Not Ready For Mom Jeans on my shelf for a couple of months now. It was a win from the fabulous Melissa's over at Chick Lit Central (I love you guys and the way that you enable my chick lit habit!), and since I'm a youngish mom I can certainly relate not being ready for mom jeans. As much as I adore my kids (and I do!), sometimes I stop and think about the fact that I'm not even 30 but yet I have an 11 year old, a 6 year old, and a 4 year old. I'm not ready for those mom jeans! I want to be one of those hot mamas!
Clare Finnegan, event planner and popular blogger, is so not ready for mom jeans either. Baby Sara was conceived unexpectedly, and although Clare can't imagine what life would be like without her, she struggles with her desire to return to work. Does working mom= bad and stay at home mom= good? Back at work, Clare pulls off a fancy sweet sixteen party and a swanky golf event with her ex-boyfriend from college, but when she misses yet another of her baby daughter's milestones she allows herself to entertain an alternate solution. Can Clare stay at home with Sara and not lose a part of herself?
A young mom myself, I could completely relate with Clare and her struggles through the first year of parenting. Although I've made the decision to stay at home with my kids and work part-time while they're young, and Clare makes the decision to return to work full-time, I think that this is a question that most new mothers struggle with. How do we retain the essence of ourselves while giving ourselves completely to our children? Is there a balance possible? If so, how exactly does one find it? Clare struggles with these questions throughout the book in a realistic yet hilarious manner. Clare, as a character, is completely lovable and I think that readers will easily relate to her. She doesn't resent motherhood, she loves it in fact, but she can't quite figure out how the old Clare and the new Clare can co-exist harmoniously.
Hilarious and touching, light enough for summer reading yet containing enough substance to make the book enjoyable for a wide variety of readers, I can strongly recommend Not Ready for Mom Jeans to any mother or fan of women's fiction.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, 2011 RYOB Challenge
Partway through the book I contacted the author through her website to let her know how much I was enjoying it (and I rarely do that, so that just tells you how much I really was enjoying it!). Maureen Lipinski generously offered two of my readers the chance to win both of her books, A Bump in the Road (detailing Clare's pregnancy) and Not Ready for Mom Jeans. Want to win? Here's how:
1. *Mandatory Entry* Let me know that you would like to win these books, and if you feel like it, please share one of your funniest mom moments! Please leave me your e-mail so that I can contact you if you win.
2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know that you now follow. Current followers are eligible for this bonus entry as well. No need for a separate comment, just add a +1 to your comment if you wish.
3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in some way. Blog about it, Tweet about it, Facebook it or add it to your website's sidebar, just leave me a link to what you did.
All entries (mandatory + bonuses) can be left in one comment if desired. This contest is open to residents in both the US and Canada. It runs until August 5, 2011 at midnight and winners will be contacted after this date by e-mail. Good luck!