Let’s face it. Sometimes the only way to get through a tough day is to laugh. I love to laugh and remember reading the old Erma Bombeck books about motherhood when I was little. So, I was interested when given a chance to read the book Mommy Needs a Raise by Sarah Marshall Perry.
Perry is a lawyer turned advertising agency employee turned sorta stay-at-home mom (her idea of SAHM appears to be working basically full-time as day trader or EBay seller or author from home). As the mother of three, two of whom have some special needs, I am sure she has a lot of things happening in her world. The book starts with telling her story before kids and then as a mom.
Her story is relatively interesting and at times mildly amusing. In all fairness, since I was expecting something more Erma Bombeck like, it would have been difficult to measure up in the humor department. It was cute and made me smile a few times. Billing it as hilarious though is a bit of a stretch.
The storyline was engaging, but honestly, I’m still not sure if she was trying to make a point or just talk about her life. Towards the end, she would shift from a more lighthearted “being a mom is tough, but has it’s funny moments” to an actually rather strong discussion of some important mothering advice. Frankly, I think it would have been a better book, if she had spent more time on that sprinkled with a little humor rather than trying to be funny and then throwing in a bit of wisdom.
My biggest beef as someone who had a good career before having a child and was a stay-at-home mom for many years, is her constant buy-in of the “lie”. It makes me both sad when mothers say they were fulfilled in their careers and feel wasted as a stay-at-home mom. Oh, she sorta kinda tried to say it was rewarding, but the much louder voice was her feeling of wasting her education and talents. (Although, I admit in the middle of cleaning up a kid’s vomit for the third time in two hours, the thought would briefly cross almost anyone’s mind.)
What I would have much preferred is an author who would write about how being a stay-at-home mom is so much more rewarding, fun and stimulating than her secular career. A career that can be retrieved or a new one chosen once her kids are in college. There is plenty of humor in that world, too. As written, the book may keep you mildly amused and even teach you a few important concepts about being a mother. If you want it to help you make choices or support your choice while laughing hysterically, this is probably not the book you want.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.