To be fair, I had only read about half of this book when I left it on the treadmill at the gym, and the not-very-helpful gym staff has been unable to help me recover it. So first, let’s give me some props for being on the treadmill at all, since I’m five months pregnant and apparently my baby already weighs nineteen pounds. And next, props to author Erika Schickel whose anecdotes about her life and motherhood so entertained me that my workout flew by. You’re Not the Boss of Me is a quick and easy read, dotted with laugh out loud moments. It is not, however, for the easily offended.
The format of this book makes it great for busy (read: scattered) moms– it doesn’t need to be read all at once, or in any particular order. Each chapter is a stand-alone essay. So, if you’ve forgotten how much you read, and pick it up months later (or mysteriously find a copy in front of you on a treadmill one day) you can simply dive in. There are no plot points to be reviewed.
The mother of two girls, Schickel writes primarily about her social life. The trials and triumphs of fitting in with other moms, sharing motherhood experiences with her best friend, and the outward symbols of Momming with which many of us struggle. Should she be driving a mini-van? Can she pull off a slutty dress at a concert? If she masters reknowned violent video game Grand Theft Auto, will she be any cooler, smarter, or stronger? I love that these are her concerns, and particularly enjoyed the slices of life that take place when she is out in the world, without her kids. For me it validates that our other interests don’t have to integrate with our identities as mothers.
If you like to receive lap dances from female strippers and then go home and have sex with your husband, that’s terrific. Enjoy! Erika Schickel did. You don’t need to question whether or not this behavior is appropriate for someone who is raising children. Need to take off your undergarments during an event? Go ahead. You are a person with a body who needs to be comfortable, not just a mother. Rip ‘em off!
And then, there’s the chapter called Pussy Belly…
Like I said, not for the easily offended.