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 was chosen for our book discussion book at MOMcation 2011. Even though I read it over a year ago, I still think about it on a regular basis as I face my own battles with motherhood.
When Did I Get Like This? is one of the best mom books I’ve read, because it’s so many things wrapped up into one. It’s part memoir, part self-help, part girlfriend’s guide, all with a little Erma Bombeck thrown in. Each chapter centers around a different motherhood challenge, from pregnancy, to breastfeeding, to finding a decent preschool. There’s something here for everyone, and I imagine that every mother identifies differently with each chapter in the book. For me, there were certain chapters that I laughed through because I had experienced those situations, and other chapters I read with interest because Amy was telling the tale of a motherhood hurdle I had not yet experienced.
At MOMcation last year, we were lucky enough to get to chat live with author Amy Wilson via Skype. It was fascinating to hear the story of how and why she wrote the book . She was offered the opportunity to write this book after blogging about motherhood for a couple years. She said she wanted to write something that landed somewhere between the satirical humor type motherhood books and the advice books that set the bar rediculously high. Wilson provides her experience and insights with the goal of allowing other parents to “skip over” at least some of the hurdles of parenthood.
I like the chronological path through the first seven years of her three children’s lives that the book takes. It gives each reader good perspective on where they are on the When Did I Get Like This timeline. My favorite chapter, although I did not realize it at the time, is “Meaningful Montissori”, which details the search for a good preschool program for her son, including non-acceptance letters and the emphasis placed on what month her son was born. This didn’t really resonate with me until several months after I read it, when I started searching for a Kindergarten for my daughter and ran into so many of the same seemingly overly-dramatic issues.
During the Skype chat, Amy told us that she was working on a second book. I can’t wait to see what it is! In the meantime, you can visit Amy Wilson’s website to read the first chapter of When Did I Get Like This?, download a list of discussion questions for your own book club, or visit Amy’s blog for even more motherhood humor and insight.