Browsing a nearby second-hand bookstore a week ago, I found a book I've kept seeing on store shelves and been intrigued by. I must admit that I am very much guilty of judging books by their covers, and this one has a very cute and inviting cover. I justified the $8.50 to buy it, and have been devoting a few minutes to it most evenings before going to bed. Luckily, the cover seems to have been true to the book-- I am really liking it. It's a simple, easy read, yet still filled with all sorts of great insights and advice. I was most impressed by the chapter on husbands. I've read a few other books on motherhood, and usually the husbands chapter is reserved for stories of mothers bitching about how their good-for-nothing husbands barely lift a finger, and that's about it. I expected this book to be the same, and instead it surprised me by suggesting that perhaps, just maybe, all these issues and pressures we've been fighting with as mothers? Maybe dads are feeling the same, and also struggling, except they're even less likely to admit it or ask for help. And so maybe it's not a bad idea to try to communicate, to talk through our expectations to make sure we're on the same page (so we aren't beating ourselves up thinking our husbands expect a clean house and a four-course meal every night when really they just want us to pay attention to them, and they aren't doing the same thinking we need them to spend all their time at work and make more money when really we just wish they'd come home and give us a much-needed hug). And perhaps we could also try to each put ourselves in the other's shoes and say those magic words, "thank you for all you do", every once in a while. Sounds like pretty good advice to me. The basic take-home message of the book as far as I can tell: beware of the expectations you set upon yourself and others (are they realistic or attainable?), and make decisions based on what works for you and your family not what everyone else does or expects of you.
Then last week I picked up Eat, Pray, Love from the library. I've heard many things about this book, some good some not so good. I'm about 50 pages in so far, and I'm kind of completely fascinated by the book, and the author. I love her voice, her style of writing, her style of storytelling, her complete and total honesty. Reading this book is like reading the private blog of a good friend, and I instantly like her. I also absolutely love that it's broken in to such short sections (1-3 pages each), making it easy for me to just read a bit here or there and not feel like I'm constantly stopping right in the middle of a thought.