Sigh. I’m the Veteran Mom now.
I just finished reading “Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive” by Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera. It’s a quick, easy read, and it’s filled with anecdotes on motherhood and one common theme: no one can do it all, but if we figure out what works for us, we’re one step ahead of the game.
It’s tough to not start by saying I wish I’d read this before my kids were all double digits. I’m past the point of remembering those sleep-deprived nights in vivid detail; now, memories of my kids in diapers are as hazy and unreliable as my recollections of labor pains and those God-awful mesh granny panties every new mom gets outfitted in after childbirth.
I had counsel then, of course; my stepmom was a Godsend, and I had a few friends who preceded me into the hallowed halls of motherhood who offered advice when they could. But there wasn’t a blog community then, or an online community of moms I could connect with, like there is today. Nevertheless, I made it through.
That’s the central core of what Alexa and Kerry try to communicate in this little nugget of a book: you’ll make it through. The way you’ll do it will probably be different than how your best friend does it or how your mom did it or how the Pinterest Queens do it. But the differences don’t matter, because the goal is the same: to raise a family and keep your sanity.
Even though I’m the Veteran Mom now I found some really good information in Lose the Cape. The advice about forming your mom squad—and where the term Veteran Mom appears– applies to anyone at any stage of parenting (starts on page 58). What I think needs to be added to what Kerry and Alexa share here is that your squad will change as your kids grow. Sometimes that happens because you move or because your kids graduate from one school to the next, but sometimes it’s just because we need different friends at different times. That’s ok, too; the mom squad isn’t a one-and-done decision. It evolves as you do.
I also really appreciated the discussion about social media. Now that I’m raising tweens and teens, it’s something that’s always on my mind. I think about being an example to my kids AND about staying one step ahead of the game. There’s some good advice here on how to manage my own social media time, and I’m looking forward to finishing Galit Breen’s new book about how to help my kiddos navigate social media. One step at a time, right?
Something else I really appreciate is that Kerry and Alexa included the perspective of a handful of bloggers who each share their own thoughts at various points through the book. This is particularly important in Chapter 7: Going It Alone, which addresses single parenting. Since Alexa and Kerry are both coupled, I appreciated that they shared thoughts and advice from single parents instead of speculating about what life as a single parent is like.
I recommend this book, especially to new mothers and the people who love them. I also recommend it to folks who simply need a reminder that it’s having a spotless kitchen or a Pinterest-worthy birthday extravaganza matters (much, much, MUCH) less than raising a happy, healthy family, however you define that for yourself.
Disclosure: I received a free advance copy of Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Some links here are affiliate links; I earn a (teeny tiny) commission from Amazon.com if you choose to purchase something after clicking a link.