When did I get like this? : the screamer, the worrier, the dinosaur-chicken-nugget-buyer, and other mothers I swore I’d never be
by Amy Wilson
Over the last seven years of long days with little children, I have had many moments of joy, calm, and peaceful reverie. This book is about the other moments.
About the Book
“What kind of mother feeds her kids dinosaur chicken nuggets . . . three times a week? What kind of mother lets hand washing slide after using the toilet, as long as it was just Number One?
When Did I Get Like This?”
I read a good portion of this book on a camping trip and then finished it in an airport during a long day of travel. While camping my husband took the kids down to the concession on a Saturday night to listen to a small town band and eat ice cream. I was more than happy to hang back in our pop-up in the air conditioning and listen to the near silence (the cicadas were pretty darn loud!). I will grab a minute of alone time whenever and wherever I can find it…even if it is in the middle of a state park with, gasp, no cell service and thus no internet access!
As I read this book, I dog-eared at least a dozen pages so that I could come back and quote them to you. Explanations of why men can’t multi-task, why we have to give fifteen step instructions lest the job not get done right (i.e, the way we want it done), why we feel the need to do things to perfection when half-ass is probably good enough. But I think the book is better read for yourself without me giving spoilers.
It’s not that Amy and I share the same path, it’s that I can relate to her journey as she became a mother. Whereas she had a difficult time getting pregnant and an easy time breastfeeding, my path was the complete opposite. But it’s the sarcasm and snark (who, me?!) that helps her deal with the stresses of mothering young children that I appreciate.
I especially nodded in agreement when she went to the Baby and Me class with her third child and had to contain herself when interacting with some first-time moms. As a veteran mom, I come across the same attitudes from some parents in my son’s preschool class who are first timers. (I can feel my eyes rolling just thinking about some of the parents.)
I will give you one quote that perhaps is applicable to my fellow d-moms and myself, even if it’s for a completely different reason. Amy says towards the end of the book after departing a flight with a child who threw up on her a dozen times and received no assistance from the flight attendants:
Again and again, motherhood will throw at me things for which I will feel, and may indeed be, completely unprepared. What will decide whether or not I am a good mother is not whether I am ready for such times, but how I move through the door. (p. 243)
I kind of feel that way about being handed a diabetes diagnosis in my young child. Of course none of us were prepared for our children to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, we weren’t prepared for the sheer mental and physical exhaustion of their care, we weren’t prepared to become doctors, nurses, dietitians, short-order cooks and waitresses (okay, maybe we were already short-order cooks and waitresses for our families). But so many of us have taken the diagnosis and walked through that door to a world of support and advocacy, whether it’s support and advocacy for others or just our own children. We rise to the occasion out of necessity of keeping our children alive, but end up going beyond what is expected of us to just get the job done.
It’s often so easy to feel like a failure when we’re handed an A1c that’s higher than we would have liked or expected. But we have to remember that we aren’t being graded. We are doing the best we can given the circumstances and knowledge we have at that time.
So while most of my “review” has everything to do with diabetes and nothing to do with the topics in her book, I think you will appreciate hearing another parenting story because you will see that other moms who might seem on the surface to have it all together, actually have their own struggles.
And some moms, like Amy, can actually sit back and laugh about it.
Learn more about Amy Wilson on her website.
Purchase When did I get like this? : the screamer, the worrier, the dinosaur-chicken-nugget-buyer, and other mothers I swore I’d never be by Amy Wilson from my affiliate Amazon.
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Links to bookstores are affiliate links and are provided so that you can find the books easily. I personally utilize the public library quite a bit, especially for audiobooks and fiction. I received this title for review consideration. Please read the disclosure statement regarding affiliate links. Book descriptions are taken directly from the book or from online sources.