Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Mother of All Meltdowns

It's called a meltdown because you can actually watch your kids melt.  They start out upright and solid, then something happens (like juice in the wrong color cup) and they melt; sometimes in slow motion, until they are a puddle on the floor.  All wet from screaming and crying, totally immovable.
- MOAM introduction

If you're a mother, you've seen this happen to your kids -- the unfurling process where once normal children become entirely unglued and morph into irrational feral creatures, leaving everyone in their wake to pick up the broken pieces, figuratively and literally.

If you're an honest mother, you'll probably realize that meltdowns aren't just child's play.  We moms can melt, too -- all wet from screaming and crying, unfolding in slow motion and epic proportions -- and, just like our kids, we face our own assortment of broken pieces in the aftermath. 

The Mother of All Meltdowns, a newly-released compilation of essays from 30 diverse mom bloggers, holds this as its key premise: moms (good moms!) all have breaking points. Sometimes that breaking point is when you discover that your daughter has cut off her own bangs, or when a stranger asks when you're due to have your baby three months after you've delivered that baby, or when you suspect that your toddler has flushed your wedding ring down the toilet, or when your entire family succumbs to the stomach flu the night before Christmas. 

Through the transparent presentation of these authors' worst moments -- the outburst, the tears, the self-doubts, the botched attempt at moving a child's finished Lego construction -- we, as readers, are quietly invited to recall our own rough patches where we behaved less-than-ideally.  Most importantly, we're reminded that we're not alone.

The book's forward notes that each contributor brings her own writing style, acknowledging that "if you're a word nerd, the grammar police, or anything in between, a good dose of Prozak might be in order for you to read this book."  Instead, the preface explains that the book's focus is honesty, not perfection.  In other words, drop the red pens and grab a relaxing cup of coffee or tea instead.

Typical of compiled anthologies, I gravitated toward a few entries more strongly than others due to the individual writer's way with words or how her experiences and perspectives dovetailed with my own, which is to be expected. 

Overall, I finished the book with affirmation that I'm not the only mom who's been there, done that, regretted it, moved on, and -- here's the best part -- lived to mother another day.  And what mom couldn't use a bit of that?


The Mother of All Meltdowns is available in both Kindle and paperback editions.

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27 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great review and acknowledging that we all have breaking points...I think we need to cut ourselves a little slack sometimes and ask for help when we need it!

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful review and so true that we all do have our moments, but as moms we definitely do pick ourselves up and moved on to mother another day! You said that quite perfectly!! :)

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  3. I've watched my children melt often! And I'm also embarrassed to say that I've had my share of meltdowns, but it's all part of being a mom. Thanks for reading!

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  4. That is exactly what I tell people! If you need some validation that you are not alone, this is the book for you! Thanks for this awesome review!

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  5. Thank you for such an awesome review. I agree that even as a contributor to this book, I gravitate to some stories in all anthologies more than others - just based on personal experience and writing. And this group of 30...well I was just gripped reading our book. And I love knowing I'm not alone!

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  6. You said it perfectly - we all live to mother another day. Thanks for the review - I'm so glad you found some stories that you could relate to.

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  7. Karen @ BakingInATornadoNovember 26, 2013

    Melting's not just for kids. Or for chocolate. Moms do it too, time to admit it. Thank you so much for the great review. I love hearing that people find stories in this book that they can relate to.

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  8. What a stellar review! Thank you so much, Robin! I appreciate that you took the time to read the book and opened up your blog to host us. Let me know if I can repay the favor in any way. :)

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  9. I love that reminder that we are not alone! Thanks so much for reviewing the book!

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  10. "Lived to mother another day." Amen! Thanks, again, for the wonderful review!

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  11. Thanks for the awesome review; we appreciate it! it's nice to hear that you are just like us!

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  12. And it's better to admit it, isn't it? :) It gives others hope!

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  13. You're so welcome, Lisa! Proud of you for being a part of this adventure!

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  14. Thanks, Crystal. It was a pleasure! Keep up the good work!

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  15. Now all I can think about is melted chocolate. (The best kind of meltdown, if you ask me.)

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  16. It was a pleasure, Tamara! Thanks so much for contributing!

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  17. Thanks, Janine! Glad that I was able to review it!

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  18. So true... I know that I sometimes forget to cut myself some slack (or ask for help), but we all need it on occasion! Thanks for contributing!

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  19. I love those moments of realization that you;re not the only one. I've had several of those moments as I read your book. I swear we could be related!


    Thanks for sharing this review.
    xoxo

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  20. Perhaps we're long-lost Canadian-American cousins, then??

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  21. LaundryorDieDecember 04, 2013

    Since I'm dashing from one crisis to another, I haven't read the book (yet)l But speed scanning your blog and article titles gave me a much needed grin.

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  22. Thank you so much for reviewing our book. We've all had meltdowns and I'm sure there are many more to come.

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