Ashley ends up getting way more than she bargains for. Good and bad.

As I continued on with Ashley’s story, I became humbled by her situation, finding a lot in common with her. Sure, I might do things differently, but I’m far from perfect, and who am I to place any sort of judgement on the way she chooses to parent or live her life? Especially after remembering the time my oldest son had eaten a piece of sushi that had fallen on the floor of a restaurant when he was a toddler. Yeah, talk about cringe-worthy. Or the time my youngest found a goldfish cracker that had been hidden behind the computer desk for who knows how long and quickly popped it into his mouth. These things and many more have happened to me and my children, and similar situations happen to all of us from time to time, even the parents who feel they’ve got it all figured out.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned while reading Confessions. What helps that along is how hilarious it is. And touching. I loved the scenes with all the women in the boot camp program. It made me want to sign up for something similar, reminding me that it really can take a village. Or at the very least, a great support system!

Thanks to MIRA for the book in exchange for an honest review.


Janine said...

Great review

Cori said...

Just finished this for BookClub. A friend in the book club got reminded of the gym childcare rules when she went for a run in the neighborhood instead of on a treadmill. I think the book was a bit extreme at a few points, but overall I think many things happen to mom's trying their best. I laughed so much as I read!!

Liz Parker said...

I reviewed this one as well. She does The Honest Toddler on FB and Twitter too, who've I've long followed ... hilarious stuff.

Dianna said...

Just added this to my wishlist. I think I'd love it!