Once upon a time, I had a job as a copy editor and I lasted about six weeks. From my first day, I felt it wasn’t the right job for me, and I cried on the phone to my previous boss. I forced myself to stay six weeks, and then I gave my two week-notice.
There was a bright side of this job – my office mate. Erika Lenkert was funny, smart, and confident in exactly the way you want an older sister to be. She had a glamorous work history, having written for InStyle, assorted travel guides, and glossy San Francisco magazines, and a glamorous social life, packed with dates, wine country outings with girlfriends, and invites to hip events. And she liked me. She told me she was my number one fan. I felt honored.
We lost touch soon after I left that job, so it was a short-lived friendship, but I was delighted to get an email the other day announcing a new book “The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy” by Erika Lenkert.
The entire book is in Erika’s voice as she fills the reader in on all the important things a pregnant woman needs to know, adding a dash of her own experiences and down-to-earth perspectives.
Since I am not pregnant, I will confess that I could only bring myself to read about half of the book and then skip around. Love that she suggests traveling. (Can’t dwell on it because for me traveling right now includes a 50% potty trained three year old and an eight-month old who doesn’t sleep through the night.) I am grateful, however, that I didn’t miss out on page 226, where Erika gives us the real deal:
The first six months are really hard. Women who were born to be mommies will disagree, but those of us who have enjoyed being self-indulgent rulers of our own domains and defined ourselves through professional or social achievements accomplishments might beg to differ.
… In conjunction with moments of parental glory is the relentless and all-consuming task of navigating new parenthood, caring for a newborn, and realizing that you and your desires are no longer the first priorities in your own life.
I love to hear other women spell this out for soon-to-be-mamas.
Since Erika went through new motherhood a little after I did, reading this made me wish I could have given my former idol a big hug back when she was a smushy-bellied, tearful, milk-leaking, postpartum mess. I would have taken her and her daughter out for hot chocolate and pedicures. I would have assured her that she would return to the self-confident, strong, creative woman she was when we shared an office. But apparently that already happened, since she must have bounced back in order to write a book about it.