Like the author, I was horrified by much of what I found in this book. I don’t mind that having children changed the actual physical structure of my brain (I kind of suspected) because that is who I am now. It is impossible to look at myself with my pre-mom brain and judge. It is like I am two different people. I don’t mourn the pre-mom me because that was someone else that I knew pretty well but it was a friendship that had run its course.
What horrified me was how easily outside influences could make one a worse mom. Stress, regular consumption of bottled seltzer, and even a mother’s own mother’s discomfort with hugs can turn off my good mom genes according to some of these studies. I didn’t like the implications. I see an horrific dystopia where mother’s have mandatory gene screenings.
Almost as horrifying was the new (to me) knowledge that the placenta is formed from the father’s DNA and used to control the future mom’s body and mind (eat more it says… don’t eat that raw cheese). Was my husband nice on the outside but secretly controlling me on the inside? It’s a bit hard to take.
In any case, I could not stop reading this book. I also identified with the author on many levels even though she had a lot more kids and a lot more privilege (which she acknowledges). This book felt like chatting with a good friend about the cool, and sometimes scary, stuff she has discovered for about 3/4 of the way through. Ms. Tucker ends the book with a serious plea for better policies for moms, which we all agree with but for the people likely to read this book it is preaching to the choir.
Abigail Tucker is also the author of “The Lion in The Living Room”, told the story of how an invasive feline ended up sitting there on your couch as your pet kitty cat.