Monday, December 13, 2010

Slummy am I

I've gone from unanimous to slummy. And before you think that's a bad thing, let me reassure you, it's bad. It's just not as bad as it could be.

See, I just finished reading the book "Slummy Mummy" by Fiona Neill.

I'm not much of a modern literature person. Most books I read are set well before the 1800s. OK, either that or they at least pertain to something that happened well before the 1800s. But a friend of mine recommended "Slummy Mummy" and when it caught my eye on the shelf at the library last week (it has a pale blue cover and is quite eye-catching), I snagged it.

And I read it.

And I breathed a sigh of relief that marriage is still a solid place where my husband isn't anywhere near as OCD as the husband in the book but still does things the same way every day and tolerates the chaos that I bring into the house. Even though I'm the OCD one, it still feels like I'm also the one letting in all the chaos, too. How is this possible?

A newspaper headline of the book would read "Mom Survives Midlife Crisis." If there was a subtitle, it would read "Survival of 3 Boys Still Questionable."

I really loved the book.

It made me have hope and brought me a lot of peace. The best part was being able to relate to the main character, even if that was disturbing at times. For example, she has one go-to dress that she wears to all semi/formal social occasions. She says that at one point it fit her beautifully but that over the years as her hips and waist have broadened, it now wraps higher and higher and fits a little more snugly each time.

Preach it, sister.

She talks about how she used to have a "real" career as a mom on a news show. I used to be a reporter for a small-town newspaper. Not quite the same level of prestige, but there's still that "used to have a life" element about it. Now my life revolves around feeding various critters smaller than I am and wondering what's for dinner and pondering if my current stock of bras can last another season because I'm not in the mood to buy more until I lose the 15 pounds I've put on this year... and I have a boy with me at all times who's just at the age to think Victoria's Secret is verboten and get the giggles at all the mannequins in lingerie.

She talks about all the foot-in-mouth moments that inevitably happen when you're a mom, like blurting out the answers to questions meant for kids in group settings... or being politely pulled aside by other parents and/or teachers because one of the children is doing something socially inappropriate yet again. Not that I've been there, either.


Not me.

*snort* NOT.

Mostly, the character gets it (I feel the need to use lots of italics for emphasis today). She understands that even as we moms enter the Middle Ages, aka the Dark Ages, we still need things to be shaken up once in a while... but not too much. She correctly portrays the craziness of a single day in the life of any parent and the frustration we feel as moms when our husbands agree to "babysit" for us and get more mileage out of one night with the kids than we get for an entire month... or sometimes year... of the same thing. She relates to how family vacations usually aren't and refers to more put-together parents as "Yummy Mummy" or "Alpha Mum." You know who they are. I can list more than half a dozen of them.

I'll shut up now, because the book is much, much more than I've made it sound. All I'll say is... go read it.

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