Secrets of the Mommyhood

When I was expecting my first baby, I read as many parenting books as I could, to try to prepare myself.

But too many were either too clinical or they made the issues that can come up seem like they’d be no big deal and they’d pass quickly.

According to the baby books, having a baby is all sweetness and light with a few easily overcome challenges.

And that’s not reality.

While having a newborn is rather magical and life-changing and amazing and all that good stuff… it’s also hard.  But, since the books don’t talk about it like that, new moms are left to wonder if they are doing something wrong.

In her book, Secrets of the Mommyhood, Heather Alexander offers up “Everything I wish someone had told me about pregnancy, childbirth, and having a baby.”

Reading it is like having your best girlfriend give you the real scoop on joining the mommyhood… but maybe you are first time mom who is the first to have babies so you don’t have that experienced mom friend to tell you these things.  So, that’s where this book comes in.

Realistic, practical, and funny(but not scary): it’s an easy read and will help expectant and new moms know that their feelings and worries are completely normal.

Some of my favorite tidbits from Secrets of the Mommyhood:

  • “Sleep deprivation combined with learning to be a parent leads to bickering.  Every once in a while I would wake up with a vague memory of calling my husband an asshole sometime during our sleepless night.”
  • “Okay, when your baby cries they are trying to tell you something. No, it’s not ‘Mommy, you suck!'”
  • “Having a new baby can be trying.  There is a lot of societal pressure to act like you are having fun when you are not.  So focus on the positive, but don’t feel like you have to act like it’s all roses all the time. Most of it is great; but some of it just sucks.”

It would be a great gift for an expectant or new mom on your holiday shopping list! I’m in Amazon-shopping mode and you can find Secrets of the Mommyhood there or you can check out a sneak peek of the book on Heather’s blog The Mommyhood.

I was sent a copy of Secrets of the Mommyhood to review. All opinions are my own. 

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you had a baby?


  1. says

    I’m not a mommy yet but I have been advised not to read “what to expect when you’re expecting”.  I don’t remember the exact reason but every time I see someone post about a baby book I always remember someone telling me that.
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  2. says

    Always good to hear about well-written books on pregnancy and parenting. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Our birth coach stressed natural childbirth and breastfeeding to the point that to do otherwise was to commit absolute sacrilege. When my water broke 5 weeks early and I went to the hospital, I went in and out of labor for a week before really going into labor. A week later, when our baby girl was back up over 5 pounds and we could take her home, she was really too weak to feed. I struggled mightily through labor and through breast feeding to be that “good mom” that my birth coach stressed.

    I wish someone had told me that our experiences will all be different, as are the needs of our babies. Having a mom at the end of her rope from being awake about 2 hours out of every 3 overnight to stick to a “one size fits all standard” does not make for a healthy and happy mom. I just needed to hear that it wasn’t going to be the end of the world if I had anesthesia during labor and if we went with formula. 
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    • says

      What you say is SO true! It’s hard when people in a position of authority give you directions in absolutes when you are vulnerable and unsure of what you are doing because it is all new.

      I needed someone to tell me to find whatever works and that it would all be okay.

      I cover formula in the book, too. Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone and formula gets it done. Using it doesn’t mean you love your baby any less. And it’s not okay for people to make you feel bad about it.

  3. says

    When it comes to breastfeeding, never give up on your worst day.  

    Those early days are really, really hard and it’s easy (maybe the only thing that’s easy) to lose yourself in the fog of having a newborn.  I wish someone had prepared me and told me things would get back to “normal” at some point and that someday, I’d feel like myself again!  Not gonna lie, it was kinda scary there for a few months with my first!
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    • says

      That chapter is called “Shards of Glass” because that’s what nursing felt like to me until I got the hang of it. In the book, I recommend striving for the 4week mark. It took a few weeks to get into a groove and I really wish someone had told me given me the down low, which is why I wrote this book.


  4. says

    Totally agree that some of the books make it out to be all rainbows. Follow this and baby will definitely respond…ahh…no! My first slept through the night by 3 months, my one year old is a different story. I always tell new moms, this will pass, you just don’t know when.
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    • says

      You are totally right – each kid is so different and there’s no “one size fits all.”

      It’s not all rainbows, and the book acknowledges this. But the book is actually quite positive and supportive. It’s not snarky or negative.

      It laugh out loud stories and helpful tips learned in the trenches that a first time mom would benefit from learning about up front.

      It’s the book I wish I had read.

  5. says

    I wish people would have not told me to “just relax”. No I can’t relax I am now responsible for another human being! It is not possible for relax. So what if I am crazy about germs or feedings or sleep schedules. Everyone has their own thing. You telling me to relax is not going to magically make that happen!

  6. says

    This book sounds like a gem.  None of “those books” really prepared me for the nitty gritty or the seepless nights or the names that I possibly would call my husband thanks to all of those sleepless nights.  I applaud Heather’s honesty and humor she brings  to her book and blog! 
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