Tuesday Tome Week 48 – I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression

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The second book by Erma Bombeck which I read was I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression. By now I knew Bombeck’s writing was very dated. Moms from the 70s and 80s relished her writing, but I did not.

I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression

First off, her children are disrespectful and annoying. They take furniture and appliances with them when they go to college. They never return the family car with the right amount of gas. After reading James Dobson and Kevin Leman on parenting, coming to a book by Bombeck makes me want to whisper, “you got it all wrong, Mrs. Bombeck!” But, of course, she could not hear me anyway. Continue reading »

With all due respect to a deceased author, I did not enjoy this book. It was funnier than the first one I read, about motherhood as the second oldest profession, but it still did not help me in any way.

So I chuckled because she is funny in the way she presents things, but her chaotic family life makes me want to travel back in time and space and help her put her life in order. Her overbearing mom does not seem so bad after all – she is just trying to help Erma put her life on a schedule.

Her husband – I don’t understand how he allowed her to describe him in such a negative light. Maybe it was because her books were paying the bills more so than his educator’s salary? It was the beginning of the “bash the white man” movement of the 80s. So yes, her books sold well.

Don’t waste you time on this book is what I say.

Tuesday Tome Week 47 – Aunt Erma’s Cope Book

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This was the third and last book I read by Erma Bombeck. It was better than the first two but I don’t know if it’s because she is growing on me or because she actually got better in this book. It’s all a blur by now but I know I don’t want to read any more of her titles.

Aunt Erma's Cope Book

In this book, she mocks self-help books. I guess the self-help movement was taking flight in the 70s and 80s when she wrote and all these people in her life were trying to help her by suggesting this title and that title. Continue reading »

She read each one and mocked each one and pretty much said she did not find any help. She was going to be a disorganized mom and housewife for the rest of her life. However, even she notices that somehow she does not miss a writing deadline. Hmmm….

What are we to make of it?

I can only suppose the majority of women in her generation felt that way and acted that way and received validation from her writings. She would not sell many books today. Or am I living in a bubble?

She mocks her children, her husband, her friends, her mom and the clients from her part-time job. I know it’s called sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, but it just seems a little disrespectful, in my opinion. Do you really want to make a living laughing at the people in your life?

If it pays the mortgage, I guess some people are OK with it. I would not be.

Life is not perfect and our families are not perfect, but this mocking tone towards them reminds me of mindless TV shows during which everybody cuts everybody down. What’s the point?

Tuesday Tome Week 46 – Motherhood, The Second Oldest Profession

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About nine years ago, when I was becoming a mom, a friend told me about Erma Bombeck’s books as the solution to any of my future motherhood woes. My friend warned me that a sense a humor was a mother’s most important tool, if there is such a thing as a mother’s tool belt or tool box. And Bombeck was supposed to be the author who captured the humorous in the worst things about motherhood.

Motherhood The Second Oldest Profession

I don’t know why I never got around to reading Bombeck until now. Really. I don’t. I remember vaguely thinking about going to the library and checking out one of her books, but somehow I never made it that far. Continue reading »

It might have something to do with homeschooling – the blessed world of homeschooling which has absorbed me into itself. Now that I think I sort of have homeschooling figured out to the point where I don’t have to read about it constantly, I have finally got to Erma Bombeck.

I was disappointed.

Her books did not make me smile. Instead, they made me angry. Really. It took me awhile to figure out why, but now I know. These books are dated. They are not for Generation X moms who are raising children in a totally different way than the Baby Boomer moms for whom Bombeck was writing in the 70s and 80s.

For one, she quotes extensively from TV moms from TV shows that aired in the USA in the 60s and 70s. First off, I was not born then, so I have no idea what she is talking about. Secondly, if I was around, I was in Romania and they did not air US TV series under Communism in my country (unless it was Dallas).

So I did not get her metaphors, but I got her sarcasm to a degree and she simply came across as bitter and maladroit and ill-adjusted to her role as a mother. You might say that she was humble enough to be self-deprecating, but it did not seem so to me. Obviously, her books helped an entire generation of women to make sense of motherhood. But she did not help me in any way.

Is she funny at times? Yes, she can be. But the subject matter is so sad (her children are disrespectful, her husband watches football for three hours straight, she dreams about a career she can never have etc) that it almost made me not want to finish the book. It was depressing.

However, I am a woman of my word. And when I say I shall read a book per week, I finish the book. It’s a good exercise in patience and patience is a virtue. Don’t read this book unless you want to get depressed.